Make + Bake With Anneka: Baking with Honey

Honey and Pecan Loaf RecipeHoney and Pecan Loaf

Anneka Manning, a food author, mum of two and passionate baker behind BakeClub, joins us each month to share some of her industry tips, tricks and 25 years worth of experience. Today she gives us the scoop on how easy it is to susbtitute honey in a recipe that calls for sugar. She also shares her recipe for Honey and Pecan Loaf. Delish!


Honey is simply a liquid form of sugar so it can easily be substituted in any baked recipe that asks for a granulated form of sugar. Honey will impart its own unique flavor and distinctive aroma to baked goodies.

The colour and flavor of honey varieties differs depending on the blossom source. They vary from very pale golden and deliciously mild (such as Orange Blossom and Blue Gum) to deep golden brown and unapologetically bold (such as Manuka and  Leatherwood) – generally, the darker the honey variety the stronger the flavour.

I like to measure honey in grams instead of mls or cups as I find I get a more accurate measurement that way. Honey is naturally ‘sweeter’ than other sugars (such as white, brown and raw) so you will be able to use less when comparing the cup measurement.

If you want to replace sugar with honey the formula is simple and there are just two things to keep in mind:

  1. Use the same amount in weight (for example if a recipe calls for 110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar then use 110g honey, not ½ cup).
  2. Also reduce the amount of liquid ingredients (such as water or milk) by 1 tablespoon for every 110g (1/2 cup) sugar used in the original recipe to account for the higher moisture content of the honey.

From crisp nutty biscuits to soul-warming puddings honey is a fabulously aromatic ingredient to use in your baking. Here is a super simple Honey and Pecan Loaf that will please any honey lover. I like to use one of the more strongly flavoured honeys in this loaf to give it a real depth of flavor and an obvious honey aroma – perfect with an afternoon cuppa!

Honey and Pecan Loaf Recipe

loaf4 Honey and Pecan Loaf Recipe

Makes: about 10 slices

Preparation time : 15 minutes (+ cooling time)

Cooking time: 30-35 minutes


What You Need: 

  • 175g (1/2 cup) honey (see Baker’s Tips)
  • 100ml milk
  • 100g butter, cubed
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • 75g pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 150g (1 cup) self-raising flour


Honey Icing

  • 115g (1/3 cup) honey (see Baker’s Tips)
  • 80g butter, softened
  • 155g (11/4 cups) icing sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice


What You Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease a 9.5 x 20cm (base measurement) loaf tin and line the base and two long sides with one piece of baking paper.
  2. Put the honey milk and butter in a small saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes or until the mixture cools to room temperature.
  3. Add the egg and pecans and stir with the wooden spoon until well combined. Add the flour and stir briefly until just combined. Pour into the prepared tin and smooth the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand in the tin for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the Honey icing, use an electric mixer to beat the honey and butter in a medium mixing bowl until very pale and smooth. Add the icing sugar and lemon juice and beat until well combined.
  5. Spread the cooled loaf with the buttercream. Cut into slices to serve. 


Baker’s Tip:

  • A stronger, more intensely flavoured honey works best in this loaf.
  • You can replace the honey icing with a simple drizzle of warm honey straight after you remove the loaf form the tin and before it cools.
  • This loaf will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Anneka’s latest book –  Bake, Eat Love –  is available here.  To keep in touch with BakeClub you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or if you’re in Sydney, you might like to join Anneka at one of her workshops

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