Caramelized Honey Cupcakes


The first step to baking caramelized honey cupcakes?

Realizing that you can, indeed, bake with honey. Baking with honey is literally a thing you can do

And in our humble honey-coated opinion? It's a pretty smart thing to do.

Check out our blog, "Baking with Honey Instead of Sugar" for the full, sweet scoop on how to add moisture and flavor to your home-baked goodies with raw & unfiltered honey.

Now, before we get started, let's break down what makes these caramelized honey cupcakes SO good, so you know exactly what you're getting into.

Caramelized: The first step (below) is to caramelize the honey. You'll want to make sure to boil the honey as briefly as possible so you don't burn it. By boiling it momentarily, then simmering it to a dark, golden amber color, you'll give it that cooked caramel flavor without the burn.

Honey: We used Local Hive Nor Cal for this particular recipe, but any of our 23+ honey blends will do just fine. Nor Cal has a buttery, light flavor thanks to the local pollens from our beekeepers in California.

Cupcakes: This recipe calls for alternating the wet and dry ingredients as you whisk them together with a stand mixer or in a mixing bowl. Local Hive Nor Cal honey with honey caramelized cupcakes

Pro Tip: If you're not baking honey desserts on the regular, just know that all you need to decorate cupcakes like a pro is a plastic ziploc bag. Just fill it with the meringue buttercream. Then poke a hole in one corner and squeeze. Boom: instant piping bag for your frosting🧁 


100 Years of 100% U.S. Honey

This recipe is part of our #100waystousehoney series, celebrating 100 years of 100% U.S. honey.

Throughout 2024, you can shop our limited-edition 1924 Golden Age Wildflower honey blend. It's an exclusive, 100% U.S. wildflower honey blend with a mellow, but flowery taste.


For The Cake

• 1 cup Local Hive Honey
• 1/2 cup salted butter
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1/4 cup canola oil
• 3 eggs, room temperature
• 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup cake flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt*
• 1/2 cup half-and-half

For the Honey Swiss Meringue Buttercream
• 5 egg whites
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 3 sticks unsalted butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
• pinch of kosher salt
• 2 tablespoons Local Hive Honey


For The Cake

1. Using a small sauce pan, heat 1 cup of Local Hive™ Honey over medium heat. Bring the honey to a boil and then reduce the heat, simmering for 4-5 minutes, or until the honey reaches a dark amber color. Immediately pour the honey into a heat safe container. Set aside to cool.

2. Preheat oven 325ºF. Line one and a half cupcake tins with liners, about 18 cups.

3. In a mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes. Slowly drizzle 1/2 cup of the caramelized honey into the mixing bowl. This process should take 2-3 minutes, as the honey should be added slowly. Next, slowly drizzle the oil into the bowl, mixing about 1-2 minutes.

4. Add eggs one at a time and scrape the bowl after each egg addition. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated.

5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Spoon and level the flours for an accurate measurement.

6. Alternating between the dry ingredients and the half-and-half, add a third of the flour mix into the mixing bowl on low speed. Immediately follow with half of the half-and-half, followed by another third of the flour and the second half of the half-and-half. Finish with the remaining flour mixture. The mixer should be kept on low speed, so the flour and liquid don't splash out of the bowl. Scrape the bowl, making sure any dry ingredients trapped at the bottom are brought to the top and briefly mix one more time.

7. Fill each cupcake tin 3/4 full. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from the cupcake tins promptly. Allow to cool on a wire wrack.

For the Honey Swiss Meringue Buttercream

1. Into the bowl of an electric mixer, add five egg whites and 1 cup sugar. Place the bowl over a sauce pan filled with two inches of simmering water. Stirring constantly, heat the eggs and sugar until there are no granules present, or until 160 degrees F. for food safety concerns.

2. Attach the bowl to the stand mixer using the whisk attachment, and mix on high for 10-15 minutes, or until the bowl is no longer hot to the touch and the meringue has reached stiff peaks.

3. Switch out the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment, and on medium speed, add 1 tablespoon of butter at a time into the bowl, waiting until each tablespoon of butter has adequately been mixed before adding the next. Repeat until all the butter has been added, letting it beat until the buttercream transforms into a light and fluffy consistency.

4. Add the vanilla, salt and Local Hive™ Honey (use the leftover caramelized honey) into the bowl and mix for another 30 seconds.

5. Decorate the cupcakes as desired.

*if using regular table salt, reduce to ¼ tsp

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