Two Easy Honey Candy Recipes

Two Easy Honey Candy Recipes
For a few years, my son could only have honey as a sweetener, which meant store-bought candy was out of the question. (This was on the advice of his pediatrician who placed him on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet because he had non-responsive celiac disease and was a very sick little boy. The diet worked wonders and he is now a healthy child with no more stomach aches or for that matter, asthma. It’s a fabulous diet!)

I did a lot of experimenting, trying to come up with treats that I could make him. Here are two of his favorites: Honey & Vinegar Candy and Honey Nut Butter Candy; both are fairly easy to whip up when the urge for a sweet treat arises.

One thing that no one ever seems to mention when it comes to making (well, eating!) most honey based candy is that it quickly goes from crunchy to chewy in your mouth. This is more noticeable with the Honey & Vinegar Candy than the Honey Nut Butter Candy, but because of this reason, I recommend these for older children and even then, be sure to break into small serving sizes. The texture of the Honey & Vinegar reminds me quite a bit of the Sugar Babies that I bought as a kid, if that gives you some idea of the chew-factor!

honey and nut butter candy

Honey Nut Butter Candy

This first easy honey candy recipe is inspired by “Glass Candy” from the cookbook Grain Free Gourmet by Jodi Bager and Jenny Lass. I love their cookbooks and highly recommend anyone that wants to cook grain-free and refined-sugar-free own a copy of both! Mine are well worn and worth every penny I spent and then some!

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup nut butter (I used crunchy almond butter here, you can also use peanut butter, cashew butter, sunbutter, etc)

Pour the honey into a heavy saucepan. Place pan over medium heat until mixture starts to boil. Adjust the heat lower if needed and let boil until honey reaches 300 degrees F (hard crack stage.) This takes around twenty minutes.

Remove from heat, add vanilla and nut butter. Stir thoroughly then immediately pour onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in freezer or refrigerator to cool. Once completely chilled, break into long strips, then break those again into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Store in freezer.

honey and vinegar candy

Honey & Vinegar Candy

I’m always looking for ways to use some of my infused vinegars, such as Blackberry Vinegar, and this easy honey candy recipe fits the bill perfectly! For the batch pictured above, I used blueberry infused vinegar (made exactly like the blackberry version.)

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (or fruit infused vinegar)
  • (optional) 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pour the honey and vinegar into a heavy saucepan. Place pan over medium heat until mixture starts to boil. Adjust the heat lower if needed and let boil until honey reaches 300 degrees F (hard crack stage.)

Remove from heat, add vanilla, if desired. Immediately pour onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in freezer or refrigerator to cool.

Once completely chilled, break into long strips, then break those again into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Store in freezer. These start off crunchy, but turn rather chewy after a few seconds!

a jar of vinegar and a jar of honey

A few tips to remember:

  • Be sure to calibrate your candy thermometer periodically. Dip the tip of it in a small pot of boiling water (you can do this while cooking pasta too, as a time saver) and let it stay for a few minutes without touching the sides or bottom. It should read 212 degrees F (at sea level). My candy thermometer happens to be ten degrees off! So, I have to keep that in mind when making candies and adjust accordingly. It WILL make a difference in your recipe. (For more information on this, check out Ray’s comment below.)
  • Honey can scorch and burn if heated too high – be sure to stay nearby and keep checking the temperature with your candy thermometer.
  • Store honey based candies in the freezer (in single layers, between parchment paper) until right before ready to eat.
  • You can also pour the hot candy into lollipop molds. (Just remember the “chew factor” for small kids!)
  • Try different flavored extracts instead of vanilla – such as: lemon or peppermint for a great taste variation.
  • Fill your still-hot pot with warm, soapy water soon after pouring out the candy and let it soak for a while in your sink – it will make cleaning up infinitely easier!

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    1. Thanks for sharing these recipes! I may add some sesame seed to this mixture, to recreate a favorite candy, I have long loved.

      1. Aw my dad sometimes brings home lebanese candy with sesame seeds!! I’ll put seeds on half of the candy… he will be happy.

  1. Thanks for these recipes,I make rice crispie treats (original scotcheroos) using honey instead of corn syrup (allergies)
    brown sugar instead of white,they turn out well,
    Thanks again

    1. That sounds really good! I like to replace corn syrup in all recipes with honey too – it works really well. I bet brown sugar makes the treats extra tasty!

  2. I loved this recipe so much that I bought the book “Grain Free Gourmet” from Amazon!!! I have been on a grain free diet and lost 10lbs in a month. I am so happy to find a cookbook that goes along with my new eating habits :)

    1. That’s great Sophia! A grain free diet was a miracle worker for my son – I still like to make us a lot of the foods, even though he’s healed enough to eat most anything now (except gluten – but that’s genetic and won’t change.) They have a follow up cookbook to the one I listed, plus another one that I like is “Eat Well Fell Well” by Kendall Conrad. It’s a little gourmetish – as in calling for some expensive ingredients not easily found in my small town, but I’ve still found quite a few food inspirations in the book.

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  4. Hi Thanks for sharring!! I just tried it w/ our honey and the only issue i’m having is that it’s not getting brittle.

    what i think went wrong:
    1) i didn’t have enough nut butter..was just a tad short.
    2) i didn’t have a candy thermo so maybe not hot enough??

    ANY thoughts?? Its tastes very good and was easy and quick!

    1. Hey Marty! I would say you probably didn’t cook long enough to reach hard crack stage. The honey darkens and thickens a bit – you can subtly feel it as you’re stirring.
      I hope you get to try it again! :)

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  6. I didn’t know that thermometers could be so far out – I’ll have to check mine next time I use it. Thanks for the advice!
    Janie x

    1. the boiling point of water changes with altitude but the freezing point does not. the proper way to calibrate a thermometer is to create a slurry of crushed ice and water. This will always be 0 degrees Celsius or 32 degrees F regardless of your elevation.

      1. Hi Dave, thanks for that information. That’s something I hadn’t heard before and will definitely look into. Sounds like it’d be much handier than fooling with boiling water!

  7. just an FYI..
    all benefits of using honey instead of other sugars
    are voided when it is brought to high temperature.
    enzymes destroyed.

    1. That is true if you are only viewing in terms of the enzymes & nutrients available in raw foods. For providing my child with a sweet treat however, I go on the premise that honey (a monosaccharide) is easily absorbed and used by the body whereas table sugar (a disaccharide) must be broken down before use. My purpose for starting to use honey for my son in the first place was that his gut had an overgrowth of bad bacteria that was contributing to a multitude of health problems. Disaccharides can feed bad bacteria. Monosaccharides don’t hang around for the bad guys to feast on. If you click on the link above regarding the Specific Carbohydrate Diet there is sure to be more details on it, if it interests you. I stand 100% behind the diet because it worked when nothing else would. It’s a very difficult diet to follow, especially for a small child. Sweets (in moderation) makes it easier and healing can still occur – heated honey or not.

      For dosing herbals though, I absolutely like to use raw honey – you are correct it has lots of benefits! We’re lucky to have a good supply of raw honey available from next door! :)

  8. I have been wanting to try a honey candy … These look great! I bet the honey vinegar candy is Awesome.

    1. Hi Nicole! I have a few more honey candy recipes I’d like to get out when I get a chance to create posts for them. It’s good stuff! :)

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  10. Besides a really good looking recipe, I just love hearing stories about how diet triumphs over medical problems. My son grew up with asthma. After numerous trips to the doctor and an arsenal of drugs (just so he could play football) we finally eliminated all chemicals from his diet. Who knew his problem stemmed from food additives; it was a miracle cure, just like yours. Love it.

    1. That is wonderful that his asthma was eliminated, Leigh! I love those kinds of stories too! So many kids I know have it, but the parents just don’t realize how often it can be connected to diet. I’m so glad we had one of the rare doctors that questions root causes instead of covering the issue and pretty much insisted I try the diet. I’ll always be grateful. :)

  11. Out of curiosity, for the honey/vinegar candy can an infused balsamic vinegar be used instead of apple cider? I have a shop locally that carries over 20 different infused balsamic vinegars and I’d really like to try this recipe with their spiced pear infused balsamic vinegar.

    1. I actually got the idea to use my infused vinegars from a candy recipe I saw that had balsamic vinegar in it. Only, it used sugar. I think it sounds great and it’s something I’d like to try sometime myself!

  12. I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this but if you can use local honey it is best. Especially if you have allergies, respiratory or gut issues. ♥

    1. Yes, local honey is great! Especially since I’ve heard of some supermarket honey not being real honey! We are so lucky to have a grandparent next door that raises bees and keeps us supplied! :) Before that, it was readily available at our local farmer’s market.

  13. I noticed that the Honey Nut Butter recipe says to keep in the fridge. I was thinking about making this for my father-in-law for Christmas, but I would have to ship it to California. Do you think it would hold up not being refrigerated? Or should I come up with a different gift? :) Thanks for the recipe though! Very excited to try it either way :)

    1. I think it might stick together in shipping and end up a bit gooey. It’s one of those things that is enjoyed best right out of the freezer. If you hold it for too long, you get quite sticky fingers! I have some other candy ideas with honey that I’ll be posting as I can make them and type them up – I’ll have to leave some out at room temp and see how they individually hold up that way. I hope you enjoy the recipe! :)

  14. Using boiling water to test calibration of a candy thermometer is not entirely accurate.

    212 degrees is the temperature distilled water will boil at at standard atmospheric pressure. IE elevation above sea level lowers atmospheric pressures yielding a lower boiling temp and weather fronts can also depress or in the case of high pressure patterns at sea level elevate your boiling point temperature.

    If your candy thermometer is off with boiling test it may not be out of calibration. It may be that you are in Denver.

    Given that, it is entirely possible that the temperature needed to make candy may vary with elevation. The purpose of heating candy to a specific temperature is to achieve a certain specific gravity of the mixture. IE to drive a certain amount of water out by boiling it off. As a mixture becomes more concentrated and has less water in it the boiling point of the mixture becomes higher. And the temperature of the mixture rises to the new boiling point.

    If anything though if a lower temp allows water to boil for a given elevation and barometric pressure reason would dictate that lower temps would achieve similar results in obtaining a specific gravity of the candy mixture.

    1. Thanks Ray for that information! I sometimes have the bad habit (in spite of trying hard not to!) of forgetting that everyone doesn’t have the same climate, elevation, etc. so I always appreciate when people point out facts I’ve overlooked.

      Another point I don’t think I brought up is that candy-making works best on a cooler, dry day since humidity can also affect the end result. Living where the summers are very hot and humid, my candies can tend to become more sticky (from reabsorbing moisture in the air.)

      Back to candy temps though, it could very well be that the best results would come from doing the old-fashioned cold water test instead of using a thermometer in the first place.

      I do know that my thermometer is off, because if I let it reach 300 degrees F, I end up with over-cooked candy. But, true, I can’t say it’s precisely 10 degrees off, just because of the boiling water test.

      So, definitely, if anyone is having candy-making troubles it is good to remember that thermometer calibration is not as simplistic as it sounds and that other factors could be involved.

      Thanks for that perspective and I’ll edit the post to note it in the section on calibrating thermometers!

  15. You already know I am in LOVE with these recipes! Cant wait to try them. Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday.

  16. I love these! I made the honey nut butter ones and tell you what i’m in love!!! I dont know if i will have some for when the hubby comes back from training to head over seas!!

  17. What wonderful looking recipes! Thank you so much for sharing. I found you on the GF Friday link up. next time post a pic of your gorgeous candy if you can. It looks delish!

    Also, so very glad to hear your son is thriving after having refractory celiac. That must have been a tough journey, but you sweetened it with those loving honey candies.

    Looking forward to reading more of your blog.

    1. Hi Dana!
      I’ve recently been altering some settings with my images (I was having lots of problems with hotlinking and that was pulling too many resources from what my web hosting plan allows) Could you not see the image that I uploaded on the GF Friday link? I’m still figuring things out and a lot of it’s over my head sometimes! :)
      Thanks for the kind words!

  18. Wow! I have never heard of anything like this before! Thanks for sharing these great recipes at Foodie Friends Friday!

    1. As long as you keep them in the freezer until right before gifting! :) I left a few out on a saucer overnight as an experiment and they got very melted-y.

  19. Awesome ideas! I’m picking this post for my featured pic in tomorrow’s Barn Hop. Keep up the great work! ;)

    1. Thanks for the feature Jill! The Barn Hop was the very first blog hop I discovered so this is extra special news for me. :)

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  21. Congratulations! Your post was featured on Natural Living Monday. No surprise as they are such a HUGE hit on FB and Pintrest!

  22. Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! We had some fabulous entries this week! Our gluten free blogger directory is growing too! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :) See you next Friday! Cindy from

  23. I just made both of these recipes today, as well as the Honey Lemon Sore Throat Drops! It’s my first time ever making any kind of candy and the results were surprisingly good! Everyone else loves the Honey Nut Butter candy the best, though my favorites are the Sore Throat Drops. The Honey Vinegar didn’t go over nearly as well as the other two; it has an almost overwhelmingly strong honey taste. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to or if I managed to mess it up somehow. In any case, I’ll definitely be making the Honey Nut Butter and Honey Lemon recipes again, if not the Honey Vinegar. Thank you so much for the recipes!!

    1. The Honey Nut Butter is popular here too! The Honey Vinegar was one of the first honey candies I made, when we started the diet and I was still hesitant to use nuts and dairy after being off of them (for allergies) for so long. It’s good if you don’t really have any other candy options, but I agree – it’s pretty plain & most of us prefer one of the other recipes. Glad you enjoyed the others! :)

  24. Do u know how long these can be outside of freezer storage — ie can i put them in baggies as gifts, with directions to put in freezer?
    BTW- u are no nerd – you are just brilliant! just discovered u online recently and so glad i did. love your info.

    1. Aw thanks! :) I left a plate sitting out on the counter with some Honey Vinegar ones on it overnight, and in the morning they had little puddles of honey around them. So, I don’t think it would work well to keep them out too long. The nut butter ones might go a few hours, but you’d need to freeze them fairly soon to keep them from melting together. Definitely keep between layers of parchment to prevent sticking.

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  28. I love how simple these recipes are. I am not on the SC diet, but I am gluten free and have been eating similar to the SCD for the past few months. I don’t eat much sugar of any kind, but I think I will give the nut butter version a try for an occasional treat. Thanks!

  29. My 14 year old son is a beekeeper and I bet he’ll let me have a little honey to try these out. Thanks!

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  33. love the honey recipies. i’m going to try them. i love making candies:-) you were talking about your candy thermometer, i have to tell you the story behind mine. my grandma gave it to me way back in the 80’s. (she passed away in 1994). a few years ago my mom was telling me about grandma making candy when my mom was little “she used a candy thermometer with a wooden blue handle”. i said “MOM, thats the one that grandma gave to me, the blue is almost gone, but it’s the same one” and i still use it all the time. it’s one of those things that will be passed on to my children someday :-) my mom is 74 so i figure the candy thermometer is around 70 years old and still works like a charm :-)

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  35. I made the honey and vinegar candy today. The only thing I had trouble with was getting the candy to come out of my cookie sheet. I used parchment paper but it just kept ripping. Have any good ideas to make this work better.

    1. Hi Deborah, I’m sorry that happened! I’ve not had that problem yet, but a few ideas – (1.) you could try lightly oiling your parchment paper first with something like coconut oil or butter; (2.) make sure your parchment paper is high grade so heavy duty; (3.) candy made on a somewhat humid day is often too sticky; (4.) Make sure the candy is completely frozen solid before trying to remove.
      I’m not sure if any of these apply or not, but perhaps one of the ideas will help. If I think of any more ideas, I will be sure to add to this reply!

  36. Just wondering if you know how to make a health food store candy mint made with just honey, chocolate and mint. My daughter can eat these but expensive…thanks and enjoyed your site.

    1. Hi Janet! Do you have a name brand or link for these? I’ll look them up and see what they look like & compare to the recipes I have. They sound yummy! :)

  37. Just found your recipes, they look delish. Currently I’m following the autoimmune protocol for my psoriasis (but also think I may have issues with histamine). I’m still in the elimination phase so nuts and vinegar are out for now. Is possible to make something with a candy-like consistency just using honey?

    1. Hi Jackie! I have a few ideas that may or may not work for you.

      I’m not sure if you can have lemon (or other citrus) juice, but you can substitute that for the vinegar. Another idea is an herbal tea or infusion instead of vinegar.

      If you can have either butter or coconut oil, you could try the Sore Throat Candy drops (leaving out the lemon, vinegar &/or the herbal mixture if needed.)

      Finally, you can try cooking just honey until it reaches 290 to 300 degrees (remove from heat if it starts smelling scorched.) Work very quickly and pour the hot candy onto parchment paper in little drops (time consuming & tedious & might harden up before you get all of the candy from the pan) or a big square (kind of hard to break apart sometimes, but easier to pour) then pop in the freezer or fridge to cool a bit.

      Be sure to store your candy in single layers between parchment paper in the freezer (or fridge for a softer texture.)

      No matter what you do, don’t forget to pop your pan in the sink and fill with soapy water as soon as you’ve poured out the hot mixture. Cold, dried honey candy is quite painful to clean from a pan! :)

      I hope one of these ideas will work for you! If not, let me know and I’ll brainstorm some more. :)

      1. Oh my gosh! :) Thank you so much for your reply! The jury is still out on Citrus for me (I’ll try reintroducing in the future when my symptoms abate) but I can definitely tolerate coconut oil. I can’t wait to try it!

  38. Thank you SO much for this recipe!! I’ve been doing SCD for a few months & really needed something “legal” to suck on while having a cold! ;) This is perfect!

  39. Some of my family members have problems with the “sugar blues”. I think honey does not have the same ill effect on them because it is a complex sugar and takes longer to break down. Thank you for this recipe!

    1. Hi Sally K! A great thing I like about candies with honey (a monosaccharide) is that they’re more easily absorbed and used by the body where table sugar (a disaccharide) must be broken down before use. This was helpful for my son when he had an overgrowth of bad bacteria. Sugar can definitely be an issue for some people! I’m glad you like the recipe! :)

  40. I measured this recipe correctly, and it did NOT work. It was sticky, and when pulled out of the fridge it started to become sticky and its shape evetually (actually this ocurred quite quickly) fell apart. Not happy, as I was relying on this recipe for an assignment… But if it worked for others, then they must have added more butter, or left it in the freezer. Not sure.

    1. Hi Kelinda, I’m so sorry to hear about that happening to you! These candies are designed to be stored in the freezer (in single layers, between parchment paper) until right before ready to eat. They should be very hard and crunchy when cold, and soft and chewy (caramel like) at room temperature. They shouldn’t have fallen apart on you though. As a few troubleshooting ideas: Did you calibrate your thermometer to make sure it’s accurate? (Many aren’t – even new ones straight out of the package.) The amount of almond/cashew/peanut butter doesn’t have to be precise, the main thing is that the candy mixture must reach hard crack stage (300 degrees Fahrenheit) to get the correct texture. Making candy on a rainy or highly humid day can also affect the outcome.

  41. I’m wondering if these honey recipes can also be made in a microwave or do they need to be boiled on a stovetop ?

    1. Hi Linda! I’m not sure, but my thoughts are that the hot spots a microwave can cause would probably scorch parts of the honey. (I might be wrong though, that’s just a hunch!)

  42. So good! It always turned out well except the one time my candy thermometer went bad & the whole batch burnt :((. After I bought a new thermometer, the candy turned out beautifully, both with the almond or cashew butter and cider vinegar too. I have a new local supply of fresh honey so the cold weather is a great time to make this again.

    1. Hi Christina! No, it shouldn’t taste bitter at all. It’s possible that your honey got too hot, causing a bitter taste. Honey candy can be tricky sometimes – it goes from perfect to too hot in a very short time frame.

  43. Just made this! Yum! I used peanut butter with flax and chia seeds and it came out great. Thank you for the recipe.

  44. Have you ever made honey cough drops with essential oils? I’m guessing it would kill the begonias benefits of the oils at that heat.

    1. Hi Steve! It may be just a thing where I made these so many times that I got used to breaking pieces evenly, but what I do is kind of fold one edge back towards the main square of candy. Since it’s hard candy at that point, of course it won’t fold, but instead breaks off in one long strip (usually). Then you can take a long strip and snap off smaller squares from it. Some honey candies turn out softer, or will be more pliable at room temperature, and for those you can take kitchen shears and cut strips, then squares, then move them to the freezer if you want them crunchy. Any uneven broken pieces are perfect for taste-testing purposes. :)

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