Creamed Honey, Whipped Honey, Spun Honey- they are all the same thing. Using a controlled rate of crystallization, liquid honey is transformed into a smooth, sweet spread that can be used as a topping on many foods. Want to make your own creamed honey at home? It’s really an easy process that anyone can try.
What is Creamed Honey?
Creamed honey is natural honey that has gone through the crystallization process. It has the same nutritional value of regular honey.
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In fact, that’s what it is – just regular honey that has changed form. And despite the name, it does not contain any dairy product. Other common names used to describe it include: whipped or spun honey.
Honey Crystallization is a Natural Process
What is the difference between crystallized honey and creamed honey? Nothing really. They are both the same thing.
Almost all types of honey will crystallize or “become granulated over time.” From a technical point of view, honey is a super-saturated sugar. It has the tendency to become a solid product.
But this does not happen to all types of honey at the same rate. Honey varieties such as clover tend to crystalize quickly while Tupelo honey is very slow to become a solid.
In fact, the whole jar may become a solid mass. Perhaps you have seen this happen with an old jar of honey in the cupboard.
Honey that has crystallized is not ruined. It is still safe to eat and not a sign that it has gone bad. However, if you prefer to maintain your honey in a liquid state – it is rather easy to warm honey enough to decrystallize it back to original consistency.
Water Content of Honey
All honey has a water content. The average moisture content of ripe honey is around 19%. During crystallization, the water content of honey will rise slightly.
If the honey you are using already has a borderline higher water content – you could end up with fermented honey. This is not good unless you are trying to make mead.
Protecting honey from absorbing moisture from the air is one reason you should always store honey in a container with a tight lid.
Methods of Making Creamed Honey
Left to its own devices, raw honey forms crystals slowly over a long period of time. The slowly formed crystals are large and feel gritty on the tongue. The end product is ugly and less appealing.
But, you make make your own by controlling the rate of crystallization. This produces smaller smooth crystals resulting in a smoother spread that is less gritty.
There are two different methods commonly used to make creamed honey products.
- Dyce Method
- Raw Method
Dyce Method of Making Creamed Honey
The Dyce Method is the most common way of creating a nice spun honey product. Developed by Elton Dyce in the mid 1930’s, he begins with honey that is pasteurized.
The process of pasteurization kills any yeast that might be present in raw honey. All raw foods have some chance of contamination or bacteria.
This matters to people who have compromised immune systems more than regular healthy adults. Naturally, for commercial enterprises – using pasteurized honey cuts down on risks of spoilage.
To start the seeding process “seed crystals” are added to pasteurized honey. What are seed crystals? A small amount of honey that has already crystallized to a smooth form.
If you pasteurize your own. wait until the honey cools to proceed. The mix should be 10% seed crystals and 90% honey. (I prefer a 1:7 ratio and use a bit more seed starter.)
You can use a richer mixture of crystals to the ratios of liquid honey. This may speed up the crystallization process a bit but is not necessary.
Mix well to disperse the seed crystals throughout the entire mixture. You can use a stand mixer or blender if desired but a big spoon will do the job for small batches.
In spite of the term, “whipped honey” – it is not necessary to use a whip attachment or special equipment.
If you do use a mixer, medium speed is sufficient. It is common for some foam to appear on the surface, skim this off with a rubber spatula.
Once the seed is fully mixed into the honey, pour into your smaller desired containers. Add a tight fitting lid and place the containers in a cool place to rest.
The ideal temperature for making creamed honey is 50-57° F (14 C). Within a week or 2, the process should be complete and you will have a delicious set honey spread.
Raw Method of Making Creamed Honey
This is the method that a beekeeper often uses to make creamed honey. Instead of pasteurized, we use raw unprocessed honey.
We prefer to keep our honey in its most raw state. Slightly warmed honey makes stirring easier. And, it is usually made in small easy to handle batches.
Other than using raw instead of pasteurized honey, the process is the same as the Dyce method. After a few weeks of cool temperatures, your creamed honey is ready to enjoy.
Buying or Making Starter Crystals
The easiest way to get good quality creamed honey starter is to purchase it at the grocery store. Clover honey is known to be a good choice. Most commercial brands will have nice smooth creamy texture.
Another option is to let a small amount of your own honey crystals form naturally. They will likely be large crystals.
Then, use a mortar and pestle to crush the large gritty crystals to small sugar crystals. I tried this once – trust me – buy the clover starter honey for a seed starter. Making your own is a messy process.
Creamed Honey Recipe – DIY
- large bowl
- 7 pounds raw honey
- 1 pounds clover creamed honey
- Measure your liquid honey and pour into a large bowl. You need room to stir well. Your liquid honey should not be warm – it would melt your crystals!
- Using weight as a measurement: add the starter honey – already creamed (1 pound) to regular liquid honey (7 pounds). I use the 1 – 7 ratios but you can use the 1-10 as Dyce if you wish. If you do not use enough starter, the end product will be grittier than the starter.I like to use clover starter as it has a smooth texture.
- Your creamed honey starter may not be white. It may be darker. That's okay – the nectar source of the honey determines the color.Now, stir, stir, stir to combine the seed and liquid well. Let it settle for a few minutes allowing air bubbles to escape.
- Now, pour the mixture into your desired containers and seal. Flat plastic containers are good or a wide mouth glass jar. Remember, you have to be able to spoon it out!Your jar should not be too deep either. Fill it to the rim with a little headspace.
- Now, you must be patient. Find a cool – not cold place to let the honey rest. A refrigerator is often too cold unless you have an extra one that you can have just barely running. A cool corner of the basement is a fine choice for most. In a couple of weeks (at this consistent cool temperature), your honey should be ready to enjoy.
Additional Flavoring for Creamed Honey
If you want to get really creative, add a bit of powdered cinnamon or cocoa powder to your honey mixture before pouring it into containers.
Chocolate flavor is very popular. Vanilla flavoring, Raspberry or various herbs can be included. Avoid any additive that is not dry as this may increase the moisture content of your end product.
Some people enjoy adding dried fruit etc to the recipe. That’s really yummy! Even people who are not big honey fans seem to enjoy it.
How to Use Creamed Honey
Creamed honey can be substituted for liquid honey in making baked goods and more. It is also delicious on toast or a bagel. It can be added to tea or coffee and is especially delicious when spread on honey blueberry scones or biscuits.
The flavor of spun honey is a bit different that regular honey because it is more dense. Because of the solid consistency, it is easier to use, especially for kids resulting in less mess.
How to Store Creamed Honey
Storing creamed honey is very easy – just keep it cool. After the crystallization process is complete, you can store your containers in the refrigerator without any harm.
But, the kitchen counter is fine as long as the room temperature is below 75 ° F. It will revert back to liquid when exposed to heat. And no, it will not crystallize back to the best consistency on its own.
Over the years, I have made thousands of containers of creamed honey. Now you can too.