Learn How to Make Hot Honey at home easily with only 2 simple ingredients! This homemade hot honey recipe combines pure honey and fresh or dried chiles to create an irresistible spicy-sweet condiment to drizzle over many delicious foods like fried chicken, pizza, biscuits and more.
Easy Homemade Hot Honey Recipe
If you are wondering how to make hot honey at home, you should know that it’s way easier than you think (and much more affordable than buying the packaged versions at the grocery store).
The perfect combination of sweetness from high-quality regular honey and the heat from spicy dried peppers makes this new condiment totally addicting and scrumptious.
Once you learn how to make hot honey, you may not be able to keep yourself from making this homemade version regularly.
What Is Hot Honey?
If you’re looking for a way to kick up the flavor of nearly any dish, spicy honey may become your go-to spicy condiment. This perfect sauce is like liquid gold so I suggest you keep a jar of hot honey as one of your essential pantry staples!
From veggies to proteins, you can’t go wrong with the addition of the sweet heat this sauce imparts — add it on top, or serve it on the side as a dipping sauce.
Plus, you can take anything from vanilla ice cream to cocktails and even a hot toddy up a notch with this simple sweet and spicy sauce. It’s also an amazing addition to a cheese plate or charcuterie board and makes for a nuanced salad dressing.
Why You’ll Love this Easy Hot Honey Recipe
- Quick and Easy: It only takes a few minutes to infuse the honey with wonderful spicy flavors.
- Flavorful: The sweetness of honey and spicy peppers creates a versatile condiment that elevates different types of dishes.
- Customizable: When making your own hot honey recipe, you can adjust the heat level to your palate.
Hot Honey Ingredients and Substitutions
For the complete list of ingredients and quantities, check the printable recipe card below.
- Honey: Good quality honey is essential in a recipe that only requires 2-ingredients. Regular honey and raw honey can be used. Basic clover honey or orange blossom honey is usually what I have on hand. I recommend using local honey when possible for all its health benefits.
- Chili Peppers: For convenience, I prefer using dried chili flakes (crushed red pepper flakes) as I always have them in my pantry, and because hot honey made with dried peppers can be stored for longer periods of time. Fresh chilis or fresh hot peppers such as serrano peppers, jalapeños, habaneros or Thai red chiles can be used as well.
Recipe Variations and Optional Ingredients
These ingredients can be used instead of the dried or fresh chili peppers listed above or in addition to the recipe ingredients.
- Chili powder: Chili powder is a common ingredient found in most pantries. It can be used instead of or in addition to the fresh or dried chili peppers listed above. Cayenne pepper adds extra heat and ground ancho chile and chipotle powder add both heat and a mild smoky taste to the honey.
- Apple cider vinegar: The acid in apple cider vinegar cuts the sweetness of the honey a bit.
- Hot Sauce: Hot sauces such as Frank’s, Tabasco, Tapatio and Chalula are used to make this quick recipe even quicker by cutting off infusing time completely. Hot sauce adds heat and acidity but makes the hot honey sauce thinner and a bit runny (which in my opinion is not always a good thing)
- Citrus Juice: Add a splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice or lime juice to balance the sweet and spicy flavors. When adding fresh citrus juice, store the honey in the refrigerator.
- Dried Spices: A sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, dried rosemary and dried sage add a fun twist on this recipe.
How to Make Hot Honey?
Here’s the quick version of how to make this easy hot honey. Find all of the details on the printable recipe card below.
- Combine the honey, chili flakes, and chili powder in a small saucepan.
- Heat the honey mixture briefly while stirring to combine.
- Once small bubbles begin to form around the edge, remove the honey from the heat.
- Stir in apple cider vinegar or hot sauce, if desired.
- Allow the honey to cool to room temperature before storing (or straining, if desired).
Common Questions About Spicy Hot Honey Sauce
What’s Hot Honey For?
Hot honey is used as a condiment or sauce to add a sweet and spicy flavor to many dishes. It can be drizzled over dishes like pizza, fried chicken, cornbread and biscuits or served as a dipping sauce for French fries, chicken nuggets, chicken wings and veggies. Hot honey is especially delicious over buttered toast and makes a wonderful addition to cheese platters and charcuterie boards.
Add as an additional spicy-sweet ingredient to make salad dressings and cocktails!
What is Hot Honey Made Of?
A basic hot honey recipe includes only 2-ingredients. Sweet honey and spicy chili peppers (dried pepper flakes or fresh peppers can be used) Other ingredients like vinegar or hot sauce are optional and can be added to taste.
Does Hot Honey Means Spicy?
The advantage of making homemade hot honey is that you can adjust the level of heat according to your taste. Hot honey can be fiery spicy or mildly spicy, if you prefer. Store bought honeys like Mike’s hot honey although good, tend to be extra hot.
Why is it Called Hot Honey?
Hot honey combines sweet honey with spicy peppers to create a delicious sweet and spicy condiment or sauce.
How to Use Hot Honey?
Hot honey can be used in countless ways. Here are some delicious and fun ideas:
- Fried Foods: Hot honey chicken sandwich has become so popular lately (and for good reasons.) Fried chicken, French fries, crispy fried tofu and fried fish get a kick of spice when drizzled or dunked into hot honey.
- Air Frier Foods: Air fryer chicken legs, Air Fryer Salmon Bites, Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets with hot honey are always a good idea.
- Veggies: Add a drizzle of hot honey over asparagus, beets, or roasted cauliflower steaks.
- Breads: It’s also the perfect way to start the day when spread on buttermilk biscuits or any homemade bread. You can also use it on your morning breakfast sandwiches.
- Dessert: A drizzle over corn ice cream, butter pecan ice cream, Baklava and brownies!
- Proteins: Baked chicken breast as well as baked pork chops can benefit from this sweet and spicy sauce.
- Pizza: I haven’t met a pizza that doesn’t go well with spicy honey.
- Gifting/ Holidays: Hot honey also makes a great gift. Just package it in small, cute jars and add ribbons and labels for the perfect hostess gift or holiday present.
- Cheese: A drizzle of this spicy sauce over baked brie cheese is heavenly! Add it to crostini with goat cheese and pears or incorporate it into a cheese board or charcuterie board.
Storing Hot Honey
- Hot honey made with red pepper flakes, dried chili flakes or chili powder can be stored in a clean glass jar or airtight container for 3 months at room temperature preferably in a cool and dry place.
- Hot honey made with fresh chili peppers and/or fresh citrus juice (strained or not) is perishable and should be stored in a clean glass jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Tips for Making Homemade Hot Honey
- You an use different varieties of honey to make this homemade recipe. Clover honey, wildflower honey, orange blossoms honey, alfalfa honey and manuka honey are good alternatives.
- When heating honey, avoid boiling it.
- Make sure you use liquid honey (not crystallized)
- Adding a small bit of acid, either in the form of apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, lemon or lime juice adds tanginess and balances out the spices and the sweetness of the honey.
- When making this recipe with dried chili peppers or pepper flakes, straining is optional.
Follow me on social media for more recipe ideas & inspiration!
Hot Honey Recipe
Optional Additions or Substitutions
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce (such as Frank’s, tabasco, etc)
2-Ingredients Hot Honey
- In a small saucepan, combine the honey and dried chili flakes (or the fresh jalapeño slices). Heat over medium-low heat for about 4-5 minutes or just until small bubbles start to surface around the edges of the saucepan. The honey should simmer but not boil.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and, if using, stir in the apple cider vinegar or citrus juice.
- Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes so the chili peppers have time to infuse the honey.
- Serve immediately or store in a clean glass jar or airtight container as is (with the dried or fresh chiles) or strain it through a fine mesh sieve before serving or storing.
- You can use red chili powder or hot sauce as an addition to the recipe above. Both ingredients should be added into the saucepan with the honey and the dried chili flakes or fresh chili peppers.
- Instead of using dried chili flakes (or fresh jalapeño slices), combine honey and hot sauce in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat for about 4-5 minutes or just until small bubbles start to surface around the edges of the saucepan. Don't allow the mixture to boil.
- Remove from the heat and cool slightly before serving it or storing.
Storing Hot Honey
- First, allow the honey to cool before storing. Hot honey made with dried pepper flakes or red chili powder with or without apple cider vinegar can be stored in a clean jar or airtight container at room temperature in a cool, dry place for 3 months.
- Hot honey made with fresh chili peppers such as jalapeño, serrano peppers, habaneros, etc) with or without apple cider vinegar or fresh citrus juice, can be stored in a clean jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- Different varieties of honey such as clover honey, wildflower honey, orange blossoms honey, alfalfa honey and manuka honey can be used.
- The honey and chili peppers need to be heated up over gentle heat to prevent scorching.
- Don’t let the honey come to a boil.
- Hot honey made with fresh chili peppers and/or fresh citrus juice (strained or not) is perishable and should be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- If using fresh chili peppers, it’s best to strain the peppers before storing it in the refrigerator.
- Hot honey made with red pepper flakes or dried chili flakes or chili powder can be stored at room temperature in a cool and dry place for 3 months.
- Hot honey made with red pepper flakes or dried chili flakes and not strained will continue to get spicy as time goes by.
- If you add other spices such as cinnamon or dried rosemary, do so towards the end (before removing from the heat).
- If using fresh chili peppers, use 1 (one) or 2 (two) peppers such as serrano or jalapeño or 1 (one) habanero. Stem and slice them thinner without removing the seeds.