What Is Creamed Honey? (Everything You Need To Know)

Creamed honey on a spoon

Updated on November 23rd, 2021

Once removed from the relatively warm environment of the beehive, raw liquid honey tends to crystallize into a solid, no longer pourable product.

Crystallization does not spoil honey nor change its flavor and elemental chemical composition. However, beekeepers may want to store (or sell) honey in the more user-friendly form of creamed honey.

Creamed honey is honey crystallized by a process that assures a lot of tiny sugar crystals. Small crystals give creamed honey a smoother, creamier consistency than naturally occurring large crystals. This spreadable form of crystallized honey may or may not be raw honey, depending on its processing.

This article details what creamed honey is and how to make it.

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Creamed honey on a spoon

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Other Names For Creamed Honey

Creamed honey is known by various names such as:

  • Whipped honey
  • Spun honey
  • Granulated honey
  • Churned honey
  • Fondant honey
  • Honey butter, or
  • Soft set honey.

The term used for this form of honey seems to vary by region. Therefore, we use these terms interchangeably in this article.

Creamed honey, despite any of its names, contains no cream (or any dairy products).

Whipped honey is not “whipped” in the sense of adding air to it (think of whipped cream) or using utensils such as a whisk. Instead, creating whipped (or creamed or spun) honey involves mixing components thoroughly but not vigorously.

Note: We have seen online recipes that whip honey with a stand mixer and call it “creamed honey.” The resulting product may be something you like, but it is not called creamed or whipped honey correctly. We describe the methods for making creamed honey below.

About Raw Honey Crystallization

Raw honey has a high concentration of dissolved sugar relative to water. At cooler temperatures, this sugar can attach to particles in the honey (such as pollen) and separate from the water, forming sugar crystals.

Raw honey is honey just as the bees made it. See our article What Is Raw Honey? (Besides Delicious!) for more information.

Eventually, the entire batch of honey may crystallize into a gritty solid form, sometimes called “hard set honey.”

Crystallized honey is not spoiled honey. It retains the flavor and other attributes of liquid honey in a different form.

Unless incorporated into another food (like dissolved in hot tea), granulated honey’s look and gritty texture are generally unappealing.

You can reverse crystallization by heating the honey container in hot water.

Creamed honey is a way of controlling crystallization to create a more usable and desirable product.

See our article Why Does Honey Crystallize? for more information.

How To Make Creamed Honey

Creamed honey is made by thoroughly combining finely granulated honey (“seed crystals”) with liquid honey then storing the mixture at a cool temperature. Seed crystals form the basis for the formation of smaller, less coarse crystals than what would develop naturally resulting in a smooth, creamy texture.

After completing the process, whipped honey will not revert to liquid form when stored at room temperature. The sugar crystals make whipped lighter color than its liquid honey version.

There are two primary methods of making creamed honey:

  1. The Dyce Method requiring pasteurization of the honey, and      
  2. A technique using raw honey but not requiring pasteurization that I will call the No Dyce Raw Honey Technique.

The Dyce Method

In 1931 Elton J. Dyce published a study of Fermentation and Crystallization of Honey which stated:

“The market quality of granulated honey is directly influenced by the size of the crystals. Honey which forms fine crystals is more palatable, and more satisfying to the person who eats it, than honey which contains coarse, gritty crystals. All honey, to be marketed successfully, should have fine crystals. Rapid crystallization makes small crystals and better honey.”[1]

Based on this study, Dyce patented a method to control the crystallization of honey to make what we call creamed honey.[2] The patent expired in 1952.[3]

The patented Dyce Method will “produce honey having a smooth, firm, fondant-like consistency which can be definitely controlled and produced as a commercial product, and which will be substantially free from fermentation.”2

With increased moisture and warmth, honey may ferment as natural yeast begins to feed on the glucose. The fermentation process creates carbon dioxide (resulting in foaming and an odor of yeast), ethanol, and acetic acids. These changes affect the appearance, flavor, and aroma of the honey.

Raw honey, as we mentioned, will naturally crystallize. As crystallization occurs, sugar precipitates out of the solution, moisture in the container increases, creating a better environment for fermentation.

The Dyce process of making whipped honey relies on pasteurization to kill the yeast and dissolve existing crystals in honey. Pasteurizing the honey requires high heat, filtering, and rapid cooling to maintain the quality of the honey.

See our article for a step-by-step Dyce Method creamed honey recipe.

As stated by Mr. Dyce in his study, I think the Dyce Method is most suitable for commercial beekeepers seeking to make large, consistent batches of spun honey for marketing.

Backyard beekeepers or others wishing to have homemade spun honey may prefer the No Dyce technique of making creamed honey with raw honey (i.e., not pasteurized). I think it’s easier, requires no special equipment, and can be made in small batches with little effort.

The No Dyce Technique Using Raw Honey

The Dyce Method of making spun honey requires pasteurization and filtering. This process is like that used by many commercial suppliers of processed, liquid honey.

As we pointed out in our article about raw honey, processing honey can negatively affect some of the beneficial aspects of raw honey. However, with the No Dyce Method, your creamed honey is still raw.

All you need for this method is some existing creamed honey to provide your seed crystals and raw, liquid honey.

You can purchase creamed honey (such as Sue Bee’s Spun Honey on Amazon), use your batch of soft set honey, or fine grind some previously crystallized honey to use as a starter.

In a wide-mouth container, thoroughly mix the starter into liquid, raw honey in a ratio of 1:10 seed crystals to liquid by weight.

Seal the container and place it in a cool room at about 55°F (12.8°C) for one or two weeks for it to completely crystallize into a spreadable consistency.

See our recipe on How To Make Creamed Raw Honey – No Dyce Technique for detailed instructions.

If you’ve never had creamed/whipped/spun honey, you may want to try one of these:

Creamed Honey Supplies

If you plan to make batches of creamed honey, some suppliers offer supplies and equipment you may find helpful.

Lappe’s Bee Supply carries drill attachments for mixing, and wide-mouth spun honey containers.

Betterbee sells their Gourmet Creamed Honey Kit, including a honey pail with a gate, mixing attachment, starter crystals, and cups. Among other related items, Betterbee also sells motorized mixing equipment used to disperse seed crystals thoroughly within large batches.

Is Creamed Honey Expensive?

Creamed honey is more expensive than liquid honey due to the increased production costs required by additional processing. Based on our survey of online retailers shown below, average creamed honey prices are more than double that of liquid honey. However, creamed honey costs are lower than comb honey.

Creamed Honey Retail Price Comparisons

Price per poundCreamed HoneyComb HoneyRaw HoneyNHB Stats
Highest$35.52 $43.56 $22.67 $8.09
Lowest$7.04 $15.99 $4.48 $7.71
Average$16.21 $23.44 $10.76 $7.93

In pricing spun honey for sale, beekeepers should account for the additional work and the cost of any special equipment.

How To Store Creamed Honey

Creamed honey does not need to be refrigerated and can be stored at room temperature. Like naturally crystallized honey, creamed honey will revert to liquid form at high heat.

Whipped honey processed by the Dyce Method has an indefinite shelf life because pasteurization removes the risk of fermentation by killing the yeast. However, raw creamed honey is not pasteurized and may ferment. For near-term use, the risk of fermentation is low.

However, for longer-term storage, keep raw creamed honey in tightly capped, smaller containers to reduce exposure to moisture. In addition, store raw at cooler temperatures (preferably around 50°F/10°C or less) to retard fermentation.

Conclusion

Fermentation and crystallization can make raw honey very unappealing. By controlling the crystallization process, you can make creamed honey.

Creamed honey’s small crystals results in a creamy, smooth texture that is spreadable and more appealing to they eye and the palate.

Make creamed honey using one of the processes that fits your needs and lifestyle.

This article is part of a series describing What Is A Honey? (A Guide For Beginning Beekeepers).

Additional Reading

The Chemistry Of Honey by Sharla Riddle in Bee Culture Magazine


[1] Fermentation and Crystallization of Honey  – Elton J. Dyce – Published by Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station – Ithaca, NY

[2] HONEY PROCESS AND PRODUCT – United States Patent 1,987,893 Patented Jan. 15, 1935 – Elton James Dyce, Ithaca, N.Y., assignor to Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y., a corporation of New York.

[3] Creamed Honey – Theory by Nicholas W. Calderone, Dyce Laboratory for Honey Bee Studies, Cornell University

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