Learn how to make these simple but oh-so-good Honey Cookies! With their sugared tops, slightly crisp edges and super soft, honey-sweetened interiors, these are absolutely irresistible! Recipe includes a how-to video!
These honey cookies are one of the sweetest and simplest treats of summer (rivaling my lemon cookies)! While I’d hoped we would have harvested at least some honey from Zach’s bees this year, beekeeping is a little tricky and my husband’s a novice beekeeper, so maybe next year the bees will stick around and I’ll be making these honey cookies with our own honey.
We can only hope!
Regardless of whether you have home grown (home harvested?) honey or store-bought, you can still make these perfect and simple cookies quickly and easily (minimal patience required, as the honey-sweetened dough necessitates some chilling). Let’s get to it!
What You Need for Honey Cookies
- Honey. Our most important ingredient here! Use a honey that you enjoy the taste of. While clover honey will work, wildflower honey, orange blossom honey, and even lavender honey are all great options that impart their own subtle, distinct taste.
- Flour. All-purose flour is your best bet for today’s recipe. Self-rising is not recommended. I have not tried this recipe with gluten-free flour, but if you do please leave me a comment and let me know how that worked out for you!
- Sugar. I love using brown sugar in my cookie recipes because it adds flavor and moisture and lends itself to a chewier cookie. However, for today’s recipe I also found that if I used too much it had a tendency to bully the more subtle flavor of the honey (which is meant to be our star here!). Instead, I primarily use the more neutral granulated sugar and use just enough brown sugar to enhance the honey flavor (without overwhelming it) and to add to the softness of the cookies.
- Corn starch. Corn starch is one of my favorite secret weapons when making cookies and other baked goods. It makes a soft, tender cookie (though too much can make them cakey or even crumbly — it’s a balance!). Here it helps to compensate from the added moisture of the honey. While adding more flour could make the cookies dry, cornstarch keeps the dough manageable and not too wet and yields soft cookies.
- Vanilla extract. A small bit (use homemade vanilla extract if you have it!) accentuates the honey flavor.
SAM’S TIP: Make sure your butter is softened, but not so soft that it’s oily. If it’s too soft, your dough will likewise be soft. This will necessitate a longer chilling time in the fridge, otherwise you’ll have a sticky, difficult-to-manage dough and honey cookies that spread too much while baking.
This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Honey Cookies
- Cream together your wet ingredients (butter, sugars, honey, vanilla, and egg!) until creamy and well-combined. Since we’re using softened (and not melted) butter here, an electric mixer or stand mixer is recommended to more easily cream the ingredients together.
- Whisk together your dry ingredients (flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder and salt) and gradually add these to your wet ingredients, stirring until everything is completely combined. The dough may seem a bit crumbly (especially if you add the flour too quickly), this is fine, but be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to evenly incorporate the ingredients.
- Honey cookie dough will need to chill for at least 30 minutes before you can proceed. Chill longer if it’s sticky or difficult to manage. After chilling, scoop the dough by rounded 1 ½-Tablespoon and then roll through granulated sugar.
- Bake until the edges of the cookies are just beginning to turn light golden brown. The cookies may look crackly on top, this is not a flaw and is actually my preference!
Frequently Asked Questions
Honey cookie dough can be made up to 5 days in advance. Store it in the fridge tightly covered or in an airtight container before or after scooping into balls. Keep in mind that if you store the dough before scooping, the dough will become quite firm and may need to sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes or longer until it is soft enough to scoop.
You can freeze the cookie dough (after scooping and rolling in sugar) for up to 3 months. Cookies may be baked from frozen but may need to bake for several extra minutes. These cookies do not always spread quite as much when baked from frozen. If you would like to encourage them to spread more, thaw the cookie dough bites overnight in your fridge (in an airtight container) and then bake.
You can substitute maple syrup, but of course the flavor profile will change and you will no longer have honey cookies but maple cookies instead!
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened (226g)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
- ¼ cup light brown sugar firmly packed (50g)
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg room temperature preferred
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (375g)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon table salt
- ½ cup coarse granulated sugar for rolling (100g)
- In a large bowl, combine butter, sugars, honey, and vanilla extract and use an electric mixer to beat until creamy and well-combined.
- Add egg and stir well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- With mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to butter/honey mixture. Stir until completely combined and all of the flour mixture has been absorbed (scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are well-combined).
- Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes and up to 5 days.
- Once dough has nearly finished chilling, preheat your oven to 375F (190C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (alternatively you can bake cookies directly on an ungreased cookie sheet).
- Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and scoop by 1 ½ Tablespoon-sized scoops. Roll into a smooth ball between your palms and then roll through coarse granulated sugar.
- Place cookies at least 2” apart on prepared baking sheet and transfer to 375F (190C) oven. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until edges of cookies are beginning to turn a light golden brown.
- Allow cookies to cool for at least 5-10 minutes on baking sheet before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.