Make your own hot honey! It’s very easy to make with only three ingredients. This taste sensation will revolutionize your kitchen.

Recipe Overview

Why you’ll love it: Hot honey is a nearly perfect condiment that can be added to everything from pizza to ice cream.

How long it takes: just a few minutes
Equipment you’ll need: small saucepan
Servings: makes 1/2 cup

Close up of hot honey and honey dipper.
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Take ordinary honey, mix in a little red pepper heat and tangy apple cider vinegar, wave your magic cooking wand, and hey, presto! you have transformed these lowly ingredients into the best sweet and spicy condiment ever.

If you feel like your food needs a little somethin’ somethin’, hot honey is the answer. What’s more familiar than honey? Everyone loves the fruit of the honeybees. With just a couple of simple additions, honey is transformed into something pretty wonderful. You can make it at home and you probably have everything you need right in your pantry.

Hot honey isn’t exactly new. I’m often late to the party, and fads come and go but I think this fad is going to stick around awhile. It is honey, after all. And the sweet heat is completely irresistible.

What is hot honey good on?

Well, if you do a little looking around on the web, you’ll find that hot honey can be drizzled on pizza (or spaghetti squash pizza), roasted vegetables (we’re obsessed with it on roasted or air fried Brussels sprouts), Greek yogurt, or cornbread. Lately we’ve been eating a lot of roasted radishes and hot honey really is great on those, too.

It’s a welcome addition to any charcuterie/cheese selection and it can be stirred into cocktails or added to a hot toddy. It’s good on breakfast sandwiches or avocado toast. Anything crisp and salty is fair game for hot honey, including bacon, pan-fried salmon bites, sausage, or fried chicken bites. Try a little sweet heat on vanilla ice cream or pound cake for a real treat.

Honey dripping off a dripper.

About Hot Honey

There are many commercial brands available now, but the original is Mike’s Hot Honey. Michael Kurtz developed the recipe while working in a pizzeria in Brooklyn, New York, after trying spicy honey that had been infused with dried chiles in a small restaurant in Brazil. The rest is history.

It’s not a complicated product. You can easily make your own hot honey and I have two different methods for you to try. Try them both and see which one you like the best!

PS: We tried Mike’s to compare, and we like ours much better! Mike’s hot honey is, as advertised, HOT. The heat level of this homemade version is lower and we feel like the balance between sweet and spicy is better. Sorry, Mike.

Hot honey in a jar with a honey dipper being lifted out.

Selecting the Right Honey To Use

There are so many types of honey available. Honey can be delicately flavored depending on what type of flowers the bees have visited. Some varieties are much more expensive than others. l suggest choosing a generic brand of honey for hot honey since you’ll be adding flavors to it. Raw honey is more nutritious than processed honey which loses some of the beneficial antioxidants and pollen through filtration and pasteurization.

What you’ll need

  • Honey: You’ll need a half cup of honey to start with although this recipe is easy to double if you want. Take a look at the text box above for more information about honey.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: Start with a teaspoon of red pepper flakes. The heat level can vary quite a bit. You can either leave them in for a hotter honey or strain them out for a more mild flavor.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Adds just a bit of sweet acidity to round out the package.
  • Hot Sauce, Optional: Using hot sauce instead of red pepper flakes and apple cider vinegar is another option.
Overhead view of ingredients needed.

How to make it

Option #1: Red Pepper Flakes

Let’s get started! You’ll need a small saucepan for this option.

Measure the honey, red pepper flakes, and vinegar into the pan.

Honey with red pepper flakes in a saucepan.

Over medium low heat, bring the mixture to a simmer.

Honey that is simmering.

Remove the pan from the heat.

Let the honey infuse for thirty to forty-five minutes before using. This isn’t absolutely necessary but your hot honey will taste better if you do. We especially recommend this if you plan to strain out the red pepper flakes.

Strain out the red pepper flakes if you like a milder heat level or leave them in if you love hot spice.

Red pepper flakes in a strainer.

Option #2: Hot Sauce

There’s another way to make hot honey and it’s even easier! Simply stir a tablespoon of your favorite hot sauce into honey and microwave the mixture for 20-30 seconds. Add more hot sauce if you like.

We personally prefer the flavor of the red pepper flakes, but try both and see what you like!

Honey with red pepper flakes on a white surface.


Do you refrigerate hot honey?

No, hot honey does not need to be refrigerated. It’s best kept at room temperature.

How long does hot honey last?

Hot honey will last for at least six months. Pure honey has qualities that help it last for a very long time. It is slightly acidic and has antimicrobial enzymes which keep bacteria from forming. It may crystallize over time but that doesn’t mean the honey has gone bad.

Make It Your Own

  • Make a double or triple batch. (Highly recommend this choice!)
  • Like it really hot? Use dried habanero chiles or flakes. Habanero peppers rate 350,000 on the Scoville heat scale, 100 times hotter than jalapeño pepper. Crushed red pepper flakes range from 15,000 to 45,000 on the Scoville heat scale.
  • If you like hot honey, be sure to try these chipotle honey glazed meatballs. You’ll love them!

Make-Ahead Ideas

Keep a jar of hot honey ready to use. You’ll find yourself reaching for it time and time again.

Overhead view of hot honey in a jar and on a dipper on white surface.

Storage Tips

Cool the hot honey to room temperature and store in a covered glass jar or small container. It does not need to be refrigerated. It will keep for up to six months.

More Recipes With Honey


Hot Honey Recipe (two varieties!)

4.84 from 12 votes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Make your own hot honey! It's very easy to make with only three ingredients. This taste sensation will revolutionize your kitchen.
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Hot Honey #1

  • Add honey, red pepper flakes, and apple cider vinegar to a small saucepan.
  • Over medium low heat, bring to a simmer and remove from heat. If time allows, let set for 30-45 minutes before using.
  • If desired, strain out red pepper flakes for a more mild flavor. Leave them in for a spicier honey.

Hot Honey #2

  • For a quicker hot honey, combine ½ cup honey with 1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Frank’s Hot Sauce.
  • Microwave for 20-30 seconds and stir to combine. Add more hot sauce if desired.


  • Double or triple the recipe if you like.
  • Once hot honey has cooled to room temperature, put it into a small jar or container and cover. It will keep for up to six months. 
  • Make it spicier with different types of hot peppers. 



Serving: 1tablespoon, Calories: 65kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 5mg, Potassium: 16mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 74IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 2mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4.84 from 12 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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  1. Jean says:

    As for storage is it shelf stable for six months?

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      It should be!

  2. denise says:

    5 stars
    sounds perfect!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Thanks Denise!

  3. Tia says:

    5 stars
    This hot honey was so easy to make! It has the perfect amount of kick! Such a great recipe!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad you liked it! We like it way better than store-bought versions.