Raw honey is the purest form of honey, exactly as the bees make it! In its liquid state, honey is a supersaturated solution. Regular raw honey crystallizes over time. The crystallization of honey is a natural process. It occurs when the glucose separates from the water creating large crystals. So what’s the difference between creamed honey vs raw honey?
Crystalized honey has not gone bad, the formation of larger crystals is simply a sure sign that you purchased pure raw honey. Additionally, the health benefits of raw honey are not impacted by the change in the form of honey. The difference between creamed honey vs raw honey is the texture of the honey.
Since crystalized honey is simply a different form of pure honey, it’s really a personal preference in how you use crystalized honey. In the past I just used it in its natural state. Crystalized honey is just as good on a biscuit as liquid honey. However, if you prefer, you can liquify the honey again. The simplest way to do this is to heat a pot of water to just under boiling and then shut it off. The ideal temperature is 95° to 104°. Add the honey jar to the pot of hot water and allow it to sit until the honey dissolves. This low temperature does not destroy the nutrients inside the honey.
What is Creamed Honey?
Creamed honey is crystalized honey that the crystallization process has been controlled. The goal is to create spreadable honey that has a creamy smooth texture. Creamed honey has several different names that it is marketed. Whipped honey, spun honey, honey butter, cream honey, and churned honey are just a few of the variations in the name. Despite its names creamed or whipped honey contains no dairy products.
The Creaming Process: Creamed Honey VS Raw Honey
There are two methods of making creamed or whipped honey. The Dyce method and the no heat raw method. The main difference between these two methods is the high temperatures used to process the creamed honey.
The Dyce Method
The Dyce method was developed at Cornell University in 1928 by Professor Elton J. Dyce. In the Dyce method, honey is blended to the preferred color, flavor, and moisture content that is desired. Once that has been achieved, the honey is pasteurized. The honey is first heated to 120 degrees and strained for the first time. It is heated again until it reaches temperatures of 150 degrees for 15 minutes and strained a second time. Once it is pasteurized, it is quickly cooled to 60 to 75 degrees.
After the honey is cooled, seed honey is mixed into the honey. Seed honey is crystallized honey that has had the honey crystals pulverized into fine particles. Seed honey can be mixed into liquid honey at a ratio of 5 to 10%. It is carefully mixed, so as not to incorporate air. The goal is not to whip the honey as whipped cream, but to mix the seed honey throughout the liquid honey.
Once mixed, the creamed honey is put into a cool place where the crystallization process will continue. 57 degrees is an optimal temperature for the storage of whipped honey. This process creates a smooth, creamy honey that is spreadable. Dyce’s method was patented until 1952.
Why Choose the Dyce Method?
The method that Dyce developed addresses two issues that commercial beekeepers face. Honey that has crystallized has a higher moisture content in the remaining liquid honey. Since honey contains natural yeast, it will begin to ferment. The pasteurization of the honey kills the yeast and prevents the fermentation of the remaining honey.
Dyce also preferred that creamed honey have an extremely fine grain, so fine that the grains of crystalized honey could not even be felt on the tongue. He fine-tuned the exact moisture level and quality of seed honey that created superior creamed honey.
The Downside to the Dyce Method
The downside to using the Dyce method is the pasteurization of the honey. The high heat used to pasteurize the honey also destroy the benefits of using raw honey.
The No Heat Raw Method
The other option of making creamed honey is exactly the same with one exception. The only difference is that the honey is not heated. Rather than heating and pasteurizing the honey, the seed honey will be blended at room temperature.
Seed honey is mixed at a 5% to 10% ratio with liquid honey. The honey is mixed without whipping to ensure a thorough blending of the seed honey into the liquid honey. Once mixed, it is poured into the serving containers and kept in a cool place. 57 degrees is the optimal temperature. The seed honey will continue to crystalize but in a controlled fashion. This creates a creamy, spreadable honey.
The benefit of making creamed honey without pasteurization is that the benefits of choosing raw honey are maintained.
My Experience Making Whipped Honey
Philip and I had a small amount of last year’s honey that was starting to crystallize. I usually just use the crystalized honey as it is. Since this type of honey sells at a premium price I thought this was the perfect opportunity to see exactly what all the fuss about whipped honey was! After a little research, I set out to give it a try.
With all of our honey, I want to maintain the natural raw qualities of the honey so I did not pasteurize the honey. I scooped out and measured how much crystalize honey I had. I would use this to create my seed honey.
Making My Own Seed Honey
Once measured, I added it to the stand mixer bowl. Using the mixing paddle, I set the speed to medium and allowed the crystalized honey to be crushed and pulverized by the paddle into seed crystals. It is tempting to speed the kitchen aid to rush the process, but the goal is not to whip the honey or add air to the mixture.
As the honey is stirred, the honey turns a lighter color and the crystals are visibly smaller. I mixed the crystalized honey for only a few minutes until it reached a fine consistency.
Adding the Liquid Honey
Once my seed honey was ready, I added raw liquid, honey. In my research, the recommended ratio of seed honey varied from 7 to 10 times the amount of seed honey. I opted to go with the smaller amount, so I added seven times my seed honey. Since I had measured 1/4 cup of seed honey, I added 1 3/4 cups of liquid honey. The only honey I have left is a beautiful dark, wild honey that we harvested from a tree trunk destroyed by a tornado.
Once the wild honey was added, I mixed it again at medium speed for only a few minutes. The goal is not to whip the honey. but simply mix the fine crystals throughout the natural honey. I monitored the honey mixture for a creamy texture.
Bottling the Creamed Honey
Once thoroughly mixed, I added the creamed honey mixture to a pint, wide-mouth jar. I had a little left over, adding it to a second jar. While creamed honey can be left out at room temperature. I don’t have any cool storage at the optimal temperature of 57 degrees, so I put the jars in the refrigerator. I put the mixture in the fridge for 2 weeks. The seed honey will continue to crystalize, creating a thick creamy spread in the entire jar.
My Thoughts Creamed Honey Vs Raw Honey
After a few weeks, I got my first taste of whipped honey. At first look, I could tell that I had slightly whipped the honey. The air bubbles had surfaced at the top of the jar. This can be skimmed off, though it doesn’t change the quality or the taste of the whipped honey.
Keeping the creamed honey in the fridge causes a very firm set honey spread that is still hard to spread. Since I had two jars, I thought I would see what I thought of the creamed honey at room temperature. I removed the smaller jar and left it on the counter.
Once the whipped honey came to room temperature it is the perfect spreadable consistency! While regular honey can be drizzled on a biscuit, it doesn’t stay where it’s put. As a liquid, it continues to spread. The creamed honey stays exactly where I spread it. No sticky drips off the edge of my biscuit as I eat it!
I doubt that my honey would pass Professor Dyce’s consistency test, as I can feel the very fine crystalized honey on my tongue. However, it’s very nice to eat and I have to admit, even better than eating the crystalized honey in its natural state.
- In the Dyce method, a 5% to 10% of seed honey is recommended at the optimal ratio. For easy figuring I will follow the 10% model.
- 1 lb of seed honey (make your own, or purchase creamed honey to use as a starter)
- 9 pounds of liquid honey
- These amounts can be adjusted to make a smaller batch, just keep in mind the 1 to 10 ratio for easy figuring.
- **In my video I made a small batch using the 1 to 7 ratio.
- Wide mouth containers to store creamed honey.
- Measure your seed honey to determine your liquid honey ratios.
- If you are making your own seed honey from crystalized honey, add to stand mixer and mix on medium speed using the mixing paddle. No need to whip.
- Mix until the honey crystals are pulverized to a fine texture. The mixture will be lighter in color. I mixed for only a few minutes.
- Add the liquid honey in your chosen ratio. Mix gently on medium speed until thoroughly mixed. Again, no need to whip the mixture. The goal is not to incorporate air, but to mix thoroughly.
- Pour the creamed honey into wide mouth jars.
- Store in a cool, dry place. Refrigeration is not required. Optimal storage temperature is 57 degrees.
- Wait at least two weeks to allow natural crystallization to continue making a thick, creamy spreadable honey.
A Delicious Treat
We enjoy all forms of honey! However when it comes to creamed honey vs raw honey. I think they both have their place in the kitchen at Kowalski Mountain! It is a wonderful way to take advantage of the natural process of crystallization in honey. By making raw creamed honey, I can extend how far the crystalized honey will go, taking full advantage of our delicious honey that the bees of Kowalski Apiary work so hard to produce!
Learn More About Honey
About the Author: Barbra-Sue Kowalski grew up on a small hobby farm. She was always drawn to farm life, however, she was stuck in an urban life far from her roots. Barbra-Sue was a single mom for 13 years, raising her 3 children on her own. She met Philip in 2018 and they married in 2021. Between the two of them, they have 5 grown children and 4 grandchildren. These empty nesters are following their dreams! As they both turn 50, they are building their off-grid homestead to live the life that they dream about. Learn more about Philip and Barbra-Sue here. Contact them here. To leave a comment on this post, please scroll down.