Hot Honey Recipe – Spicy Honey Sauce with Only 3 Ingredients!

There is a new condiment in town and it goes by the name of Hot Honey. Not heated honey- spicy honey- and it is divine. I’m obsessed. The best flavor combination of hot and sweet.

overhead of hot honey in a white serving dish


I’m not a mind reader, but I predict your next question being: “but what do you use hot honey on?”

What is Hot Honey?

Hot honey has actually been around for quite some time. It has historically been used on fried chicken down south (not to be confused with Nashville Hot Sauce) and also in some boutique pizzarias as a crust dipping sauce in lieu of garlic butter. It is honey infused with chili peppers, either fresh or dried.

But this tasty sauce was just made famous from a brand called Mike’s Hot Honey and all the sudden it showed up in a variety of other ways and purposes. It isn’t really new, it is just reimagined. And I want you to enjoy it as much as I do… but for less.

A bottle of Mike’s Hot Honey can run you $10-$13! It sounds crazy, but it actually isn’t. Good honey is pretty expensive, so it isn’t surprising. But you can make smaller, or larger, batches for a little less than this by doing it at home. And in my opinion, my version is actually a little zingier (I made that word up).

Sweet honey with hot peppers, but homemade.

honeycomb dipping into bowl of hot honey

 What is Hot Honey Made of? Spicy Honey Ingredients:

It can be made in a variety of ways. Many are made with just honey infused with fresh chile peppers, while other use whole dried chiles. Of course the heat can vary depending on the type of pepper; ghost peppers, habanero peppers, carolina reapers.

And of course you need honey, raw honey or pure honey will do. I try not to use the ones that have a floral undertone.

My homemade hot honey uses honey, crushed red pepper flakes, a touch of salt and …. apple cider vinegar. I find acidic vinegar balances out the sweet and spicy perfectly. Feel free to use a different type of vinegar, like white or champagne, but I would advise against using a balsamic or red wine. Something mild and clearish does best.

ingredients for homemade hot honey

How to Make Hot Honey Sauce

Heat. That is all, the honey needs to infuse and you do that by adding heat. Technically you can just put chiles in honey and wait, but you’ll be waiting a long time. Heat speeds up the process so you can enjoy your honey right away!

But honey is a sugar and therefore it can easily boil up and over or burn, so a very low heat is necessary until the liquid from the vinegar reduces a little just leaving behind the flavors. Very LOW heat. Lower than you think you need. I’ve accidentally burned mine before, don’t make my mistakes.

saucepan of homemade hot honey with aleppo pepper
Hot Honey in a Small Saucepan

The honey mixture will still have dots of crushed red chile flakes and also be a little thin, this is normal. It will thicken as it cools. You have the choice of straining it (which I advise doing while it is hot and thinner) or leaving the little red flecks in the mixture.

If you do choose to leave the chiles in, the honey will only infuse further and get hotter. To some, this is excellent, to others, they want to control the heat. In my family, it doesn’t last long enough to have a chance to heat up any more.

small bowl of hot honey on a slate

What to Put Hot Honey On

You can use hot honey in literally anything you would use regular honey for, only this is honey with a kick. Here are some of our favorite ways to use hot honey.

hot honey hamburger with cheese on a slate serving dish

Spicy Honey Sauce Storage & Freezing

Hot honey only gets stronger while sitting and is shelf table. Store it in an airtight container or jar in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months- just like you would regular honey.

Storage: Crystallization is a natural occurrence in all honey and thus, hot honey too, although less likely because we’ve added a small amount liquid (vinegar). If yours develops crystals, simply heat it up for a few seconds in the microwave and stir until crystals dissolve.

Freezing: Honey doesn’t freeze well. It does, however, make a great gift. Package it in a small glass jar, give it a pretty little bow and give it to your friends. Everyone loves a little hot honey drizzle.

Hot Honey Recipe FAQs

Is hot honey really spicy?

Hot honey should be sweet and spicy. How spicy is dependent on the type of red chili flakes, how much you add, how long it sits and if you choose to keep them in the mixture or strain them out.

What cheese is good with hot honey?

I like it on nearly any cheese! A white cheddar, brie, goat cheese or Jarlsburg are my favorites.

Does hot honey taste like honey?

Yes, because the base of hot honey is actual honey.

hot honey recipe for pinterest

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close up of hot honey
overhead of hot honey in a small white bowl

Spicy Honey

4.54 from 41 votes
Made with only 3 ingredients, this EASY Hot Honey recipe is the hottest new condiment in town! Tastes great on chicken, biscuits and more!
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 1 cup



  • Place the honey, pepper flakes, vinegar and salt in a small saucepan and heat on low for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sauce shouldn't even come to a simmer.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool fully before serving.
  • If desired, strain the mixture to take out the chile pepper flakes.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings!



Calories: 1034 kcal, Carbohydrates: 279 g, Protein: 1 g, Sodium: 305 mg, Potassium: 187 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 278 g, Vitamin C: 2 mg, Calcium: 22 mg, Iron: 1 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 1034
Course: Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: honey recipe, hot honey, hot honey recipe
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Chef Jessica Anne Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal, Mashed and more!

Read More About Jessica

4.54 from 41 votes (31 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating

Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe. I try a lot of things with honey (because we have hives). I’ve made lemon, cinnamon, vanilla bean, orange, chocolate and hot honey. My friends and neighbors all want more of THIS honey. Thank you

  2. 5 stars
    I love the simplicity of this yet the flavour is AMAZING – drizzled over fried chicken and I’m in heaven!

  3. 5 stars
    Why have I never thought of making this before?? I know that I am going to be using this on EVERYTHING from now on! Thank you so much for the recipe 🙂