What Is Cactus Honey?

By A.J. Andrews

Cactus honey is a playful synonym for agave nectar, which is the sap extracted from the core of the agave plant. Agave syrup is about 1.4 to 1.6 times as sweet as sugar, or, to put it in perspective, slightly sweeter than honey. Cactus honey comes in two forms: dried, often sold as "cactus honey powder," and syrup, sold as "cactus honey," "gold cactus honey" and "agave nectar." Agave nectar is not a low-calorie food: 1 tablespoon of agave nectar contains 60 calories; whereas, 1 tablespoon of white sugar has 45 calories.

Apple Cake
credit: KumariPhoto/iStock/Getty Images
Agave nectar pouring over a slice of cake.

Syrup Substitutions

Cactus honey syrup is a capable sugar replacement; it makes cakes moister, gives them more lift and helps them rise faster. You can also use about 25 percent less fat in the baked-goods recipes in which you substitute agave nectar. Substitute 2/3 cup of agave nectar for every 1 cup of sugar called for in a recipe, and use 1/4 cup less fat or 1/4 cup less liquid, as well.