What We're Making: Infused Honey

What We're Making: Infused Honey

Posted by:

Jacobsen Salt Co.

Posted on:

Feb 23, 2024

There's so much you can do with honey! Last June, our team whipped crystallized honey into an airy, soft cream that is fun to make and to eat.

This year, our Lead Beekeeper, Emily, turned us on to the idea of infusing honey.

She looked through ingredients at our Portland HQ and was inspired by Cloudforest's cacao nibs to create this crunchy infused single-origin raw honey.

Words by: Emily Schmiedel

I had never infused honey before, but I was inspired to try to do so after a dear friend gave me honey they purchased in Oaxaca, Mexico. I immediately started thinking about all of the beautiful ingredients we have at our Portland HQ - Sichuan Tribute Peppers, Buffalo Ginger, and lemon zest to name a few. 

There are a couple of things to consider when deciding on an ingredient to infuse into honey

  • Honey doesn’t spoil, which is incredible. It’s been found chemically unchanged in tombs of pharaohs. Gluconic acid (made when bees mix enzymes with the glucose from nectar) is plentiful in honey and is partially responsible for honey’s low PH. The high acidity and low water content make honey a hostile place for bacterias that cause spoilage - pretty neat! 
  • It’s best to use previously dried or roasted ingredients so that the composition of the honey is not dramatically altered to the point where its shelf life is compromised. 
  • Fresh ingredients can work, too, but the honey would need to be consumed within a shorter amount of time, making the infusion potentially less impactful. 
  • While honey lends itself well to a sweet infusion, don’t be afraid to try savory ingredients, like spices and herbs. 

I decided on the Cloudforest cacao nibs we use in our House Special Seasoning for this recipe, thinking that the crunchy texture and deep (yet lightly bitter) flavor of the cacao nibs would be a nice match for our velvety raw honey.

Cacao Nib Infused Honey



Raw Honey 
Cacao Nibs


I want to preface these steps by saying this is a non-recipe recipe. Infusing honey is as simple as adding an ingredient you like (again, preferably dried or roasted) into a honey that you also like. The ratios are based on how much of an ingredient’s flavor you’d like to taste in the final product - the more you add and the longer you let it infuse, the stronger the flavor. 

Since I was testing this combination, I wanted to try two different types of honey from our collection to see which the cacao nibs would pair best with. 

I chose Raw Blackberry Honey and Raw Wildflower Honey because they’re different, but equally versatile. Raw Blackberry Honey has a light hue with delicate floral notes and Raw Wildflower Honey is more of a medium-dark hue with notes of sage, wildflower, and mint. 

I scooped out a couple spoonfuls of honey from each 8 oz jar to make a little room, and added roughly the following: 

  • 0.04 lbs cacao nibs to Raw Blackberry Honey
  • 0.05 lbs cacao nibs to Raw Blackberry Honey
  • 0.07 lbs cacao nibs to Raw Wildflower Honey
  • 0.1 lbs cacao nibs to Raw Wildflower Honey 

I stored the jars for three weeks in a cool, dark, and dry space before I sampled them. 

The results weren’t surprising, but they were delicious! As you might guess, the 0.04 lbs of cacao nibs imparted the least amount of cacao flavor and the 0.1 lbs imparted the most. The 0.07 lbs of cacao nibs in the Raw Wildflower Honey was the most balanced - it had a fragrant chocolatey aroma and a crunchy cocoa flavor in every bite, while still allowing the honey’s flavor to shine through. 

I’m going to let them infuse for a few more weeks before resampling to see if the cacao nibs impart even more flavor, but then I think they’ll be fully ready to enjoy. 

Once you’re happy with your infusion, add it to baked goods, ice cream, cheese, fruit, and even mixed drinks - the possibilities are endless! *Hint hint* They also make great custom gifts.