Baking with Sugar Substitutes: Helpful Tips

You Can Have Your Sweet Tooth and Eat Too!

When baking with a sugar substitute, you should consider changes in sweetening power, texture, and very importantly, taste and after-taste. There are several reasons why a cook would consider cutting out the use of granulated sugar, and these reasons could be; illness, weight loss, no energy crashing, and just for all-around better health. My husband and I are very health conscience, and when our children started arriving; sugar went out of the window almost completely. Actually I think I was more afraid of having a hyper-kid, but I started experimenting with substituting other things for sugar when they were little. And, when we were stationed in Germany, I learned an awful lot about fixing non-sweet pastries and cakes from the German lady who lived in the apartment downstairs from us. She simply loved little kids, and she was always bringing them up cake and pastries. Of course, I saved a little bit for myself, and with this little bit, I would try duplicating. After a while, I started getting it right.

1. Maple syrup – maple syrup can be used in any recipe that calls for sugar. Since maple syrup is much sweeter than sugar, use ¾ cup syrup for 1 cup of sugar, then decrease the other liquids by 3 tablespoons each. If you like more lightness and fluffiness in your baked product, use ¼ teaspoon of baking soda per cup of syrup. The use of maple syrup will change the taste a bit, but it is a nice change.

2. Honey is the sugar substitute that I use the most in my baking. It works great in my homemade bread. I use 2 tablespoons of honey for 1 package of yeast (1 loaf of bread). Again, for other recipes, since honey is sweeter than sugar, use ¾ cup of honey for 1 cup of sugar and decrease the other liquids by 3 tablespoons each.

3. When baking muffins you can use a fruit juice concentrate. My favorite is to use orange juice concentrate with a few raisins. It tastes so good. Use ¾ cup fruit juice concentrate for 1 cup sugar. Again reduce other liquids by 3 tablespoons each.

Recommended reading: Best German Cookbooks

4. Date sugar – you can make this by grinding dried dates and using it at just the same measurement that you would sugar. It works really great for baking. You just wouldn’t want to use it a liquid drink, because it won’t dissolve in sugar.

5. Agave syrup – used just like honey and in the same amount. Baked goods with agave syrup are somewhat smoother and lighter than with honey.

If you need to have a quick sugar substitute to keep on hand; Splenda is an excellent choice. It is a sugar derivative, but much sweeter. One of the things that make it great as a replacement for sugar is, it can be used in recipes that require prolonged heating, such as baking and it won’t lose any of its sweetness.

Eating a little sugar once in a while isn’t going to harm a proper diet. If you have a definite sweet tooth, then sugar substitutes are the way to go.