Tasty Low-Sugar Recipes

The tastes and aromas of fresh baking are linked with our earliest holiday memories. Indeed, for many people baking is one of the greatest holiday traditions. However, for the estimated 246 million people affected by diabetes gobbling up plates full of sugary holiday treats is not a possibility.

Recommended Reading: Get started with baking by reading our Ultimate Guide to the Best Baking Equipment for Beginners!

People with diabetes need to carefully monitor their eating during the holidays to ensure healthy glucose levels. However, with some planning and moderation, people living with diabetes can enjoy the tastes of the holidays. Here is a sampling of delicious recipes that are low-sugar or sugar free followed by some sugar substitutions to help you modify your own recipes:

Table of Contents

Easy Biscuits

  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp margarine or butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk

Combine flours, baking powder and salt. Cut in margarine. Stir in milk. Fill 8 large, greased muffin tins. Bake at 450 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Serve with butter or your favorite sugar-free spread.

Muffins and Cake

The aroma of fresh-baked muffins can start any holiday morning off right. Both of these recipes can be made using your favourite sugar substitute as well (see sugar substitutes below). Here you can also find a recipe for a Date-Oatmeal Cake with only 2 tablespoons of sugar. Because dates are naturally sweet, this cake can be made with the sugar omitted. When we tried it, even our pickiest eater asked for seconds.

Sugar-Free Brown Rice Pudding

  • 1 cup brown rice, uncooked
  • 2 ½ cups apple juice
  • 6 tbsp apple juice concentrate
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ¼ cup skim milk powder
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg (optional)

Cook rice according to package directions, substituting apple juice for water. Mix remaining ingredients together and fold into rice. Cook, stirring frequently over medium-low heat until thickened. Chill.

Low-Sugar Apple Crumble

Fill a 9 X 13 inch pan with 1 ½ inches of pealed, apple slices. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon. In a bowl, combine:

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • ¼ cup margarine or butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • ½ cup oats
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over apples. Bake at 350 degrees until fruit is tender.


When sugar’s use in a recipe is mainly to sweeten, the following substitutions may be made. It should be noted that sugar has other roles in cooking such as browning and activating yeast. Substitutions may not work appropriately in these instances.

  • 1 tsp sugar is equal to:
  • ¼ tsp liquid Sugar Twin, ½ packet or 1 tsp granulated Sugar Twin
  • 1 tsp Equal Granular
  • ½ tsp Splenda Granular
  • 1 cup sugar is equal to:
  • ¼ cup liquid Sugar Twin, 1 cup granulated Sugar Twin
  • 1 cup Equal Granular
  • ½ cup Splenda Granular

Although artificial sweeteners are officially considered safe for consumption, people often question the long-term health repercussions of ingesting large quantities of artificial sweeteners.

One natural sugar substitute is stevia. It has been used as a sweetener in Japan since the 1970s. Until recently, it was available in North America only in health food stores, but it is now available at many grocery stores. The amount of stevia to substitute for sugar depends on the brand you purchase. Read the package for details.

These recipes are only suggestions. Please consult with your dietician to ensure that these recipes are appropriate for you.

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