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Oct 31, 2007 12:04 PM

Yummy diabetic desserts?

My husband is diabetic, and I have to date not found one recipe where sweetners actually work. Anyone tried baking cakes, biscuits, other puddings using sweetners?
As its coming up to Christmas, would like to bake something he could eat - thats really scrumptious. Speak soon Zay

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  1. I've made custard pie for my father who has diabetes with splenda and he enjoyed it. I've made pecan dainties (aka mexican wedding cakes) with splenda and it worked fine. I also just bought sugar free peanut brittle from See's candy which he loved.

    1. What do you mean sweeteners don't actually work?

      If you're going to be cooking whatever it is, you need to use sucralose (splenda), not aspartame (equal). Aspartame breaks down when subjected to cooking.

      Also, it's a really good idea to add just a tiny bit of sugar or honey (depending on the recipe) to help even out the sweetening. A teaspoon full in a whole recipe of something isn't going to raise the carbs all that much, but it can make a huge difference in the flavor.

      Custards and puddings that use eggs, egg whites, or gelatin for thickening are easily adapted to low carb. Panna cotta is especially good for this as it is rich, tasty, and has a great mouthfeel but can be made very low carb.

      Baking with splenda can be a challenge because it doesn't hold moisture the way sugar does. So when you're replacing sugar with splenda in recipes, you need to add a bit more liquid or fat to make up for it so whatever it is you're baking doesn't come out really dry.

      I have a really fantastic, very low carb new york style cheesecake that my husband adores and is really very simple. I basically took a recipe for a very dense cheesecake (in this case it was the Marx Bros. Deli cheesecake recipe), and I replace all but a tablespoon of the sugar with splenda. Double the vanilla, and add an extra egg and an extra egg yolk to the batter. I also use a nut crust (walnut or almond works well) instead of a graham cracker crust.

      Another thing you can do is make any sort of a pie you might make, like, say, pumpkin pie, only don't put it in a crust. Just bake it in a bare pie plate and call it a custard. :) We never have pumpkin pie with crusts any more because we really prefer them without.

      If you'd like any of my recipes, I'll be happy to post them (I don't have them handy here, I'm at work and they're at home), so just let me know if you want 'em. :)

      5 Replies
      1. re: Morganna

        would LOVE them. my mom just became diabetic and i'd love to have some great things to offer her! Thanks.

        1. re: AMFM

          Siobhan’s Low Carb Cheesecake
          Based on the Marx Bros. Cheesecake From Bon Appetit, April 1989

          1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
          3 cups finely ground walnuts (not paste)
          1/3 cup Splenda
          6 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
          2 cups Splenda
          5 large eggs
          2 teaspoons vanilla extract
          1/2 cup sour cream

          Preheat oven to 250F. Rub 2 tablespoons butter over bottom and up sides of 10-inch (or 9-inch) diameter spring-form pan with 3-inch high sides. Add some of the ground walnuts, shaking and turning pan to coat bottom and sides. Then mix the rest of the walnuts with the butter and 1/3 cup Splenda, and press it into the bottom (only) of the pan. Set aside.

          Using electric mixer, beat eggs together in a large bowl, then add cream cheese and beat until softened and well mixed. Add Splenda and vanilla then beat until very smooth (this may take a little while). Fold in sour cream. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until knife inserted 2 inches from center comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours. Do not open the door at all during cooking! Turn off oven. Leave cheesecake in oven 20 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool completely. Refrigerate overnight.

          1. re: Morganna

            For the sake of full disclosure, here is the nutritional information on my cheesecake above.

            Entire recipe
            Calories 8780
            Fat 821 grams
            Carbs 214 grams
            Protein 192 grams

            However, this cheesecake is -huge-. 1/16th of the cake is the normal serving size. So by serving:

            1/16th of recipe
            Calories 548
            Fat 51 grams
            Carbs 13 grams
            Protein 12 grams

            So no, this isn't an every day sort of treat because it is WAY fatty and full of calories. But this is a wonderful special occasion treat for diabetics.

            BTW, you can significantly reduce the fat in this by using low fat cream cheese (I recommend against non fat cream cheese but you CAN use it), egg substitute, and non fat sour cream. In which case, this actually becomes a reasonably low calorie cheesecake. Of course the quality isn't as high, but it could be eaten more often then.

          2. re: AMFM

            For the pumpkin pie/custard I just use my favorite pumpkin pie recipe, replace all but a tablespoon of the sugar with splenda, and add an extra egg yolk, then bake it without a crust in a pie pan. :)

        2. I can't say I am really expert in diabetic eating, and I know that every diabetic is different - but nuts have a low glycemic index and are heart healthy. There is the clementine cake, or a walnut torte that are good. I don't know what his tolerance for sweeteners, but it could be sweetened with part sugar, part splenda.

          And portion size of course is the most important thing!

          1. My mother has a great cookbook called Cooking With Splenda or some such title. I have eaten many of her desserts from this book and they are quite good actually. I recommend this book

            1. Another thing to remember is it isn't just sugar that's the issue. Carbs are the issue and a lot of other ingredients in baking have a lot of carbs. Milk and flour (especially white all purpose flour) have a LOT of carbs in them.

              When possible, replace white flour with whole wheat, it has HALF the carbs of white. I tend to make desserts that just don't call for flour, and when I'm doing something with dairy, I try to use cream instead. Higher in fat, of course, but also much much lower in carbs than milk.

              So really, cakes and cookies are harder to make low-carb. You can make them low sugar, but that's only half the battle. Learning to use lower carb flours or higher fiber flours (like oat flour, or oat brans) are going to help but they take more tweaking in recipes. I'd just start looking for recipes that use those ingredients to start with, instead of trying to modify cake or cookie recipes. Baking is very much dependent on chemical reactions in the ingredients, and so it's hard to really tweak a recipe unless you're certain of how the different ingredients are going to change the outcome.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Morganna

                I have a friend who is a Type 1 diabetic. The first time I hosted she and her husband for dinner, I was very concerned about what I could and could not make. She told me that thinking about diet is very "old school", that I should make whatever I wanted and she would adjust her insulin how/if she needed to. She told me that as a general rule of thumb she tries to avoid the "white stuff' (processed carbs, white rice, etc.) and sticks to whole grains and other complex carbs, but if she wants a taste of something now and then it's no big deal. Then she asked if she could bring something to our dinner, so of course I said dessert. This is what she showed up with. As you can see there's not a smidge of Splenda in it!


                1. re: kwe730

                  Not exactly a diabetic dessert, with raspberries in syrup, semisweet chocolate, and golden brown sugar.