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Yummy diabetic desserts?

  • z

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.

              2. As many have said, each diabetic is different and may have differing "rules" about sugar & carbs. I recommend the Diabetic Goodie Book by Kathy Kochan, Faith Winchester, and Linda Hachfeld. They don't replace sugar with artificial, but cut way down on real sugar and use whole wheat flour and oats to make the carbs more tolerable. I have made quite a few recipes from this book very satisfactorily. And, yes, you can adjust insulin to accommodate what you know will be a "high carb" meal.

                1. This is the first sugarfree, low fat dessert I've really enjoyed.

                  Amazing Sugarfree Dairyfree cheesecake

                  In food processor or blender, mix 1 lb Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese, 3 eggs, 1 cup fructose, and 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp lemon extract. (Optional: add a little DaVinci French Vanilla Sugarfree syrup.)

                  Pour into 8" square pan. Bake 350 degrees F for 35 min.

                  Remove from oven and wait 15 minutes. Prepare topping: Blend 1 12 oz. container Tofutti Sour Supreme 1/4 c fructose, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Pour over cake, and return to oven for another 10 minutes.

                  Chill. Top with 1 can "Lite" (no sugar added) cherry pie filling.

                  Cut into portions and freeze or risk eating it all, like I did.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: chossid

                    Here is the nutritional information for this particular dessert (I'm assuming liquid fructose is being used, not high fructose corn syrup).

                    Entire recipe:
                    Calories 3527
                    Carbs 422 grams
                    Fat 211 grams
                    Protein 40 grams

                    1/8th of recipe:
                    Calories 440
                    Carbs 53 grams
                    Fat 26.3 grams
                    Protein 5 grams

                    53 grams of carbs for a single slice of cheesecake is -not- diabetic friendly in the least. The recommended number of carbs in a day for a diabetic who is on, say, a 2000 calorie diet is 130-140 or so carbs for the whole day, spread out over several meals. Also, most dietitians recommend no more than 30% of your calories in a day come from fat. For a 2000 calorie a day diet, that means no more than 67 grams of fat, that's total fat, fat of all types, in a day. This one slice of cheesecake has nearly 40% of an entire day's fat grams in it.

                    Edit: not that I'm against fatty desserts or anything (go look at my cheesecake recipe again, it's really fatty). Just noting for the record. :)

                  2. Believe it or not, this Paula Deen (I know, I know) is surprisingly good. It uses Splenda as both the sweetener and the "structural support" of the cookie, since sucralose doesn't dissolve the same way sugar does (that's not saying it doesn't dissolve at all, just differently). My BF is diabetic and he looked at the recipe with a lot of skepticism, but we tried it and we were floored by how much they resembled and tasted like good peanut butter cookies.


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: geekyfoodie

                      geeky, Your SO seems to follow the same behavior/guidelines that my friend does. Not like she eats flourless chocolate cake every day! As for the rest of the meal I served to her it was grilled beef tenderloin, roasted sweet potato wedges, grilled asparagus and salad.

                    2. Hey guys
                      Just saw all your comment. Thanks so much for the advice. My husband has type 2 diabetes - and doesn't take insulin. Will try out some of your suggestions.
                      Sounds good. Think the idea of a small amount of sugar with Splenda sounds useful. Sorry to get you scratching each others eyes out about the insulin issue:) I agree its a serious "ting" this diabetes, and I reckon its counterproductive if you up your insulin only to over -indulge, after all you're only cheating yourself - and harming yourself in the process. Why indulge only to suffer for it. Not good, no no. Hey take care all, thanks for wise words. Happy eating!!!! love zay

                      1. I'm T1 diabetic and use Splenda for Baking which is part Splenda part regular sugar. It measures 1/2 Cup Splenda for Baking = 1 Cup sugar. My favorite desserts to make using it are cheesecake and tiramisu. It's also great in fruit cobblers and crisps. Also, if you make cookies or muffins w/ lots of fiber (bran, oats, etc) they slow the absorption of sugar into the blood (as does fat but that's not good for ya!). Yeah, check out Splenda for Baking... oh, and they have recipes on their website too. Good luck!

                        1. I believe Agave Nectar is good for diabetics. Please take a look here:
                          Lot's of recipes for desserts using Agave nectar on the site. I have been using Agave nectar to make frozen yogurt in my ice cream machine. I use agave nectar, Fage 0% Greek style yogurt, and Valhrona cocoa powder and dark chocolate for a really rich tasting chocolaty frozen yogurt.
                          I've also made strawberry frozen yogurt with agave too. It's wonderful!