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Nov 20, 2008 02:03 PM

Sugar Free Coconut Cake - help!

My father-in-law has diabetes and I'd love to bake his favorite cake for Thanksgiving, but do a sugar-free version. I've searched online and the few recipes I've found don't look great. Anybody have a sugar-free coconut cake recommendation? THANKS!

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  1. I also am a diabetic and on the pump.

    If you get a good coconut cake recipe, please send me a copy as that is my absolute favorite! And at 60, I will get my daughter to bake one for Thanksgiving.

    SC Cntrl DE

    1. You *might* be able to lower the sugar a little by using a sugar substitute in the cake and the icing but unfortunately the coconut itself is full of natural sugar and often sweetened as well when you buy it shredded. Don't fall into the trap that the natural sugars contained in fruits (or in this case, a really big nut) are ok for a diabetic-they aren't and have to be considered as well. And given the fact that it's the frosting on a cake rather than the cake itself that's going to blow a diabetic's numbers through the roof makes it even harder to come up with a coconut cake since the vast amount of coconut is in the icing. I think you'd be better off trying to create a pound cake using a good coconut extract, the sugar substitute of your choice, and some unsweetened shredded coconut stirred into the batter for texture and lightly sprinkled on top of the batter before baking to give it a toasty crunch. Mind, this is not sugar free either but will be a good bit lower in sugar than a traditional coconut cake and just might satisfy that coconut cake jones.

      As a side note (from a diabetic): There is no such thing as a "sugar-free" baked good for a diabetic. If it's got flour or fruit of any sort in it, it's full of sugar. Bakeries get away with that sugar-free thing because the product does not contain anything that falls into the normal definition of sugar - cane, honey, molasses, corn syrup, etc. Don't be fooled, the best you can hope for is *slightly* lower sugar and a diabetic still has to take this into account. Unfortunately, I've found no such thing as a guilt free dessert. Well, ok, maybe totally artifically flavored and sugar subbed, frozen water pops. Bleh. Sigh.....

      2 Replies
      1. re: morwen

        Total aside - When I was in the ice cream business we couldn't legally call our low sugar frozen dessert product "Sugar Free." The customers could call it anything they wanted, but we had to call it "No Sugar Added" due to the natural sugars found in the milk. Too many customers would get bent out of shape that it wasn't really sugar-free. Hard to get them to understand that even a glass of milk has some sugar already.

        Back to the OP's situation - You *might* want to consider using some coconut flour in your cake to boost the coconut flavor. Bob's Red Mill and a few others make it. The problem is, this stuff is very heavy and will completely through off your leavening. You could check some of the mfg's websites for recipes. They probably won't be diabetic-friendly, though. Why not check Splenda's webiste and see they have any recommendations? I've done fairly well using their recipes when baking for diabetic family members.

        1. re: morwen

          Exactly, it's not just the sugar but the flour, etc. also have carbs. Refined flour can be worst than sugar.

          Nutella, depending on the restrictions, you might be able to do a coconut custard. I've done that with splenda, a sprinklng of unsweetened coconut and then coconut extract. I also reduced egg yolks because sat fats can be a problem, too. It's not the same thing as coconut cake but my father who has diabetes and misses dessert enjoyed it. It's nice of you to think of your FIL. Another dessert that's worked is a panna cotta but that's heavy cream, and again, a problem with sat fats.

        2. I guess I'll settle for this recipe - sugar free coconut pie - from

          1/2 cup Original Bisquick® mix
          2 cups milk
          1 cup flaked or shredded coconut
          3/4 cup Splenda or Sugar if you're not a Diabetic
          1/4 cup butter or margarine
          1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
          4 eggs

          Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease 9" pie plate.
          Stir all ingredients until blended. Pour into pie plate.
          Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until golden brown and knife inserted in the center
          comes out clean. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie.
          Makes:8 servings.
          Nutrition Information:
          Per serving = Calories 270 (Calories from Fat 125 ), Total Fat 14 g (Sat Fat 6 g),
          Cholesterol 110 mg, Sodium 270 mg, Total Carbs 31 g (Dietary Fiber 1 g), Protein 6 g.
          Diabetic Exchanges: 2 Starch, 2-1/2 Fat