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Sugar Replacement

When baking what can I replace the sugar with?

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  1. There's a paperback book entitled 'Substituting Ingredients' written by Becky Sue Epstein and Hilary Dole Klein, 1992. Both honey and molasses are suggested as substitutions. Replace 1 cup of sugar with 3/4 cup of honey, or 1 and 1/4 cups of molasses. Reduce the other liquids in the recipe by 1/4 cup. Molasses, of course, is the result of refining sugar.

    Honey is a monosaccharide. Granulated sugar is sucrose which is a disaccharide. Honey may be easier to digest.

    1 Reply
    1. Are your interests in "sugar free" baking or just using an alternative to granulated sugar?

      4 Replies
      1. re: todao

        I am interested in sugar free baking

        1. re: Renete

          But do you still want the items to taste sweet?

          1. re: Renete

            Then you'll have to use non-sugar sweeteners of some sort. Honey, molasses, cane syrup, agave nectar, concentrated fruit juice etc are still sugars. You can CUT the sugar by using mashed bananas, applesauce etc but they're still sugar. It's just less processed. To get away from the sugars entirely, you have to go with sweeteners of some kind, eg. splenda.

            1. re: Kajikit

              I looked at your profile and realised you're from Canada. I'm sorry to say I'm not even sure you have it avalible to you . I truely hope so

        2. I have found splenda to be the best sugar free baking substitute. It really does measure cup for cup. I've found my cookes are a little more spread out, and there are other differences, too, but if you have to make this kind of substitution, I've been most pleased with Splenda. I've made freezer jam with it, too.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jeanmarieok

            I wasn't able to make cookies work out with splenda. I tried a few different recipes and they were HORRIBLE! But it works really well in fruit desserts, cheesecake etc.

          2. Truvia or Purevia. It is made from an herb called stevia. So it is not only sweet, but aclorie free and natural. Try it. You'll love it.

            8 Replies
              1. re: Renete

                Where is here? I cannot know if it is near you. I want to help you sweetie. I have heart issues at 41! Diet drinks and food for ten years only. I fear that the "fake" sugar is bad,bad,bad.

              2. re: suzigirl

                Sorry, but I have found that stevia is one of the nastiest tasting things I've ever consumed. I bought some at a friend's suggestion, tried it in my coffee one Saturday morning and couldn't get the bad taste out of my mouth all morning, even though a yoga class. Came home and tossed the whole box. I will never use it again.

                1. re: chicgail

                  I agree the powdered stevia in the packets has an aftertaste that I find very unpleasant. However, I recently tried the liquid stevia extract and like it. It's a bit expensive, but I only need to put a couple of drops in my coffee to sweeten it.

                2. re: suzigirl

                  Truvia and Stevia are both available at our local super. Are they the same thing? What's the least objectionable artificial sweetener to add to coffee or cold cereals?

                  1. re: josephnl

                    I think you mean Truvia, which I tried in coffee a few years ago and did not like. I THINK I remember that it contains some white sugar along with the stevia. Stevia is the ingredient - it comes alone, or in combination, in various brands. To me, stevia (alone or in combo) has a minty-anise aftertaste that I dislike.

                    The new kid on the block is monkfruit, with Nectresse as the major national brand. It is a little fruity-tasting, which I did not care for in coffee, but like very much in tea. I think it would be fine for cold or hot cereal. No boozy aftertaste, unlike the sweeteners (Splenda, et al) from sugar alcohols.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      Nectresse is totally sugar alcohol based. The ingredients in descending order of volume are erythritol, sugar, monk fruit extract and molasses. According to this site, Nectresse is 83% erythritol.


                    2. re: josephnl

                      Truvia is a brand name sweetener with stevia used to sweeten it.
                      Stevia is a plant that is used as a sugar free sweetener.

                      There is not a significant difference in taste between those two you mentioned. The pure liquid stevia needs only a drop or two per cup of coffee. I really dislike the taste of either and drink my coffee black and i use either maple syrup or dark brown sugar in my oatmeal.

                      Splenda and the new nectresse are calorie free options to try as well.

                  2. Depends upon what you're baking... cake, cookies, crumbles, pies... etc.

                    For the most part, Splenda is probably your best bet. I tried Stevia and did not like it at all.

                    However, real sugar has many functions, besides sweetening, in a recipe. Using a sugar substitute will produce different results. You can try juice concentrates or fruit purees, but that is just replacing table sugar for another form of sugar.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: dave_c

                      In defense of stevia, it is natural. I prefer other sweeteners, but I had three heartattacks in February and I am no longer allowed caffine and artificial sweeteners. They did studies that say they contribute to heart issues. I ate and drank diet everything for ten years prior to this.

                    2. For me, almost all the sugar substitutes have an odd taste, so I would never substitute with something like Splenda. I would suggest trying the various brands to taste raw, to see what is the best tasting to your palate. Other options, as noted, are honey or molasses. There are also some other alternatives such as agave syrup. A friend I know makes muffins sweetened with fruit juices and not additional sugars.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: ocshooter

                        i find that all the sweeteners have an aftertaste

                        1. re: Renete

                          Have you ever heard of coconut sugar? Apparently it tastes like brown sugar..

                          1. re: Renete

                            coconut sugar is great, but it's still sugar.

                          2. re: Renete

                            What are you going for? What will you use it for, specifically? Like stated elsewhere, "natural" and less processed sugars (molasses, honey, fruit, coconut sugar, etc) are still sugar. If you don't like the sweeteners (sugar replacements), then you are SOL.

                          3. re: ocshooter

                            honey, molasses, fruit juices... all sugar.

                          4. From your query it is impossible to know if you need a low or no carb sugar sub, or an alternate to sugar that has carbs.

                            If you would be a little more specific, I am sure you would receive some good input.

                            1. Well, I would only add that every type of sugar (even granulated white sugar) or sugar substitute will have an "after taste". Whether a particular sweetener offends your palate is a personal issue. We use Splenda; have used it for many years. Because it isn't "sugar", per se, we find that some baked goods develop differently than others. Granulated white sugar melt and flows ( it's considered a liquid in recipes) where Splenda won't. Nevertheless, we've had enough practice with Splenda to get some pretty good results. If you try it you'll want to understand from the start that, even though the label may say you can use it ounce for ounce the same as sugar, that isn't always (in fact it rarely is) accurate. We find that using it that way makes things much too sweet. But we haven't found any bitter after taste or other negative issues with it.

                              1. Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index than sucrose (granulated sugar), which is more refined sugar. It tends to keep blood sugar levels at a much more even rate than the huge spikes and later drops you get with granulated sugar. I heard it tastes very much the same as granulated sugar, except it has a more "carmel" taste. I'm planning on substituting it for brown sugar in some recipes. I heard it's a one to one substitution.

                                It's also natural, which I think is extremely important. Stevia is also natural, but I can't stand the aftertaste. I don't taste an aftertaste at all with coconut sugar (sometimes called coconut palm sugar or coconut flower sugar).

                                It's still caloric, but I find the big problem with sucrose is the fact that it continually makes you hungry if you eat it, and then you have to eat more. If the sugar has a lower glycemic index, it will make you less hungry after eating it.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Tudor_rose

                                  The same source the claims a GI of 35 (v 60 for white sugar) also states that "The major component of Sweet Tree organic coconut sugar is sucrose (70-79%) followed by glucose and fructose (3-9%) each. "

                                  Given the dominance of sucrose, I wonder whether the 35 GI is realistic.

                                  1. re: paulj

                                    Actually glucose has a higher GI because blood sugar is glucose, and it takes time to convert sucrose to glucose by the body. That's why diabetics often eat glucose tablets and other glucose candies like smarties to quickly raise blood sugar when they've overdosed on synthetic insulin.

                                    ETA: Coconut sugar SAP has a GI of 35. Once you boil it down to make sugar, then I'm sure it has a higher GI due to the concentration. Thanks for bringing this to my attention, as I looked it up.

                                  2. re: Tudor_rose

                                    Tudor Rose - No sooner did I order certified organic coconut sugar online than it appeared at Trader Joe's, so I now have two 1-pound packages, as yet unused. The label of the online one includes a recipe for gluten-free salty brownies. Gluten is not a concern for me, but salt is, so this is not an appealing recipe.

                                    Have you been cooking/baking with coconut sugar, and if so, how do you like the results? Any recipes you particularly like when coconut sugar is subbed for white or brown?

                                  3. As someone who has type 1 diabetes experience within my family, carbs will always raise blood sugar, even a carrot will raise blood sugar. What you have to do is not discount all sugar, but make the carbs in your desert such that it will keep the blood sugar even and not produce huge spikes. The trick is fiber. Use whole wheat flour, not white flour, and use less sugar, preferably unrefined sugar, like evaporated cane juice, or coconut palm sugar. It also helps to use whole fruit puree instead of just the juice because the fruit contains fiber, and the juice does not. Juice actually has a high glycemic index, especially orange juice. The worst thing diabetics can eat is not really sugar in my honest opinion, but hard baked white carbs, like bagels, pizza crust and cereal. They are a nightmare for blood sugar. Regular granulated sugar, in moderation, is not as bad as a bowl of cheerios IMO, even if the cheerios are lower in sugar.

                                    I would try a banana bread with whole wheat flour, or a gelatin desert that uses raspberry puree and crushed apples.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Tudor_rose

                                      Splenda doesn't do well in heat. Use it in desserts that are cold or frozen and cut down a little so it's not such a prevelant taste.
                                      I haven't tried it yet, being just recently diagnosed, but I've heard that xylitol stand up to heat better.

                                      1. re: dianne0712

                                        I think you might be confusing Splenda and Equal. Equal is not useful in cooking/baking, but Splenda stands up to both.
                                        I find that a very small amount of white sugar covers up the boozy aftertaste when I sweeten my coffee with Splenda. I use one packet of Splenda and about 1/8 tsp sugar for a 12oz mug of decaf.

                                        Maltitol has less of that aftertaste than Splenda or Equal, IME, but it's prohibitively pricy for everyday use. I have not experimented with xylitol but will take the opportunity to point out that it's deadly to dogs in modest amounts. One of the early veterinary reports was of an otherwise healthy Golden Retriever who died because he stole and ate four sugar-free muffins made with xylitol. That's not a huge amount for a large-breed dog. Keep foods containing it far out of reach of pets.

                                        1. re: greygarious

                                          Ditto on greygarious's comments. Splenda does not break down under heat; that was one of it's main "selling points" when it came on the market about 15 years ago, compared to Equal.

                                          And to clarify, in the preceding paragraph I was using "Splenda" to refer to the chemical known as "sucralose," and "Equal" to refer to "aspartame." Until a few years ago, Splenda had the patent on sucralose and was the only brand of sucralose available. Since sucralose went off-patent, Equal now also sells its own brand of sucralose. Equal in blue packaging is aspartame; Equal in yellow packaging is sucralose. So, like Splenda, Equal in yellow packaging (i.e., sucralose) does not lose its sweetness under heat.