Consumption of sugar by an average American is almost 19.5 tsp of sugar every day and it is alarming! But you cannot possibly shy away from the various yummy baked goods just because of the damaging effects of sugar. To replace white sugar, you may use various sweeteners – artificial or natural like Best Sugar Substitute For Baking.
The artificial sweeteners like sucralose, ACE K and others are technically safe. But according to Food and Drug Administrator (FDA), increased usage of these artificial sweeteners has dark sides due to the enormous side effects which include migraines, abnormal kidney function, liver impairment, headaches and much more.
Refined sugars also come with difficulties like tooth decay, heart ailments, diabetes, obesity, and poor cognitive function. So if you wish to enjoy the baked delicacies and at the same want to escape the harshness of white sugar, you can always opt for natural sweeteners and in some cases artificial sweeteners too.
Let us take a glance at some of these sweeteners that will help you enjoy your baked desserts guilt-free!
Natural Sweeteners – A Sugar Substitute For Baking
1. Agave Nectar or Agave Syrup
You can replace one cup of sugar with 2/3 cup of agave. But for this, you will have to reduce the temperature of the oven by 25% and the liquids in the recipe by 4 tablespoons. As agave nectar is sticky it will be helpful to use parchment paper and combine every liquid before the incorporation of the dry constituents.
Check Out the customer reviews of this widely acclaimed agave nectar
Dates have a good amount of potassium, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and vitamin B6. You can easily digest these and the essential carbs, proteins, and fats are assimilated into your body. Dates are very much effective in lowering LDL cholesterol.
For using dates, you have to prepare a paste and it is quite a good sugar replacement in baking as it adds bulk also. The dates have to be soaked in hot water until soft. The soaking liquid should be kept aside and not thrown away as it would be needed to make the paste.
You just put the soaked dates in your food processor, add a tablespoon of the soaking liquid to it and blend it till you get a smooth paste. You may add more water if required so that you get a thick, rich paste. The consistency should be similar to that of peanut butter.
The paste will be ideal for usage in baking cookies or cakes or pies or muffins in place of sugar. If you want to prepare fruit pies, just mix 1-11/2 cups of date puree with 4 cups of various fruits and bake. If the water content of the fruits is a bit too much, you may need to add thickeners.
3. Raw Honey
Honey falls amongst the best natural sweeteners. Locally sourced honey has its own rich flavor which gets passed on to your recipe. You can use ¾ cup of honey in place of one cup of white sugar. Not only will the sweetness be at par, but you will also get an additional flavor. Each tablespoon of raw honey contains 64 calories.
Raw honey is amongst the best natural sweeteners as it contains enzymes, iron, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, antioxidants, zinc, calcium, vitamin B6 and niacin. Thus it can also be considered as a superfood. The essential nutrients neutralize the free radicals and assist in the growth of healthy bacteria in our digestive canal. Raw honey has a low glycemic index than one banana. But pasteurized honey will lose many of the benefits of raw honey. The health benefits of honey increase with the increase in its darkness and richness in flavor.
It is very much used for baking cookies and cakes. It is best for moist, soft cakes (coffee cakes) and quick bread. Have a look at the features of this honey to find out if it will serve your purpose.
4. Maple Syrup
With maple syrup, you will need ¾ cup of syrup for every cup of white sugar. But, as maple syrup is liquid in nature, you will have to decrease the amount of liquid in your recipe by 3 tablespoons. One tablespoon of maple syrup contains 52 calories.
Maple syrup is a storehouse of manganese, iron, potassium, calcium, and zinc. It also contains quite a lot of antioxidants that neutralize the free radicals thus reducing damage. Darker, Grade B maple syrups are better as they contain more beneficial antioxidants. It is good for your blood sugar.
Maple syrup is heat stable and is thus perfect for baking cakes, pies or cookies. You may also use it for a glaze on your cakes or cookies. How about this maple syrup that comes with excellent customer ratings?
5. Brown Rice Syrup
One tablespoon of brown rice syrup contains 55 calories. Brown rice is fermented with enzymes so that the starch breaks down. Then the liquid has to be heated to get the ideal consistency. You will get an amber-colored, thick, sweet syrup which is a healthy sugar substitute. Fermentation leads to breaking down sugars making them easier to digest.
For replacing every cup of refined sugar you will need one cup of brown rice syrup. But you will need to reduce the liquid of the recipe by ¼ cup. It is one of the best sugar substitutes for baking pies, candies, gooey, fudgy confections like brownies and less-sweet pastry.
6. Coconut Sugar
White or brown sugar can be replaced with coconut sugar. One cup of refined sugar can be substituted by 1 cup of coconut sugar and 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar contains 45 calories. And the flavor comes free!
Coconut sugar is preferred as it is rich in minerals and has a low glycemic index. It contains polyphenols, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, iron, calcium, antioxidants, and many phytonutrients. At times, date sugar is used instead of coconut sugar, since the two are similarly flavored.
Coconut sugar is a bit coarser than normal sugar. For baking of cookies or cakes, grind it in a food processor. But do not dissolve it. It is ideal for baking cookies, candies, shortbreads, and frostings. Why don’t you have a look at the customer reviews of this coconut sugar to make an informed choice?
For every cup of sugar, you must use ¾ cup of fruit concentrate. But you will have to decrease the liquid in your recipe by 3 tablespoons if you use fruit concentrates. This sugar substitute is just perfect if you want a fruity flavor in your recipe. It is good for baking cakes, pastries, and bread.
Banana Puree – There is a lot of potassium and fiber in bananas and it is also a good source of vitamins C and B6. It has a beautiful flavor and is naturally sweet and thus is an effective sweetener. One cup of banana puree is equal to 200 calories.
Overripe bananas are the most suited for making puree. One cup of sugar can be replaced by one cup of banana puree. You have to add the ripe bananas to a food processor, add one tablespoon of water to it and blend to make the puree. You may add water to bring the puree to the perfect consistency (applesauce).
Use the puree as quickly as possible – within a few hours of preparation. The oxidation process of banana puree can be slowed down by adding one teaspoon of lemon juice to the food processor at the stage of preparation.
Real Fruit Jam – You can easily substitute sugar in your baking recipes with berries, apples, grapes, stone fruit, and pears. Though you can use fruit jam from the stores, these usually contain pectin or added sugar. So it would be advisable to prepare your own sugar-free jam with organic fruits, fresh or frozen.
You can use one cup of real fruit jam to replace one cup of sugar; just reduce the liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup. And if you are using no liquids in your recipe, add 1 tablespoon of coconut flour to get the proper consistency.
For preparing the jam, you will have to take four cups of your favorite berry or fruit with ½ cup water in a saucepan. Then you will have to bring it to a simmer, frequently stirring it. The simmering has to continue till the fruit breaks down and thickening starts. Finally, puree it in a food processor and use it there and then. You may use it to make fruit pies.
But if you are thinking of buying the fruit puree instead of making it at home, this particular fruit puree can be a consideration!
You get molasses when sugar is formed by refining and molasses come as a by-product. For every cup of sugar, you will require 11/3 cup of molasses. But you will have to reduce the liquids in your recipe by 5 tablespoons. One tablespoon of blackstrap molasses contains 47 calories.
This sugar substitute contains copper, iron, manganese, vitamin B6, calcium, potassium and selenium and is thus highly nutritious. The molasses have huge antioxidant activity and phenolic content in comparison to white sugar, corn syrup, beet sugar, and dates.
Molasses are of different kinds and are obtained by boiling raw cane sugar until the rich, sweet syrup is formed. Blackstrap molasses are obtained from the third boil and so there is a better concentration of nutrients and a richer, deeper flavor.
Though blackstrap molasses are not ideal for using in porridges or toasts, they are perfect for baking cakes, gingerbreads, and cookies.
Though there are umpteen options of blackstrap molasses available in the market, this particular option from the house of Plantation is quite popular. Why? Find it out for yourself!
Stevia is a natural sweetener originally found in South America and has been used for ages to maintain ideal blood sugar levels and affect weight loss. Thus it is the most suitable alternative to sugar for people with diabetes. Stevia is made from the leaves of a plant that contains sweet-tasting compounds called steviol glycosides.
Stevia is more than 200 times as sweet as sugar and is available in various forms in the market – packets, liquid drops, baking blends, and dissolvable tablets. It is not just low calorie – it is actually zero calories. Moreover, it is also zero carbohydrates and is thus saved from all the negative side effects of artificial sweeteners and has no effect on blood sugar level. But it is non-nutritive.
Stevia is heat stable and is thus very easy to use. As it is 200 times sweeter than sugar, a little amount is enough. But sugar gives bulk to recipes in baking and with Stevia it can be a hindrance. But you can rectify this by using 1/3 to ½ cup of things like yogurt, whipped whites of 2 eggs, fresh fruit puree, roasted winter squash or 1-2 tablespoons of coconut flour.
Stevia is available in various forms – drops to powder to tablets. Here is an assortment of the various kinds to choose from.
The compounds, when extracted from monk fruit, will have 300 – 400 times the sweetness of cane sugar. As it has no sugar and no calories, it does not affect the blood sugar level adversely. You can use it to make cookies and cheesecakes.
Find out the features of one of the most acclaimed monk fruit sweeteners available in the market!
Barley Malt Syrup
This sugar substitute is a sticky, dark brown syrup prepared from malted barley. It is more like molasses in taste, except for the harshness. It is half as sweet as white sugar and is much less sweet as compared to honey. It contains maltose essentially and is absorbed very slowly by our body.
Barley malt syrup can be used to bake goods like spice cakes, dark bread, gingerbread or as a glaze. It is usually combined with other sweeteners for baking purposes. One cup of white sugar can be replaced with 1 1/3 cups of barley malt syrup, but you will have to decrease a bit of the liquid in the recipe.
It is perfect for baking cookies and gingerbread. The barley malt syrup that is doing the rounds and can well fit your expectations may be the one from Barry Farm.
Balsamic vinegar contains lots of antioxidants that help in the destruction of free radicals. Also, it is rich in pepsin, an enzyme that assists digestion and has a great taste. One tablespoon of balsamic glaze has 20 – 40 calories, depending on the thickness.
Balsamic glaze is available at stores but can be made at home also. You just need to simmer 2 cups of balsamic vinegar in low-medium heat, frequently stirring, till it becomes ½ cup. The entire process will take 15 to 30 minutes and it will become thicker as it cools down. Check the customer reviews of this Balsamic Vinegar will help you decide on your purchase!
1. Acesulfame Potassium
This sugar substitute is 200 times sweeter than sugar. As it is heat-stable, it is perfect for baking. You can replace ¼ cup sugar with 6 (1 g) packets of Acesulfame Potassium.
Sucralose is made of sugar and is 600 times sweeter than granulated sugar. You can use granular sucralose for baking purposes as it is not metabolized like sugar. One cup of sugar can be replaced by 1 cup of granular sucralose. With granular sucralose, recipes bake faster. This artificial sweetener is sold under the brand name Splenda.
This artificial sugar substitute is 200 to 700 times sweeter than sugar and is ideal for baking goods. You will need only 6 (1 gm) packets of saccharine to replace ¼ cup sugar.
This sugar substitute is extracted from hardwood trees and the fibers of some vegetables and fruits. It tastes and looks like sugar. It has a low glycemic index and fewer calories than refined sugar and thus blood sugar level is not affected much. Thus you can take care of your sugar cravings without feeling guilty. Also, it does not cause dental decay.
One cup of xylitol is enough to replace one cup of refined sugar. It can be used in all recipes including baking cakes except which use yeast for raising. Cakes baked with xylitol do not color easily but with coffee or chocolate cakes, it is not an issue.
Find out more about keto-friendly xylitol that is very popular before you zero in on your purchase.
Erythritol is good for baking as it has no aftertaste and has comparatively fewer calories than sugar. Actually, it is zero calories. It is 150 times sweeter than sugar. ½ packet or ¼ tsp of erythritol can replace 1 tsp sugar. It is preferred by many since it is zero calories and has a clean flavor.
It is great for baking cakes. Why not find out the price of this option of erythritol that is both paleo and keto-friendly and at the same time is very well-acclaimed?
Sugar Substitutes at a Glance
|Honey||Maple Syrup||Agave Nectar||Stevia|
|1 cup sugar (8 oz/ 240g)||¾ cup||¾ cup||2/3 cup||1 tsp|
|1 tbsp sugar||¾ tbsp||¾ tbsp||¾ tbsp||1/8 tsp|
|1 tsp sugar||¾ tsp||¾ tsp||¾ tsp||Just a pinch|
|Notes||Decrease liquid by 2-4 tbsp||Decrease liquid by 3 tbsp||Decrease liquid by ¼ cup||To replace bulk add yogurt, applesauce or apple butter|
Which are the best sugar substitutes for people suffering from diabetes?
People ailing with diabetes need to be extra careful while having baked desserts. Replacing sugar in these baked items is absolutely necessary for them and the sugar substitutes that they can go for include sucralose, saccharin, aspartame, stevia, monk fruit, Acesulfame Potassium, Allulose and sugar alcohols like xylitol, erythritol.
What are the best sugar substitutes for keto baking?
Now that we are through with the sugar substitutes for baking in general, we will concentrate on people who are on keto and intend to replace sugar in their baked items. We have come up with a list of sweeteners that are ideal for baking goods for keto dieters. Each of these sweeteners has its own characteristics and the exhaustive list will help you make a perfect choice!
Stevia – Stevia is ideally good for making tea, coffee, chia puddings and with it you can put a check on the sugar alcohol consumption in the baked items. But preparing keto brownies with stevia is not encouraged as it leaves a bitter aftertaste.
Monkfruit – This is a zero glycemic sweetener with a pleasant aftertaste. It works perfectly when blended with erythritol for baking keto goods.
Erythritol Blends – These blends are becoming more popular and lower the amount of sugar alcohol consumed. Some of the commonly used blends are a stevia-erythritol blend or the monk fruit-erythritol blend. These blends are very useful in making cakes, muffins and other baked items. You may find the rising to be a bit less.
Erythritol – It is amongst the most used sugar alcohol and with a GI just 1, it is useful for baking chocolate chip cookies and cinnamon toast crunch. But it does take a few hours to crunch up. If you want to do away with the crunch, just powder (dry state) it in a blender before using it.
Xylitol – This is one other sugar alcohol with a GI of 13 and it is closest to sugar especially in terms of taste amongst all sweeteners. It will take one or two days to crisp back if melted and is thus not ideal for crispy goods. It is the ideal choice for preparing keto brownies due to its excellent melting properties, making it chewy.