Sugar Substitutes in Baking and Cooking

Sugar Substitutes in Baking and Cooking

Possibilities are, you’ve attempted one or more sugar substitutes in an effort to cut calories or control your carb consumption. Maybe you use a sweetener such as sucralose (trademark name Splenda) in your early morning coffee, or you may reach for a can of diet soda which contains aspartame to assist satiate your thirst. But you may be wondering about utilizing sugar substitutes when you cook or bake. Can you use them, and, if so, what works best?

Sugar substitutes 101

Sugar substitutes, which are likewise called sweetening agents, nonnutritive sweeteners, or noncaloric sweeteners, are sweeteners that contain virtually no calories and no carb. These sweeteners are chemicals or plant-based substances that are numerous times sweeter than regular sugar (sucrose) which have little or no result on blood sugar levels. Sugar substitutes are very popular among people who have diabetes, as well as the basic population. Given that a can of regular soda consists of 143 calories and 40 grams of carbohydrate (all them from sugar), it’s easy to comprehend why one would grab a can of diet soda with 0 calories and 0 grams of carbohydrate.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has actually approved eight sugar substitutes.

  • Acesulfame-K (brand Sunett and Sweet One)
  • Advantame
  • Aspartame (brand Equal and Nutrasweet)
  • Monk fruit extract (trademark name Pure Fruit, Monk Fruit in the Raw, Fruit Sweetness)
  • Neotame (brand name Newtame)
  • Saccharin (trademark name Sweet’N Low and Sugar Twin)
  • Steviol glycosides, or rebiana (brand names PureVia, Truvia, SweetLeaf, Zing)
  • Sucralose (trademark name Splenda)

Read more: The Best Sugar Substitutes for Diabetics

Another class of sweeteners called sugar alcohols also are used as sugar substitutes. These sweeteners contain about half the calories and carbohydrate as sugar (for reference, a teaspoon of sugar consists of 16 calories and 4 grams of carb). Examples of sugar alcohols include sorbitol, mannitol, erythritol, and xylitol. Typical side effects of sugar alcohol are gassiness, bloating, cramps, and diarrhea, although small amounts typically are well-tolerated. While sugar alcohols are offered for use in cooking or baking, they more typically are used as additives by food manufacturers for products such as sugar-free candy and no-sugar-added ice cream, for instance.

The role of sugar in baking and cooking

Routine or table sugar is understood for its sweetness — and its calories and carbohydrates. Sugar gets a bum rap and is blamed for numerous major health issue such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes. But all cooks and bakers know that sugar is an invaluable ingredient in helping to ensure foods not just taste great, however likewise have the right texture, color, and volume. Sugar does more than simply make foods and drinks taste good. In baked goods, such as cakes, cookies, and brownies, sugar creates a light, tender item and adds volume. It also assists trap and hold wetness so that those chewy chocolate chip cookies don’t immediately become hockey pucks. Sugar likewise aids with browning (picture a golden crust on a loaf of banana bread) and can crystalize to add crunch or texture to baked goods. If you’re a bread baker, you probably understand that sugar helps to feed the yeast that supplies leavening. When sugar is warmed, it caramelizes, forming the basis for caramel sauce or flan. And who does not appreciate the beauty of a flaming baked Alaska dessert or lemon meringue pie with its wintry white peaks, formed by egg whites beaten with — you thought it — sugar!

Sugar likewise contributes in cooked dishes to help smooth out bitterness and tartness. For example, spaghetti sauce, bbq sauce, and some salad dressing dishes typically require a bit of sugar to help tame sharp flavors.

Using sugar substitutes in cooking and baking

Sugar substitutes can be used in both cooked products and baked items, but it’s important to realize that completion result might not be identical to the same product made with sugar. Sugar substitutes, while extremely sweet, don’t have the same properties or chemical structure as table sugar. For these factors, be prepared for the following issues.

  • A lighter color. Baked goods made with sugar substitutes have the tendency to be light in color. Sugar substitutes don’t supply the exact same browning result as sugar.
  • Flatter items. Cakes, quick breads, and muffins may not have the very same volume when prepared with sugar substitutes.
  • Texture differences. Baked products made with these sweeteners tend to be drier and denser (practically like a biscuit) than those made with sugar due to the fact that the sweeteners do not hold moisture. Besides being drier, products might become stale quicker.
  • Taste distinctions. Sugar substitutes can impart an aftertaste; some people find this more noticeable than others.
  • Cooking time. You may need to change the time required to bake a cake or cookies made with sugar substitutes.

To avoid your granny’s spice cake from ending up like a pancake (and tasting like cardboard), it’s typically recommended not to use a sugar alternative in a baked items recipe for all the sugar called for. Depending on the sweetener you are using, the percentages of sugar might differ. Inspect the product’s plan or website for particular information on how to bake with a sugar substitute.

In spite of some of the problems that can take place when using sugar substitutes, they can still work in helping you and your family reduced sugar while delighting in sweet treats. However, not all sugar substitutes are well-suited for cooking and baking, so choose carefully. Here are the sugar substitutes best fit for cooking and/or baking.

• Sucralose: This sweetener is 600 times sweeter than sugar. One teaspoon includes one calorie and 0 grams of carb, and one cup includes 48 calories and 12 grams of carbohydrate. This sweetener is heat stable and for that reason terrific for baking, cooking, and canning. It’s also readily available in a brown sugar variation. Splenda’s website supplies handy pointers for baking and preparing with Splenda.

For instance, when baking cookies, it recommends replacing only the white sugar in the recipe with Splenda, not the brown sugar. Doing so will retain a cookie’s particular chewy or crispy texture. To guarantee cakes and quick breads rise to their complete height, Splenda recommends utilizing small pans and including nonfat dry milk powder and baking soda for every one cup of granulated Splenda used. For more useful tips, see

• Saccharin: Years earlier, saccharin was practically the only sweetener in town. Tab, among the first diet sodas to hit the market, was sweetened with saccharin. This sweetener is 300 times sweeter than sugar. It’s available in packets, in bulk, and in a liquid kind. One package contains 2 calories and 0.5 grams of carb. The Sweet’N Low site specifies that saccharin is heat-stable, making it appropriate for baking, cooking, and canning. While you can replace saccharin for all the sugar in a recipe, the website recommends keeping some of the sugar in baked items recipes to maintain appropriate volume and texture. A substitution chart is provided to identify the right amount of saccharin to use in a dish.

To improve volume and texture, other helpful baking hints are supplied on Sweet’N Low’s website, including increasing the amount of liquid ingredients and including an additional egg or 2 egg whites. To discover how to best use saccharin in dishes, visit or

Stevia (steviol glycosides): Some of the newer sweeteners to enter the marketplace are the stevia-based sweeteners. These sweeteners contain an extract from the stevia leaf called rebaudioside-A. The term “stevia” refers to the entire stevia plant, which is not the like stevia-based sweeteners. Stevia-based sweeteners are 200 times sweeter than sugar. One package consists of in between absolutely no and one calorie and one to four grams of carb, depending upon the brand name.

See also: Stevia Leaf Extract as a Sugar Substitute

One brand name, Truvia, contains erythritol, a sugar alcohol that is added to supply bulk and texture. Pure Via contains dextrose, a type of sugar. Stevia-based sweeteners appropriate for baking; nevertheless, they can’t change sugar cup for cup in recipes. It’s best to leave at least 1/4 cup of sugar in the dish to assist with browning and supply texture. You likely will have to use a lower baking temperature and increase the baking time. Find more ideas and dishes at the manufacturers’ sites:,,,

• Monk fruit extract (luo han guo): Monk fruit extract is another newbie to the sweetener scene. This sugar substitute is originated from the monk fruit, a gourd belonging to southern China and Thailand. The fruit itself has actually been used for centuries as a medicinal remedy to treat ailments ranging from sore throats to diabetes. Monk fruit extract’s sweet taste originates from antioxidants called mogrosides that are 200 times sweeter than sugar. One packet of the sweetener has 0 calories and less than 1 gram of carb. The FDA offered monk fruit extract GRAS (typically recognized as safe) status in 2009; at this point, this sugar substitute does not have strenuous clinical proof behind it.

However, that being said, there is no proof to suggest this sweetener has any side effects or could be harmful. Monk fruit extract is heat steady, so it’s suitable for cooking and baking. This sweetener can be substituted for sugar in dishes for sauces, dressings and drinks. Nevertheless, when it pertains to baked goods, among the makers, Monk Fruit in the Raw, suggests replacing monk fruit extract for half the sugar in a dish. To get more information, see

• Sugar alcohols: Sugar alcohols such as xylitol, sorbitol, and erythritol are sugar substitutes that are used to sweeten many foods, such as sugar-free sweets and no-sugar-added cookies and ice cream products. Unlike nonnutritive sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, and stevia, sugar alcohols do contain some calories and carbohydrate but in amounts less than those discovered in sugar. If consumed in big quantities, sugar alcohols may have an impact on blood glucose levels; they likewise can cause indigestion and diarrhea in some individuals since they are not totally absorbed.

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that can be using in baking. It can be used, cup for cup, in place of all the sugar in a recipe. Xylitol is heat steady as well as provides some volume and texture, unlike other types of sweeteners. Nevertheless, one brand name of xylitol called XyloSweet advises not utilizing xylitol for making bread or pastries as they will not increase enough. Also, due to the fact that xylitol soaks up moisture, baked items may be dry; you might have to increase the quantity of liquid ingredients in the recipe to compensate. Erythritol, another sugar alcohol, may be used for baking too. Offered under the name ZSweet, erythritol has less effect on the digestive tract than other sugar alcohols, making it appropriate for people who may experience bloating, cramps, or diarrhea from consuming sugar alcohols. To learn more on baking with sugar alcohols, check out and

Sugar substitute blends

While sugar substitutes can help reduce calorie and carb intake, they don’t possess all the homes of sugar, which suggests they either may not appropriate for baking at all, or the end product might not have the exact same texture, volume, or look as a baked excellent made with sugar. For this factor, much of the sugar substitute makers also produce “sugar blends,” which integrate a specific sugar alternative with sugar. If you choose to bake with a sugar blend, make certain to check out the instructions. When changing sugar with a sugar blend, you’ll usually use half as much — for instance, 1/2 cup of sugar mix instead of 1 cup of sugar. Readily available sugar blends consist of:

  • Splenda Sugar Blend and Splenda Brown Sugar Blend;
  • Pure Via Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar and Stevia Blend;
  • Truvia Baking Blend and Truvia Brown Sugar Blend;
  • SweetLeaf SugarLeaf; and
  • Zing Baking Blend.

Remember, too, that sugar blends do include calories and carb, so make certain to account for these in your consuming strategy.

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