Glycemic-Friendly Sugar Substitutes for Baking

“Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.” - Voltaire

Humans have a sweet tooth, so we must be meant to enjoy baked goods, right? That may be arguable, but baked goods are one of life’s pleasures.

Even if you have to keep one eye on the glycemic index, there is no reason to stop enjoying sweets if you prepare them a bit differently.

Substituting with Molasses

Molasses is rich in minerals such as iron, calcium, and copper. It has the same amount of calories as table sugar but is less sweet, so it lowers your sugar intake. You may want to substitute only part of a recipe’s sugar with molasses since molasses has an intense flavor and can change the taste of baked foods.

White sugar substitute:

  • Use 1 1/3 cups of molasses for each cup of regular sugar.
  • To counter the acidity in molasses, you can add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda per cup of molasses used.
  • Reduce the recipe’s liquid content by 5 tablespoons.

Brown sugar substitute:

  • For 1 cup of light brown sugar, substitute 1 cup of white sugar with 2 tablespoons of molasses.
  • If the recipe calls for dark brown sugar, use 4 tablespoons of molasses.

Substituting with Erythritol

Erythritol, though a sugar alcohol, contains no ethanol, so it won’t make you tipsy. It does not break down under high heat as some sugar substitutes do, but it is less sweet than table sugar. The good news for diabetics is that erythritol does not affect blood sugar levels. It also has negligible calories.

  • Use 1/4 to 1/3 more erythritol than the amount of sugar called for.
  • Cooking time and temperature should be about the same.
  • Erythritol can be mixed with sugar for partial substitutions.

Substituting with Sucralose

Another sweet substitute that does not mess with our blood glucose or insulin levels is sucralose, which is sold as Splenda. It is made by mixing chlorine with table sugar and is about 600 times sweeter than sucrose (sugar) but with only one-eighth of sugar’s calories. Goods made with sucralose tend to bake faster than with sugar.

  • Substitute 1 cup of sucralose for each cup of sugar in most recipes.
  • If the recipe calls for more than 1 1/4 cups of sugar, use half sugar and half Splenda.
  • If the recipe’s flour is less than twice the amount of sugar called for, use half sugar and half Splenda.
  • Sucralose is good to use with quick breads, but not yeast breads.
  • May need to reduce baking time.

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” - Luciano Pavarotti

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