6 natural sugar substitutes that are great for baking

There’s a purpose most of us have a candy tooth: Sugar is scrumptious, and it makes the meals we eat actually gratifying. And it does extra than simply sweeten our favourite desserts. It provides moisture and texture to baked items; it helps make a young crumb for cake; it helps cookies unfold and caramelizes to make them brown; and it extends the shelf lifetime of meals by performing as a preservative.

However sugar (each white and brown) is stuffed with empty energy that, when indulged in an excessive amount of, can result in diabetes and weight problems. There are a number of pure sugar substitutes that you need to use as an alternative of white or brown sugar. Whereas they're nonetheless calorically dense, they do have extra vitamins that may make them a barely better option. Simply bear in mind: You continue to need to enjoy them in moderation.

Take observe that for baking, you usually can’t simply substitute a sugar various one-to-one with no different modifications. You’ll want to regulate ratios of different components to get the specified outcome you’re on the lookout for. Sugar options may also impart a distinct (however typically tasty!) taste, so that you’ll need to remember what’s most acceptable for what you’re making.

Date sugar

Date sugar is dehydrated, floor date. As a result of it's the complete fruit, it incorporates the nutritional vitamins, minerals, folic acid and fiber that you just’d get from complete dates. It’s additionally two-thirds of the energy of white sugar and, because of the fiber content material, it’s low on the glycemic index — which means it received’t spike blood sugar when eaten carefully.

Wild Rice Salad


The right way to use it: Date sugar is nice in crisps, crumbles, sprinkled as a topping on yogurt and oatmeal, and even as a salad dressing sweetener. It’s additionally scrumptious in baked items like spice truffles, carrot truffles, or something that might profit from that caramel-honey taste you get from dates. You possibly can substitute 2/3 of a cup for each 1 cup of white or brown sugar, however date sugar does are likely to dry out baked items, so compensate by rising the moisture. Moreover, date sugar doesn’t dissolve throughout baking the best way cane sugar does, so in the event you’re utilizing it in batters, add boiling water to the date sugar to barely dissolve it first.

Maple sugar

Maple sugar is maple syrup that’s dehydrated into gentle brown granules. It provides a wealthy caramel-maple taste. It’s excessive in minerals like manganese, iron and potassium and decrease in energy than sugar (30 energy in comparison with 48 per tablespoon). Whereas one of many pricier sugar substitutes, maple sugar is really scrumptious.

Maple Sticky Bun Cake

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The right way to use it: Maple sugar is great when used for homemade granola, in fruit compote or added to espresso. It may be used as a one-to-one alternative for sugar when baking, although it's possible you'll need to minimize it to three/4 of a cup, as a result of the flavour is basically robust. You need to use it for the whole lot from brownies and cookies to truffles and pies, so long as you benefit from the style of maple. Reduce every other liquids in your recipe by 2 to three tablespoons to compensate.


You’re in all probability fairly conversant in stevia, which has change into fairly common as a zero-calorie sugar substitute over the past a number of years. Stevia comes from the leaves of a South American shrub. It may be as much as 300 occasions sweeter than sugar, has a barely totally different taste than sugar and does have an aftertaste that some discover disagreeable.

Keto Peanut Butter Bread

Headbanger's Kitchen

The right way to use it: Use a really small sprinkle to sweeten drinks, oatmeal or yogurt. In its place in baked items, you’ll need to use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon for each cup of sugar. You’ll want to scale back the quantity of liquid within the recipe and change the amount with components like applesauce, pumpkin puree or powders like mesquite. The best factor to do is use recipes that already incorporate stevia.

Monk fruit

Monk fruit sweetener or extract comes from a small fruit grown in Southeast Asia referred to as luo han guo. Juice from the fruit is dried right into a powder, which may then be used as a sweetener. Monk fruit sweetener may be as much as 300 occasions sweeter than sugar, however its sweetness truly comes from antioxidants referred to as mogrosides slightly than fructose or glucose. The outcome? Pure zero-calorie sweetness that has much less of an affect in your blood sugar degree.

Monk fruit sweetener or extract comes from a small fruit grown in Southeast Asia referred to as luo han guo.Sasimoto / Alamy

The right way to use it: Use only a tiny sprinkle in your espresso or tea or to sweeten oatmeal, frosting or dessert sauces. Baking could be a little tough since monk fruit is a lot sweeter than sugar, so that you’d use a lot much less, and also you'd must make up for the construction that you just'd lose. Lakanto is a model that blends monk fruit with different components like tapioca fiber, chicory root inulin and erythritol to create a substitute that can be utilized as a one-to-one alternative for sugar with out affecting the feel of what you’re baking.

Coconut sugar

Coconut the whole lot has been all the fashion over the past a number of years, and coconut sugar isn't any totally different. It comes from the sap of the coconut palm. Whereas it has a caramely, molasses-like taste that’s scrumptious, it’s sadly simply as caloric as sugar, excessive in fructose (a no-go for diabetics) and has minimal health benefits. However, in the event you take pleasure in it sparingly, it actually could make desserts sing.

Vegan Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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The right way to use it: You need to use coconut sugar in many of the similar methods you employ desk sugar, changing it one-to-one for white or brown sugar in recipes. Word that it would be best to add some further moisture to baked items, significantly if you're changing brown sugar, as a result of coconut sugar will result in a drier, denser finish product.

Yacon syrup

Yacon syrup comes from the yacon plant, a South American root vegetable that appears much like a yam. The wealthy, darkish syrup incorporates a excessive degree of fructooligosaccharides, a element that the physique can’t simply digest, which serves as a gut-healthy prebiotic. Yacon syrup may also help with satiety, so that you keep fuller longer, it’s very low on the glycemic index (it clocks in at 1 on a scale of 1 to 100!) and it has about one-third of the energy of sugar. A observe of warning: You positively need to take pleasure in it carefully, as a result of overdoing it will probably result in gasoline and different digestive points.

Dried slices of yacon tuber, syrup and powder.Marek Uliasz / Alamy

The right way to use it: Prime your pancakes and waffles with yacon syrup, use it in candy sauces, over yogurt or oatmeal and in smoothies. For baking, you may substitute a portion of the sugar with yacon syrup to assist minimize down on energy and decrease the glycemic index of your dish.

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