Baking with Sugar Substitutes

Why is sugar so good for baking?

Baking with sugar substitutes is usually a concern for many people because since sugar is on of the main ingredient in baking, users of substitute products can get into some trouble. Firstly sugar, whether in the form of refined white, brown or more raw in the form of molasses, provides the liquid and moisture required to keep a recipe fluffy and moist. Most users find that with artificial sweeteners, they do not get the required levels and the outcome is a dry or crumbed cookie or cake.

Secondly, the volume and measurements provided by normal table white for brown sugar is not found in many alternatives. You will find that if you are using substitutes, even products marketed as good for baking, you will need to make up the missing volume in other ways.

Most of the time, what you bake relies on the caramelizing properties of the sugar to keep the cake from falling apart in the oven. Without it, the cake will turn out not only dry by crumbly and brittle.

How can sugar substitutes be used for baking?

If you are baking with artificial sweeteners, then try substituting only parts of your recipe with it. Depending on what you are baking, you may be able to get by without using sugar at all, and give up the caramelizing properties of the product. For example, if you are making soft cookies, then this may be ok. All the artificial products like Saccharine and Aspartame will be much sweeter than normal sugar, so use sparingly and follow the instructions as shown on the packaging. Tips for Splenda measurements can also easily be found on their website.

For something which is more usable and caramelizing in high heat, you can also try acesulfame potassium and combine with normal sugar,Truvia or Stevia. But this is only required if what you are baking requires high heat.

Results with polyols like Erythritol and Xylitol have also been very successful. Just bear in mind that the texture will definitely be different to what you would expect. If making cookies, instead of a soft texture, expect it to come out fudge like, since there is less moisture to work with. Also expect the cooling effect of polyols. If you plan to be decorating with sugar substitutes, then Erythritol will brown quite well for many recipes, similar to sugar. However, since it crystalises easily, you will want to make sure that you start your recipe with a well blended or powdered form of Eryhritol.