Sugar is sweet—but if you’re living with diabetes or trying to manage your weight, you’re probably trying to live (and cook) with less of it.
If you’ve tried alternatives to traditional white sugar in your cooking, you might have noticed it can affect recipe results, especially with baked goods. Since we don’t believe cutting sugar should mean sacrificing flavor, we wanted to know: Which sugar alternatives are best for baking?
To answer that question, we asked two food writers famous for their delicious, better-for-you dessert recipes to fill us in on their favorite sweeteners: Carolyn Ketchum from All Day I Dream About Food, and Katie Higgins of Chocolate-Covered Katie.
Carolyn first began experimenting with reduced-sugar and sugar-free cooking after being diagnosed with gestational diabetes. “When the diabetes decided to stick around, I refused to give up my lifelong passion for baking and cooking,” she says. “Many high carb recipes can be made over into low carb treats without sacrificing flavor.”
Katie—or, as her readers know her, “Chocolate-Covered Katie”—creates vegan dessert recipes that can be customized for any diet (including non-vegan). Her site is for “anyone who wants to be healthy but refuses to give up eating delicious desserts,” she says. “My favorite food is chocolate, and I eat it at least once a day.”
Carolyn and Katie were kind enough to fill us in on the pros and cons of their favorite sweeteners to use in baking, and some recipes to try them in.
Fruits and Spices
Katie: “I try to sweeten recipes with natural ingredients as much as possible. I will often include applesauce, mashed banana or spices like cinnamon and ginger in a recipe to heighten the flavors, allowing me to cut back on the sugar without sacrificing taste.” Try our Ginger-Topped Pumpkin Bread, made with natural ingredients like pumpkin puree, unsweetened applesauce and cloves.