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sugar substitutes for baking

If you are looking for the best sugar substitutes for baking, you are at the right place. Baking needs a lot of sugar and a lot of sugar can cause harm to health, especially for a person with diabetes. 

People who have issues with sugar or people who wanted to control sugar to maintain weight will find it hard to eat baked foods. But still, you can eat them if you use healthy Sugar substitutes for baking. 

You can use sugar-free tricks in baking with a few best sugar substitutes. So let us find out the sweet baking hacks for everyone. 

Sugar in baking

When it comes to baking,  sugar performs many important roles by providing moisture and tenderness.  Many people enjoy sugar in their baking recipes acid increases the flavor and sweetens food. Sugar supports gelling, delays food spoilage, and prevents discoloration.  The sugar liquefies as it bakes and caramelizes at high temperatures. 

The refined sugars help cookies to spread during baking and it allows them to have a crispy texture.  This is why Bakers find it hard to replace sugar with a different sweetener.  But sometimes you can decrease the amount of sugar by 1/3 without affecting the quality of the product. 

Although sugar is natural they have downsides like being high in calories without fiber or protein. They cause insulin levels to spike. And so for such reasons,  it is better to try various sugar substitutes for baking to get more natural and healthful alternatives. 

sugar for baking

Sugar is mostly used for decorations when it comes to baking.  Powdered sugar is often used to dust on top of cakes and brownies.  Sometimes you use caramelized sugar to make decorations to go on top of anything.  Therefore sugar is important to taste and for the visual appeal of baked goods. 

If you assess the recipe and see what kind of role the sugar does to keep the baked good delicious, will help you to replace it or you can skip it completely.  Although sugar can be important it is not always necessary to definitely bake it with sugar. 

Best sugar substitutes for baking

It may be a little daunting to consider swapping the sugar which is the most basic in baking. But substituting in another sweetener is easier than you might think. You can do it without compromising the texture or flavor of the cookies, cakes, and desserts you love to make.

Even if you run out of sugar or you are looking to mix stuff, these smart baking substitutions will ensure that your baking will still be delicious. 


Honey is the best sugar substitute for baking.  So if your sugar jar runs Dry, you can reach honey the next time. Honey salsa healthy alternative to sugar because it is all-natural and does not change the taste or texture of the baked treats. 

Similar to sugar, this keeps everything just as it would be.  It will only add an extra benefit which is the more golden color as well as packed with an array of health benefits.  But when it comes to honey there are a few things that you need to consider.  Substitute honey for sugar and it will include quick Browning and more moisture. 

honey for baking goods

For every required cup of sugar, you need to use only about 3/4 cup of honey. It is a liquid and so you need to reduce the other liquids in your recipe by 2 to 4 tablespoons.  Honey has a few calories and less fructose and glucose. But still, diabetics should keep honey consumption low as they do for regular sugar.

Maple syrup

Maple syrup can be a  natural sugar substitute for baking because it is made from the sap of sugar maple trees where the sap is boiled into a  sweet delectable syrup.  It contains a fair bit of sugar and so it is better to consume it rather minimally.  But it has nutrients like iron, antioxidants, potassium, and calcium.  Using it with help you cut your sugar consumption by 33% using maple syrup. 

It is also friendlier toward your blood sugar.  It can be in many varieties where Grade A maple syrup is golden brown with a delicate flavor. For baking, you can use Grade B which is thicker and darker along with a stronger flavor. 

Maple syrup is only 60% as sweet as sugar, but still, you need to use ¾ cup for every cup of white sugar and decrease the amount of liquid by 3 tablespoons. This is because it is in a liquid state. 

Coconut sugar substitute

Coconut sugar is an ingredient that is derived from the coconut plant, specifically from the coconut palm sap. It comes in a crystalline form and is an easy substitution for recipes made using both white and brown sugar. 

This ingredient retains a bit of nutrient that is found in the coconut palm. It includes minerals iron, zinc, calcium, and potassium along with some short-chain fatty acids like polyphenols and antioxidants.

There is the fiber called inulin that may slow glucose absorption and this is why coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index. You can use coconut sugar if you do not have sugar because it is similar to it containing high calories ad you would have to eat a ridiculous amount of it to satisfy your need. 

Therefore coconut sugar will be an excellent sugar substitute for baking. 

Agave nectar

Agave nectar is a syrup that is derived from the blue agave plant.  This is a bitter sugar substitute for baking because it is super sweet and you will need only  2/3 cup of agave nectar to replace a full cup of sugar. When using this ingredient you need to reduce the number of other liquids in the recipe by 3 tablespoons per cup of agave nectar. 

But this doesn’t have a strong Flavour of its own and so it gives really a good taste to your baked items. And it will taste more like the original sugar recipe. This can be a great option ideal for those who follow a vegan diet.

There are various kinds of agave nectar. The light agave nectar has a very mild taste and is generally used in baking and beverages. The Amber agave nectar is used for more savory foods causes it has a bit more flavor. Raw agave nectar has a mild taste because it is processed at a lower heat to protect the enzymes.


Molasses is a sugar substitutes for baking

One of the by-products of refined sugar production is molasses which contains a small amount of vitamin B, iron, and calcium. It is made during the extraction of sugars from sugarcane and sugar beets.

It looks dark in color with a strong flavor and makes the best sugar substitute for baking.  But the downside is it is not as sweet as sugar when you are substituting molasses for sugar, for one cup of sugar you need to use 1 and 1/3  cups of molasses while reducing the amount of liquid in the recipe by 5 tablespoons. 

More than sugar, Molasses is more acidic and it is better to add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda for each cup of molasses. This is perfect for old-fashioned recipes and used in holiday baked goods including gingerbread, barbecue sauce, and bakes beans because they need the dense sweetness. 

Molasses depend on the variety or how much sugar has been extracted. can vary in color, sweetness, and nutritional content. It adds moisture to the recipe and it contains calcium and so the food gets softened and retains its shape. 

Corn Syrup

This is known as “invert sugar” which means it is liquid at room temperature. This does not crystallize and is less sweet than sugar, and does not add flavor like molasses or honey but it can be used in cooking and candy-making. 

Using corn syrup as one of the sugar substitutes for baking in a cooking recipe creates a texture that would bend and chew. It is slightly less sweet than ordinary table sugar with a wide variety of culinary applications of candy, jams and jellies, frostings, and baked goods.

It consists of pure glucose and is used to provide shine and prevent the crystallization of the sugars while it also provides moisture to the finished product, and can be used in cake batters to keep them smooth.

They can be either light or dark in color where the Light corn syrup is colorless and has a pure, sweet flavor while Dark corn syrup is made by combining light corn syrup with molasses and giving it a darker color and a more toasty, caramel-like flavor. 

You can use both depending on preference. For example, you can use light corn syrup to prepare marshmallows to make them look white or light color. 

Fruit sugar

This is one of the natural sugar substitutes for baking. It is also referred to as fructose or levulose. This is found in honey, fruits, and other plants. 

Fruit sugars include date sugar and coconut sugar to be used in baked goods. It gives your baked foods a little of their signature flavor. The granulated form looks much like table sugar but it is much sweeter than sucrose which is the can sugar. 

If you are going to use fruit sugar in your recipe, you can substitute 1 1/3 cups white granulated sugar per 1 cup of fruit sugar or you can replace fructose with 1 cup + 2 tablespoons of honey.  

You will also need to reduce the liquid in your recipe by 1/3 of a cup and add a heaping 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to neutralize the acidity of the honey.

fruit sugar as a sugar substitute for baking

Try to use sugar-heavy fruits including monk fruit, banana, and unsweetened applesauce. But if you use too much, it can change the flavor of your dish. This works best with fruit-based baked goods. And use for the ones that need only a small amount of sugar. 

Common sugar substitutes to avoid

Artificial sweeteners

There are alternative sweeteners, neotame, aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin which can be the worst.  They can cause general ill feelings after consumption. They are chemicals added to some foods and beverages to make them taste sweet. It is often referred to as an intense sweetener because they provide a taste similar to that of table sugar but up to several thousand times sweeter. 

Sugar alcohols

Sugar alcohols are found to be low on the glycemic index and are generally considered safe to use. But they can cause digestive issues. Consuming plenty of sugar alcohols within a short period can cause bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

Sugar alcohols add texture to foods, and retain moisture better while preventing foods from browning when they are heated. Sugar alcohols are not commonly used in home food preparation, but are found in many processed foods. There are candies, chewing gums, cookies, soft drinks, and more labeled as sugar-free and containing sugar alcohol.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup

High-fructose corn syrup is made through a chemical process and is one of the worst offenders for insulin spikes, as it doesn’t have to be digested by your body. It is a liquid sweetener made from corn and when the corn starch is broken down into individual molecules it becomes corn syrup and 100% glucose. 

Enzymes are added to convert some of this glucose into fructose. Mostly they bring a lot of health issues when consumed. 

Final thoughts

In order to make your baking You do not necessarily need a sweetener or regular old sugar sweeter, instead you have plenty of options for sugar substitutes for baking. 

It can be for any reason for you wanting to bake without sugar, there are plenty of alternatives that you can consider. There are great natural options, and you are sure to find a unique way to make your baked goods sweeter and more delicious while maintaining their integrity of the baked goods. 

But you need to make sure how it actually works and how much you need to add in order to bring the right amount of sweetness to the baked goods. 

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