Gransnet forums


Reducing sugar in baking.

(44 Posts)
teabagwoman Tue 24-Aug-21 17:29:53

I’ve been told that I’m at risk of Type 2 Diabetes, which on top of my other problems feels a bit like the final straw. I love baking but am keen to cut down on the amount of sugar in recipes. Can anyone give me advice on how to go about this please? Don’t want to use honey as that’s just another form of sugar.

teabagwoman Thu 02-Sep-21 06:50:29

Good advice Dogsmother. I don’t eat cake often as I’m permanently struggling to maintain my weight at the correct level, but I do bake for friends and family and don’t want to sit there not having any. My DD in particular would feel very unhappy eating cake in front of me. I will look for the Rose Elliott book LiliWenFach44 but unfortunately I also have gut problems and react badly to beans and lentils which tends to make vegetarian recipes a problem. For the same reason I would have to be cautious about using almond and pea flour etc. Omoama. Can I mix small amounts with wheat flour to see how much I can tolerate? I’m feeling a bit besieged by a raft of health and old age problems at the moment so it’s great to be able to come here and get so much help and advice.

Omaoma57 Wed 01-Sep-21 14:15:11

Google low carb baking…use natural sweeteners such as monk fruit, stevia, erythritol or allulose. Change from wheat flour to almond, coconut or pea flour and your sugar intake will be greatly reduced. Its a different way from how I was taught to bake and I’ve reduced the amount if sweet things I now eat.

LiliWenFach44 Wed 01-Sep-21 12:23:34

Hello - I was diagnosed with PMR (Polymyalgia Rheumatica) last year and so on Prednisolone, so like your DH have to be very wary of sugar and carbs. Being veggie I found Ruth Elliots Veggie Low Carb a life saver and have lost nearly 2 stones in weight! Delighted. She does a Low Carb book too. As he’s a diabetic… the lower the carbs the beta! There are some lovely baking recipes too! Good Luck!

dogsmother Wed 01-Sep-21 08:25:57

I too have have halved the sugar in fruit cakes and it works a treat. BUT. I was prediabetic and had to work hard at cutting out sugar completely to remove this status. Then start to reintroduce a bit more sugar into my diet again.
I was fierce with myself because it is doable.

teabagwoman Wed 01-Sep-21 07:51:31

Thanks PaperMonster, I’ll have a look.

PaperMonster Sun 29-Aug-21 21:53:15

Have a look at the Diet Doctor website where there are lots of low carb (ie diabetic-friendly) recipes. I’ve made the mug cake which is lovely. Grains and most fruit need to be avoided to ward off Diabetes.

Caleo Wed 25-Aug-21 19:20:48

Thanks for the info. Mapleleaf!

Mapleleaf Wed 25-Aug-21 13:32:31

Caleo, I find the texture of the Victoria sponge to be absolutely fine when I halve the sugar content. Give it a try, I’m sure you’ll like it.

NfkDumpling Wed 25-Aug-21 13:27:19


NfkDumpling, oats, being wholegrains, take longer to be digested and converted to sugar - also have beneficial fibre etc. lacking in refined flour.

(Still, my baking efforts with wholegrains have been somewhat disappointing - easier to eat something else instead of cakes, biscuits and scones.)

Thanks Hetty, that makes sense. So, replacing with oats slows the conversion to sugar and therefore the rush of sugar.

We make our own muesli now, so no added sugar, lots of oats and a few chopped nuts, mixed seeds and raisins. We bought some readymade Jordans muesli on holiday and it tasted so horribly sweet!

teabagwoman Wed 25-Aug-21 13:17:20

RillaofIngleside apologies for not thanking you for posting about All Day I Dream About Food. Some very interesting recipes for me to try

teabagwoman Wed 25-Aug-21 11:31:35

Thank you all for your help, lots of things to try. Thirdinline thank you for your kind offer of recipes, I would love to have them. And thank you Hetty58 for the website. Im hoping I can fend diabetes off, I’m not overweight and my blood pressure is fine but the flesh that should be on my hips has gone to my waist! Several posters have talked about going low carb, I find this difficult as my gut comes to a complete halt, but have reduced portion sizes and use wholegrain versions. Am also trying to up my walking but tend to be too slow due to poor eyesight, however I’ve found walking uphill with a small backpack on is raising my heart rate nicely. Is there anything else I can do?

Caleo Wed 25-Aug-21 11:04:42

PS it is the texture that I wonder about if the proportion of sugar is left out. For instance what about Victoria mix 4+4+4+2eggs?

Caleo Wed 25-Aug-21 10:59:11

If you are happy with less sweet puddings and cakes, I do wonder if it is possible to bake a nice cake that has the proper texture with altered quantities of ingredients such as sugar. I am not an experienced baker, and I do hope someone here could inform me.

I have stopped buying supermarket cakes as they are so sweet I don't enjoy them.

Hetty58 Wed 25-Aug-21 09:41:40

I love baking too. I don't know exactly how 'low GI' these recipes are - but I can't wait to give them a try (especially the peanut butter cookies).

If only I could master portion control. The best I can do is make half or quarter quantities, knowing I'll probably polish them off:

Hetty58 Wed 25-Aug-21 08:56:54

NfkDumpling, oats, being wholegrains, take longer to be digested and converted to sugar - also have beneficial fibre etc. lacking in refined flour.

(Still, my baking efforts with wholegrains have been somewhat disappointing - easier to eat something else instead of cakes, biscuits and scones.)

RillaofIngleside Wed 25-Aug-21 08:53:48

I have been diabetic for ten years and managed to keep my bs low by avoiding rice, potatoes and bread or other higher carb fruit like tropical fruits and bananas.
I bake with stevia granulated, which works very well as a sugar substitute. Waitrose and Tesco and Ocado sell it.
I find that erythritol has a horrid cooling effect and re-crystallises so avoid it where I can. I use ground almonds to substitute. There is a very good site called "All Day I Dream About Food" which offers loads of brilliant baking recipes for low carb.

Hetty58 Wed 25-Aug-21 08:51:13

It's very difficult - as there's sugar in almost everything. Chew a piece of bread, without swallowing - and it becomes sweet. That's just saliva turning carbohydrate into sugar, before it even hits the stomach!

NfkDumpling Wed 25-Aug-21 08:49:43

(I should add that's its DH who is diabetic. But diet-wise we both eat the same. It should have helped my weight - but it hasn't!)

nadateturbe Wed 25-Aug-21 08:46:56

As the last two posters say, you need to cut carbs as well and exercise. Bananas are not a good idea either.

Hetty58 Wed 25-Aug-21 08:34:09

You can often halve the sugar - but maybe cut down on the baking? Too many refined carbohydrates. Take up walking instead.

Once diabetic, of course, sugar intake must be limited.

Still, there seems to be the enduring idea that sugar consumption causes diabetes. Animal fats in meat and dairy are problematic too.

While unhealthy diet is a factor, lack of exercise, high blood pressure and weight are too. They all tend to go together!

NfkDumpling Wed 25-Aug-21 08:24:42

I know to watch carbohydrates too and I have it somewhere in the back of my my that using porridge oats in biscuits and bases to replace some of the flour is a help? Does anyone clever about these things know?

NfkDumpling Wed 25-Aug-21 08:18:23

People unaware that I more than half the sugar in recipes which contain fruit (dried or fresh) say how much flavour they have. I think its got to the stage now where so much sugar is added all you can taste is sweetness and not the flavour. I also use plain chocolate or cocoa powder for cakes, still with less sugar. If you do make jam and cut down on the sugar, its more of a conserve and doesn't keep quite as long - no more than a year!

Esspee Wed 25-Aug-21 07:36:26

I should have added that it doesn't cause the insulin response but otherwise it is extremely bad healthwise.

Esspee Wed 25-Aug-21 07:34:05


My husband is type 2 diabetic I use agave syrup.

Agave syrup is appallingly high in fructose so should be avoided by everyone.

Mollygo Wed 25-Aug-21 07:07:46

I halve the sugar as well. It seems to work OK for most things. I don’t use sweeteners since one DD told me the same thing as TwiceAsNice just said.