Popular Sugar-Free Baked Goods

One of the hardest things about giving up sugar, for many people, is saying goodbye to baked goods. Cake, pie, cookies, brownies, and almost any other dessert you can name are made with large amounts of sugar. If you love dessert but need to cut back on the amount of sugar you eat, here are some popular sugar-free foods you can enjoy:

Carrot Cake: While many carrot cakes do contain some form of sugar, because this recipe is mainly sweetened with carrots and raisins, a lot of what you are getting is natural and comes attached with plenty of nutrients. When looking for a sugar-free carrot cake recipe, try one that uses apple juice as a sweetener instead of sugar or brown sugar. Lemon poppy seed cakes and pineapple upside down cakes are similar in nature. Because these baked goods use fruit, they do not need much (if any) sugar to be tasty.

Pudding: Thanks to the demand for sugar-free items, most major pudding companies have sugar-free versions. You can even find sugar-free instant pudding if you do not want to go to the trouble of making regular pudding. If you really want a treat, you can add some sugar-free cool whip to the center of each pudding cup you serve or pour the entire batch into a sugar-free pie crust and freeze it to serve as slices of pie. Either way, pudding is a great sugar-free treat you can enjoy if you want a sweet dessert.

Berry Dessert: One of the simplest sugar-free desserts you can make is a berry and cheese mixture. Keep in mind that, once again, fruits naturally contain forms of sugar, but eaten in moderation, this can be good for your body. Simply heat up your berry of choice (such as cherries, blueberries, or raspberries) and then add a few spoonfuls of ricotta. Add a handful of nuts if you like a crunchy texture, and you have got a great pie substitute.

More Options: The baked goods listed above might be tasty, but nothing compares when you are craving a slice of warm apple pie or chunk of chocolate cake. Luckily, most recipes that you can bake with regular sugar can also be made with artificial sweeteners - sugar substitutes. There are four main types of sugar substitutes, and although these alternatives are sweet and sometimes even derived from sugar, they are not metabolized by the body the same way that sugar is metabolized.

The most common artificial sweetener for popular no-sugar baked goods is sucralose, which is commonly sold under the brand name Splenda. Bakers like this alternative because the granulated version can be used in a 1:1 ratio with regular sugar. In other words, if you would normally use one cup of sugar to bake a cake, you can use one cup of Splenda instead. Other sugar alternatives include Saccharine (Sweet and Low), Aspartame (NutraSweet or Equal), and Acesulfame potassium (Sunette or Sweet One). Because the sweetness of each substitute varies, you cannot always use a 1:1 baking ratio when replacing sugar. In addition, substituting artificial sweeteners for sugar does not always work for dough or anything that has to rise, and it may change the texture of whatever you are making. Sometimes, the choice of sweetener you use affects the length of baking time needed, so baking with artificial sweeteners can be a challenge, at least for the first time when trying a new recipe.

Yet, this is still often the best choice for baked goods if you want to stick to a sugar-free diet. Although you can find some dessert recipes that call for lesser amounts of sugar (for example, a recipe that uses peanut butter or apple sauce), most things that taste sweet get that way by adding sugar, and usually a "bad" kind of sugar. Almost all kinds of cakes, cookies, and other dessert items sold in the grocery store contain even more sugar than what you could bake at home.

While you will find lesser amounts of sugar in some desserts such as fruit, pies, tortes, turnovers, and other fruit-based baked goods still usually contain added sugar in some form. If you are diabetic, even eating sugar in its natural form (fruits, honey, molasses, etc.) can be bad for your body. It is always a good idea to talk to your doctor about your diet so you can be sure you are doing what is right for your body and your specific health situation.

Have an aversion to baking at home? Keep in mind that your neighborhood bakeries likely sell popular versions of your favorite desserts without sugar. Of course, these products may taste slightly different than the full-sugared versions, so you might have to try a few samples before you find the right baked goods to satisfy your cravings.

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About The Author, Brian Jenkins2
Brian Jenkins is a freelance writer and blogger who offers tips about health, diet and fitness. Mr. Jenkins also writes about specific issues and products such as sugar-free cooking andSplenda