Baking Tips from a Diabetic

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Dear Home Ec 101,

Do you have recipes for diabetics? Any sugar free cookie recipes? I try to make sugar-free cookies without using any artificial sweeteners and it’s harder than it looks most of the time. I have a few recipes that I do, but I am always on the lookout for more.


~Baking in Breckinridge

Heather Heather says:

Not being diabetic, I called in my friend Kendra to field this question. Rather than providing one or two recipes she’s offered several suggestions for successful diabetic baking.

  • Diabetics need to be reminded that there are many forms of sweeteners in addition to sugar and sugar substitutes. I often substitute using fruit juices (both frozen and regular), honey, and molasses. These can be used also for substitutions, but it is important to follow the dietary guidelines suggested by the American Diabetes Association.
  • As a diabetic it is important to follow and NOT go over your daily carb allowance. You can have treats, but only in moderation. Don’t forget to add protein to help break down the carbs slowly, and also remember to reduce your allotted carbs for the rest of the day.
  • I can’t stress this enough..READ labels. Not all sugar substitute and sugar free products are good for cooking or baking. They don’t hold up and make your foods have a nasty metallic taste. If it doesn’t state that it is good for baking/cooking…put it back!
  • Sugar Twin and Splenda are the best replacements one to one replacements found in most stores. There is another called DiabetiSweet, but from what I gather you can only find that in specialty stores or over the Internet. All three are made for prolonged cooking and baking and hold up well. Simply substitute these in the exact amounts called for in your recipe.

When making cakes for every cup of sugar add 1/2 cup sifted nonfat dry milk powder and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the other dry ingredients. When baking bar cookies, brownies, muffins, and quick breads, add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda for every 1 cup of Splenda used. In muffins and quick breads, also add 1 to 2 tablespoons honey or molasses for extra flavor and moistness.

  • I don’t always strictly use a sugar sub. A lot of times I just decrease the sugar measurement in the recipe. Especially when using fruits, vanilla, etc. Most of the time just cutting the required sugar in half doesn’t affect the results. I’ve never been disappointed.
  • Another good trick is to half and half it. Half regular sugar half sugar sub. Lord knows a bag of Slpenda at $7 is expensive. Especially around the holidays when you have a recipe calling for 3 cups of sugar all I can see is $3.50 just in a sweetener.
  • Experiment. When baking with vanilla, nuts, or fruits or cakes that are to be iced, cut the sugar in measurement in half. When baking breads, cakes, or brownies, use a sugar sub or a half and half mixture. For icing, fillings, again…reduce or half/half mixture. For glazes, subbing with Splenda works, but not that well.
  • Watch that FLOUR! Not every recipe that calls for flour means that you have to use white all-purpose flour. Try mixing flours: half white, half whole wheat, or ground oats, soy (but watch soy…it sticks especially when doing things like pancakes) My preference is to use half white/whole wheat flour.
  • Finally, always use Canola oil.*

Thank you Kendra.

*This advice is solely for baking, we here at Home Ec 101 are not suggesting Canola as the only source of dietary fat.

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3 thoughts on “Baking Tips from a Diabetic”

  1. I like bean flours for adding proteins to baked goods that would otherwise be higher carb. They’re a little stronger flavored, so mix them at least half and half with your other flour of choice. But just an example, 1/4 cup of white bean flour adds 7g of protein to a batch of whatever you’re making. Nice, eh?

  2. If you are baking something with a fruit filling (pies, for example), you can cut the sugar down by 2/3 and add 1/4 to 1 teaspoon baking soda. It will neutralize the acid in the fruit, making it possible to use far less sugar. Adjust the baking soda according to the acidity and amount of fruit you are using–more acidic fruit will need more baking soda.


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