Sugar free and no-sugar-added desserts for diabetics can be every bit as decadently delicious as their full-sugar counterparts. One useful trick lies in learning how to work with artificial sweeteners – and it’s easier than you think! Here are some tips that’ll have you making low sugar and sugar free desserts for diabetics like a pro – and they’ll taste so good you’ll never miss the sugar.
Have Your Cake, And Eat It, Too
Let’s start with everyone’s favorite, cake. Cake makes a welcome finale for most any meal and is an absolute must for many special occasions, but as we know too well, it’s typically made with tons of sugar. That spells bad news for our blood sugar levels, and we can certainly do without all the empty calories sugar supplies. The good news is that by cleverly using sugar substitutes and other key ingredients, cakes can make excellent sugar free desserts for diabetics, and come out so deliciously you’ll be proud to serve them to anyone.
When you’re making a sugar free cake, an excellent option is to replace the sugar with sucralose, which goes by the brand name Splenda, or Stevia In The Raw. These are great to bake with, as their sweetness is so equivalent to sugar that they can be measured the same cup-for-cup. Sucralose and Stevia In The Raw are also heat stable, meaning they retain their sweet flavor even when exposed to high baking temperatures. Aspartame sweeteners like NutraSweet and Equal loose their sweetness when exposed to these temperatures, making them a poor choice for use in cakes, which typically need to baked at around 350 degrees for periods of 20 minutes or more.
Sugar tends to lend moistness and a certain amount of rise to baked goods. Since you’re replacing the sugar in your cake, you also need to replace these qualities it provides. One way to easily accomplish this is to start with a recipe which contains plenty of wet, high fiber ingredients, like no sugar added applesauce, pumpkin, or pureed fruit. Another easy trick is to add about half a cup of soft tofu to your cake batter. This will make your cake sinfully moist, give it more body, and since tofu has almost no taste, you can add it to any cake without fear of flavor clashes. (On a side note, you’ll find that these suggestions about sugar free cake baking apply to sugar free cookie recipes for diabetics as well.)
When it’s time to ice your cake, you’ll find making a delectably sweet sugar free frosting is quite easy. Cream cheese is often used in these frostings to replecate the thick, spreadable effect powdered sugar provides when mixed with a scant amount of milk. Sugar free frostings often keep their form best when chilled, so either keep them in the fridge until it’s time to serve the cake, or frost the cake and let it in the fridge until you’re ready to cut.
There’s Always Room For Pie
The sugar in pie fillings serves one purpose – to lend a sweet taste. For this reason, it’s very easy to substitute sucralose or Stevia In The Raw for the sugar in pie fillings – for both fruit pies and cream pies, just make the recipe as directed, using one of those instead of sugar. It’s that easy, and without a doubt, your finished pie will be every bit as delicious as the full-sugar version.
Pie crusts typically contain no sugar, making them ideal for use in sugar free desserts for diabetics. However, they can be fairly high in fat and calories. One way to reduce the diet damage done by pie crust is to serve a one-crust pie – either a cream pie, or an open-faced fruit pie. If you’re serving an open-faced fruit pie, a quick way to give it a finished look and a supremely delicious taste is to partially thaw a container of sugar free whipped topping, spread it atop your fully cooled pie, and pop the pie into the freezer for a few minutes before you cut slices. Make your pie extra pretty by sprinkling a hint of cinnamon or nutmeg over the whipped topping.
The Proof Is In The Pudding
Puddings, the ultimate sweet comfort food, make wonderful sugar free desserts for diabetics. As with pie filling, sugar’s only contribution to pudding is sweetness, so puddings made with artificial sweeteners look and taste almost exactly like their full-sugar counterparts. Of course, the easiest way to make sugar free pudding is from a mix, and most supermarkets carry a wide variety of deliciously flavored and inexpensive sugar free puddings which are as easy to make as stirring in cold milk. Old-school cornstarch stove-top puddings can easily be made sugar free by simply substituting the sugar in the recipe for sucralose or SITR, cup for cup.
Pudding is a key ingredient in parfaits and trifles, which make versatile and beautiful low sugar and sugar free desserts. You can layer sugar free pudding with your favorite fruits and berries for a healthy parfait, or with crumbled sugar free cookies or cake pieces for a decadent trifle. Mix up the textures and flavors, and make your own signature creations – trifles provide a fun outlet for culinary creativity, and make elegant, scrumptious, low sugar and sugar free desserts.
Perhaps sweetest of all, cheesecake, the mother of all decadent desserts, converts wonderfully to a sugar free dessert for diabetics. Cheesecake relies on sugar for sweetness alone, so if you make a cheesecake recipe using sucralose or SITR instead, the results will be nearly identical to the original. You can make a delicious sugar free crust for your cheesecake by crushing sugar free cookies into fine crumbs, and substituting them for the traditional graham cracker crumbs used to make cheesecake crust.
It’s easy to make a sweet, gooey, low sugar fruit topping for your cheesecake. Just replace the sugar in your fruit topping recipe with artificial sweetener, and voila! The pectin in the fruit thickens the sauce; the sweetener’s only function in these recipes is to enhance the taste. Fruit toppings are typically cooked for a relatively short time on the top of the stove, so you can use an aspartame sweetener if you prefer. Bear in mind that strawberries, blueberries, mangos, peaches, raspberries, and other fruits which lend themselves to cheesecake toppings contain some naturally-occurring sugar. These aren’t completely sugar free desserts for diabetics, but they’re certainly low sugar, and without a doubt are a better option than full-sugar fruit toppings and sauces.
Now you have the basics on making sugar free desserts for diabetics which taste so good you’ll never miss the sugar. Here are a few recipes to help you get started on your sugar free dessert-making journey!