Sugar Free Cakes
Now, with our help, you really can have your cake and eat - in the form of delicious, sugar free cakes.
We have compiled a collection of recipes that you can use to make a wide range of delicious cakes without the addition of sugar. Instead we utilise sugar-free sweeteners that add flavour and zest. These include:
• Xylitol, a natural sugar that is extracted from various plants, including plums. It has 40 percent fewer calories than refined cane sugar, but tastes just as good. Since it is available in a fine granular form, it is also great for baking cakes.
• Various tabletop sweeteners, some of which work better than others when it comes to baking sugar free cakes.
• Certain fruits and unsweetened fruit juices that provide the required sweetness, including apples and carrots.
• Fructose, in powder form.
If you're going to embark on baking sugar free cakes, then you should familiarise yourself with the most common artificial sweeteners on the market.
The original non-sugar sweetener was saccharin, which has no food energy, but has a very distinctive and unpleasant bitter aftertaste. It is not a good option for baking.
Sodium cyclamate is another artificial sweetener, and it is said to be as much as 50 times sweeter than sugar, so very little is needed to add sweetness. But it won't add substance to a cake mixture.
Sucralose is even sweeter than cyclamate. Generally recognised as a safe diabetic sugar substitute, it has absolutely no calories and is as much as 600 times sweeter than ordinary cane sugar. A lot of people use it in cooking because it does retain its sweetness after it has been heated. However, it is not always successful when used for baking cakes.
Aspartame is another type of non-saccaride sweetener that is commonly used as a sugar substitute. Brand names include Equal, NutraSweet and Canderel. NutraSweet also makes an artificial sweetener called neotame that is used to sweeten some fruit and vegetable juices. It is recognised by some food manufacturers as a low-cost sweetener alternative to sugar.
And then of course there's the new-style sweetener, Xylitol, which is our favourite choice when it comes to baking sugar free cakes. But then it isn't an artificial sweetener.
Helpful hints for successful sugar free cakes
One of the biggest problems many people have when they bake sugar free cakes using artificial sweeteners is that the texture tends to be too heavy. Here are some tips to help you lighten up.
1. Always measure the ingredients carefully and accurately. If you put in too much flour the mixture will be heavy.
2. You should always sift your flour, and if you aren't adding sugar, then sift it three or four times to aerate it.
3. Only use eggs that have been stored at room temperature.
4. If the recipe says beat the mixture, then use an electric beater when mixing. This will create air pockets. (Note that some recipes require the mixture to be folded, and not beaten.)
5. If you are beating the mixture, don't beat for too long otherwise the mix can become thin and it will lose the airiness you want.
6. Don't open the oven door until the cake or cakes are cooked otherwise they are likely to flop in the middle.
We hope you will experiment and see which of these recipes work for you. Above all, we hope you enjoy eating your sugar free cakes.