Diabetic Cakes

Baking using sugar substitutes isn't impossible
Baking using sugar substitutes isn't impossible

A lot of people with diabetes would like to know whether they can eat cakes and treats without the feeling of guilt or the sharp rise in blood sugar levels that are usually associated with these so called naughty indulgences.

We bring you tips on how to modify cake recipes to lower their carbohydrate content and therefore reduce their effect on your blood sugar levels.

Lower sugar cakes

The main suspects involved in pushing up sugar levels in cakes are sugar, flour and any additional decoration (inside or out).

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Replacing sugar in baking: sweeteners

Sugar can be replaced with sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners, also called intense or low calorie sweeteners such as those containing saccharin, aspartame or sucralose, have a sweeter flavour than sugar and so fewer grams of sweetener may be needed to replace the grams of sugar.

Check instructions on the sweetener or its accompanying website for more details of how best to use it in baking.

Safety note: If you have phenylketonuria you should not consume products containing aspartame.

Sugar alcohols, also known as polyols, such as:

  • Maltitol
  • Mannitol
  • Xylitol
  • Sorbitol

have less of an effect on blood sugar levels than sugar but can have a laxative effect and are best consumed in smaller quantities.

Replacing flour in baking: almond meal

A good replacement for flour is finely ground almonds, which you may be able to buy as ‘almond meal’ and has a much lower carbohydrate content than flour so is much kinder to blood glucose levels.

You can make your own almond flour by roasting and blitzing fresh almonds in a food processor.

Please note that over blitzing of the almonds can see it turn to nut butter so you may need a few attempts to get the consistency right.

Don’t forget the baking powder or baking soda and have fun cooking.

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