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I used Splenda in one of my favorite quchinni (squash) recipes and it did not rise at all. It is about 3 inches thick and is heavy as the batter was thick.

Why did this happen, and is there any way to tweak the recipe?

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Welcome Becky! Generally when asking about how to fix or improve a recipe, it helps a lot to post the recipe you tried. –  Aaronut Sep 8 '11 at 23:12
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BTW, if its quick bread leavened with baking powder - are you sure the baking powder is still valid? Have you used it successfully with other recipes? –  rfusca Sep 9 '11 at 1:19
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4 Answers

Splenda yields a lower content when making quick breads. In order to make it rise better, add an additional 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda per cup of Splenda used. Splenda doesn't react the same way as regular sugar would with the baking soda.

Source: http://www.zenoplex.com/splenda/recipes/tips.htm

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In addition to Splenda's front line product they also offer "Splenda Sugar Blend" which is a blend of sugar and Splenda which is what they recommend using for yeast breads:

Yeast Breads

Yeast breads rise well with SPLENDA® Sugar Blend. There is enough sugar present to feed the yeast, speed up fermentation, and aid in the browning of the bread.

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If it is a quick bread then it should be chemically leavened with baking powder or soda. The presence, or absence, of sugar should not play a role at all in the working of baking powder.

Where sugar may play a role, however, is in creaming the fat. If this recipe calls for solid fat such as butter or shortening then it will often also call for the sugar to be creamed with the fat. This step is very important as it will create the millions of little bubbles that will define the texture of the finished product.

You can try adding more soda which will affect the flavor. You can try beating the butter more on it's own. I have read that some people folded beaten egg whites into the batter. I can't recommend one approach over the other.

My personal opinion is that if the recipe calls for creaming butter and sugar then it is not a good candidate to use splenda.

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If your recipe relies on yeast to make it rise, Splenda will not work.

Sugar is food for yeast: if it's zero calories for you, it's zero calories for the little yeastie beasties too.

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Yeast like flour just as much as sugar. –  Sobachatina Sep 8 '11 at 21:14
    
I disagree. Sugar is a simpler carbohydrate to digest and is therefore preferable. For example, if you're making beer, yeast will process the maltose and other complex carbohydrates from the grain, but you add priming sugar right before you bottle it to really activate the yeast to produce the CO2. –  Seth Johnson Sep 8 '11 at 21:26
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Considering the billions of loaves made without any simple sugar - i can't see why they wouldn't just use the flour. There may be some other chemical reaction with Splenda preventing it, but its doubtful that its hunger....plus - its a quick bread, unlikely yeasted. –  rfusca Sep 8 '11 at 22:09
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