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I have a cake recipe that calls for 1/2 cup of sorbitol. I would like to use stevia instead since I am concerned about the side effects of sorbitol. How do I make that substitution? I could just add water to the stevia equivalent for the sorbitol amount to bring the stevia to 1/2 cup of volume. But I don't know if that will have the same effect as using the sorbitol. I know that using unsweetened applesauce will help with moisture retention. Any suggestions?

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If you have negative reactions to sorbitol, erythritol is probably a better substitute than stevia, because - as you note - sorbitol is more than just a sweetener, and erythritol is very similar in function but generally without the side-effects. –  Aaronut May 27 '12 at 0:40
    
Could you specify, please, gel or powder or paste form of sorbitol so that the posters below can formulate a proper substitute? The original recipe might be of use too. Cheers. –  Pat Sommer Aug 30 '12 at 16:34
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2 Answers

According to stevia.net one tablespoon of stevia (in powder or liquid form) is the 'equivalent' of one cup of sugar.

Similarly, lowcarbdiets.about.com tells us that sorbitol is 60% of the 'sweetness' of sugar.

Using sugar as a common denominator, 1/2 cup of sorbitol = .83 cup of sugar and so you should use ~.83 Tablespoons of stevia to gain the relative sweetness.

1 cup of sorbitol = 1.66 cups of sugar 'sweetness', so .83 cups of sugar would be 'as sweet' as 1/2 cup sorbitol

That calculated, I would mix 1 tablespoon of stevia with 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce and then use 3/4 of a cup + 1 tablespoons of the mixture, and then adjust from there.

1 cup = 16 tablespoons, .83 cup = 13.3 tablespoons

Conversions like this are admittedly 'imprecise' but this should give you a good approximation to start from...your mileage may vary.

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This doesn't address the question. The OP isn't concerned about sweetness, but about the other effects of sorbitol which stevia doesn't have. –  rumtscho Jun 1 '12 at 11:19
    
@rumtscho I have used the technique described to substitute stevia for sugar in cake recipes, with great success. As I read the "How do I..." question it directly answers the OPs question. Without knowing the specific recipe it is the closest thing to an answer that can be provided. The principal question was "How do I" not "Should I". Aaronut gave a good comment on whether stevia is a good choice as a substitute, but I stand behind the suggestion for the best way to go about making the substitution. –  Cos Callis Jun 1 '12 at 23:02
    
sugar is a sweetener and aerator, but depending on the recipe, you can include air in other ways. Sorbitol is used for keeping a dough moist, sweetening it, and thickening it, all at once. Stevia only covers the sweetening part, and if you read the question correctly, you will see that the OP has already thought of using an amount of stevia which will provide the same sweetness, but it worried about missing the other effects. –  rumtscho Jun 1 '12 at 23:17
    
@rumtscho you say "Sorbitol is used for keeping a dough moist, sweetening it, and thickening it, all at once." Which of these functions to you suggest that the combination of applesauce and stevia, in the right proportions, would not accomplish? –  Cos Callis Jun 3 '12 at 6:33
    
Applesauce isn't exactly a humectant, it's more of a fat substitute. That's OK, it might still help keep the dough perceivably more "moist", although (a) I don't see how it would help with thickening, due to its high water content, and (b) I don't see any explanation here of how you arrived at 1 cup of applesauce - why would the volume of applesauce, which is mostly water, be almost the same as the volume of sorbitol, which is normally in powder form? That's fundamentally the issue which the question is trying to address. –  Aaronut Jul 1 '12 at 18:33
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Polydextrose is for the humectant with sucralose for the sweetness

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polydextrose

http://www.tateandlyle.com/ingredientsandservices/Chooseaningredientorservice/EuropeMiddleEastAndAfrica/Documents/PolydextroseSTALITETateLyleOct2009.pdf

ive not used polydextrose too much, but try a 60/40 polydextrose/sucralose mix to replace the sorbitol by volume (not weight)

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According to that wikipedia page, polydexrose contains 10% sorbitol, so that's probably not a good solution. Plus it doesn't answer the OP's question of using stevia, which is a plant based ingredient, as opposed to something chemically synthesized. –  lemontwist Oct 5 '12 at 13:39
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