How do I replace all the sugar in a cake recipe with dry fruit e.g. dates?

should I rehydrate dry fruit and make it into a paste? how much liquid should I add to the dry fruit to make that paste?

what is the correct ratio of dry fruit paste to use compared to other ingredients in a recipe like eggs, flour and butter, in weight or volume?

I am trying to make any cake that allows me to replace all the sugar with dry fruit, I don't mind a denser cake.


  • 2
    Could you please add more details - for example, what kind of cake do you have in mind. (Caveat - the answer may be “don’t” for some.) – Stephie Jul 25 '20 at 20:51
  • thanks, I've added the details. – bakingfanatic Jul 26 '20 at 6:21
  • 3
    Is there any particular reason you can't just Google for "cake using dried fruit as sweetener"? I get thousands of suggestions when I do that. – user141592 Jul 26 '20 at 7:56
  • You can add jaggery instead of sugar as a sweetener. It will impart an amazing flavor too. – Ojasvi Jul 26 '20 at 18:00
  • 1
    Jaggery is unrefined cane sugar. So, it doesn't fit the requirement for replacing the sugar with fruit. – csk Jul 26 '20 at 19:17

This will definitely require some experimentation on your part. As a starting point, I recommend comparing the sugar content of the fruit to the sugar content of sugar. Below, I use dates as an example.

  • 48 grams of dates (approximately 2 dates) contains 32 grams of sugar (source)
  • 48 grams of sugar contains 48 grams of sugar (source: common sense)

So dates are 2/3 (67%) sugar by mass. This means it takes 1.5 times the mass of dates as sugar, to get the same amount of sugar. For example, in a recipe with 100g of sugar, substitute 150g of dates.

Making the dry fruit into a paste seems like a good way to get the sweetness evenly distributed through your batter. I suggest re-hydrating in hot water. Then puree the re-hydrated fruit, and incorporate it into the wet ingredients. Measure the amount of hot water you use, and reduce the amount of liquid in the cake recipe accordingly. Depending on the type of liquid used in your cake recipe, you may be able to use that liquid to re-hydrate the dry fruit. I know from experience that citrus juice works well for re-hydrating dry fruit; I'm not sure about milk or cream.

Of course the results will not be exactly the same as the original cake recipe. Different types of fruit will seem more or less sweet. The fruit paste will add flavor and effect the texture of the cake. Typically it will probably make the cake more moist and dense. This technique will not be suitable for cakes which are intended to be very light and fluffy, such as angel food cake or sponge cake.

  • i like the idea of substituting 150g of dates for 100g of sugar. in practice I find dry fruit tend to absorb a lot of liquid and as a result makes it harder to mix other ingredients such as flour if the total amount of liquid I use is the same as in the original recipe.maybe It could work if I can find a recipe that calls for a higher liquid ratio. but yeah more math and experimentation is definitely needed. have you seen any cake recipe that calls for all dry fruit and no sugar? thanks! – bakingfanatic Jul 26 '20 at 23:07

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