I am told that I use too much sugar, and I am trying to use it less.

What should I use instead of the sugar to cook, preparing desserts?

  • 2
    What are you hoping to cut down on? Sweetness? Calories?
    – awithrow
    Aug 27, 2010 at 15:52
  • I guess that the problem is with the calories. I should ask to whom tells me to use less sugar why she thinks so. :-)
    – apaderno
    Aug 27, 2010 at 17:17
  • I can say desserts do not taste the same and changing a recipe from using sugar to a substitute takes trial and error to get the quantity/sweetness correct.
    – Chris
    Aug 27, 2010 at 17:54

3 Answers 3


The following are sugar substitutes that are not considered "artificial sweetners." The links provide interesting information that should be pondered before using any of them.

For actual unrefined cane syrup or sugar (considered healthier than sugar by those who consider less refined to equal more healthy), look to

For artificial sweeteners, you could consider:

  • Splenda (you can get this in quantities suitable for baking at most grocery stores)

If you're looking to lower your sugar, before going to artificial sweeteners don't discount just teaching yourself a lower sugar diet by eating smaller portions of sweets and making your own sweets with a lower sugar content.

  • 3
    Artificial sweeteners will not work if you need the sugar to feed yeast or bacteria, have a preservative effect, retain moisture, or react chemically (ie: caramelize). If it is just there to be sweet, go for it. Dec 20, 2010 at 18:32

I am a big fan of Jaggery when I want natural, unrefined sugar. The answer below is the same answer I gave for a question about how to add sweetness to sugar:

This unrefined sugar can be considered similar to brown sugar in use (I substitute equal amounts jaggery when a recipe calls for brown sugar), but not in composition - there are a lot of mineral salts left in it, because of the lack of refining and absence of chemicals that are usually used to process sugars. It's made similar to maple sugar; essentially it's boiled down to a syrup and dried.

I've used it in sweet and savory dishes, and it adds a depth of flavor that I find can't be matched with any other sugars I've used. I have a hard time describing it, because it's new to me, but it tastes very...complex, for lack of a better word. Its taste is kind of between brown sugar and molasses. It is sweeter than table sugar, but less sweet than honey. In my opinion, it can take the simplest of dish and add a significant amount of depth and interest.

If you're interested in using it you can find it at your local Indian grocer, or purchase it online, I first got it through Amazon just to try, but have since sought out local ethnic grocers because it's significantly cheaper that way.


You can also try reducing the amount of sugar in a recipe. Combine this with adding a "filler" like applesauce. The amount this can be done really depends upon the recipe. Some recipes you can replace almost all the sugar, others need to be exact!

I have make a chocolate zucchini cake and tried many different variations, from stevia to almost no sweetener. All of them have turned out edible. The taste was different, so then it is up to experimentation to find what variations you prefer.

  • I've heard of using applesauce to replace oil in baked goods but not to replace sugar. It sounds interesting. Have you had success with this? Aug 27, 2010 at 19:25
  • Well, I usually use Stevia, so the applesauce is more of a filler. I do find I can use less Stevia this way, which avoids the bitter aftertaste.
    – Ruz
    Aug 31, 2010 at 1:42

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