One of the ways that our family started moving towards more whole foods was to move away from white sugar and start baking with honey, sucanat, and other sweeteners. Now, instead of making my Homemade Jello, Homemade Chocolate Chips, and Gluten Free Cupcakes with granulated sugar, I needed to move to other, more wholesome sweeteners.
If you’ve been wondering about baking with honey or baking with maple syrup, or what to do about substituting sugar in your baked goods or other sweet (or not-so-sweet) dishes, then this post should help.
One of my pet peeves (and probably yours too) is running out of something when you are in the middle of the recipe.
And one of my best time and money-saving cooking and baking tips is learning how to substitute.
You know how it goes – you’re making a dessert that calls for honey and all you have is a granulated sweetener, or vice versa (remember to make healthy choices, as much as possible for your sweeteners, just like everything else, OK? Not too much pressure, just making the best choices you can will make a difference in the long run).
Well, one of the easiest things to substitute in recipes is sweeteners.
Now, I am a reforming sugar-aholic. I used to eat sugar all. the. time.
I once even worked in an ice cream parlor.
Bad idea. Ahem.
Anyway, I don’t bake quite as much these days since we are focusing on vegetables and animal proteins more and more in our quest to deal with adrenal fatigue, but I still enjoy making whole grain (or non grain) treats (like Chocolate Chia Pudding or Berry Mousse) that require some sweetening.
And I know that a lot of my readers are using traditional sweeteners (hopefully the healthier options of honey, maple syrup, sucanat, and the like) and that these substitution and baking tips would be useful for you.
So when you need to substitute a liquid for a granulated sweetener, how do you do that quickly and easily?
It’s fairly simple, actually.
Mainly, you just need to make up for, or take away from, the liquid part of the liquid sweetener, when adding it to a recipe.
Now of course, if the recipe we are talking about is a dish with very little sweetener (like my Focaccia Flax Bread), then it really doesn’t matter. Just substitute one sweetener for another and don’t worry about it. However, when you are dealing with a sweet baked good, then here is what you need to do:
How to Substitute Sweeteners
1. Honey and maple syrup are sweeter than sugar, so use less (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup) for each cup of sugar.
2. When substituting a liquid for a granulated sweetener (e.g. using honey when the recipe calls for sucanat or brown sugar), for every 1 cup of honey, subtract 1/4 cup of liquid from the recipe (that means also, for every 1/4 cup of honey, subtract 1 Tbsp of liquid).
3. The converse is then, when substituting a granulated for a liquid sweetener (e.g. using sucanat or coconut sugar when the recipe calls for maple syrup or honey), for every 1 cup of sweetener, add 1/4 cup of liquid from the recipe (that means also, for every 1/4 cup of honey, add 1 Tbsp of liquid).
4. If baking with honey or maple syrup, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees Fahrenheit, since maple syrup and honey will tend to caramelize and burn faster than granulated sweeteners.
5. Since maple syrup and honey are somewhat acidic, when baking, you will need to add 1/4 – 1/2 tsp baking soda per cup of honey or maple syrup to the batter so it will rise.
6. If you’d like to use stevia in your baking and cooking, check out Stevia-What It Is and How to Use It for helpful tips. Stevia is super sweet. In general, 1/32 of a tsp is the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of sugar. However, it is a little tricky to bake with it.
Pretty simple, isn’t it?
I use these tips whenever I have run out of the sweetener I need (which isn’t often, since I purchase my sweeteners in bulk – like everything else :-)), but more often when I am trying out a new recipe and want to use the least expensive sweetener that I have. Then if the recipe isn’t a winner, I’ve spent less money on it than I would have otherwise.
With some non-baking recipes, especially ones without a lot of sweetener like:
you can use whatever sweetener you wish (liquid or granulated). The result won’t differ that much regardless of which sweetener you use. I love forgiving recipes, don’t you :-)?
Soon I’ll go into more details of my thoughts about sugar, some more detailed information on sweeteners (including nutritional information and alternative sweeteners as well). Stay tuned!
How about you? Do you have a time or money saving baking tip to share?