wikiHow to Reduce Sugar in Baking Recipes

Sugar, sugar, sugar. We all consume far more of it than we ever need. And yet the thought of giving up the baked goodies is too painful by half. Instead, look for creative ways to reduce sugar when baking, and soon you'll learn to lessen that sweet tooth while still enjoying the advantages of a fulfilling baked item.


  1. Image titled Reduce Sugar in Baking Recipes Step 1
    Reduce it bit by bit. Start by cutting back to three-quarters the amount the recipe suggests. Then halve it. Many French chefs halve the amount of sugar recommended in a baked goods recipe with nobody the wiser as to the flavour impact. With a gradual reduction, you'll find yourself getting used to the new way that the baked items taste.
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    Substitute the sugar. Another great way to reduce sugar intake is to substitute it with something as tasty. Some choices include:
    • Stevia
    • Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, mixed spice, etc.)
    • Fruit puree (but beware, this is still fructose, and see "Tips")
    • Syrups, such as maple, rice or agave (agave syrup is very high in fructose and may not be a suitable substitute)
    • Honey
    • Artificial sweeteners (you'll need to know if they can be baked though)
    • Fresh fruit, berries, or sweet vegetables.
  3. Image titled Reduce Sugar in Baking Recipes Step 3
    Increase the flour. Use this to make up the missed volume of sugar. For most recipes this will work but you do need to experiment.
  4. Image titled Reduce Sugar in Baking Recipes Step 4
    Be careful of reducing sugar in recipes using yeast. Yeast requires the sugar to activate. If you can discern how much sugar the yeast needs and set that aside and only fiddle with the rest of the sugar, that's ideal. If not, experiment with daring, and you'll discover by trial and error what does and does not work.
  5. Image titled Reduce Sugar in Baking Recipes Step 5
    Reconsider any sugar based toppings for baked goods. Icing sugar, granular sugar, fine sugar, etc., are all still sugar and adding them to your freshly baked goods can increase the sugar overload. Find topping substitutes that are healthy, such as fresh fruit, spices like cinnamon, or sugar-free grated chocolate. Or why not just leave it bare?


  • If using fruit juice or fruit puree, be sure that they're pure and unsweetened. You don't want sugar sneaking in through the back door.
  • When absorbed into the whole mixture, honey and syrups don't raise your blood sugar level any faster than fruits and vegetables.[1]

Things You'll Need

  • Sugar substitutes

Sources and Citations

  1. Esme Floyd, 1001 Little Healthy Eating Miracles, p. 73, (2007), ISBN 978-1-84442-068-1

Article Info

Categories: Baking