Substitute for Sugar in Baking

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You do not have to give up homemade sweets because of the sugar content. There are many ways to substitute for sugar in baking. The result is just as flavorful and guilty pleasures are a memory. Artificial sweeteners, honey, molasses and other items can be used as substitutes for sugar. Try something new and you will be eating more sweets and other baked goods.


Natural Products

Sugar is just as important as flour, eggs and baking powder in baking. However, it is possible to substitute for sugar with natural products or artificial sweeteners.


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Honey is 50% sweeter than refined sugar. It takes less honey in a recipe than sugar to achieve the same sweetness. Due to the color range of honey, the baked good will have a different color as well. For each cup of sugar a recipe calls for, substitute 3/4 cup of honey plus 1 tbsp. Reduce the liquid ingredients by 2 tbsp. and add a pinch of baking soda to the mix if the recipe does not include buttermilk or sour cream.


Not as sweet as sugar, molasses is a favorite ingredient to substitute in baked goods. Use 1 1/3 cup molasses as opposed to one cup sugar, but only substitute for half the sugar amount called for in a recipe. Reduce the amount of liquid by 5 tbsp.

Artifical Sweeteners

Splenda is among the most common sugar substitutes and is 600 times sweeter than sugar. It is made from sugar but is not refined so your body does not process it the same as sugar. Use Splenda cup for cup in baking recipes. Watch the baked goods closer than usual as recipes using Splenda cook faster.


Saccharin, such as Sweet N Low, is used in baking. Substitute only half the amount of sugar in a recipe as saccharin is up to 700 times sweeter. Six packets of Sweet N Low replaces 1/4 cup sugar.

Equal and Nutrasweet are not recommended for baking as they break down in heating and lose their sweet flavor.


Optional Products

Maple syrup substitutes sugar as well. Only 60% as sweet as sugar, maple syrup lends a darker texture and stronger flavor to baked goods. Replace each cup of sugar with ¾ cup maple syrup. At the same time, reduce the liquid ingredients by 3 tbsp.


Use the listed sugar substitutes in baking according to personal preference. While some will enjoy one substitute over another, others will enjoy an entirely different substitute. Try each one out and pick a favorite.


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