Help me make splendid goodies with Splenda!
November 7, 2007 12:47 PM   Subscribe

BakingFilter: Who here has used Splenda Baking Mix as a sugar substitute in baking?

'Tis getting to be that time of year when I'll be breaking out the cookie sheets and baking pans and doing my annual holiday bake-a-thon. I send cookies, quickbreads and other goodies to my gift list; I'm also the designated pumpkin-pie-baker for Thanksgiving. This year, I'm thinking of trying that half-Splenda, half-sugar "Splenda Baking Mix."

Any tips, tricks and general advice from those who have used the Splenda Baking Mix before? I want to be sure that my baked goodies still look and taste scrumptious.
posted by Rosie M. Banks to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Effects fluffy things. Cake becomes heavier.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:50 PM on November 7, 2007

Also, won't carmelize the same, so I'd skip the pecan pie or pralines.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:50 PM on November 7, 2007

Best answer: As a sweetener for things like a pie filling, it's probably fine.

Anything like batter or dough suffers to some degree. Not to the extent that you can't serve the thing, but, as AV says, it impacts the lightness of cookies and cakes and such. It also leaves a slight-but-noticeable aftertaste, like most any artificial sweetener.

For people who have serious need to cut back on sugar, it's an acceptable substitute, but that's all.
posted by briank at 1:03 PM on November 7, 2007

Best answer: I don't do any baking but I make a *lot* of raw desserts. I don't use sugar but have used all of these natural sweeteners, depending on the scenario:

- maple syrup powder
- agave nectar
- date paste
- maple syrup
- stevia (available in powder or liquid)

Perhaps one will suit your purpose
posted by dobbs at 1:28 PM on November 7, 2007 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Already some terrific advice. Thank you very much!

I think I'll just use the Splenda Blend in the pumpkin pie, and in the cookies I'm making for a friend whose husband is diabetic. (They're my dear friends, so they don't really care what the cookies look like anyway.)

Other than that - since these goodies are for gifts, and it's important to me that they look good and that my banana bread doesn't substitute for a doorstop, I'll probably stick with plain old sugar.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 1:29 PM on November 7, 2007

If you make anything with yeast, be sure to add a few teaspoons of real sugar or the little critters will starve and not give you fluffy bread.

Adding a little more baking soda to the mix will help with the heaviness, but it may taste a little "off". Then again, using fake sugar makes goodies taste funny, too.

Splenda has a pumpkin pie recipe, don't know if you found that. Looks tasty. Mmm...
posted by idiotfactory at 1:30 PM on November 7, 2007

Response by poster: Dobbs, I have a recipe for "chocolate chip date cake" - handed down from my grandmother - which uses dates to substitute for much of the sugar (it was originally a wartime recipe, I believe). It's unbelievably scrumptious. And plain old dried dates are a dessert in themselves. Thank you for the suggestions of other sweeteners.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 1:31 PM on November 7, 2007

I'm diabetic--though I've had more baked for me than done it myself--and I think the baking splenda comes out fine. It's not going to be just like Grandma made, but it beats giving in to my sweet tooth on the real thing.

I'm sure you're husband's friend will be appreciative.
posted by stevis23 at 1:37 PM on November 7, 2007

Anywhere where the recipe relies on sugar to achieve a texture or effect a chemical change in the final result (Ambrosia mentions some of the obvious ones, I can think of meringue as another example), don't use artificial sweetener of any kind.

As a habitual user of the little yellow packets, a few other points:
1) don't use artificial sweeteners of any kind in something where the taste will be really obvious, like Jello, tea and the like. Baking it into a cake is probably OK, but *will* subtly mess with the flavour.

2) If you use one brand, stick to one brand. Mixing your sweeteners has an amplifying effect on the sweetness level. You will achieve a way sweeter taste than you bargained for, and the wierd taste to go with it.
posted by LN at 1:37 PM on November 7, 2007

A few years ago, Splenda was giving out gingerbread men in Herald Square.

Not. Delicious.

Too hard, weird sweetness.
posted by unknowncommand at 1:49 PM on November 7, 2007

I've used it to make a Sticky Toffee Cake. The date cake was maybe a little denser than when made with plain white sugar, but since it ends up soaked in the brown sugar sauce it didn't taste noticeably different.

Why not make a pumpkin pie with Splenda now and see if you like it? Or, make two, one with sugar and one with Splenda, and see how they differ. I'm sure you can give away the extra pie...
posted by nicwolff at 1:55 PM on November 7, 2007

Best answer: My mom does this, she is constantly trying to sneak it by me when I come and visit at Thanksgiving. I can always taste Splenda and it tastes like chemicals to me -- it doesn't matter what she uses it in, or if she uses half Splenda/half sugar. I'm sure there is some small portion she could sub-in for sugar, but at that point, why bother?

If you start with fresh pumkin that you bake in the oven, you hardly have to add any sugar at all to the pie. Also, you can add honey to dobb's list.
posted by Eringatang at 1:55 PM on November 7, 2007

A friend brought in some pumpkin pie today, and it was a lot sweeter than I make it. Real sugar tastes good, but you can use less in things like pie. With cookies and muffins, you can sometimes cut sugar, but it affects texture as well, so you have to test 1st.
posted by theora55 at 2:18 PM on November 7, 2007

Response by poster: I've always thought fresh pumpkin was too much work...BUT I now live near two farmer's markets (lucky me!) and since fresh pumpkin tastes so much better, and I can support my local farmers at the same time, maybe I'll go the fresh-pumpkin route for my pie this year. It sounds like I can cut way down on the sugar, or even use honey or maple syrup/powder for an interesting twist, and still have a delicious pie.

Other than that, it sounds like the general consensus is ix-nay on the Enda-splay except for when I bake for my friend with the diabetic husband.

Thanks again, everyone!
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 2:35 PM on November 7, 2007

I don't taste an aftertaste with Splenda, so I use it in a lot of stuff not only for my diabetic father-not-in-law but for myself, and for things like fruit pies, cheesecake, pumpkin pie or as an additive to whipped cream, it's A-OK. Of course, you will notice that these things are high in other sorts of calories or sugars. Fate is cruel.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:43 PM on November 7, 2007

i'm not a fan of splenda in most desserts, but i love it in coffee and oatmeal. if you can use honey or agave nectar, that would be much better.
posted by thinkingwoman at 3:00 PM on November 7, 2007

The after taste is actually the non-sweetening fillers that are added to make the measurements more comparable to sugar. Consider "liquid sucralose" as an option for sweetening (note: not the same as the DaVinci flavored syrups and simple syrup. It's pure and is highly concentrated). I can't tell the difference when the liquid is used.
posted by answergrape at 4:11 PM on November 7, 2007

Oh, and for the pumpkin pie.... whip the egg whites and fold them into the ingredients. It preserves the texture better.
posted by answergrape at 4:11 PM on November 7, 2007

I'm with mom also sneaks the Splenda blend into stuff, specifically her sweet potato casserole, and I can always tell. It just tastes artificial to me. Bleh.
posted by missuswayne at 5:10 PM on November 7, 2007

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