Substituting sweeteners for sugar can affect recipes in a variety of ways

Published 9:10 am Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Question: Can I substitute Splenda for the sugar in my daughter’s favorite carrot soufflé? I’m making it for her birthday, but since my husband has been diagnosed with diabetes, I’ve been trying to reduce the sugar in everything I cook.
Answer: Hat’s off to you, sister — your daughter is eating carrots, and loving it. That alone makes you a super Mom. Then, to add to that, you are trying to adjust your cooking and recipes to help your husband manage his diabetes! Super Woman — what are you out to prove? You’ve got a great recipe for Carrot Souffle that your daughter loves. Why, mess it up? Give your husband a smaller serving and count it as part of his daily carbohydrate limit. Diabetics can eat anything — in moderation, and with planning their diets.
And it’s a soufflé — of all things! There’s no dish that’s more intimidating, more fear-inducing, more downright terrifying than the soufflé. Because a soufflé calls for only a handful of ingredients, it would appear to be simple. But it requires the exact measurements, precise combination of ingredients, the perfect whipping and folding of egg whites, the exact cooking temperatures and time — and a touch of magic.
There are a lot of concerns that come to mind about making changes to a proven soufflé recipe.
1. Will heat affect the sweetness of the artificial sweetener? Unlike other sweeteners, Splenda is sucralose which does hold up to heat and can be used in cooking and baking.
2. Will the substitution allow reaching the volume and height that soufflés are famous for?
No, probably not. Try adding 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda for every 1 cup of Splenda you use.
3. Will it affect the texture? In recipes where the amount of sugar is quite high, sugar often contributes significantly to the structure and texture. So you’ll get the best results when you only replace about 25 percent of the sugar required with Splenda.
4. What about the color of the finished product? In baking, sugar caramelizes to produce the familiar golden brown color of baked goods so goods made with little or no sugar do not brown like recipes made with sugar.
5. Will it affect the baking time? Yes, baked goods made with Splenda may bake more quickly than those made with sugar.
So — Can you? Probably. But should you? If you love a challenge — and aren’t afraid of failure — go ahead! Have fun — and pass on your secret for getting kids to eat their vegetables!
Vickie Clark is the Director of the Carter County UT Extension Office and also serves as the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent. If you have questions or need any information related to Family and Consumer Science contact her at the UT Extension Carter County, 824 East Elk Ave., Elizabethton, call 542-1818 or email at

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