Reduced sugar baking Less sugar, still scrumptious

We understand that some sweet treats and desserts that are made for the gluten free diet can be high in sugar. That's why we set our fantastic Home Economist Louise to the hard task of creating delicious desserts that have taken a hit on sugar. 

Why is sugar a problem?

In 2015, the Government published a review which included recommendations on how we should improve our diets by cutting back on certain sugars.

Having a large amount of sugar within your diet can have a number of negative impacts to your health: 

  • Increases our calorie intake
  • Increased risk of tooth decay
  • Increase risk of type 2 diabetes. 

Public Health England recommend that the daily maximum intake of sugar should be restricted depending on your age. People over the age of 11 should not consume more than 30g of sugar per day — the equivalent of four teaspoons. 

Am I eating foods high or low in sugar? 

Not all gluten free foods are high in sugar, and you can check on the packaging whether the products you're buying are high or low in sugar. This is found within the nutritional values under "of which sugars".  

High: more than 22.5g of sugars per 100g 
Low: 5g or less of sugars per 100g

Why is sugar used in baking?


When you mix up a cake batter and beat sugar into fat, eggs, and other liquid ingredients, the sugar crystals cut into the mixture and create thousands of tiny air bubbles that lighten the batter. During baking, these bubbles expand and lift the batter, causing it to rise.

Colour and flavour

As sugar gets hot, it caramelises. This changes the colour of baked goods and develops the flavour. Caramelised sugar gives the golden-brown colour of many baked desserts.

Sugar adds crunch

In the heat of the oven, moisture evaporates from the surface of baked goods, allowing dissolved sugars to re-crystallise. This creates the crunchy, sweet crust.

We found that in most recipes, you can reduce the amount of sugar in a standard recipe by 10-20% without there being a noticeable effect on the end product.  

Alternatives to table sugars 

  • Xylitol
  • Brown Rice Syrup
  • Honey
  • Fruit – fresh, dried, tinned or frozen 

Find some low sugar inspiration below, let us know what you think!

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