Food & Drink Magazine

Diabetic Friendly Cakes.

By Bakerquigs @bakerquigs
So the cupcake challenge has been building momentum and I've quite a few scrumptious ideas filling up my inbox at the moment (If you are still in the dark about our cupcake challenge then go to this link and get participating; you do not want to pass on the chance for free cupcakes surely
Interestingly a lovely lady I know got in touch and asked about Diabetic friendly cakes and cupcakes, being new to the world of baking I started my own research in to different recipes available and the different health affects of sugar vs sweetener vs sweetening aids. There is a whole host of information out there and recipes galore.
Although I am by no means an expert I thought it would be good to share my new found knowledge with you as I really have learnt quite a lot. Firstly the biggest impression I have been left with is no matter what alternative you use there is still variables to be taken into consideration, even if we remove all the granulated sugar and replaced with a sweetener alternative there is the carbohydrate factor which would be just as damaging to glucose levels for a diabetic sufferer as sugar, so in short it is not as simple as one sugar free cake fitting all. Alternative to flour that have been suggested so far are a wholegrain flour or rice flour these are great alternatives (healthier then white flour too) but you would need to allow for the coarser bulk agent and introduce more moisture from another ingredient.
The Diabetes U.K website has been a great source of information one of their suggestions is to remove the sugars completely and replace the sweetness with fresh fruit, again it has to be fresh as dried fruit is highly concentrated with fructose sugar that would wreak havoc for diabetes sufferers. On a bakery term this greatly reduces the shelf lives of our cakes and although that is fine for ourselves as we bake to order I couldn't see a smaller shop based bakery being able to produce this for display and buy as it would probably last just a day.
As for replacing the sugars with sweeteners there are several U.K licensed artificial sweeteners that can be used but again many of these have a laxative effect and so can only be eaten in moderation. The best way to keep the sweetness is by using a sugar alternative like the lovely agave syrup (great in a Margarita) or honey sparingly and again increasing the fruit content, but the agave syrup and honey will still have an effect on blood sugar levels and therefore again they should be consumed in moderation.
The conclusion I am coming to myself is that a diabetic friendly cake only allows them to have a generous portion as opposed to a sliver of a non friendly cake, it will still incur some kind of monitoring and therefore the only cakes available for a diabetic sufferer are friendlier but not an out right replacement.
We would love to know what recipes you are using out there as there is such a myriad of ways to cook a diabetic friendlier cake, I Will include some that I have found please let us know how you get on and again please be careful and know that even a friendlier version can only be eaten in moderate amounts and with careful monitoring!
All recipes and most of the information used have been taken from the Diabetes UK website which has extremely useful information in all aspects of life for people suffering with Diabetes Please take a look.
Chocolate Brownies
This Link is for a chocolate Brownie recipe incorporating ground almonds and beetroot amongst other sumptuousness would be delicious for anyone, might try this one out this weekend!
Individual Pear Crumbles with Creme Fraiche....Yummy!!
Lemon and Lime Sponge with Passion Fruit Topping
A great summer treat for anybody...and if you make this PLEASE send me some!
Thank you for taking a look I hope you found this interesting please get in touch with any comments or feedback you may have!
Nicola Quigley

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