Ingredients to substitute sugar like honey, dates, vanilla laid on a table

It’s a fact, a large part of the people love desserts. On the spot, we are happy, and then the moment comes when we feel guilty. It’s happening to you too, be honest? So, to avoid crying after gorging oneself with a full box of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, I have the solution. You may know a few tricks, but maybe you’ll learn some of them. Here are 10 ingredients to substitute sugar with and be healthier.

Why sugar is not your friend!

There are many alternatives to caster sugar. Honey, agave syrup, xylitol, date purée etc. are all-natural sugars that are ideal for replacing caster sugar in your desserts. Caster sugar is one of the most commonly used ingredients in baking, but unfortunately, it is far from being the healthiest ingredient. Obtained through many industrial processes, it is also considered a drug by many doctors (really, am I drugged?) because it contains a large amount of sucrose, an element that is harmful to the body. Refined caster sugar is a sugar that has gone through a refining step. This stage removes all the vitamins and minerals naturally present in the sugar. It is then necessary to find alternatives to caster sugar – natural is even better – and avoid over-consumption.

10 ingredients to say goodbye to sugar

1. Honey

Honey has a higher sweetening power than caster sugar, did you know that? So, 50 g of honey represents 100 g of caster sugar, interesting point! On the bright side, honey gives an original touch to your waffles, crepes or cottage cheese.

2. Vanilla

Vanilla brings a sweet and light taste to your recipes. This natural aroma is ideal for enhancing the flavours of your preparations. You can easily use it in a chocolate mousse recipe. In the same way, you can use orange blossom extract or mint leaves. Personally, I love adding vanilla extract in my granola or in my cakes. It’s bringing a little special something.

3. Fructose

Fructose is the sugar naturally present in the fruit. It is easily used in preparations because it is present in powder form. Comparatively, 100 g of sugar equals to only 60 g of fructose! Another advantage: its glycemic index is lower.

4. Agave syrup

This syrup comes from the sap of a cactus, the agave, and it is incredible!  It has the advantage of having a neutral taste, unlike maple syrup, which is excellent for testing a recipe for strawberry charlotte without sugar or a delicious nutty cake. Good news, its sweetening power is 3 times higher than caster sugar. It is a good reason to use 3 times less sugar!

5. Malt syrup

Malt syrup is produced from the fermentation of barley grains and can be used just like honey. Its sweet taste is less pronounced, but it has a high nutritional value. It is suitable for both sweet and savoury recipes. Isn’t it amazing?

6. Stevia

Stevia is a plant that naturally contains sugar. Like xylitol, its sweetening power is much higher than that of caster sugar. Stevia is the most common sugar replacement people use – in coffees, tea and more. You can also, for example, use stevia to prepare your homemade yoghurts. With Stevia, no more calories in your pastries!

7. Dates puree

Dates are ideal as an adequate substitute for caster sugar. They are naturally sweet and provide an excellent source of energy, especially with vitamin C and almost 70% carbohydrates. You just need to reduce it to a purée and uses it in equal proportions to caster sugar. Sugar-free chocolate cakes are yours. You can vary with other dried fruits, such as apricots or prunes, which can be used in the same way.

Ingredients to substitute sugar like honey, dates, vanilla laid on a table

8. Maple syrup

Produced from the sap of the maple tree, Maple syrup is highly appreciated by Canadians and has a unique taste. It has a sweetening power superior to caster sugar. For 100 g of sugar, you only need 50 g of maple syrup.

9. Xylitol

Obtained from birch bark, this natural sugar has a sweeter taste than caster sugar. It is, therefore, possible to reduce the quantities consumed of this sugar, much less caloric than caster sugar. An effective way to say goodbye to dental caries!!

10. Coconut sugar

Although it has a slightly caramelized taste, coconut sugar is perfect for replacing caster sugar in pastries. Plus, it is simple to use because one dose of coconut sugar is equivalent to one dose of caster sugar.


Spices don’t replace sugar but can slip into some of your pastry preparations such as cinnamon, star anise or nutmeg, they will give more flavour and put sugar aside for sure! It is the last but not least of tricks, don’t forget it! 😉

Now, it’s time to change your actual diet and use these 10 ingredients to substitute sugar with and be healthier!

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