Who doesn’t love eating cakes? They are one of the most popular desserts and for good reason. There is a lot of variety to be had in terms of flavors, ensuring that everyone can find something they like. One of the most important ingredients of a cake, which gives it its sweet taste, is none other than sugar. While it does an excellent job and eating it in small amounts is acceptable, there is no denying that sugar can have a lot of side-effects on your health. In fact, people with certain health conditions, such as diabetes, may not be able to eat cakes due to its high sugar content.
Luckily, there is the option of cutting down the sugar you add in your cakes. The only problem is that when people want to reduce the use of added sugar in their baking, they are unsure of where to start. Sure, these days you can find a ton of sugar substitutes, but these are quite expensive and cutting out sugar will definitely affect the taste of your cake. The good news is that Chef Ido Fishman knows how people can make the perfect and most tasty cake without any sugar.
But, before you can explore the options, it is important to understand the role sugar plays in your baking.
The Effects of Sugar on your Cake
Why do we add sugar to a cake? Yes, sugar does provide a sweet taste, but this is not all that it does. Sugar also affects the color and texture of the cake and how well it keeps. Cakes are able to stay moist after baking, all because of sugar. When you are making a completely zero sugar cake, it will dry out quickly, so you need to wrap the cooled cake in a cling film to ensure there is no moisture loss. Have you noticed some cakes have a golden-brown color? This is due to the brown and white sugar caramelizing as its cooking.
When you opt for other form of sweeteners like honey, they tend to brown faster and result in much darker cakes. You will have a pallid-looking cake if you go with artificial sweeteners because they don’t caramelize. Most importantly, a cake gets its airy and light texture because tiny air bubbles get trapped around the edges of the sugar crystals and they start expanding while the cake cooks.
Baking without Sugar
Of course, all cakes are meant to be sweet and the only way you can ensure that a cake has zero-sugar is by going with alternatives. Artificial sweeteners are an option, but most people don’t enjoy using them. Chef Ido Fishman explains that it is possible to make the perfect and most tasty zero sugar cake if you are ready to add other ingredients that can provide some sweetness. Some of the alternatives that you can try out are:
- You can use grated vegetables or ground almonds for making cakes. These allow you to add a more complicated texture to the cake, boost the flavor with their natural sweetness and also keep your cake moist.
- There is a lot of sugar in the icing and the best way to cut down sugar in a cake is by using less icing, fillings and buttercream. These are loaded with sugars and can actually triple the calories that can be found in a slice of cake.
- Chef Ido Fishman suggests that you try out sweeteners that have been especially developed in laboratories. Sucralose (found in Splenda), acesulfame K and aspartame (both found in Canderel) are the sweeteners used most commonly. Even though they are 200 to 650 times sweeter than table sugar, they tend to be calorie-free or low calorie, which makes them a good option for diabetics. They may have a bitter aftertaste and don’t help in incorporating air into the cake or in browning. However, the products that have been formulated especially for baking do comprise of other ingredients that can help in resolving some of these issues and can be used as an easy swap for sugar.
- Another alternative to consider is sugar alcohol. Rest assured, this cannot make you drunk. Sugar alcohols can be found in fruits and vegetables, but they are mostly produced industrially. You can use them as a direct swap for table sugar in heavy cakes, but for lighter ones, you should combine them with other ingredients. According to Chef Ido Fishman, Xylitol is probably the best option, but it boasts a minty taste due to which it shouldn’t be used for baking. Instead, it is used in chewing gums because it protects the tooth against decay.
Similar properties can be found in Sorbitol and Mannitol. Erythritol boasts a sweet, clean taste. It contains just 5% of the calories in table sugar, but 70% of its sweetness. Plus, it is not absorbed into the blood either, which means your blood sugar levels remain unaffected.
- To make zero sugar cake, you can also try natural sugars in the form of maple syrup or honey. Even though essentially they will be called sugar, they comprise of small amounts of trace minerals, vitamins and beneficial enzymes. When you opt for natural sugars, Chef Ido Fishman says it will produce dark, heavy cakes, but they also improve the flavor. Nonetheless, since maple syrup and honey are 20% water, you will have to cut the liquid elsewhere when making the cake batter like using less egg whites.
You can use 20 to 25% less honey, since it is sweeter than table sugar. It contains both glucose and fructose, but the ratio depends on the kind of honey you use. The fructose-glucose ratio in maple syrup is similar to table sugar, but the taste is less sweet. However, you should remember that most of the products that are sold as maple syrup are not the genuine thing. They are manufactured with the use of cheaper syrups and are flavored to resemble actual maple syrup, but in reality they are not. Bear in mind that actual maple syrup is quite expensive.
Making a Chocolate Cake with No Sugar
Now that you know what alternatives you can use in place of sugar, it is now time to make a chocolate cake with zero sugar. Chef Ido Fishman has mentioned some tools you will need below, along with the recipe that you can try for maing the perfect and delicious zero sugar cake:
Tools for Making the Cake
- A stand mixer (a hand mixer can work, but a stand mixer makes your task easier)
- A beater blade with scraper
- Cake spatula for a nice and smooth frosting
- A 9’’ round cake pan
- Cake plate
- Wire cooling racks
Chocolate Layer Cake:
- 1 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ¾ cups Splenda zero calorie sweetener
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup canola oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
- 1 ounces sugar free chocolate pudding (1 large box)
- 8 ounces Little Cool Whip
- 8 ounces softened cream cheese
- 1 ½ cups milk
Instructions for Making the Cake
Step 1: Chef Ido Fishman instructs that you preheat the oven to 350 degrees first. Take 2 round 9-inch cake plans and grease and flour them.
Step 2: To make the cake, add baking soda, Splenda, flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa in a bowl and mix them well.
Step 3: Use the stand mixer for mixing vanilla, eggs, oil and buttermilk together. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the mixture of dry ingredients. Put in the coffee and make sure that everything has combined. The batter should be very thin.
Step 4: Take the pans you have prepared and pour the cake batter in them. Bake the cake for about 25 minutes or insert a toothpick in the middle to see if it comes out clean. Stop baking if it is clean.
Step 5: Place the cakes on a cooling rack. You can make the frosting while the cakes are cooling.
Instructions for Making the Frosting
Step 1: Here, Chef Ido Fishman recommends that you use a hand mixer for whipping the softened cream cheese in a large bowl until it is creamy and smooth. Then, you can set it aside.
Step 2: Take another bowl and now mix the sugar free pudding and milk together. Whisk these until they are smooth.
Step 3: One spoonful at a time, start adding the pudding to the cream cheese. Make sure you beat between every addition. Don’t add the pudding too quickly or it will not mix well.
Step 4: Once all the pudding has been added, you should fold in the whipped topping and mix it together gently until it is combined completely.
Assemble the Cake:
- Place one layer of the cake on a plate.
- Take 1 to 1 ½ cups of frosting and spoon and smooth it over the first layer of the cake.
- Now, put the second layer of the cake on top.
- Frost the outside and top of the cake with the leftover frosting.
- Put the cake into the refrigerator until you want to serve. Keep the cake cold because the frosting will soften and start melting, as it is at room temperature.
Making a Vanilla Cake with No Sugar
If you don’t want to make a chocolate cake with zero-sugar, you can try out a vanilla cake. Chef Ido Fishman has shared a recipe below to help you in making the perfect and mouth-watering cake:
- 1 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons of melted butter (unsalted)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup sugar substitute like Splenda
- 1 cup skim milk
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
Instructions for Making the Cake
- Mix the vinegar and milk together and let it sit for 10 minutes. (It turns into buttermilk)
- Use a spoon for mixing it after 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Use a nonstick spray to spray a 6-inch cake pan.
- Add some flour inside the pan and round it over the whole surface.
- Take a bowl and mix salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar substitute and the flour together.
- Take another bowl and mix the eggs until they are foamy. Then add the butter and mix them together until it becomes creamy.
- Alternate adding the dry mixture and buttermilk in 2 to 3 batches. Always start and finish with the dry ingredients. Mix properly after every addition.
- Now, it is time to add the mix and the vanilla extract.
- Take the prepared pan and pour the cake batter in it.
- Let the cake bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or you can also do the toothpick check to be sure.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to rest for about 20 minutes on the cooling rack.
- Unmold the cake and let it cool fully before putting any frosting.
- When the cake is completely cool, you can make two layers by slicing it in the middle.
For adding chocolate frosting to the cake or any other flavor, Chef Ido Fishman recommends that you follow the steps outlined above. The same steps should also be followed for assembly of the cake. The quantity of the ingredients you use and the time taken for set aside for baking will depend on the size of the cake. If you are making a bigger cake, you would obviously need more ingredients and will also need to give the cake more time to bake. As long as you follow the recipes, you will have no trouble in making the most perfect zero sugar cake, which is not only good for your health, but also tastes just as good.