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Sugar Substitutes, Sugar Substitutions, How to Substitute Sugar in your Baking

How to Substitute Sugar in your Baking & FREE Substitutes Chart!

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Hi Bold Bakers!

Welcome to my Bold Baking Bootcamp. This is episode 2 in a limited series that covers baking 101. I’m going back to basics here and starting from the very beginning (it’s a very good place to start lalala) with really easy and useful tips to help you become a better Bold Baker!

Last week I shared a Free Downloadable Weight Conversion Chart that allows you to easily convert ingredients from cups to grams to ounces in your recipes. Growing up in Ireland if a recipe was in cups then I couldn’t make it. So, no matter what metric you use or country you live in you should never come across a recipe now that you can’t make. With Bigger Bold Baking having such an international audience it’s really important to me that not only my recipes, but all recipes are accessible to you. Preferably, they would all be my recipes. Smiley face.

Now, I’m going to share with you how to substitute white sugar for other sugars with my easy to follow chart. Nowadays people like to use more all natural sugars like maple syrup or stevia so I’m going to show you how you can substitute it for white sugar in all of your baking.

To replace 1 cup of white sugar you can substitute it for 3/4 cup honey, or 3/4 cups maple syrup or 2/3 cup agave or 1 teaspoon stevia. Take care to fully read the chart because there are tips below the measurements about adjusting  the liquid used in the recipe if you choose to use the liquid sugars like agave, honey or maple syrup. Likewise if you use stevia, you will also need to make adjustments to make up the weight of the sugar left out.


Sugar Substitutes, Best Sugar Substitutes, Sugar Substitutions, Best Sugar Substitutes Chart, Gemma Stafford, Bigger Bolder Baking, Bold Baking Bootcamp, Bold Baking Basics

Last week’s Bold Baking Bootcamp was a Weight Conversion Chart. Stay tuned for Episode 3 next week when I show you Flour Alternatives for your Baking.

Remember to SHARE this chart with someone who you think would find it helpful. It’s easy to follow, printable and best of all, it’s FREE.

Baking Conversion Chart, Weight Conversion Chart for Baking, Weight Conversion Chart, Gemma Stafford, Bigger Bolder Baking, Bold Baking Basics, Bold Baking Bootcamp, Baking 101, Baking Basics

I created this Sugar Substitutes Chart based on version I found on  .


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Katherine Cowgill by Teren Oddo Oct. 2015

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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  1. Tahira Akhtar on October 17, 2018 at 11:36 am

    Is brown sugar better (healthier) than white sugar? Is it the same? Can I use that as a substitute?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 18, 2018 at 8:01 am

      Hi Tahira,
      brown sugar is slightly more nutritious than white sugar. Choose an organic one where possible too as the process for making it is kinder to the sugar and to you. Depending on where you live you may be able to find unrefined sugars such as Jaggery in India and Pakistan, and this again is a healthier option.
      Brown sugar tends to be more acid too, and more moist, so actually is a great addition to your baking. First off though take a look in your store at the labels, then satisfy yourself about the process, they are not all equal,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Ros on October 14, 2018 at 3:53 am

    I need to substitute a low-sugar/sweetener for 400g of caster sugar in a Nigella chocolate cake recipe. What do you recommend and how much should I add?

    • Gemma Stafford on October 16, 2018 at 3:43 am

      Hi Ros,
      This is a bit of a dilemma. You are coming to this at a time when there are a number of great alternative sugars available. Here we use one called Lakanto, but there is Truvia, and Swerve, really all much the same thing, using either monk fruit or stevia for the sweetness, and an alcohol sugar such as erythritol or xylitol, which will caramelize, and behave like real sugar in a bake. Stevia and Monk fruit will not caramelize on their own, this really matters in baking, but will be great in drinks and some puddings/custards etc. Do a little research into these products, they are a little expensive at the moment, but for you it would be so worth it!
      I hope this is of help, these things are widely available now, sell them too,
      Gemma 🙂

  3. Marilyn Foster on September 29, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Hi Gemma: do you have a chart that compares the variety of artificial/natural sugar replacements for baking (one that compares Stevia/Truvia/xylitol etc. as opposed to agave, syrup etc. Also is there a chart that compares flours like coconut and almond and peanut flour in recipes. I apologize if I’m missing them, but am looking forward to your response

    • Gemma Stafford on October 1, 2018 at 11:49 am

      Hi Marilyn,
      No! But we will get to it. The big brand gluten free, all purpose flours are generally a blend. The blend is generally useful for a lot of baking.
      A single alternative flour is difficult to work with for all baking, and the balance between almond flour and coconut flour for instance will change according to a recipe, it is a conundrum. One cup of almond flour to 1/4 cup of coconut flour seems to work well in a lot of situations, but you cannot generalize.
      The sugar one is rather more easy to get to grips with, and it is down to the purpose of the sugar in a bake.
      Get to know your sugar alternatives, what they do, and how they work in a recipe.
      Stevia is a great sugar alternative, and xylitol/splenda/truvia etc. but they are different to each other.
      In order to condense milk need to be able to caramelize, that is what it is, a step on the way to a caramel, like the soft ball stage.
      Therefore the subs you use need to be able to caramelize, and none of the above will do this.
      Agave/honey/maple syrup will caramelize, but they are high in Fructose, so it is important to know this.
      New age sugar substitutes use natural sweeteners like monk fruit and stevia, combined with alcohol sugars like xylitol and erythritol which will caramelize. This is important in baking as they brown and crisp a bake, giving a good authentic result, without the calories. Swerve/Truvia/Lakanto are examples of this type of sugar substitute.
      One of the lovely bold bakers Karen took the trouble to write this too, here homemade sugar sub:
      Weight measurements:
      12 oz. erythritol
      16 oz. xylitol
      2 tsp. Better Stevia
      Cup measurements:
      1 1/2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. erythritol
      2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. xylitol
      2 tsp. Better Stevia
      Process in food processor for a few minutes if you plan on using this in beverages or icing. For baking, you can just mix it together by hand.
      I’ve only been blending this when needed, right before using it in recipes. I put a huge mason jar on my kitchen scale and just pour in the weight amounts of xylitol and erythritol and measure in the stevia. Then shake it really well.
      If you want it sweeter, add 1 or 2 tsp more stevia. Can also try 1 cup erythritol and 1 tsp stevia, no xylitol.
      So, it is a learning curve. Lakanto do a maple syrup type sugar sub: take a look at this one, it may help too.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Brad Green on September 25, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    I have recipes to make red velvet and chocolate mini bundt cakes using cane sugar. I need to find a diabetic friendly sugar substitute for these recipes, and was hoping you could recommend a product I could use. A 1 for 1 substitute would be ideal so that I can continue to produce the same number of mini bundt cakes, but am willing to produce fewer cakes for the sake of taste. Any help would be greatly appreciated.



    • Gemma Stafford on September 26, 2018 at 10:21 am

      Hi Brad,
      You are coming to this at a time when there are a number of great alternative sugars available. Here we use one called Lakanto, but there is Truvia, and Swerve, really all much the same thing, using either monk fruit or stevia for the sweetness, and an alcohol sugar such as erythritol or xylitol, which will caramelize, and behave like real sugar in a bake. Stevia and Monk fruit will not caramelize on their own, but will be great in drinks and some puddings/custards etc. Do a little research into these products, they are a little expensive at the moment, but for you it would be so worth it!
      Most bakes, including the bundt cake, rely on the bulk of the sugar as well as the flavor. It has a number of functions in a bake, depending on the recipe.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Mhill on September 6, 2018 at 8:59 am

    i have just purchased sugar sub, made with monk fruit from a company called Lananko, not sure i spelled that right anyway. I would like to know how to substitute that for receipe for agava nectar in baking/

    • Gemma Stafford on September 7, 2018 at 7:47 am

      Hi there,
      This is a great sugar substitute for your baking. Generally it can be used pro rata with the sugar suggested in a recipe. They make a syrup too, and when you have a moment add this to your store cupboard too. The beauty of this product is that it will caramelize in your baking, and this is really important.
      how you use it depends on the recipe. You may need a little more of this product than you would use of agave, but I would be reluctant to give a blanket rule for this. About 1/3 more Lakanto than the liquid sugar, but you need to experiment a bit with it.
      Not much help I know, but you will sort it out, you cannot go too far wrong,
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Tammy Laguna on August 23, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    When you say to decrease liquid by 3-4 tablespoons when using honey, maple syrup or agave, do you mean the eggs, or the oil? I’m trying to bake a zucchini bread for a diabetic client, but the recipe calls for eggs & oil. Thank you Gemma!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 24, 2018 at 6:46 am

      Hi Tammy,
      Really this is recipe dependent. For this recipe I would not reduce the oil or eggs, but I would sub the sugar. Substitute one cup of sugar with 1/2 – 3/4 cup of honey, and choose the smaller amount when substituting more that one cup of sugar.
      For this recipe there is one cup/8ozs sugar. Remember that sugar dissolves in a recipe to become a liquid too, so replace that with 1/2 cup of sugar. Honey is actually sweeter than honey too. Think about it like that and you will not go wrong,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Dee Hanten on August 23, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    I recently found your website…am trying to lose weight on the low carb diet…trying is the operative word here!!! I’m 83 years old, not the most active person, so it’s a slow process. I have a sweet tooth, so the sugar substitutes interest me. In regard to the jam I need to add applesauce to make up for the lack of bulk? Home baked bread is one of my downfalls, but, I have that covered with my almond, coconut flours. Some homemade jam on top sounds very appetizing! Very much enjoy this site….keep up the good work!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 24, 2018 at 8:37 am

      Hi Dee,
      Actually you have asked a great question, and am happy you did.
      The issue with stevia is that it will not react with the pectin in the fruit to set the jam. Apple would add the pectin to a low pectin fruit, but you need the sugar. I think what would work for you is xylitol or erythritol. These are sugars extracted from grain and fruit alcohols. They are not alcoholic though, so you will not get drunk on the jam!
      Using this type of sugar, and adding apple would ensure the set I think. You can make a pectin syrup too using apple or pear cores, seeds and skins, cover with water, simmer them gently for 30 mins or so, strain and refrigerate. Use this to help to set the jam, it is like a science experiment and you are never too old to experiment!
      Than kyou for being here with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  8. Kate on August 23, 2018 at 10:31 am

    HI Gemma. Would it be possible for you to include xylitol in your Sugar-substitutes chart please?
    Thanks so much.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 24, 2018 at 8:46 am

      Hi Kate,
      We will revise this chart soon, or add an extra note for the new age sweeteners. Xylitol and erythritol are really useful for baking as they are generally use 1:1 as sugar subs, and will caramelize. Leave it with me, we will get to it.
      Olivia, my culinary assistant, is my low carb queen, and she like Lakanto, a combination of erythritol and stevia I think.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  9. vaishnavi naik on August 21, 2018 at 12:34 am when u say to replace do I decide how much to add to replace the bulk to make sure recipe doesn’t get flawed…

    • Gemma Stafford on August 21, 2018 at 2:48 am

      Hi there,
      This is a good question! It is a particularly good question if you are also using an egg substitute.
      The suggested substitute for the bulk of the sugar when using STEVIA, or Monk fruit, is applesauce or banana puree. Then you use it in the amount suggested for sugar in the recipe.
      The new age sweeteners, such as Lakanto/Swerve/Truvia, which combine stevia or monk fruit with an alcohol sugar such as erythritol already have the bulk of the sugar, and can be used 1:1 for the sugar amount. The beauty of these is that they will caramelize in a bake, and this is really important, for browning, for crisping, thickening etc.
      So, these alcohol sugars can be used on their own too, xylitol is another example. Do a little research into these, they will be a great addition to your larder, especially if you have a health reason to use them. By the way, alcohol sugars are made from a number of fruit and grain sources.
      I hope this is of help to you,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Lore on August 11, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    Will agave nectar work well in place of white sugar in waffle recipes?

    • Gemma Stafford on August 11, 2018 at 11:38 pm

      Hi Lore,
      I do not see why it wouldn’t!
      It is a liquid sugar, but I think it will not affect the liquids in the recipe either. You could perhaps reduce the quantity a little, the recipe calls for 1/4 cup of sugar, which is about 4 tablespoons, reduce to 3 tablespoons, and I think it will be great.
      I hope this helps!
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Kat on August 8, 2018 at 9:02 am

    Hi Gemma:

    Swerve is Erythritol.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 9, 2018 at 6:36 am

      Hi Kat,
      Yes, mainly, with some other ingredients. Erythritol is an alcohol sugar, in this case from a corn source, though there are other sources of sugar alcohols.
      Some new age sweeteners are made with a combination of sugar alcohols, ans natural sweeteners such as monk fruit and stevia.
      Erythritol allows the sugar to caramelize, and this is also useful in baking,
      Gemma 🙂

  12. Alan gray on July 24, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    So if i use stevia in my fruit pies what products do i use to make up bulk

    • Gemma Stafford on July 25, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      apple sauce is a great thing to bulk up recipes when leaving out sugar. It doesn’t taste like much and it gives volume.


  13. Dyane on July 23, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Thank you Gemma!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 23, 2018 at 5:40 pm

      Glad you like it, Dyane.


  14. Lila Salvador on July 22, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    Can i use STEVIA Gemma ?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 23, 2018 at 1:53 am

      Hi Lila,
      Yes, but it depends on the recipe, and the purpose of the sugar.
      Olivia, my assistant, and I are working on a series of sugar free baking, which you will begin to see soon.
      Stevia is a fabulous sugar substitute, super sweet, and need to be handled carefully in baking. Sugar has bulk, and this needs to be replaced when using stevia, and this is usually with something like applesauce. A bigger challenge is where the sugars in a recipe are about caramelizing the bake, to provide color and crispness, as in cookies. Then you need an additional ingredient, such as xylitol/Erythritol, alcohol sugars, which are not so sweet, but will caramelize. It is science! There are developed products now which have these components, monk fruit extract/xylitol, stevia/erythritol, truvia being just one.
      So, a long answer, but it is important to understand that sugar has more than one purpose in a recipe when selecting the substitute.
      I hope this is of help,
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Dyane on July 20, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Hi Gemma,
    Didn’t really get a clarification…the stevia you showed in the bowl on the video re: your sugar substitutes looked granulated not powdered….the powdered one is just pure stevia, so the measurement is A LOT DIFFERENT. could you please clarify

    • Gemma Stafford on July 22, 2018 at 3:38 pm

      Hi Dyane,

      I gave the measurement for granulated because that is what I used. I’m sure maybe it is different for the powdered kind but I don’t know what that is as I didn’t use it.


  16. Bunny on July 20, 2018 at 7:19 am

    I’ve been buying Swerve sugar substitutes for: granulated white sugar, brown sugar, and confectioners’ sugar. My diabetic clients love that I can use my regular recipes now, for their cakes, and other people can’t taste any difference in the diabetic cakes. I use my mix-in-the-pan cake recipes (that have no eggs or milk products) and my regular buttercream frostings. The local health food store is the only place I can find the Swerve brand sugar substitutes.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 20, 2018 at 7:50 am

      Hi Bunny,
      That is really interesting, well done you, there is a big demand for for this type of baking. Now you can answer a question for me.
      It is important for many recipes that the substitute used should caramelize, for browning, crisping, flavor etc. Will swerve caramelize for you?
      Xylitol/eryhtitol and other alcohol sugars seem to do so. Erythritol is a component of swerve, but I have not used it, and will be interested to hear about your experience in this regard.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

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