Baking Without Sugar; today we are experimenting in the Maverick Baking kitchen, can you really bake a cake without sugar? Let’s see if Natvia can help us answer that question!
You read that right. Today we are baking without sugar.
Can it be done? Can you bake a cake without sugar??
Today’s experiment is courtesy of Natvia who were kind enough to gift me some of their natural sweetener to try out! They sent me a sample of their tea/coffee sweetener tablets and a canister of their finely granulated baking sweetener too. The former didn’t take much working out, but I was really intrigued by the baking sweetener.
I decided the only fair way to test out the baking sweetener was in a like-by-like comparison. If I simply made a cake using just the sweetener, my internal subconscious bias would probably have swayed the results, and that wouldn’t be a fair review. It was time to preheat the oven and get some little cakes cooking!
As our flat only houses two people, making two full-sized cakes seemed excessive, so today we are comparing two little 4 inch sandwich cakes. Both are a traditional Victoria sandwich style cake, flavoured with a little lemon zest and sandwich with a thin layer of lemon curd.
Both cakes were made in EXACTLY the same way. Same measurements, same baking tin, same cooking time, same part of the oven, and sandwiched with the same (granted, not sugar-free) lemon curd. This had to be a fair test!
In a large bowl, I used an all-in-one method to mix the ingredients together for each cake.
I pour the mixtures into two prepared 4 inch tins and baked for roughly 25 minutes until golden and risen.
I allowed the cakes to cool in the tins for 15 minutes before removing and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.
Then I carefully cut the cakes in half, before spreading and sandwiching with lemon curd.
Time to taste test!
If you want to watch my taste test, reaction and review of this sugar-free baking experiment, click here to watch the video on my YouTube channel!
- Even rise
- Golden colour
- Consistent crumb
Like a typical Victoria sandwich cake, moist and fluffy texture throughout.
- Lightly lemony
- Slightly uneven rise
- Paler in colour
- Dense crumb in centre
- Dry edges
Like a moist madeira cake in the centre but almost scone-like in its dryness at the crust of the cake.
- Lightly lemony
- Honestly? Identical, with perhaps just a miniscule amount of extra sweetness
Ultimately, I think if you ate these blindfolded, you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart in taste, even if the textures seemed slightly different. The taste is what really surprised me, some sweeteners can leave a bitter aftertaste or a strange artificial sweetness in your mouth. Natvia had neither of these. Plus, if you wrapped them in fondant, frosted them with buttercream, or even drizzled them both with a sugar syrup, you probably wouldn’t even notice the texture or colour difference either!
As surprised as I am to say it, and while I cannot yet vouch for cookies or brownies or other baked goods, Natvia is definitely a suitable sugar replacement in cakes. If you avoid sugar for medical reasons (not that I could ever advocate it!) then you should really give this stuff a try.