10 Best Sugar Free Cake Recipes – Also Gluten Free

Discover 10 delicious sugar-free cake recipes that are specifically designed with diabetes management in mind. Packed with wholesome ingredients, these cakes let you manage your blood sugar without sacrificing flavour. Get ready to celebrate health and taste, one delicious slice at a time!

picture of sugar free cakes for 10 best recipes

Living with type 1 diabetes often means a careful balance of managing blood sugar levels while still enjoying what you eat. Making considered choices can sometimes feel like you are missing out on the fun – especially when it comes to sweet treats. But what if you could indulge your sweet tooth without worrying about sharp blood sugar spikes and crashes? This is where the sugar-free and gluten-free cakes can help. We have found that using alternative sweeteners to sugar and ditching refined white flour has allowed us greater freedom when it comes to our daughter’s type 1 diabetes management. 

Sugar-free baking alongside gluten-free baking offers a great diabetes management solution! These delicious creations not only allow you to enjoy the taste and texture of a classic cake, but they can help keep your blood sugar levels in check. Whether you’re seeking healthy cake recipes or searching for sugar-free dessert recipes, this selection of refined sugar-free treats will inspire you to find the ultimate sugar-free cake of your dreams!

Diabetic-Friendly Baking

The concept behind diabetic-friendly baking refers to creating baked goods that minimise the impact on blood sugar levels. To create cakes that are both delicious and diabetic friendly means that there needs to be a shift in the ingredients used. This results in cakes bakes and desserts that are often lower in carbs, and have a lower glycemic index by ditching the refined sugars and high-glycemic flours that send blood sugars soaring.  

The key components of diabetic-friendly baking are:

  • Reduced Carbohydrates
  • Sugar Substitutes
  • Healthy Fats

Ingredients for Balancing Blood Sugars 

The key to unlocking delicious sugar free and gluten free cakes lies in the ingredient swaps. While some recipes might use regular flours like wheat, gluten-free blends, or even whole wheat, remember – these starchy options, despite potential health benefits, will raise your blood sugar levels.

The same goes for “natural” sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, often touted in diabetic-friendly desserts. Despite their positive image, these are still forms of sugar and can significantly impact your blood glucose.

Instead, I follow the 3 principles above in all my sweet treat recipes to ensure that my creations are truly diabetic-friendly, low-carb, low-GI alternatives! 

  • Swap The flour: Use alternative flours like almond flour, coconut flour, psyllium husk or oat flour. A low-carb flour will have a slower impact on blood sugar but also add wonderful texture, density and moisture.
  • Sugar Substitutes: Opt for low glycemic index (GI) sweeteners. Popular options include my favourite Xyltol or stevia, erythritol, and sucralose. These sweeteners provide sweetness without significantly raising blood sugar.
  • Healthy Fats: Adding healthy fats like nut butters or avocado can contribute to a richer taste and texture, while potentially helping to slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.

Understanding Sugar Substitutes and Sweeteners for Type 1 Baking

When it comes to baking for type 1 diabetes management, choosing the right sweetener is key. Unlike table sugar, which raises blood sugar levels rapidly, sugar alternatives offer a delicious way to sweeten your cakes without the spike. These alternatives come with varying degrees of sweetness and glycemic index (GI) – a measure of how quickly a food affects blood sugar.

For type 1 bakers, opting for sugar substitutes with a low GI will mean that they will not have an impact on blood sugars. Popular options in the UK include xylitol, stevia, erythritol, and sucralose. These have various levels of sweetness compared to sugar, so you’ll need to research how much you will need to use in a recipe. Most brands have this recipe on this information on their website. As my recipes are all sweetened using natural xylitol which is a 1:1 substitute for sugar you can easily convert your quantities depending on the sweetener you use.

To delve deeper into the world of sugar substitutes and their baking applications, head over to my helpful guides: Substitutes for White Sugar and Baking with Sugar Substitutes. This resource provides a comprehensive breakdown of popular sweeteners in the UK and how they perform in baking, helping you to choose the perfect option for your sugar-free cake recipe.

baking with sugar substitutes for diabetes with baking goods behind

Baking with Sugar Substitutes

Baking with sugar substitutes for diabetes provides increased flexibility. Learn how you can bake with sweeteners with confidence!

Exploring Gluten-Free Flours for Baking 

For those with type 1 diabetes who are also gluten-sensitive, the world of baking can seem limited. But fear not! A range of delicious gluten-free flours offer fantastic alternatives to traditional wheat flour. Popular options include almond flour, coconut flour, and oat flour blends. Each boasts unique properties that contribute to the texture and flavour of your cakes.

Among my favourites is almond flour, which is a versatile, nutrient-rich choice that is diabetic carb count free. Made from finely ground almonds, it’s naturally grain and gluten-free, perfect for those with dietary restrictions. Almond flour adds a delightful nutty flavour and a slightly denser, moist texture to cakes. It’s also a good source of healthy fats, protein, and fibre, making it a win-win for taste and nutrition.

Want to learn more about the Glycemic Index of different flours and baking with almond flour? Read my articles, Understanding the Glycemic Index of Flours and the Benefits of Baking WIth Almond Flour. This guide dives deeper into the characteristics of almond flour and how to use it effectively in your gluten-free baking.

baking with almond flour blog

Baking with Almond Flour

This article looks into the benefits of using almond flour in baking and for diabetes management, how to use it, along with plenty of top tips.

Complete Your Cakes with Sugar-Free Frosting and Jam Recipes

To complete your delicious sugar-free and gluten-free cakes, I’ve also included some fantastic sugar-free frosting and jam recipes you can try! These toppings will add the perfect finishing touch without compromising your blood sugar management.

Sugar Free Cream Cheese Frosting

Sugar Free Jam

  • Easy sugar free jam for diabetics in a jar with blueberries in the background

    Easy Sugar Free Jam – Diabetic Friendly

    Cooks in 35 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    A quick and easy jam recipe with no added sugar which is perfect in cakes, sandwiches or smothered all over toast.

10 Best Sugar-Free Cake Recipes

This roundup is a celebration of everything I love about sugar-free and gluten-free cakes! From a rich, decadent chocolate cake bursting with cocoa and vanilla to a vibrant, citrusy lemon drizzle exploding with tangy flavour, and my absolute favourite, an amazing Gluten Free Carrot Cake that you would never know didn’t use typical refined ingredients.

This collection of cake recipes offers a host of unique features that simply set them apart from traditional cakes. Here, you’ll find sugar-free options that are also gluten- free, low-carb and keto-friendly, allowing you to enjoy a slice of cake without compromising your blood sugar management.

Moist & Dreamy Low-Sugar Coconut Cake with Raspberry Jam

This gluten-free & low-carb coconut cake is bursting with delicious coconut flavour & homemade raspberry sugar-free jam. A deliciously light and summery sweet treat!

  • slice of coconut raspberry cake on a plate with some of it on a fork

    Coconut and Raspberry Jam Cake

    Cooks in 60 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    A simply delicious gluten free and low (diabetic) carb count coconut and raspberry cake, with a tasty layer of homemade sugar-free jam.

SPICED Apple Cake COMFORT – No Added Sugar

Warm your soul with this delicious Stewed Apple Cake! Made with almond flour & xylitol, it’s a healthy & satisfying treat that won’t spike your sugars. Perfect for comforting autumn baking!

  • complete ginger apple cake cut in squares

    Stewed Apple Cake – No Added Sugar

    Cooks in 70 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    Savour the goodness of this gluten-free, sugar-free Stewed Apple Cake, a delightful treat with warm spices for a wholesome indulgence!

Moist & Delicious Sugar-Free Strawberry Cake 

This fluffy gluten free cake is bursting with fresh strawberries & uses a sugar-free sweetener for a blood sugar balancing indulgence! Perfect for summer celebrations or a satisfying afternoon treat

  • square piece of sugar free strawberry cake with a strawberry on top

    Sugar Free Strawberry Cake

    Cooks in 45 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    Looking for a delectable and healthy cake bursting with strawberries but want to avoid unnecessary sugar? Then this sugar free strawberry cake recipe is just for you.

No-Bake Delight Low Carb Cheesecake

This wonderfully creamy cheesecake is surprisingly easy to make & sugar-free! Perfect for a tasty low-carb dessert with only 2g net carbs per slice.

  • slice of no bake cheesecake

    Low Carb No Bake Cheesecake

    Difficulty: Easy

    This Low Carb No Bake Cheesecake recipe is not only gluten and refined sugar-free but its also only around 2g of countable carbs per slice!

Coconut Dream Loaf Cake – Sugar-Free

This easy loaf cake is bursting with coconut flavour and uses almond flour for a delightful low-carb & gluten-free treat! Perfect for an afternoon snack or light dessert.

  • almond coconut cake

    Coconut and Almond Loaf Cake

    Cooks in 60 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    This easy coconut cake recipe makes a deliciously moist and fluffy, carb count free loaf cake.

Heavenly Almond Flour Chocolate Cake – Low Sugar

Indulge in rich, decadent chocolate cake without the sugar spike! This gluten-free diabetic birthday cake uses dark chocolate, almond flour and reduced sugar with a wonderful sugar free chocolate ganache. It’s a delicious celebration cake or afternoon treat!

  • a slice of low sugar chocolate cake

    Almond Flour Chocolate Cake – Low Sugar

    Cooks in 65 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    Fall in love with this deliciously rich and moist gluten-free, diabetic almond flour chocolate cake with reduced carbs and sugar.

Healthy Banana Bread Bliss (Diabetic-Friendly!)

This moist & fluffy banana bread uses natural sweetness & smart swaps for a delicious gluten-free treat! Perfect for breakfast, tea time, or a healthy anytime snack.

  • low carb banana bread on a parchment paper with 2 slices cut

    Healthy Diabetic Banana Bread

    Cooks in 60 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    A deliciously healthy Diabetic Banana Bread that combines the natural sweetness of ripe bananas with smart ingredient choices for an irresistibly moist and fluffy gluten free cake, perfect for breakfast or as a tea-time treat.

Ultimate Gluten Free Sugar Free Carrot Cake

This vibrant carrot cake is bursting with flavour – all without sugar or gluten! It’s moist, and delicious, and You would never know it uses alternative ingredients. Perfect for any celebration or everyday treat.

  • a slice of sugar free carrot cake from the side.

    Gluten Free Sugar Free Carrot Cake

    Cooks in 50 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    A deliciously zesty and subtly spiced, gluten free sugar free carrot cake that is super moist, super tasty. The perfect cake for all celebrations, or any day of the week!

Flourless Almond Orange Cake (A Carb Free Delight)

This stunning simple cake is a dream come true – sugar-free, gluten-free, and low-carb! Packed with almond flavour and a touch of orange, it’s perfect for an elegant dessert or a delicious afternoon snack.

  • Whole flourless Almond Orange Cake

    Flourless Almond Orange Cake

    Cooks in 70 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    A beautiful basic almond cake that is not only gluten and refined sugar-free but it is also a carb count free cake option!

Diabetic-Friendly Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (Low-Carb & Easy!)

This one-bowl banana bread is bursting with chocolate chips & uses low-carb ingredients. Perfect for a healthy treat without spiking your blood sugar!

  • closeup of slices of chocolate chip banana bread on the cooling tray

    Low Carb Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

    Cooks in 60 minutesDifficulty: Easy

    This one bowl low carb chocolate chip banana bread has a lower (diabetic) carb count and is almost sugar-free great for blood sugar levels.

Tips for Succesful Sugar-Free & Gluten-Free Baking

I hope that these recipes have convinced you that the world of alternative baking is far from boring or plain! Nevertheless transforming your favourite cake recipes into sugar-free and gluten-free delights does require a few little adjustments. So here are my top tips for you:

Sweetness Strategies:

  • Embrace Substitutes: Explore a variety of sugar substitutes. But be aware that each has a different sweetness level and baking behaviour.
  • Consider Aftertaste: Some sugar substitutes can have a slight aftertaste. Experiment to find one that suits your palate.
  • Factor in Baking Stability: Some sugar substitutes can affect browning or caramelization. Try them out to see which ones perform well for your particular baking needs.

Texture Texture Texture:

  • Know Your Flours: Gluten-free flours like almond, coconut, or oat flour absorb moisture differently than wheat flour. You might need to adjust the amount of wet ingredients in your recipe.
  • Think Thickening Agents: Psyllium husk powder can help bind ingredients and achieve a more cake-like texture.
  • Experiment with Moisture: Start with the recipe’s recommended liquid amount, and adjust as needed to achieve the desired consistency. A good batter should be thick but pourable.
  • Rest & Rise: Letting your batter rest can improve texture by allowing the flours to absorb moisture and thicken.

General Baking Best Practices:

  • Measure Precisely: Accurate measurements are even more crucial in sugar-free and gluten-free baking. Always use weighing scales!
  • Use Room Temperature Ingredients: This helps ensure even mixing and a smooth batter.
  • Don’t Overmix: Overmixing can lead to a dense cake. Mix until just combined.
  • Lining & Baking: Line your pans properly to prevent sticking, and adjust baking times to suit your oven as they all bake differently.
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