Baking with Less Sugar: Recipes for Desserts Using Natural Sweeteners and Little-To-No White Sugar by Joanne Chang

Search this book for Recipes »
    • Categories: Bread & buns, sweet; Afternoon tea; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: walnuts; all-purpose flour; ground cardamom; butter; pears; crème fraîche
  • Blueberry bran muffins
    • Categories: Cakes, small; Afternoon tea; Breakfast / brunch; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: all-purpose flour; wheat bran; ground cinnamon; butter; crème fraîche; blueberries
  • Cinnamon sugar monkey bread
    • Categories: Bread & buns, sweet; Breakfast / brunch; Afternoon tea; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: active dry yeast; all-purpose flour; egg yolks; butter; ground cinnamon; sugar; heavy cream
    • Categories: Bread & buns, sweet; Afternoon tea; Breakfast / brunch; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: walnuts; all-purpose flour; ground cinnamon; bananas; crème fraîche; vanilla extract
  • Fudgy mascarpone brownies
    • Categories: Brownies, slices & bars; Dessert; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: all-purpose flour; dark chocolate; butter; eggs; mascarpone cheese
  • Cameron's lemon-polenta-pistachio buttons
    • Categories: Cookies, biscuits & crackers; Afternoon tea; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: butter; lemons; all-purpose flour; cornmeal; pistachio nuts
  • White chocolate-cherry-almond cookies
    • Categories: Cookies, biscuits & crackers; Afternoon tea; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: slivered almonds; butter; eggs; vanilla extract; almond extract; all-purpose flour; almond flour; white chocolate; dried cherries
  • Oatmeal-raisin-cranberry cookies
    • Categories: Cookies, biscuits & crackers; Afternoon tea; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: walnuts; butter; all-purpose flour; old-fashioned oats; nutmeg; ground cinnamon; raisins; dried cranberries
    • Categories: Pies, tarts & pastries; Dessert; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: all-purpose flour; butter; egg yolks; blueberries; almond extract; nectarines
    • Categories: Pies, tarts & pastries; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: all-purpose flour; butter; egg yolks
    • Categories: Cakes, large; Afternoon tea; Breakfast / brunch; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: pecans; honey; ground cinnamon; ground ginger; ground cloves; cake flour; butter; eggs; oranges; vanilla extract; crème fraîche
  • Coconut chiffon cake with coconut glaze
    • Categories: Cakes, large; Frostings & fillings; Dessert; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: cake flour; unsweetened coconut; eggs; coconut milk; vanilla extract
    • Categories: Cakes, large; Frostings & fillings; Dessert; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: cake flour; crème fraîche; eggs; vanilla beans; butter; heavy cream; dark chocolate; egg yolks
    • Categories: Candy / sweets; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: dark chocolate; heavy cream; oranges; cocoa powder
    • Categories: Quick / easy; Mousses, trifles, custards & creams; Dessert; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: dark chocolate; heavy cream
    • Categories: Cakes, small; Frostings & fillings; Dessert; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: all-purpose flour; dark chocolate; crème fraîche; eggs; heavy cream
    • Categories: Mousses, trifles, custards & creams; Dessert; Cooking ahead; French
    • Ingredients: milk; dark chocolate; egg yolks; vanilla extract; heavy cream
    • Categories: Ice cream & frozen desserts; Dessert; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: milk; heavy cream; coffee; vanilla extract; dark chocolate; egg yolks; cream cheese; bourbon
    • Categories: Ice cream & frozen desserts; Dessert; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: heavy cream; spearmint; dark chocolate; eggs; coffee
    • Categories: Ice cream & frozen desserts; Sauces for desserts; Dessert; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: dark chocolate; coffee; milk; Kahlúa; heavy cream; vanilla extract
    • Categories: Cakes, small; Dessert
    • Ingredients: dark chocolate; butter; eggs; heavy cream
  • Truffle chocolate cream pie
    • Categories: Pies, tarts & pastries; Dessert; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: heavy cream; dark chocolate; all-purpose flour; butter; egg yolks
  • Honey cashew morning buns
    • Categories: Bread & buns, sweet; Afternoon tea; Breakfast / brunch; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: active dry yeast; all-purpose flour; butter; honey; heavy cream; cashew nuts; ground cinnamon
    • Categories: Breakfast / brunch; Cooking ahead
    • Ingredients: dried cherries; honey; slivered almonds; almond flour; old-fashioned oats; unsweetened coconut; ground cinnamon; flaxseeds; sunflower seeds; millet; sesame seeds

Notes about this book

  • julesamomof2 on November 04, 2016

    I've made both the banana bread from this book and the original banana bread (from the Flour book) and I like this one MUCH better. When you try them both, the original is just shockingly sweet in my opinion. I've made the reduced sugar version 3 times now and had no problems with texture or moisture. It's my go-to, replacing the Silver Palate banana bread which I've been making since the dawn of time.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Blueberry bran muffins

    • kleins99 on April 01, 2020

      Made with nonfat vanilla yogurt in lieu of creme fraiche. Used bran buds cereal blitzed in blender to create "wheat bran" during quarantine. And used grapeseed oil in place of butter because trying to lower cholesterol and saturated fat content of recipe. Came out perfectly.

    • Zosia on April 16, 2015

      There's a very good reason for the long cooling time for these - too warm from the oven, they're quite wet inside and salt and sour are the predominant flavours. At room temperature, they're moist, pleasantly sweet and bursting with blueberry flavour. Most tasters didn't realize they were bran muffins. I'll definitely make these again.

    • stef on April 16, 2018

      These are good. Instead of butter I used vegetable oil. Will be repeated often

    • anya_sf on August 08, 2018

      Substituting lowfat milk for whole and plain lowfat yogurt for creme fraiche worked fine. I made smaller muffins, which baked in 25 minutes. The muffins were still moist and fresh tasting the next morning after baking. I liked these better than most blueberry bran muffins since there was no molasses to overpower the fresh blueberry flavor. Would make again.

  • Peanut butter honey cookies

    • shirofly12 on June 07, 2020

      Definitely not like your normal peanut butter cookie. The taste is lighter and the texture is cakier but they are still good if you are looking to reduce sugar. The bottoms did seem to brown quicker than the bake time.

  • Better than Flour famous banana bread

    • gastronom on December 20, 2015

      This recipe worked well for me. Appreciated the reduced sugar. Came out equally moist to the origonal Flour famous banana bread, which has been a favorite for years. Used the same grams of bananas called for in the original recipe. Highky recommended, esp. If you prefer a less sweet bread.

    • Zosia on April 07, 2015

      Flavour was wonderful and perfectly sweet but texture was off, dense and almost too moist. Strangely, no weight is given for the bananas and that ingredient may have been the culprit....perhaps my 4 medium bananas were on the large side.

    • anya_sf on July 26, 2018

      I substituted white whole wheat flour for all-purpose and sour cream for creme fraiche. I used 4 (what I thought were) medium bananas. I wish the recipe stated the banana weight, as I do feel that makes a difference. Someone had noted in my copy of the book that the baking temperature should be 325 (closer to the celsius temp of 165), not 350, so I used that; the bread baked for 55 minutes and I checked it both with fingertip and cake tester. The loaf rose somewhat, but then sank quite a bit upon cooling, and the resulting texture was quite dense, although not gummy. It was very moist and definitely plenty sweet, and we did enjoy it. However, I wonder if it's better to use 3 bananas, or weigh the bananas according to the original recipe.

    • sarahkalsbeek on November 06, 2021

      Like others, I thought this was pretty dense but I didn't mind it too much.. I still thought it was very delicious! I thought it was maybe because I used Greek yogurt instead of creme fraiche, because that's what we had. I also have the cookbook that includes the original recipe, so next time, like others are saying, I'll use the gram measurement for the bananas.

  • Oatmeal-raisin-cranberry cookies

    • IvyManning on March 15, 2020

      These a.) left a tbl of pooled butter on the baking tray and b.) really weren't great. Don't recommend.

  • Carrot-pineapple cake with cream cheese frosting

    • Vanessa on August 20, 2022

      Reducing the apple juice concentrate was surprisingly touchy. I burned one batch and nearly burned another! Also not really a fan of the frosting, and the cake was very dense, nearly like fruitcake. Delicious, moist and flavorful, and my family ate it very enthusiastically.

    • Carpecookie on April 09, 2016

      The cake itself is moist and flavorful. I would make it again. I prefer a classic cream cheese frosting to this one. I wasn't a fan of this frosting, but my taste-testers happily gobbled it up.

  • Kabocha squash spice cake

    • TrishaCP on October 25, 2018

      This made for an incredibly moist cake. I didn't find that the weight called for in dates (160 grams) matched the cup measurement at all. I needed more than 1 cup of dates to get 160 grams. It was still barely sweet even with the date puree so I would only serve this as a breakfast cake, or maybe with a cheese plate, and not as a dessert. I skipped the fresh ginger since I didn't have enough, and subbed a teaspoon of ground instead. I'm sure the fresh would have been better.

  • Fudgy mascarpone brownies

    • Astrid5555 on October 01, 2017

      I had some leftover mascarpone cheese on hand and this recipe turned up during my EYB search. Part of the sugar is replaced by mascarpone and lots of dark chocolate (almost 400g!), which produces a very adult-tasting brownie (not too sweet and very chocolatey). I had to switch between my whisk and my paddle attachment to combine my eggs and mascarpone cheese (very soupy) to get rid of the lumps. I also slightly overbaked the brownies, because after 20 minutes they were still very wet, 5 minutes later they were more cakey than fudgey. Still, the kids enjoyed them, so all good.

  • Coconut chiffon cake with coconut glaze

    • Astrid5555 on November 15, 2015

      This cake is excellent! Moist and light with just the right sweetness and a delicious coconut flavor. Not too involved, can be made quite quickly. Made without the coconut glaze but with a simple chocolate ganache frosting to make it more family friendly.

    • Summerlandsky on April 25, 2015

      This cake is amazing!!! Just the right amount of sweetness and a beautiful light texture that is a cross between an angel food cake and pound cake. Actually it kind of tasted like a baked doughnut. It turned out a beautiful yellow color from our farm eggs, and was very easy to throw together.

    • anya_sf on August 10, 2018

      Easy to make. It took a bit longer than 45 minutes to bake. The cake was very moist and tender, and only mildly sweet. The sweetness of the icing really balanced the mild cake flavor. My husband wished the icing had been doubled, as he thought there was too much cake relative to icing.

  • Pumpkin-apple spice muffins

    • organicgirl on January 02, 2022

      Used 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour, 1/2 all-purpose flour.

    • damjih on March 02, 2021

      These were really good, didnt have apple juice but subbed with pineapple/coconut juice and it worked perfectly, will make again using the same juice (or whatever I have at the time~)

    • skvalentine on August 21, 2023

      My kids liked these! I substituted cane syrup for the molasses so I think that made these a bit sweeter, but they were still not "sweet." I enjoyed them plain, my kids split and toasted them with butter and honey. I also used some whole-grain flour in place of some of the white flour.

    • Ajammies on November 14, 2020

      Didn't have apple juice, oops, substituted coconut water. Definitely not sweet, but good. Would probably be much sweeter with apple juice. Was very good for a snack or breakfast with coffee or tea. Definitely following baking directions, muffins much darker when done.

  • Honey cashew morning buns

    • nadiam1000 on June 23, 2015

      6/21/2015 Made these and followed the recipe as written. The dough is very soft - which I like, it reminds me of a slack pizza dough and I believe it would make excellent pizza crust. The sticky pan coat is very liquidy which concerned me but I had to trust Chef Chang and kept going. The final buns are very good - rich, buttery and sticky but not(dare I say this) quite sweet enough for me and almost too greasy - it almost needs some sugar to balance the butter. I did deviate and add raisins to half the filling - I love raisins in my sticky buns - and they are delicious. My son thought they needed more cinnamon and were not a replacement for my standard(similar to Cinnabon) cinnamon rolls. I have had Ms. Chang's sticky buns from her bakery and they are very rich and sweet, but I love them. I think I may try that recipe next time.

    • anya_sf on August 12, 2018

      I used pecans, since my son doesn't like cashews. The recipe calls for A LOT of nuts; I used maybe 3/4 the amount and could reduce to half. I assembled the buns the night before, then let them rise and bake the next morning. The goo was very liquidy, but did end up mostly getting absorbed into the buns as they baked. The baking temperature and time seemed off (400 degrees for 40-50 minutes). I was using a glass pan, so I baked them at 350 and they were done in 40 minutes. The buns were very tender and rich, and only barely sweet. They were good, but I would have liked a bit more sweetness, and flavor - the cinnamon and honey were barely detectable.

  • Unbelievable banana ice cream

    • chawkins on April 05, 2021

      Very creamy, very banana-y. I only made a third of the recipe. Could have served it as soft-serve right away but I put it in the freezer for a couple of hours. Very easy with the Blendtec, now I need to try the Blendtec ice cream recipe with the ice cream button.

    • Zosia on June 19, 2015

      My poor old cusinart blender had to work hard with this one and though it wasn't quite smooth and it did need to go into the freezer for a few hours before it was ice cream consistency, it was fantastic! The flavour is completely dependent on the bananas and I used very ripe ones (more black-skinned than yellow) so it tasted great. The consistency was a pleasant surprise; it was really creamy and melted like regular ice cream leaving no banana film or residue.

  • Truffle chocolate cream pie

    • Zosia on June 20, 2016

      The flavour was outstanding with the truffle layer the best part of the pie: firm yet easily sliced, melting into the silkiest, most luxurious chocolate ever in the mouth. I had issues with the other 2 components. My crust didn't shrink at all so the 1 cm overhang you're directed to leave (that could have been used to make a pretty decorative border) had to be trimmed off after baking; though thoroughly baked before the filling went in, the bottom was soft at serving time. The instructions say to serve the pie immediately after topping with the chocolate whipped cream "mousse" but also say the pie can be stored for 4 days in the fridge. The latter is clearly not the case since the topping deflated over time and was almost sauce-like after only 4 hours..

  • Vanilla-pecan coffee cake

    • Zosia on April 23, 2015

      No one who tasted this cake liked it, but the reasons given were varied: it was too dry (strangely so despite large quantities of butter and creme fraiche); the vanilla cake portion had a metallic taste (baking powder?); the pecan streusel was too salty and the flavour of cloves was overwhelming. Everyone did agree that it was sweet enough. My baking time was 15 minutes longer than the recipe states (internal temp of 203F).

  • Yellow birthday cake with fluffy chocolate ganache frosting

    • joanhuguet on November 11, 2016

      This was really bad, and most of it ended up in the garbage. The cake was dry and crumbly, with a spongy crumb and a faintly metallic taste, in spite of an enormous amount of butter. The frosting was harsh tasting and too dark, in spite of my using a high-quality chocolate.

  • Honey-Champagne sabayon parfaits with fresh berries

    • tarae1204 on January 16, 2022

      This recipe was simple, with clear to follow directions. The honey and champagne worked beautifully together in the sabayon, and overall delivered the right level of sweetness to the fresh berries.

  • Cherry almond granola

    • Laura.Chicago on November 12, 2016

      Delicious! I've made this granola several times with great results. I've substituted dates and cranberry raisins for the cherries. I used pepitas instead of millet. The almond flour adds depth of flavor, don't substitute all purpose flour. This recipe is a keeper.

  • Pineapple-coconut-banana sorbet

    • anya_sf on August 09, 2018

      Super quick and easy to make. I added 1.5 Tbsp spiced rum, which I couldn't really taste, but think lends a smoother texture. It tasted like frozen smoothie, although sweeter. It needed several hours in the freezer to harden. Would make again, perhaps with no banana or only one banana, so the pineapple and coconut flavors stand out more.

  • Raspberry honey frozen yogurt

    • anya_sf on August 13, 2018

      So simple and so good! I used frozen, thawed raspberries. The raspberry and honey flavors really stand out, and the frozen yogurt is plenty sweet. I will definitely make this again.

  • Cranberry-cornmeal-maple bread

    • anya_sf on October 04, 2017

      I used part white whole wheat flour to make it even healthier. The bread doesn't contain that much cornmeal (and I thought the weight vs volume measurement was off a bit - I used weight), but the texture ends up a lot like corn bread. It was very mildly sweet, which was perfect for breakfast. The flavors of the cornmeal, maple, and cranberries were very complementary.

    • sarahkalsbeek on December 10, 2020

      Absolutely loved this. We didn't have grade B maple syrup, so used grade A and it still turned out delicious. Thought it was going to be a good dessert or breakfast, but once we tasted it, decided to serve it that evening alongside butternut squash soup! So yummy!

  • Sticky toffee pudding with maple sauce

    • anya_sf on August 05, 2018

      I had not seen the correction about the quantity of dates, so I'm not sure if I used the right amount - I used 12 large dates. Anyway, the cake baked up fine. I wasn't sure when to pour the sauce on top - after cooling or immediately upon removal from the oven - so I waited about 5 minutes before pouring it on top. The texture of the cake was fine, but we did miss some of the sweetness. I think it would help to poke holes in the cake before adding the sauce. We only used half the sauce - it was rich, rather than sweet, and the maple flavor wasn't strong enough for me. The cake was quite good with vanilla ice cream. Still, I'm not sure I'd make it again.

    • karya on February 25, 2022

      This turned out so good! Maple sauce is esp good- it's a no-cook sauce! I've made sticky toffee before and this was incredibly light and fluffy.

  • Simple chocolate mousse

    • anya_sf on August 01, 2018

      This recipe was very easy to make and I liked that it could be made mostly ahead. I found the texture to be richer and denser than regular chocolate mousse - different but still good. There is a lot of cream relative to chocolate, so the flavor was like bittersweet milk chocolate. I served the mousse with diced poached pears on top, which complemented the mousse nicely.

  • Deep-dark-chocolate pudding cakes

    • anya_sf on August 04, 2018

      I had trouble telling when they were done, so they ended up slightly overbaked - no longer molten in the center, although still moist. The cakes were a bit too bitter for our taste. They would have been great with vanilla ice cream or, of course, simply a bit of sugar in the batter.

  • Cinnamon sugar monkey bread

    • anya_sf on August 05, 2018

      The perfect level of sweetness to enjoy as a breakfast treat. I used half the butter and cream in the sauce and thought it was just right. Absolutely delicious.

  • Keith's super-snappy gingersnaps

    • damjih on October 27, 2020

      The recipe is wacky, it says to turn the oven off and leave the cookies in to crisp up, if I did that they would have burnt completely, dough is extremely sticky to work with as the recipe says, I wouldn't do it again but I mean I still ate them all.

  • Maple-pumpkin pie

    • funfoodie on December 04, 2021

      This is my absolute favorite pumpkin pie recipe. There is so much more flavor to this than the average pumpkin pie -- grade B maple syrup definitely makes a difference. I do make a slight change to the baking process for the crust though -- I remove the weights partially about halfway during the blind baking time to allow the bottom to cook sufficiently.

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Reviews about this book

  • Leite's Culinaria

    Website reviews best cookbooks of September, 2015.

    Full review
  • Washington Post by T. Susan Chang that won me over with their taste and understated efficacy; a little less sweetener allowed other flavors to emerge and blossom.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 1452139601
  • ISBN 13 9781452139609
  • Published Apr 07 2015
  • Format eBook
  • Page Count 224
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Chronicle Books
  • Imprint Chronicle Books LLC

Publishers Text

Trust Joanne Chang—author of the bestselling Flour and a Harvard math major to boot—to come up with this winning formula: Minus the sugar equals plus the flavor. The 60-plus recipes here are an eye-opener for anyone who loves to bake and wants to cut back on the sugar. Joanne warmly shares her secrets for playing up delicious ingredients and using natural sweeteners, such as honey, maple syrup and fruit juice. In addition to entirely new go-to recipes, she's also revisited classics from Flour and her lines-out-the-door bakeries to use minimal refined sugar. More than 35 mouthwatering photographs beautifully illustrate these revolutionary recipes, making this a must-have book for bakers of all skill levels.

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