[Skip to Content]
University of Illinois Extension

Can you Cook and Bake with Artificial Sweeteners?

baking with artificial sweeteners

Yes, it is possible to cook and bake with artificial sweeteners, but different sweeteners have different qualities. Therefore, it is important to know how to use them appropriately. Familiar home recipes for desserts may contain large amounts of sugar and it may be tempting to replace this sugar entirely with artificial sweeteners. Sugar, however, does more than just make a recipe sweet. Sugar helps a product be tender and moist. It also helps make the familiar golden brown color of baked desserts and breads. Sometimes sugar is a main ingredient, as in cakes and cookies.

When it is, replacing sugar entirely with artificial sweeteners may produce a product that is tough, flat, and dry, as well as gray in color. Remember that most artificial sweeteners only make a recipe sweet. Recipes that usually do well with sugar substitutes include beverages, frozen desserts, pie fillings, sauces, gelatins, and puddings. Cakes, cookies, and meringues depend on large amounts of sugar for more of their finished properties. You should not replace more than two cups of sugar with an artificial sweetener in these types of products. The product Splenda (sucralose), however, can be used for baking. The chart below can give you some further guidelines regarding cooking and baking with artificial sweeteners.

Amount of Sugar

  Substitution Amount Substitution Amount Substitution Amount Substitution Amount Substitution Amount Heat Stable? Aftertaste?
Saccharin types1              
Packets 1 6 8 12 24 Yes Yes
Gran. 1 tsp ¼ cup ⅓ cup ½ cup 1 cup Yes Yes
Brown 1 tsp ¼ cup ⅓ cup ½ cup 1 cup Yes Yes
Liquid 1 drop 1½ tsp 2 tsp 1 Tbsp 2 Tbsp Yes Yes
Aspartame types2              
Packets 1 6 8 12 24 No No
Gran. 1-2 tsp ¼ cup ⅓ cup ½ cup 1 cup No No
Equal for Recipes ¼ tsp 1¾ tsp 2½ tsp 3½ tsp 7¼ tsp No No
Acesulfame              
Potassium Packets 1 3 4 6 12 Yes Some
Sucralose              
Gran. 1-2 tsp ¼ cup ⅓ cup ½ cup 1 cup Yes No
Truvia Purevia              
Packets ½ - 1 6 8 12 24 Yes Yes
  1. Manufacturer does not recommend replacing more than ½ cup sugar with saccharin sweetener in baked recipes.
  2. Contains phenylalanine. People with phenylketonuria must avoid this sweetener.

Check measurements on product packages for most accurate information. Remember that those products are not calorie-free at the amounts used in baking.


This site was last updated June, 2014.
This is a source of information only, and is not medical advice.