Cakes For Diabetics

“The myth that people with diabetes should not eat any sugar still persists but the truth is that people with diabetes can eat sugar,” say the experts at Diabetes UK. In other words, whether you’re catering for a diabetic friend or you’ve just been diagnosed, you can continue to enjoy all your favourite cakes. However, maintaining a regular eating pattern and a balanced diet are important to the management of the condition. Here are some tips on reducing fat and sugar in your baking.

Cutting Back

Contrary to popular opinion, being diabetic doesn’t mean sugar is a no-no; simply that a well-balanced diet becomes more important. Today, management of blood sugar is easier and more accurate, so most diabetics continue to enjoy everything they like – in moderation. This often involves reducing the sugar or fat in meals and treating cake as an occasional indulgence. But if you’re baking for a diabetic friend or relative, you shouldn’t be shy to offer them a slice of freshly-baked cake or a tasty cupcake.

Breadmaker Citrus Tea-Loaf

Make this fragrant Tea-bread in a bread machine, then slice and serve with butter at tea-time. Perfect with a steaming cup of Green Tea!

  • 1.5tsp dried yeast
  • 450g (1lb) strong white bread flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1tsp Mixed Spice
  • 3tbsp brown sugar
  • 2tbsp margarine
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon and 2 oranges
  • 1 cup brewed tea (hot)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 450g (1lb) dried fruit – choose a combination of chopped dates, sultanas, raisins, dried banana, ready-to-eat apricots, etc.
To Make:
  • Put the yeast, flour, salt, spice and sugar into the bread pan (in that order).
  • Squeeze the lemon and orange juice into a measuring jug and make up to 250ml with hot tea. Tip half of the liquid into the dry ingredients, then melt the margarine in the remaining liquid, stirring until it starts to dissolve, and add it all to the bread pan.
  • Finally, beat an egg and add it to the pan – without stirring.
  • If your machine doesn’t have a ‘raisin’ setting, add the dried fruit at this point. Now put the pan into your breadmaker and set to ‘cake’ or ‘basic’. (If you have a ‘raisin’ setting, choose this, and add the dried fruit when prompted.)

Low-Fat Cheesecake

With almonds in place of biscuits, low-fat margarine to bind, and half-fat cream cheese, this Cheesecake is half as wicked as regular cheesecake – and tastes every bit as good. Make it with orange or lemon, or a mixture of both.

  • 50g (2oz) digestive biscuits, whizzed to crumbs
  • 50g (2oz) ground almonds
  • 25g (1oz) margarine
  • 450g (1lb) (two boxes) half-fat cream cheese
  • 150g (5oz) caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • Zest of one lemon or orange
  • 1tbsp lemon/orange juice
  • 75ml (3floz) crème fraiche
To Make:
  • Crush the biscuits and almonds in a plastic bag, or using a food processor.
  • Melt the margarine and stir it into the biscuits, then press this into an 8” round tin, wrap bottom of the tin in foil, and put into the freezer.
  • For the cheesecake, blend the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, zest, lemon or orange juice, and crème fraiche with an electric whisk or in a processor. It will look sloppy but that’s good — pour onto the biscuit base and carefully slide onto the middle oven shelf.
  • Bake at 140ºC (275 F) for 40 minutes – 1 hour, checking often – the centre will be wobbly but just set.
  • Cool in the tin – it will firm more as it cools. Dust with icing sugar or frosted rosemary and serve in delicate slices.

Lower-Fat Sponge With Honey

Honey is a good natural substitute for sugar, bringing a floral sweetness to your baking. Try swapping it for some of the sugar in other favourite recipes, reducing the margarine a little to adjust for the syrupy consistency of the honey.

  • 200g (7oz) self raising flour, sieved
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 150g (5oz) margarine
  • 75g (3oz) unrefined caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
To Make:
  • If you’d prefer to make this in a food processor, blend everything following the all-in-one method, until a smooth batter is achieved.
  • Otherwise, cream the margarine with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the honey and eggs and beat vigorously to mix.
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl, and fold together gently.
  • Finally add the milk a little at a time to achieve a dropping consistency.
  • Tip into a greased and papered 8” tin, and bake at 180ºC for about 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Special Cakes

For any other special dietary requirements, visit our Special Diet section where there are recipes for Gluten-Free Cakes, Dairy-Free Cakes and Egg-Free Cakes.

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