How to Use Stevia & Xylitol in Baking instead of Sugar

how to convert sugar recipes to xylitol and stevia

Have you noticed that virtually every Christmas Cookies recipe contains sugar? It’s a Candida disaster zone.

Let me show you how you can easily convert your recipes to use Stevia and Xylitol instead of sugar.  

I’ve been searching the internet far and wide and only found a handful of recipes that didn’t contain sugar in one form or another. But before I share them with you let us take a look at how you can make your own recipes more candida diet friendly.

Tips for Successful Sugar free Baking

better for you Christmas Cookies

Anyone who is suffering from Candida shouldn’t be using sugar – any type of sugar. Including molasses, dates, agave, maple syrup, icing sugar and coconut sugar (yes even coconut sugar!).

I know it’s sad. But we want you to recover quickly, so you CAN enjoy the odd sweet treat without any repercussions. You can of course still use butter and oils in your baking, as well as spices and nuts.

In terms of flours the best baking results you’d definitely get from wheat based flours. But gluten free or nut based flours are a lot easier on your digestive system. So stick with those if you can. Gluten free all purpose flour as great as it is contains a lot of starches and can make your Candida condition worse, so it’s best combined with nuts, seeds or whole grain flours.

If you are desperate to make some of your favourite Christmas Cookies and are worried that you can’t eat them, don’t worry. It’s not all lost. There are actually a few things you can do. You can convert the recipe from sugar to stevia as we’ll see in a minute.

My Candida Experiences with Christmas Cookies

I have had two Christmas’ now since starting the diet – plenty of opportunity to eat the odd bikkie ;-)

The bikkies that gave me no Candida symptom were:

sugar free candida diet cookies

  • Coconut Macaroons (with and without stevia – the first Christmas on the Candida Diet I made some completely without sweeteners and coming out of the strict phase of the diet I actually even found those a treat)
  • Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut Biscuits (even though they had a little sugar in them – go figure!)
  • Almond or Oat Biscuits (yes, we call them “biscuits” in the UK, not “cookies” :)

The Cookies that gave me a reaction:

  • Any cookies with jam, praline filling, marzipan or lots of sugar (No sh.. sherlock ;-)

Can you make Christmas Cookies Without Any Sweetener?

Sugar free Christmas Cookies

The first 2-3 weeks on the Candida Diet you should really try and not eat anything sweet, ideally not even with sweetener instead of sugar. So what cookies taste better without sugar than others?

  • I made some cookies with oats and coconut – tasted pretty awful without sweetener.
  • I made some Teff flour and ground almond biscuits that tasted nice. When I added chia seeds they lost their niceness, it all tasted earthy.
  • I tried hazelnut bikkies which tasted almost ok without sugar, just a bit bland – and tasted lovely dipped in a bit of dark chocolate.
  • In my opinion the only way to go is Coconut and Almond Macaroons.

But a little Xylitol and Stevia immensely improves the enjoyment factor.

So Why not add Stevia when Baking?

I find stevia has a funny taste. Granted, maybe that’s the brand I’m buying, and so far I only used the powder.

Tip: Make Your Own Vanilla Flavoured Stevia – similar to Vanilla Sugar

"vanilla sugar" stevia

When I used up some Vanilla Pods I empty several stevia sachets into the spice jar that housed the fresh vanilla pods. Then I put the used vanilla pods back into the jar with the stevia. Afterwards the stevia is nicely Vanilla flavoured and much improvedand yet… I still don’t like it. ( That said, if you add also xylitol it tastes fine :) Just be aware that sugar binds the ingredients together much nicer than Stevia which can mean that your Stevia cookies might crumble more easily or don’t look so great.

How much Stevia to Use Instead of Sugar?

1 teaspoon of liquid stevia replaces 1 cup of sugar or half a teaspoon of stevia extract according to this handy Stevia baking conversion guide.

It is advisable to add more liquid to make up the bulk that you lost by omitting the sugar. Add about 1/3 cup more liquid in addition to the stevia. Yoghurt is good. So is apple sauce once you don’t react to the fruit sugar any more (towards the end of the diet; further into stage 3)

Cookies Recipes with Stevia

coconut macaroons with stevia

  • And I was also very impressed with two ladies who experimented “How to make individual chocolate cookies with either no sugar, no egg, no grains, and/or with protein powder” – showing the four versions with photo side by side. There’s an almond flour cookies version with Stevia that would be perfect for the Candida Diet (best to leave the chocolate chips out of course).
  • You can use my candida diet friendly recipe with only Stevia to make Coconut Macaroons.
  • Some more Stevia Cookies recipes including Cashew Cookies, Stevia Shortbread and Nutty Christmas Cookies.
  • And these stunning looking gluten free Sugar Cookies (but they contain coconut sugar and apple sauce – I have a feeling though the recipe would still be good if you left all that out since the recipe does contain a lot of stevia).

What about Xylitol?

gluten and dairy free cake with Xylitol sweetener

Xylitol is popular with Diabetics because it does not raise the blood sugar levels as much as sweeteners such as agave nectar or coconut sugar.

Therefore it’s good news for Candida sufferers. It did get some bad press from people who said that it gave them tummy discomfort. As far as I know that only happens if you consume large amounts of that stuff though. And to be honest you shouldn’t be doing that any way when you have Candida. Any sweetener will prompt your body to release stored sugar from your cells into your blood stream. Hence it’s a good idea to keep the overall sweetness down by subbing some of the Xylitol for Stevia.

How much Xylitol Should You Use Instead of Sugar in Your Baking?

You can use it 1 to 1 in recipes as if it was sugar.
I would still recommend you only use this on special occasions. But when you do, it tastes marvelous (you can admire the fluffy gluten and dairy free apple almond cake I made with Xylitol here)

 Christmas Cookies Recipe with Xylitol

  • I found a simple almond butter chocolate chip cookies recipe including some great info about Xylitol (again – avoid the Chocolate chips ;-)
  • not to forget the Teff Gingerbread Men I made the other day used a mix of Xylitol and Stevia, hah.

Conclusion: Replace half of the required sugar amount in your recipe with Xylitol, half with Stevia, add a bit of yoghurt and use plenty of Vanilla bean and you’ll get a good baking result – Happy Baking!

Have you made any Christmas Cookies yet this year? What is your favourite sweetener for cookies and why? Tell me in the comments below.

gluten free Christmas Biscuits

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