Erythritol powder is a popular sugar substitute used in baking and cooking. It provides sweetness while having almost no calories and zero effect on blood sugar. However, some people find the cooling aftertaste of erythritol unpleasant or are sensitive to it.
Others simply may not have erythritol powder on hand when a recipe calls for it. In these cases, erythritol powder substitutes can allow you to still enjoy your favorite low-carb and sugar-free treats.
Overview of Erythritol Powder
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that is about 70% as sweet as sugar. It occurs naturally in some fruits and fermented foods, but commercially it is produced from corn.
Erythritol looks and tastes very similar to table sugar, but it has some key differences:
- It has only about 6% of the calories of sugar, or 0.2 calories per gram. The body absorbs very little erythritol, so most passes through unchanged.
- It does not spike blood sugar or insulin levels. Erythritol has a glycemic index of zero.
- It does not promote tooth decay like sugar does.
- It has a mild cooling effect when dissolved on the tongue. Some people dislike this minty sensation.
Erythritol powder is simply erythritol that has been ground into a fine powder, like confectioners' sugar. This makes it ideal for:
- Frostings, glazes, and icings
- Whipped cream
- Smooth desserts like mousse
- Dissolving into drinks
However, erythritol powder can be hard to find in stores. The more common form is granulated erythritol, which does not dissolve as easily into liquids.
Why Substitute Erythritol Powder?
There are several reasons you may need or want to use an erythritol powder substitute:
- You don't have erythritol powder on hand, only granulated erythritol.
- You want to avoid the cooling effect of erythritol.
- Erythritol gives you digestive troubles.
- You want a different taste or texture.
- You follow a diet that restricts sugar alcohols like erythritol.
- You want an organic, non-GMO alternative to erythritol.
- Erythritol is too expensive or difficult to find where you live.
Best Substitutes for Erythritol Powder
Fortunately, there are several options for replacing erythritol powder in recipes:
1. Powdered Granulated Erythritol
The easiest substitution is to simply make your own erythritol powder by grinding granulated erythritol in a blender or food processor until it reaches a fine, powdery texture.
This will provide the same sweetness and zero calories. Just be aware it may still have the cooling effect.
2. Monk Fruit Sweetener
Monk fruit sweetener or extract is an excellent erythritol powder substitute. It is even sweeter than erythritol, so you only need a fraction of the amount.
Monk fruit powder provides sweetness without calories or carbs. It also lacks the cooling effect of erythritol.
Be sure to get monk fruit powder, not liquid monk fruit extract. You will likely need to grind granulated monk fruit sweetener to get a powdered texture.
3. Stevia Powder
Stevia powder is another potent sweetener made from the leaves of the stevia plant. It is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar, so you only need a tiny bit.
Like monk fruit, stevia powder has no calories, carbs, or unusual aftertaste. It dissolves well into liquids.
Some find stevia powder too bitter on its own. Combining it with monk fruit improves the flavor.
4. Powdered Allulose
Allulose is a sugar that tastes like sugar but has minimal calories and carbs. Converting granulated allulose into powder provides texture and sweetness very close to erythritol powder.
Powdered allulose measures cup-for-cup like erythritol powder in recipes. It caramelizes and browns like real sugar as well.
The main downside is that powdered allulose can be difficult to find. Making your own works too.
5. Coconut Sugar
Coconut sugar offers a more natural, less processed alternative to erythritol powder. It comes from the sap of coconut trees.
Coconut sugar has a subtle caramel flavor and lower glycemic impact than regular sugar. Use it cup-for-cup like erythritol powder in recipes.
Note that coconut sugar does still contain calories and carbohydrates, so it is not zero-carb like erythritol.
6. Low-Carb Flour
In recipes where erythritol powder's bulk and texture are more important than its sweetness, low-carb flours can work.
You'll need to add liquid monk fruit, stevia, or another sweetener to provide sweetness. The texture may also come out drier.
Tips for Replacing Erythritol Powder
Keep these tips in mind when substituting erythritol powder:
- Match textures when possible - powder to powder, granulated to granulated. Making your own powders from granulated sweeteners works well.
- Adjust amounts based on sweetness - monk fruit and stevia require much less; allulose requires more.
- Add liquid if substituting with dry ingredients like coconut flour.
- Combine sweeteners like monk fruit powder and stevia to improve flavor.
- You want the same level of sweetness, so adjust amounts according to the sweetener conversion chart.
- Expect some trial and error as each substitution will be a bit different.
Best Practices for Baking Without Erythritol Powder
Achieving great low-carb baked goods without erythritol powder requires care:
- Grind dry ingredients into a fine powder when possible for a smoother texture.
- Combine multiple sweeteners like monk fruit and stevia to improve sweetness, reduce aftertastes, and enhance flavor.
- Add moisture and fat to recipes when necessary to prevent dryness from alternative flours.
- Adjust cooking times and temperatures to account for differences in browning and moisture levels.
- Chill baked goods thoroughly before serving to improve texture.
- Enjoy treats promptly before alternative sweeteners recrystallize.
Sample Substitutions for Erythritol Powder
To give you an idea of how to convert recipes, here are some sample erythritol powder substitutions:
- For 1 cup erythritol powder, use 1 cup powdered allulose or 3/4 cup powdered monk fruit sweetener.
- In place of 2 Tbsp erythritol powder, use 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp monk fruit powder + 1 tsp stevia powder.
- Rather than 1/3 cup erythritol powder, use 1/3 cup coconut sugar or 1/4 cup almond flour + stevia to taste.
- Instead of 2 tsp erythritol powder, use 3/4 tsp monk fruit powder or a pinch of stevia powder.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best erythritol powder substitutes?
The best substitutes are monk fruit powder, stevia powder, powdered allulose, coconut sugar, and almond or coconut flour combined with a liquid sweetener. Making your own powdered erythritol also works.
Can I use xylitol instead of erythritol powder?
Yes, xylitol powder can work instead of erythritol powder in recipes. The texture is similar though it has a small glycemic impact. Like erythritol, it may have a cooling effect for some.
What can I use if I don't have powdered monk fruit or stevia?
You can grind granulated monk fruit sweetener or stevia into a powder using a blender, food processor, or coffee grinder. Start with granulated and process into a fine powder.
Is there a 1:1 erythritol powder substitute?
Powdered allulose will provide the closest 1:1 texture and sweetness replacement for erythritol powder. Monk fruit sweetener can work as well but may need to be combined with stevia or allulose to match the sweetness of erythritol powder.
Erythritol powder is prized in sugar-free baking for its sweet taste, low calories, and smooth texture. But finding a good erythritol powder substitute gives you flexibility if you want to avoid erythritol specifically.
Thankfully, monk fruit, stevia, allulose, coconut sugar, and low-carb flours can all provide potential alternatives in recipes. Getting the sweetness, moisture, and texture right may require some trial and error. But with the right substitutions and adjustments, your low-carb baked goods can come out just as tasty without erythritol powder.
Key Takeaway: Monk fruit, stevia, allulose, coconut sugar, and low-carb flours combined with liquid sweeteners can all work as substitutes for erythritol powder in recipes.