How To Reduce Sugar In Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are one of the world's most favorite cookies. If you are a fan, you may have wondered if it is possible to make chocolate chip cookies with reduced sugar. What sugar alternative could be used in place of standard white sugar? Does baking with brown or white sugar change the flavor of the cookie greatly? We've researched these questions and have found substantial answers to share with you.

The best method to reduce sugar in chocolate chip cookie dough recipes is to cut the measurement of sugar by 1/3. The result will be that the cookies are crisp, soft, and spread very little when baking. Another popular option is to add honey to offset the reduction in sweetener. Adding honey will keep the cookie chewy and moist. 

Perhaps baking chocolate chip cookies that are slightly more healthful is a goal. Are you interested in learning more about how sugars react with other baking ingredients or what sugar alternatives are available on the market? Please continue reading to learn more about these relevant culinary topics!

A close up of delicious chocolate chip cookies on a cooling rack, How To Reduce Sugar In Chocolate Chip Cookies

How to reduce sugar in chocolate chip cookies

Whether you have decided to reduce sugar for health reasons or adapting to changing tastes, it is important to determine the percentage of sugar reduction, 25%, 30%, or 50%. Higher than 50% will result in very bland cookies. Reducing sugar by 1/3 will not change the sweetness of the cookies to a noticeable degree. Next, choose a recipe that has reduced measurements or calculate the substitution yourself.

Mix the recipe as directed with the reduced sugar. You may need to mix the dough a bit longer with less sugar in the mix. If so, this is normal for reduced sugar doughs.

Suppose you have decided to reduced sugar without altering the other ingredients' percentages. This will work for Chocolate chip cookies but will not apply to cakes or other types of pastries because the ratios of the dough will be incorrect from the missing volume of the sugar.

To substitute the recipe, use the baker's percentage-each ingredient in the recipe is expressed as a percentage of the flours' total weight, always expressed as 100%. Divide the weight of the other ingredients by the weight of the flour and multiply results by 100 to get the percentage.

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Click here to view Naturally Sweet, how to reduce sugar by 30% in your baking.

Wondering how large or small your cookies should be? Click here to read our article about the size of chocolate chip cookies.

Suggestions for sugar-reduced baking

Consider sprinkling the top of your cake with powdered sugar to accentuate the sweetness without drawing attention to reducing sugar in the cake. Also, apply sparkling sugar to the tops of cookies and muffins before baking. It will add visual appeal, and the first bite will be delightful, and the reduced sugar will be nearly undetectable.

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Sugar-free baking alternatives

In addition to reducing sugars, you could consider using a sugar-free alternative as well. Several options are available online or at your local grocery store. Depending on the recipe and your desired taste, you could use sugar-free alternatives with your reduced sugar recipe to maintain the same level of sweetness.

Date sugar is a great-free sugar alternative that has gained popularity over the past few years. Date sugar does contain fiber and minerals that sugars do not. The fiber content does absorb more liquid than sugars—word of advice. Reduce the percentage of flour by 25% to prevent the dough from drying out.

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Honey is a time-honored sweetener that is easy to bake with and to substitute for sugar in equal amounts; one cup of sugar equals one cup of honey.

For those who are vegan but would like to replicate the taste of honey in their baked goods. Consider using a sugar-free honey alternative.

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Stevia is a great sugar substitute that is gluten-free and has zero calories.

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Xylitol is made from Birch trees. Its consistency and taste are very similar to white sugar. One cup sugar equals one cup Xylitol.  Also, Xylitol is deemed safe for people with diabetes because of its low glycemic index.

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How does sugar affect chocolate chip cookies?

According to King Arthur Flour, reducing the sugar measurements will result in drier cookies with more air holes and crunchier consistency. Also, both brown and white sugars caramelize in the oven; that is why chocolate chip cookies have a golden hue or browned edges. Without sugar or reduced sugar, the cookies will not brown much in the oven.

For more information about baking chocolate chip cookies. Would you please click  here to view our article about how long to baked chocolate chip cookies?

Homemade chocolate chip cookies

Why use brown and white sugar in cookies?

You could use brown and white sugars interchangeably in most cookie recipes. Both sugars provide sweetness and contribute to the chewiness of the cookie, consistency, and how the edges caramelize in the oven. White sugars will give the cookies a sweeter flavor, and the cookies will have a flatter appearance with multiple airholes.

Light brown sugar contains roughly 10% molasses, and dark brown sugar contains 20% molasses. Both contribute to the chewiness and softness of the cookies. The added molasses allow the sugar granules to be much softer than white sugar; baking with brown sugars will be very chewy and soft.

Using a combination of brown and white sugars will result in a chewy cookie with few air holes and slightly crisp edges. Also, the flavors of butter, chocolate, and nuts will be more pronounced from the presence of brown sugars.

How to substitute sugars.

Better Homes and Gardens suggests that when substituting one cup of white sugar for brown sugar--use one cup of brown sugar. The substitutions are equal amounts. The level of sweetness in the recipe will be the same with either brown or white sugar. However, the brown sugar will create a more robust flavor, and the baked goods will have a darker tone.

Chocolate chip cookies

How much sugar can you reduce in baking?

Generally, the amount of sugar could be reduced by 1/3 without greatly changing the overall flavor. Moreover, the consistency, texture, and shelf-life will be different. Sugar is hygroscopic (it attracts and retains water); hence baked goods containing sugar will have more moisture and a longer shelf-life because sugar is a natural preservative.

As the sugar percentages are reduced, the baked goods will be crumbly, drier, and the shelf-life will likely be three to four days less, depending on climate and storage methods. Also, sugar is a flavor enhancer. Reducing the sugar measurements in chocolate chip cookies will result in the cookies having less flavor. Also, the butter, chocolate, nut, and vanilla ingredients will be difficult to detect.

Interested in learning more about baking ingredients? Click here to read our article about how much butter to use in chocolate chip cookies.

Which brown sugar is best for cookies?

Fine Cooking states that light brown sugar is the best for baked goods and cookies because it is sweeter and bakes with a lighter consistency than traditional white sugars. Dark brown sugar, also referred to as (old-fashioned dark brown sugar) has considerably more molasses than light brown sugars. Typically, dark brown sugar is called for in recipes, like baked beans, gingerbread cookies, spice cakes.

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Additional thoughts

Suppose you choose to experiment with sugar alternatives. Do keep in mind that food allergies can occur during any stage in life. Practice allergy considerations when trying sugar alternatives for the first time. Also, if you have food allergies, you may want to ask your primary doctor or nutritionist for guidance regarding which sugar alternatives are best for you.

In Closing

Chocolate chip cookies are one of the most versatile cookie recipes that can be tailored to meet the demands of nearly any occasion. From after-school tutoring to the homeowners' meeting, most crowds will be smiling when presented with a plate of home-baked chocolate chip cookies.

Hopefully, this post has helped you gain the skills to bake your next batch of cookies with more confidence and less sugar. We sincerely hope that you will visit soon for more culinary inspiration and quality information!

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