Sugar vs. Sweetener…again – Blueberry muffins (Part 2)

Okay, I’ll admit it. I have extra sweetener sitting in my cupboards that I feel inclined to use up. I hate throwing away ingredients! So I figured I would do another sugar vs.sweetener taste test and again, bake blueberry muffins but turn the tables. I’m going to use a recipe that was developed with sugar in mind and not sweetener (the last blueberry muffin recipe I used was the one from the back of the Splenda box and therefore, specifically designed with Splenda in mind).

The recipe I’ll be following is a blueberry-lemon muffin recipe. Same set up as last time – I’m going to follow the recipe and make one batch using sugar, another batch using Equal instead of sugar and another batch using Splenda instead of sugar.

Let’s see what these muffins look like now that they’re going up against a recipe that calls for sugar.

My theory:
I think that the muffins made with Equal will taste the least sweet and appealing. I think that Splenda will perform pretty well but might result in a dry/crumbly muffin due to the different water-binding properties that it has compared to sugar.

Taste testers:
Please sample each of the muffins and comment on the appearance, texture and flavour. Which one is your favourite?

The reveal:
Thank you for posting your comments. Here are the results in terms of which sweetener each muffin was made with:

1: Sugar (everyone liked this one the most)
2: Splenda
3: Equal

My thoughts:
The results are consistent with the previous taste tests we’ve had with comparing artificial sweeteners against sugar. Splenda performs much better than Equal in baking and is the only sweetener we would use for that purpose. Both muffins made with sweetener were drier and more scone-like in their consistency compared to the muffins that were made using sugar (due to the fact that sugar is hygroscopic and is able to hold water). However, the muffins made with sugar were still the best overall. Recipes designed for the use of artificial sweeteners often call for honey or some sort of liquid sweetener otherwise the end product results in being quite dry. It’s best to look up recipes from the sweetener company’s website rather than making a simple 1 to 1 substitution.

So that’s a wrap for the Splenda vs. Equal vs. Sugar debate. You can bake with Splenda but not Equal.