Notes on the alternative recipe ideas

Runny honey for baking might be the easiest choice for you to replace sugar in recipes to help your cakes rise and keep them perfectly moist. You can also try natural sweeteners such as maple syrup, agave syrup and date syrup that can be found in health food shops and larger supermarkets.

Another option is to make your own date syrup by gently simmering a handful of dates in hot water until soft. Then blend into a smooth, runny consistency. Xylitol is another excellent replacement for sugar, ideal for lightly sprinkling onto cakes as a replacement for icing sugar.

Should eggs not be allowed in your diet, the egg alternative which you choose is really down to what you prefer. You can experiment to find which egg alternative will make your cakes light and airy. Egg alternatives are also available in ready-to-use powder form in some shops.

Soya cream is an alternative to the normal dairy cream if soya is allowed in your diet. For another alternative to cream, chill a can of coconut milk and scoop off the cream that has formed at the top. Whipping this cream with a teaspoon of vanilla and a little honey or maple syrup also makes a good replacement for whipping cream.

Depending on what your diet allows, you could use dark, milk or white chocolate in the recipes. Good health food stores can advise on the best chocolate to suit your dietary needs whether gluten-free and/or dairy-free . It is worth remembering that chocolate contains some sugar and using carob as an alternative to chocolate will give a less sweet taste. Use organic cocoa in recipes to avoid the additives that may be found in hot chocolate powders.

For any other recipes requiring baking powder, always choose the gluten-free version. Remember never to give recipes containing nuts to anyone who is allergic to nuts!