Allergy Inspiration: Working with Allulose

Gluten Free, Grain Free Birthday Cake by The Allergy Chef

Last month I shared a photo of a cake we baked for our friend Gigi from Gigi Eats Celebrities. She has a pretty restricted diet due to food allergies and a medical condition. Here’s the fun part: There are many items she can eat that we can’t have and vice-versa. I also tried to use ingredients that would be safe for me to handle.

The easy part was confirming with Gigi the base ingredients she could have. Great news: she could have all but one item I asked about. Bad news: she could have all but one item I asked about.

The item in question was a granulated sweetener. This was indeed the hardest work around because Gigi can only have a few, and they’re all in the Keto niche of ingredients. Was I let down? Sure. Did I let that stop me? Nope.

I knew from her list of approved sweeteners that many wouldn’t work for our home, so I looked into one that was new to me: Allulose.

Gluten Free, Grain Free Birthday Cake by The Allergy Chef

What is Allulose?

Allulose is a new option in the zero calorie sugar options. You may have heard of many other Keto compliant sweeteners such erythritol, stevia, monk fruit, and more. You can read all about the pros and cons of keto compliant sweeteners online. This isn’t something we’re well versed in because they all contain corn derivatives, which we can’t have in our home (unless it’s a super special occasion like this one and I have my mask on).

Mark’s Daily Apple has an excellent article on allulose for those of you who would like to dive deeper.

Why I’m Not Excited About Keto Sweeteners

I was SUPER excited to see allulose for the first time at the grocery store recently. When you read the package, it says that allulose is a sweetener derived from fruits such as fig and kiwi. Great! Not really.

THIS IS MY ISSUE. While these sweeteners are supposed to be derived from cool fruits, 99% of the time, it’s derived from CORN.

I called Wholesome Sweeteners (who I love dearly) and indeed, it’s corn derived. It’s a good thing I made the assumption before they called me back and handled it with great care.

Granulated vs Liquid Allulose

For the cake pictured, we opted to use granulated allulose for the baked cake and liquid allulose for the frosting. I was pleased with the overall texture of the frosting. When speaking with Wholesome Sweetener, they shared a tip with is: dissolve the granulated allulose in hot water for better results.

If I were to do this again, I would absolutely dissolve the allulose… and use more of it. Based on the conversion suggestion, we used about 2/3 the amount that we needed. I did this because of the gram count. Our recipe would have shifted dramatically had I added more allulose, and I wasn’t ready to take on that challenge just yet.

Well, It Looks Great

It’s hard for me to look at this cake and not smile. The layers and frosting photographed so well, and I wish I had a better statement to tell you next.

The cake was gummy. Not just a little gummy, but GUMMY. It was chewy and all wrong. It was nothing like the cake in our bakery which beats out major bakeries in our area. I have to be honest: it was just plain bad.

The silver lining: the kids ate it happily. Truth be told, I think they’d be willing to eat just about anything shaped like a cake.

Gluten Free, Grain Free Birthday Cake by The Allergy Chef

My Final Thoughts

If you don’t have a corn allergy, I think you should play with this (and other alternative sweeteners) to your heart’s content. I will warn you, call companies to check on shared equipment etc. based on your allergens and level of sensitivity.

I think it’s so neat that there are safe options for people like Gigi. While it’s not something I would normally purchase, or work with, I’m happy I was able to make something that in theory, she could eat with The Papa and the kids.

PS. Gigi and The Papa can’t eat the sprinkles. They were for the photo only, made by Supernatural Foods. They contain sugar and coconut.

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