Making Simple Syrup with Splenda

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Sous Chef
Nov 9, 2004
New Buffalo, Michigan
I'm really into making simple syrups for cocktails, martinis, sodas. Anyone ever use Splenda in place of Sugar??? How did it turn out???
Erik, I haven't, but I know that Audeo is a huge Splenda fan. She's usually around on the weekends right now so she might have some insight on it then.
Good question, Erik. We use Splenda for most things around here, but hadn't thought of making SS with it yet.

I've noticed that it dissolves much faster in milk and cereal than regular sugar, so I have my doubts about its syrup-making ability, but it may just amount to adjusting the sugar-water ratio. Usually when I make simple syrup I do equal amounts of each.
Yep. Big fan here. Probably one of the best gifts to Diabetics in recent culinary history, IMO!

Splenda DEFINATELY can be made into a simple syrup! The stuff can be substituted measurement for measurement for granulated sugar in just about any recipe. Unlike its sugar-substitute predecessors, Splenda (which is a form of sugar) can be subjected to heat making it very versatile in all forms of cooking. I'd have to check for the exact threshhold, but I know you can cook Splenda beyond 300 degrees F, because I've made candy with the stuff!

I'm sure the are all over its use in drink recipes, so you can probably google a ton of responses.

For a traditional simple syrup, combine 2 parts Splenda to 1 part water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly to dissolve the stuff and cook until it reaches about 220 degrees F. (Probably 2-3 minutes past a full, rolling boil at sea level.)

If this is for cocktails, I wouldn't bother cooking that long. I would combine equal parts of Splenda to water in a saucepan and stir over medium heat just until the Splenda is totally dissolved, then decant into a jar to be stored in the fridge.

Hope that helps!

(Thanks for the thoughts, PA!)
Thanks...I'm just learning about Splenda. My 2 year old had his 2 front teeth ruined by sugars and acids in apple juice. Since our miracle worker pediatric dentist gave my son an awesome "new smile", we have been scrambling to try new things for him to drink.

Thanks, Audeo.
Audeo, re: splenda

If it can be subbed measure for measure, then why is the box in the supermarket about 1/10th the weight of sugar????
jennyema said:
Audeo, re: splenda

If it can be subbed measure for measure, then why is the box in the supermarket about 1/10th the weight of sugar????

Jenny, thank you so much for raising this question and preventing what would have otherwise been an oversight!

The answer to your question is that Splenda comes in two (actually three) forms. The first is the powdered stuff found in the packets that dissolves more easily in coffee, ect. The second form -- that which can be substituted measure for measure -- is the GRANULATED form that was developed more for cooking.

Egads! You sure prevented a disaster and I apologize for not making that very important point clear!

Splenda recently came out with a third product that blends the stuff with regular granulated sugar and targets baking. Some things I have learned through trials and errors with Splenda is that baked foods do not brown as much and even the baking times themselves tend to be shorter. While it doesn't have that aftertaste found in its predecessors, and while it takes quite a bit of heat (but not as much as regular sugar), Splenda nevertheless has its unique properties and quirks.

I do hope this reaches you prior to a disaster here, Erik!

I had heard about the one-for one subbing before, but the box in my store seemed too light to make that work. I guess it was the drink sweetener kind. I did not buy it so no MAJOR overseeteneing disaster happened, thank goodness.

I have been meaning to try a Splenda experiment and now that you have explained it so well, I will look for version 3 in the store.

Thanks Again!!
Audeo said:
The answer to your question is that Splenda comes in two (actually three) forms. The first is the powdered stuff found in the packets that dissolves more easily in coffee, ect. The second form -- that which can be substituted measure for measure -- is the GRANULATED form that was developed more for cooking.

Granular splenda and packet splenda, once they hit liquid, are one in the same. Both utilize the same amount of the bulking agent, maltodextrin, per serving. The packets utilize a more compacted form of malodextrin so they take up less volume, but by weight, the maltodextrin is the same. One is easier to measure, that's all.

Splenda doesn't work in recipes that require bulk. You can make a sweet syrup with it just by dissolving it in water (heat isn't necessary), but the syrup will never get thick. If you do add enough splenda to get a thick syrup, it will be too sweet to consume.

Splenda has 1/8 the bulking qualities of sugar. Although it takes up the same amount of volume, the vast majority of that volume is air.

Splenda only provides the sweetening qualities and not the textural qualities. If you need texture, such as a thick sticky syrup, there are a few possibilities:

Sugar Alcohols - Maltitol, Xylitol - many people cannot tolerate them (gas, bloating, diarhea)
Soluble fiber gums - acacia, CMC - hard to find, expensive
Polydextrose - polymerized glucose (from corn)
Inulin - polymerized fructose extracted from chicory
I had to jump in here. I use Splenda every day in my cooking. I use it for SS, baking, marinades, anything.

When making a SS, the mixture will never be 'thick' or sticky, but for me that is not a big problem. A favorite breakfast is to simmer fresh ginger in Splenda and water, the pour warm over fresh grapefruit segments - YUM!

I was interested in the Splenda for baking so I took a look at the nutritional info. I was ASTOUNDED to find the the Splenda for baking had MORE calories per volume than regular granulated sugar. I think that there is a misnomer that Splenda is calorie-free, but in this case it is not true. For reducing the total sugar content consumed, the baking Splenda would be fine, but I think that people should be aware of the calories if they are trying to eliminate the unnecessary ones from their diet.

Overall I think it is a fabulous product and find that other products made with Splenda taste better than those made with traditional asparatame.
scott123 said:
Splenda doesn't work in recipes that require bulk. You can make a sweet syrup with it just by dissolving it in water (heat isn't necessary), but the syrup will never get thick. If you do add enough splenda to get a thick syrup, it will be too sweet to consume.

Scott, I think we're talking about two different things here: sugar-water and a simple syrup. By its definition, a syrup is a combination of sugar (in myriad of forms) and water that is condensed by heat (to reduce the water).

I absolutely agree that, without heat, a solution of Splenda and water will never thicken. Nevertheless, it does so admirably when cooked into a true syrup, and it does not require the use of so much Splenda that it is too sweet to consume. Granulated Splenda is no sweeter in a syrup than granulated sugar.

I can't imagine that my accomplishment here is due to magic allowed to me alone. Indeed, you should try this yourself and discover what those of us who HAVE tried it have learned as fact.
Audeo, I'm talking about simple syrup, a syrup with both an established level of sweetness combined with a particular level of viscosity.

Per cup, splenda contains 24 g of maltodextrin. Maltodextrin has exactly the same thickening properties as sugar, and no more. 24 g, by weight, is 2 T. of sugar.

So, for every cup of splenda that you add to water, you're adding the sweetness of 1 cup of sugar, but the texture/bulk of 2 T.

Although you can boil down a solution that's 1/8 the thickness it should be into something that has a slight viscosity, as you reduce the water, you magnify the sweetness. No amount of reducing will ever correct the fact that you have 8 parts sweetness to 1 part bulking agent.

There is no magic to maltodextrin. By weight, it possesses the same thickening abilities as sugar.
Scott, I never fail to learn something from your posts, for which I thank you. I've done a bit of reading on maltodextrin and really appreciate the heads-up about it. Never knew.

For the heck of it, one night this week I did a little experiment between Splenda and granulated sugar. I combined one cup of water with 2 cups of granulated Splenda in one saucepan, dissolved the Splenda (almost instantly) over medium-high heat and brought it up to 220(F). In a second saucepan, I combined one cup of water with two cups of sugar, dissolved the sugar over medium-high heat and brought that up to 220(F). I allowed both to cool, uncovered, at room temp for about an hour until they were cool to the touch.

My conclusions:

1. Equivalent viscosities between the syrups.
2. Equivalent levels of sweetness between them.
3. Splenda dissolves tremendously faster than sugar.

So, is it the maltodextrin that accounts for the viscosity? And, if that is the case, could one thicken solutions with maltodextrin, much like we can with corn starch?

This is really fascinating stuff to me, Scott. I would appreciate your continued tutelage! ;)
Am I geting this right?

It will actually form a SYRUP?

So I can make a Splenda bar syrup? (I have been carrying on with sugar syrup for my one cocktail per day).

And if I can do this, I can make a chocolate flavoured syrup? (Lindt 85% cocoa chocolate)

And if I could find the flavouring, a mock maple syrup for buckwheat and wholemeal flapjacks?

An entirely new world could open up here.
Hi there!
As a baker I am appalled sometimes at the amount of real sugar(s) we consume-especially when I see some of the results.
I'm cooking for three diabetics as a home care provider and have a sil in a nursing home who's lost both feet due to the ravages of this horrible disease. My 90 yr old fil was just diagnosed as well. I need all the help I can get!

So... I've been experimenting with Splenda and Splenda Baking Blend. I 've tried several cakes (a white velvet, a typical yellow, and a chocolate, using it in the mix as well as using it to make a baking syrup-virtually no different than simple syrup but not as viscous or thick. I brush it on cakes to moisten before adding splenda sweetened whipped cream or a glaze also using splenda. I want to try ganache or buttercream but that's a little scary yet!
I also made some sweet pickles and cranberry sauce at holiday time. All successfully. Believe me, the effort was appreciated by my clients and family.

Although I am leery about the use of chemical sweeteners, I just can't ignore the facts about the impact that sugar has on our culture. Diabetes is definitely killing people but the jury is still out on Splenda. Maybe the risks are worth it? It's the price I object to!!

Oh, and as for the weight measure vs volume thingie-
Splenda weighs less than sugar but measures cup for cup the same. It was disconcerting at first for me too, but I found the equivilant is in volume measure.

Thanks for listening! Allison
I have extensive experience with splenda as I use it a lot. Unfortunately, it doesn't make a good simple syrup, not becouse of flavor, but rather due to it's "feel". splenda is 600 times as sweet as sugar, or some such number. therefore, most of the solid material in Splenda is a carrier that dissolves away wehn moistened. The Splenda won't give you the syrupy texture that sugar, or sugar alchohols will give you. If you want to make syrups, caramels, and hard candies, then you need to use sugar alcohols to replace the sugar.

Sugar acohols include sweeteners with "ols" at the end of their name, such as zylitol, maltitol, etc. These don't support bacterial growth like sugar does, and are often used in sugar-free gums and candies.

And as for Splenda's heat tolerence, I know it has been heated in excess of 600 degrees withour it breaking down. But you can't duplicate the cooked sugar texture or body with it.

Hope this helps.

Seeeeeeya: Goodweed of the North
Allison, the secret to making confections with splenda is to combine it with other sweeteners, especially when working with chocolate. When you combine it with other sweeteners a phenomenon called synergy occurs. The sweetness becomes magnified. Not only do you use a lot less sweetener and save money, the aftertastes of the sweeteners are a lot less noticeable. In other words, if you're only using splenda by itself, you're not only sacrificing quality, your throwing money down the drain.

What sweeteners have a good synergy with splenda? Well... sugar alcohols do, although a lot of people are sensitive to those and become laxative. The exception to this is erythritol. Erythritol is almost non glycemic, extremely low carb and non laxating. The one catch is that it's costly/hard to find. You don't need much of it for synergy, though.

The more sweeteners you can get into the picture, the more synergy occurs, the better. Besides combining splenda with erythritol, there's a few more sweeteners out there that have a great synergy with splenda. Sweet One brand ace k works wonderfully with splenda, is very inexpensive and is heat tolerant. Many Kroger supermarkets carry it.

Stevia is another popular choice for combining with splenda, although it's expensive and there's quite a few crummy brands of stevia out there.

As far as providing the missing texture from sugar, as Goodweed mentioned, you can use sugar alcohols. In recent months, though, a new product has become available for the home cook that provides similar results - polydextrose. Polydextrose is 90% fiber (with all the associated health benefits) non laxating, extremely low carb/calorie, non glycemic and mirrors the textural qualities of sugar/corn syrup. I've been baking with it a while now and it's amazing stuff. It's only 10% as sweet as sugar, so you have to combine it with other sweeteners, but the results have been wonderful.

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