The continuing sugar debate…

Homemade spiced brown sugar in jar

The sugar debate continues and we’re super conscious of needing to review our Honeybuns range and get refined white sugar levels down across the board.

We’re achieving this by doing the obvious and reducing the levels of sugar in each recipe across our range of gluten free cakes. This includes sugar, syrup and honey.

We’ve been listening to customers who cite the issue as a concern and also as a source of confusion.

There are lots of alternative sweeteners on the market including Xylitol, Stevia, coconut sugar & jaggery.

We’ve trialled all of these and more with varying degrees of success in the Honeybuns test kitchen.

It’s proved to be a fine line to tread between our Honeybuns’ “indulgent treat” heritage and our commitment to making recipes healthier.

It’s also hard for those of us without a crystal ball to figure out how ongoing press coverage of sugar will ultimately affect consumers’ buying decisions. Will consumers, for instance, feel they are getting less of an indulgent treat if the sugar is not there or greatly reduced?

For us here at the bakery it’s all about the taste and customer delight. We’ve focused on finding a sugar alternative that sacrifices neither and can even improve on both.

So, finally we feel we have made some progress. We’ve had great results using date paste; prepped here at the bakery and used in 2 new development products. We’ve also trialled it successfully in 2 existing products. Naturally, dates contain sugar, but the critically important benefit is that this sugar is not refined and comes as part of a nutritionally rich “package” of soluble fibre, vitamins and minerals; notably vitamin B-6.

Honeybuns gluten free Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

We’ve trialled it in one of our more indulgent slices, our Chocolate Caramel Shortbread and found that the chocolate and caramel have come to the fore in terms of flavour. The taste is cleaner (according to our chomping of numerous samples) and the texture, although different, is in no way inferior.

So we’re very excited. This has long been our mission: namely to attain the holy grail of cakes that are very nice indeed but not quite as naughty.

We’re looking to launch two revised Honeybuns products, which will contain no added refined sugar. We’re also launching two brand new, date-sweetened products over the next couple of months.

Dates, either used in dried, granulated form or as a paste have great potential but they won’t be right for all of Honeybuns products. So the search and trails continue. It’s all part of the fun for us. As ever, we’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts on this issue.