Sixteen Low and No Sugar Recipes from Southern Plate!


Please leave a comment below and let us know if you’ve tried any of these – or just how your day is going! I just love hearing from y’all!

Today I thought I’d bring you another compilation post of  low or no sugar recipes that are on Southern Plate. I put one of these up last year but I’ve had so many more recipes to add to it that I just did a complete update and ended up with 16 of my favorite recipes for those of us who, for whatever reason, need less sugar in our diets. Be sure to read the notes by each recipe here before going to the post to make sure you know how I modify the recipe as sometimes it may not be as prominent in the post itself. Of course there is natural sugar in milk and of course there is natural sugar in fruit, no sense in splitting hairs. I just wanted to show you what I do to make desserts and treats more friendly for myself.

See, sugar and I are not friends. Sugar doesn’t like me very much and I can only have it in vegrahamwichesry small quantities at a time. Now do y’all think for one minute that I am about to go without all of the sweet things I post on Southern Plate? Yeah, you know me better than that! I have “workarounds” for several of our classic Southern dishes and you’d never know the difference!

So lets start things off by letting you know what I do differently to the following dishes in order to make them feast friendly for those of us who are watching our sugar and calories. I’m afraid I can’t give you nutritional values. I can’t tell you how many calories per serving or how many grams of sugar, fat, or protein each dish offers. It would be nice if I had that ability but I don’t own any fancy shmancy software to allow me to do that (and I detest math enough not to even attempt to calculate it on my own) so I’m afraid you’re on your own there.

A note about Splenda: In most of these recipes, all I do differently is substitute Splenda for sugar. I don’t use name brand Splenda. I buy a generic version of it in the big yellow bag (At Wal Mart it is called “Altern” but Kroger has generic as well, as I’m sure many other large retailers do). A bag sells for about six dollars and lasts me a pretty good while.

My best advice when substituting Splenda for sugar is to use a hair less Splenda than the sugar it calls for. For example: If a recipe calls for one cup of sugar, measure out a cup of Splenda (don’t pack it!) and remove a tablespoon.

The common mistake most people make when substituting Splenda for sugar is to add a little more than what the recipe calls for. This yields an artificially sweetened taste. So use a little less and you’ll be just fine :) . Unfortunately, you can’t substitute Splenda for sugar in baking and have the end result turn out the same. You’ll notice, then, that none of my Splenda recipes include baked goods.

Now, how about some Southern Classics without the guilt?


Baby Boston Cream Pies

This one qualifies at “lower sugar”. Rather than a traditional cream filling, I make mine out of light whipped topping and sugar free pudding.

You can also use skim milk.

The only “real” sugar in these is the bit of glaze on the top.

Might not be a no sugar recipe but its definitely a lot lower than something from a doughnut shop!



The first time my mother had this she said it was so good she almost spit it out, knowing it had to be loaded with sugar.

Guess what? It’s sugar free!


Hot Cocoa

Easy Peasy, classic hot chocolate, just use Splenda instead of sugar.

fruit salad

Fruit Salad

We make this with Splenda and sugar free fruit cocktail.

There is a good bit of natural sugars in the fruit but its a much better alternative than if you had a full sugar version.


Pudding Poke Cake

Yes, the cake has sugar. But the pudding icing on top leaves you much better off than if you would have used traditional icing.

This is also one of my FAVORITE cakes from my childhood. I like to keep it in the fridge and eat it cold. YUMM!


Almost No Sugar Ice Cream Grahamwiches

I like to keep these in the freezer in the summertime.

They are a great treat for the kids and I eat the plain ones or the ones with nuts so I can join in on treat time!


Buttermilk Congealed Salad (and a multitude of tangents)

We use sugar free whipped topping and sugar free gelatin in this one. You can make it any flavor you want by changing the gelatin!

Chocolate Gravy Made With Splenda

WHAT? You’ve been doing without CHOCOLATE GRAVY? Get on in that kitchen and mix up this recipe, substituting Splenda for the sugar.

Its how I make mine and my kids have never known!

In fact, this chocolate gravy pictured was made with Splenda!

Homemade Banana Pudding

Ahhh, the dish that started Southern Plate! I make my banana pudding with all Splenda instead of sugar.

I use regular Nilla Wafers because they don’t have much sugar in them anyway, but you can buy sugar free wafers if you like!

Southern Style Rice Pudding

Yup…I even substituted Splenda for the sugar in this rice pudding, too…Mama Reed would be proud!

Strawberry Punch Bowl Cake

Now for this gorgeous little thing, we use sugar free jello and light or fat free whipped topping, fat free angel food cake, and fresh strawberries to create a light and delicious dessert!

Hot Apple Flautas

These hit the spot when you want something quick and sweet.

Warm apple pie in a crispy tortilla shell, I use Splenda in place of sugar throughout this recipe and omit the caramel sauce at the end.

My husband can never tell if I’ve made them with Splenda or sugar!


Craving a tropical drink? Something icy and cool, I often make these for breakfast, using Splenda in place of the sugar.

Sweet Tea: Elixir Of The South

Y’all know I can’t even remember the last time I drank sweet tea with sugar!

It’s been almost ten years! I substitute Splenda for the sugar.

Depression Bread Pudding

If you’re a bread pudding lover like me, you’ll love this recipe which uses leftover hamburger or hot dog buns!

Splenda for the sugar, and you can eat it guilt free!

Marshmallow Sweet Potatoes

I often make this recipe and use Splenda in place of the sugar.

You can omit the marshmallows and still have a wonderfully delicious dessert or side dish!


Thank you all so much for hanging in there with me as I hit the home stretch on the book! If you have any immediate questions about Southern Plate recipes, please leave them in the comments here or on the Southern Plate Family Facebook page. Our Southern Plate family is as helpful as they can be! If you’re new to Southern Plate, WELCOME!!! Sit a spell, stay a while, and get to know all the wonderful folks here on my virtual front porch (you are welcome to reply to comments and chat with other readers!). I’m a little out of pocket as I finish up my book for Harper Collins but I’ll be around to fill your tea glasses directly!


Christy :)

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.

Love the people who treat you right and forget about the ones

who don’t.

Submitted by Donna in SC. Submit your quote here!


Dead fleas wouldn’t fall off’n him. Bless his heart.

(said about a particularly lazy person)

~Old Southern Sayings



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  1. Elaine Raye says

    Those all look scrumpdillyicious! It is a good time of year to be thinking low sugar as I am still struggling with pounds which I put on with my holiday indulgences. Love any kind of tips and recipes as weight is a constant battle for me so anyone who has some good ones-please share.

  2. Mary says

    I don’t know why people don’t understand how adaptable southern cooking is! Some people automatically get turned off by the higher fat and sugar content of recipes but just some adjustments like adding sugar substitutes for sugar and/or using similar lower fat products and most recipes can be adapted to suit individual tastes and needs. Of course the results are not perfectly identical to the higher sugar and higher fat originals, but the recipes are still wonderfully tasty and decidedly southern!

    Nice post my southern sister!! :)

  3. says

    Yummy Yummy! I am so glad you made this post, thanks for sharing. I am always looking for sugar substituted recipes as my in-laws are trying to watch their sugar intake and when we have them over I like to accommodate their needs too. I can’t wait to try the Baby Boston Creme Pies my family loves those and now there’s not as much guilt! :)

    BTW I so enjoyed meeting you and your family at the Athens State event. What a pleasure and inspiration you are Christy! I can hardly wait for your book to come out, I’ve got a list of people to send copies to. They are all excited about it too, cause I’ve really been talking it up to them. Remind me, how soon can we get the book?

    I started rambling on and nearly forgot to add my Old Southern Sayings. This is what folks around here say about those that don’t use common sense very well: “That don’t even make good walking down the road sense”

    Keep those recipes coming Christy! My family and I really appreciate them and you!


  4. lindsay mizer says

    These all sound so yummy! I have a hard time with “fake” sugars, because they give me the shakes, but I’ve never really tried splenda. I should..Lord knows I could use a little help in the weight department. Olivia decided to tell me that my belly was as big as Santa’s a few weeks ago. If that’s not enough to get me back to taking better care of myself, I don’t know what is!

  5. Sonya M. says

    I tried the fruit salad with Splenda and took it to my in-law’s last year for Christmas. I really liked it which is a good thing because I wound up taking most of it home! I’ve discovered that the most popular dessert items at their get-togethers are portable and involve chocolate, whipped topping, and nothing low cal! That’s why at another family gathering I took your chocolate sundae cake in cupcake form. They were totally devoured!

    And I’ll put in another plug for lemon chess pie made with Splenda. Yummy! My husband’s favorite dessert now! I can make it without looking at the recipe!

  6. Donna in SC says

    The Baby Boston Cremes are to DIE FOR! They are so quick n easy to make and oh so good! My husband and I both thank you for this recipe. Have you ever tried them with banana pudding??? yummmmmmm

  7. Jamie says

    As a type II diabetic and a transplanted southerner, giving up sweets has been probably the easiest thing thanks to products like Splenda & Truvia. However, you can bake with Splenda. I make cookies, pies, cakes, candy, puddings, you name with splenda and haven’t had any issue. If only I could find a better solution for pasta, rice and potatoes, being Diabetic wouldn’t be as bad…

  8. Michael says

    Having a son whose insulin output is never consistent it’s always a good thing to have sugar free items lying around the house just in case it’s one of his off days. I’ve done some similar things in the past but this gives me a whole new repertoir to add to the kitchen!!

    Thanks so much for reminding us of the many good “old” recipes available here on Southern Plate!

  9. says

    I usually just leave sweets alone period but the Iced Tea is a lifesaver. Like Jamie up above, It’s the potatoes and pasta I miss. I made the regular doughnuts with the biscuits but not the creme pies. I know dad would love them but I also know my willpower stinks to high heaven lol.

    Thanks Christy.

  10. Phaedra Kowis says

    Can I say THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH for this posting. My Husband is now being diagnosted as a diabetic from High Cholesterol. I am trying to read as much as I can because trying to figure out how to make some special food that makes him feel like he is not missing out has been hard. Sweet tea or I should say, sugar water with a little tea has been the hardest. He would drink a gallon almost by himself each evening. So he is trying to figure out which sugar subsitute he likes everyone has their own peference.

  11. Wendy says

    Christy, I also, would love to have a copy of your, Weight Loss Secrets. I tried to go to the Baby Boston Cream Pies, but got the Poke Cake instead. On your donuts (pies) did you use frozen bread dough, for the filling I figured you used a sugar free pudding. I really would love to see the recipe, because all your recipes are so-o-o good.

    • Tina says

      Hi Wendy..I’m sure this cliche will be fixed soon :)! In the meantime …go to the top of this will see a white rectangle on the right side in the black strip under the S.P. headline. Type in Baby Boston Creme Pies then hit enter. That will bring you to them or you can look in the index on the left side of the black strip! Hope this helps!!

      • Wendy says

        Hi, Tina… That did the trick. I’m so glag to find out that the pies are biscuits & not frozen bread dough. I’m still learning all the little tricks to a computer, my kids & grandkids get so tired of me asking them questions, all I hear is “Oh, Nana not again!”(smile) Now I know one more thing. Thanks so much.

  12. THERESA says



    • Elaine Raye says

      How about a trifle? layer alternately ginger snaps -either whole or crushed. A layer of your prepared pumpkin pie spice pudding followed by a layer of cool whip. Repeat layers and chill. By the way, I have never seen pumpkin pudding mix and it sounds wonderful. What brand is is? It must have only been distributed regionally. Maybe even a test market? If it was 15 cents a box maybe it did not sell well.


    Christy, Glassware for (1)Buttermilk Congealed Salad and (2)StrawberryAde above are like those my Mama used. I have one of my Mama’s sherbet dishes, but none of the Ade glasses. I love it when I spy an older piece from years ago. And I recognize many of your dinnerware.

  14. Betty in Va says

    Just wanted to let you know I made the Baby Boston Creme Pies and they are fantastic. I will be making these often for sure. Thanks for all you do for all of us, you are greatly loved and appreciated my my family and myself.

  15. Lisa says

    A terrific, healthy sweetener substitute – Agave nectar. It’s like honey, without an aftertaste, and safe for diabetics. It doesn’t spike blood sugar, so low on the glycemic index.

    It works particularly well for sauces, mixed fruit, and yes, you can bake with it. I usually just cut back on the sugar and add some agave in place of it so you still get some of the crunch and crust that sugar brings to baked goods. It’s a great sweetener to hot chocolate made with soy milk and dark cocoa.

    Agave nectar is made from a plant, so there are trace elements and antioxidants.

    Also, unlike honey, it dissolves in cold liquids, so you can use it to sweeten iced tea or homemade lemonade.

    At first you could only find this in health food stores for about $6 a bottle. But now it is showing up in grocery stores for $4 a bottle. I often buy it online by the case. Recently I found a 16 oz jug in my local discount grocers for $4.00.

  16. Su says

    You are right about that terrible artificial flavour. That is why I have never been a fan of sugar replacements because I couldn’t stand that fake aftertaste. But it makes sense when you say to reduce the amount because I have been known to add extra. hehe

    For me, I found Sweet ‘n’ Low to be the one product that had the least fake taste to it.

  17. whackywheelers says

    Thanks for the recipes!! They look absolutely great and I’m anxious to try a few! Hope life gets back to “normal” for you soon! We’re thinking about you . . . even throwing in some extra prayers for you!

  18. Michelle says

    I have to be careful not to get too much sugar in me….but I love to fix desserts….I am so excited to try a few of these yummy recipes, especially the Banana pudding!!! Thanks you are the best!!!


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