Getting Started: Using Sunsweet Ingredients in Baking

How to make fudgy brownies with less sugar and fat with Sunsweet prune puree and prune juice concentrate
How to make fudgy brownies with less sugar and fat with Sunsweet prune puree and prune juice concentrate

Rich in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, prunes have long been associated with health and wellness. When used as an ingredient in baking, prunes can also sweeten with less sugar, reduce fat and calories, replace artificial caramel coloring, and retain moisture. To make it even easier to use prunes in baking all Sunsweet Ingredients—from powder and concentrates to puree and paste—are made with prunes.

Benefits of Baking with Sunsweet Prunes

  • Helps reduce or replace fat
  • Helps reduce sugar
  • Binds with moisture, improving texture
  • Helps reduce salt and spices by boosting flavor
  • Prevents the formation of rancid flavors 

The following are ways to get started using Sunsweet Ingredients to improve baking recipes.

Reducing Fat

The carbohydrates in Dried Plum Puree or Prune Juice Concentrate bind with water, interrupting the gluten network in dough and helping to make baked goods tender. The puree not only mimics fat but also enhances moisture.

Options on replacing or reducing butter or vegetable oil

  • Replace up to 50% added fat with Prune Juice Concentrate. Because this is a concentrated ingredient, add only 25% of the weight of the fat that was removed. (If you take out 100g of fat, replace it with 50 g of the concentrate.) To make up volume, add some water to the recipe. For the results, you may notice more caramelization compared with the original recipe as well as a light toffee flavor.
  • Replace up to 50% with Dried Plum Puree. The color will be deeper than the original and the flavor will be more caramelized. This ingredient is best in items that benefit from being chewy, such as ginger molasses cookies. If the results are too dark or dense, follow the advice listed in the first bullet point and cut back on the amount of puree, making up the difference in weight with water.
  • Reconstitute Prune Bits in water or flavored liquid until they soften, then stir the liquid and bits together to form a paste. This can be used in place of 50% of butter or oil for a milder effect than the previous two ingredients. It is not concentrated, so there is no need to add water to the recipe.
  • For an example of fat reduction with prune ingredients, see this recipe for Fudgy Brownies and Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Sunsweet Ingredients are easy to add into recipes for fat reduction or for other benefits. Here are a couple of options:

  • If using Dried Plum Puree to replace butter, add the puree while aerating butter and sugar.
    If using Dried Plum Puree to replace vegetable oil, mix the puree into the oil and eggs first.

Lower Sugar, Improve Flavor

Some of the sweetness in our ingredients comes from sorbitol, which adds sweetness without affecting blood sugar levels. This allows us to keep sugar levels lower while maintaining sweetness in baked goods and bars.

  • To lower total sugars in a recipe, use Prune Juice Concentrate in place of 30% corn syrup, sugar, or brown rice syrup.
  • Reduce cane sugar use by 10-15% by adding 5% Prune Juice Concentrate
  • When using Sunsweet Ingredients for fat reduction, you may also be able to reduce sugar by 10-15% because prunes will naturally make the recipe sweeter.

Boosting Fiber and Flavor

Since prunes are a high-fiber food, adding Sunsweet Ingredients to recipes can boost the fiber content of baked goods. Here are some ways to boost fiber in recipes:

Baking Light-Colored Batters, Cakes and Cookies

Some ingredients made with prunes are too dark to use in lighter-colored baked goods like lemon pound cake or vanilla madeleines. When a deep, caramel color is not desired, you can use Fresh Plum Concentrate, a lighter-colored ingredient that boosts color subtly. Because it is high in antioxidants, it can stave off rancidity.

  • For a test, add Fresh Plum Concentrate to basic vanilla shortbread in the same quantity as vanilla extract. The cookies bake faster and keep longer before going stale.

Improving Gluten-Free Baked Goods

Dried Plum Puree and Prune Juice Concentrate add moisture and structure to gluten-free items.

For more information, download our Baking Manual and explore our baking recipes.

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