Diabetic birthday and holiday celebrations

Sep 28, 2007 at 9:29 p.m. ET

Most celebrations include festive, sugary foods like cakes, cookies, and candies. While these treats are tempting, they can pose a health threat to diabetics. So what's the best way to celebrate with those on a restricted diet? Brenda Hyde offers suggestions.

Orange Cake

Sugar-free celebrations
Family celebrations are always a little tricky pleasing everyone's tastes, but if you have a diabetic in the family it can be an even bigger challenge. My Mother was diagnosed with diabetes after she was 50. Our family had been so used to the traditional sweets and cakes that it was hard to adjust during celebrations.

We have discovered over the years that there have been wonderful improvements in sugar free candy and desserts. I have two recipes for homemade cakes and several suggestions for the older diabetic or younger family member as well!

Angel food cakes are usually permitted in the diabetics diet. We have decorated purchased angel food cakes with great success. They can be topped with packaged sugar free dessert topping. Decorate the cake with sugar free candy and candles for birthday celebrations. You can also prepare sugar free pudding, which comes in some great flavors now, and pour over the top and sides of the cake. This can also be done with the cake recipes below.

Orange Cake
1/3 cup reduced calorie margarine, melted
1/4 cup granulated brown sugar substitute
1 teaspoon powdered sugar substitute
1 egg
1 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup unsweetened orange juice
Vegetable cooking spray

1. Combine margarine, sugar substitutes and egg. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes.

1. Combine flour, baking powder, soda and cinnamon, stirring to blend.

2. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with orange juice, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat at low speed after each addition.

3. Spoon batter into an 8 inch square pan coated with cooking spray.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

Note: You can make two of these and layer them if you wish or bake them in round pans instead. 9 servings.

Per serving: 19g carbohydrates; 3g protein; 3g fat; 257 mg sodium; 30 mg cholesterol; 118 calories.

Applesauce-Spice Cake
3 cups water
1 1/4 cups raisins
2 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
3 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons powdered sugar substitute
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups self-rising flour
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
cooking spray

1. Combine 2 1/2 cups water and raisins in a heavy pan and bring to a boil. Boil until the water evaporates or is absorbed by the raisins. (watch carefully) Remove from heat.

2. Add applesauce, eggs, sugar substitute, oil and remaining water. Stir to combine.

3. Sift together flour, cinnamon and soda, then gradually add to the applesauce mixture with vanilla, stirring after each addition.

4. Spoon batter into a 10 inch Bundt pan coated with cooking spray.

5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

6. Cool in pan for 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool on rack. Frost as desired.

Makes 28 slices.

Per serving: 20g carbs; 2g protein; 8g fat; 29mg cholesterol; 26mg sodium; 165 calories