Low FODMAP baking might look hard at first but that’s exactly why we’ve come up with this low FODMAP baking guide. This post will walk you through the baking ingredients, their FODMAPs, how to work around that and share 13 low FODMAP baking recipes. Both baking & no baking required.
Here’s a quick run through of what we’ll cover today:
Ready to be a pro at low FODMAP baking? Let’s kick it off with why low FODMAP baking can be a challenge.
The Low FODMAP Diet & Desserts
The low FODMAP diet is a blessing and a curse. It’s great but it’s also a challenge. FODMAP is short for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols.
This long word basically explains short-chain carbohydrates that our small intestines have issues absorbing. These are 4 main categories to look out for:
- Fructose: Fructose is also known as fruit sugars. It’s used as a sweetener and additive.
- Fructans: Fructans are a type of sugar that’s found in ingredients like wheat, garlic, asparagus, cabbage, and onions to name a few.
- Lactose: Lactose is a type of sugar found in dairy.
- Sugar alcohols: This has to do with sweeteners and additives that are artificial like sorbitol, xylitol, and maltitol. You can find these in sodas, gums, or mints.
Considering all this, it seems close to impossible to make a dessert without sugar, dairy, or wheat, right? Nope. A low FODMAP diet doesn’t mean no FODMAPs. And the solution to dairy or wheat is not vegan and gluten-free.
There are plenty of vegan or dairy-free products that contain high FODMAP ingredients, like vegan cheesecake made from soy based cheese or gluten-free bread made with a high FODMAP grain.
So, what’s the secret? Knowing your tolerances and keeping to the recommended serving size!
Tolerance & Serving Size
Every person following the low FODMAP diet will have different tolerances. For instance, onions give us a lot of pain but we have a family member with IBS that can eat onions without any issue.
Knowing which foods you’re able to tolerate is key to enjoying life and following an IBS low FODMAP diet. The other important point is serving size. There are some foods that are 100% off the table but most foods (even some high FODMAP ingredients) have a low FODMAP serving size.
Most people with IBS can tolerate low to moderate amounts of FODMAPs without triggering IBS symptoms. It’s important to know what you can eat and keep within the recommended serving size.
Following that rationale, there’s more you can add to the list of low FODMAP foods that are okay to eat. Adjusting to a new diet has its challenges, here are some tips that helped us when it came to low FODMAP baking and desserts.
Low FODMAP Dessert Tips
Try these tips instead of cutting some of your favorite things out of your diet:
- Go with your gut
You’ll know immediately after eating something if it doesn’t sit right. Try testing small bites instead of going to large portions at first. This is especially true at events where you can’t control what goes in the food.
- Do some math
Low FODMAP ingredients come with serving sizes as guidelines. It doesn’t mean you can’t make a cake if a recipe includes 1 cup of almond flour (high FODMAP serving). It’s actually low FODMAP if you divide the finished baked product into at least 4 serves.
We’re not huge fans of math but it’s worth it if it means more food.
- Keep track
We’ve found that keeping a journal with how foods affect us has really helped. Like knowing how we’ll react to eating a bite or two of cake at a wedding. It’s not scientific but it’s handy and you won’t have to worry about going around asking for ingredients or measurements.
Speaking of serving sizes, how about we look at some of the FODMAP levels of common baking ingredients.
Low FODMAP Baking: Is It Possible?
Low FODMAP baking is definitely possible! And you don’t have to remove sugar, dairy or wheat either. The key with desserts is eating small portions. Wheat is a huge building block for most desserts but you’re not eating all the flour in the recipe. Wheat flour is high FODMAP at 2/3 cups, 100 grams or 3.53 ounce.
A slice of cake with minimal amounts of flour should be okay. Also, sourdough bread is made entirely out of wheat flour but it’s low FODMAP because the bread goes through a fermentation process that decreases the FODMAP levels.
With that being said, let’s cover 3 of the most common baking ingredients, their FODMAPs and some workarounds.
Making sugar-free desserts is possible but there’s no guarantee they’ll be low FODMAP. We have an amazing sugar-free fudge brownie recipe we can’t eat anymore because it’s made with pitted dates. But we have a perfectly amazing cheesecake recipe with white sugar that’s FODMAP friendly. So, let’s talk about sugars.
The ‘D’ in FODMAP stands for disaccharide. Sugar is a disaccharide that’s made up of fructose and glucose. However, Monash states that sugar does count as a FODMAP because of the glucose and fructose amount in sugar.
It’s important to note that flare-ups and symptoms may be triggered when there is too much fructose (over glucose) like in honey, mangoes, or agave syrup. Here’s a list of low & high FODMAP sugars:
Low FODMAP Sugars:
Note: Monash added a new listing for Demerara sugar in 2022. The low FODMAP serving is 1 teaspoon or 4 grams. Demerara sugar is moderate for FODMAPs at 1/3 cup or 75 grams.
- Brown sugar: according to fodmap everyday, light and brown sugar is low FODMAP at 1/4 cup or 40 grams.
- Cane sugar: also known as raw sugar it’s low FODMAP at 1/4 cup or 50 grams.
- Coconut sugar: low FODMAP in small servings of 1 teaspoon. 3 teaspoons is considered high in fructans and inulin. Inulin is high FODMAP and triggers IBS symptoms like bloating.
- Table sugar: low FODMAP at 1 tablespoon.
- Palm sugar: low FODMAP at 1 tablespoon
High FODMAP Sugars
- Fruit sugars: the same as fructose! High FODMAP and should be avoided.
- Fructose: Any ingredient with the label ‘fructose’ should be avoided.
- Honey: has higher fructose levels than glucose and is generally tolerated at 1 teaspoon. 1 tablespoon is high in FODMAPs.
- Molasses: is a syrup made from sugar beets. Monash has labeled it high FODMAP but small serving sizes of 1 teaspoon or 7 grams is moderate to low.
Now that we’ve covered sugars, let’s move to the other ingredient we need for desserts: fats and dairy:
Fats & Dairy
Low FODMAP desserts without any fat or dairy sounds like a nightmare to someone with a sweet tooth. Most baking recipes call for butter or some sort of fat which almost always has lactose. Luckily for us, butter is low enough in lactose to be considered low FODMAP.
Butter is 80% fat and 20% water. This means that 100 grams of butter has 1 gram of lactose. It isn’t lactose-free but it is low FODMAP. And if you keep in mind serving size, eating one slice of cake or brownie does not equal 500 grams of butter. Unless you eat 5-6 slices or the whole tray.
Since fats and oils contain zero FODMAPs, recipes that are oil based are okay to eat. Oil is an amazing vegan alternative to adding richness to baked goods in place of fats that are dairy based.
The best workaround to dairy in a low FODMAP diet is lactose-free. Lactose free dairy products are a better choice for IBSers because the main problem -lactose- is removed, making it low FODMAP. You can enjoy a slice of low FODMAP cheesecake without any fancy additives or expensive substitutes!
The final ingredient on this list is a building block for a lot of baked goods and desserts: flour.
Wheat flour is not on the list of low FODMAP foods but it is a huge building block for many if not all desserts. You can have whole grain desserts with the right serving size but before you do, check out this list of low & high FODMAP flours.
- Buckwheat flour: Gluten free and low FODMAP at 2/3 cup, 100 grams or 3.53 ounces.
- Corn flour: Also known as corn starch (not to be confused with polenta). It is also low FODMAP at 2/3 cup, 100 grams or 3.53 ounces.
- Polenta or cornmeal: has the same serving size recommendation as corn flour.
- Rice flour: Low FODMAP at 2/3 cup, 100 grams or 3.53 ounces.
- Tapioca and potato starch (low FODMAP): low FODMAP at 2/3 cup, 100 grams or 3.53 ounces.
- Almond flour or meal: low FODMAP at 1/4 cup, 24 grams or 0.85 ounces.
High FODMAP Flours:
- Rye flour: contains gluten and is a similar grain to wheat and is high FODMAP.
- Spelt flour: all spelt flours (organic, whole, or white) is high FODMAP
- Wheat flour: high FODMAP in moderate and large quantities at 2/3 cups, 100 grams or 3.53 ounces. Small amounts should be tolerable.
High FODMAP flours like wheat or spelt are tolerable in larger quantities like 2 slices of bread as long as it is sourdough bread. Read more about why you can enjoy low FODMAP wheat bread here:
Speaking of making bread at home, we promised you 13 FODMAP dessert recipes at the beginning of the post.
13 Low FODMAP Dessert Recipes (Bake & No-Bake)
We’re all geared up to tackle low FODMAP baking since we’ve covered the basics of making a low FODMAP dessert. Here are some of our favorite low FODMAP baking favorites:
Ever want to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies only to find the recipe calls for brown and white sugar? No brown sugar, no problem. This recipe fixes that issue and makes perfect crisp and chewy chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar. It also has deep savory caramel notes from the browned butter and sea salt.
Looking for vegan low FODMAP banana bread? This is the perfect one bowl banana bread without baking soda. The smell of cinnamon banana bread will fill the room as you enjoy a slice of moist and fluffy banana bread.
Learn how to make sourdough at home with this black sesame seed crusted cranberry sourdough! Cranberries are low FODMAP at 1 tablespoon or 15 grams, so you can enjoy a slice or two of this delicious sourdough bread with your favorite spread or on its own!
More of our favorite low FODMAP baking recipes below. Everything from low FODMAP pudding to the perfect cheesecake recipe.
Curious about baking ingredients? Learn about baking FODMAPs here: