With gestational diabetes desserts may be off the menu, or so you may have thought, but in this post I will share with you hints and tips on how you can still enjoy desserts and puddings that shouldn't spike your blood sugar levels!
As with all of my dietary guidance for gestational diabetes, the same principles apply to gestational diabetes desserts and puddings. Follow the 8 Golden Rules and desserts are no different from any other foods.
The problem with sweet things such as fruit, cakes, puddings and desserts are that they are usually high in carbohydrates as they are high in sugar. This could be from natural sugar like in fruit and honey, or from added sugars and highly refined carbohydrates.
It is really important to remember, with 'desserts', that if you are having them following a meal you are significantly increasing your carbohydrate intake in one sitting.
With diabetes, the body struggles to process large amounts of sugar from food. Therefore, in order to have these desserts after a meal they need to be sugar free (or very low carb/sugar), paired well and would ideally be followed after a very high protein, very low carbohydrate meal.
The best way to 'have your cake and eat it' 😉 is to have dessert as a 'snack' i.e. AFTER you have tested your post meal blood sugar levels, remembering the key to stabilising blood sugar levels is eating little and often
Cream is a great source of natural fats and can be added to gestational diabetes desserts to help pair them. The fat in cream slows down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream
However, this means REAL cream NOT artificial cream alternatives such as Elmlea.
Many people who are not used to shopping for cream find Elmlea and believe it is a branded product for cream. It isn't. It is not real cream, it is a cream alternative and contains transfats which are the type of fat we need to try to avoid.
Nearly all shops sell real cream, but it is usually their own brand version which is double or single cream e.g. Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury's, Waitrose, CO-OP e.t.c. (or you may find Dairy branded products such as Graham's Family Dairy Creams).
With squirty spray creams, the only found that does not contain added sugar is Anchor Extra Thick. All the others contain added sugar and so will not help pair desserts like the Anchor Extra Thick one will.
Fruit is called natures natural sweets for a reason. Fruit contains high amounts of fructose which is a type of sugar. Fruit is also full of vitamins, minerals and fibre, but unfortunately the high sugar content can make fruit a tricky food to tolerate with gestational diabetes.
Some ladies worry about reducing and limiting fruit on a gestational diabetes diet in case they are missing out essential nutrients, but you can actually get any nutrient found in fruit from vegetables instead, just without all the sugar!
Some fruits are better than others. The lowest sugar (lowest GI) fruits are berries.
This picture shows examples of better fruits to try, but it is always advisable to pair fruit with fat to help slow down the release of sugar:
Quick gestational diabetes desserts and sweet treats
- Hartley's (or Chivers if you're in Ireland) No added sugar, or 10 cal jelly pots (no pairing needed, but nice with Anchor Extra Thick squirty cream or whipped cream) Avoid any with fruit pieces added
- Full fat Greek yoghurt with berries, nuts and seeds
- Full fat Greek yoghurt with crumbled oat biscuit, nuts and a few berries
- Nairns oat biscuit or digestive smothered in full fat cream cheese and sliced strawberry (add sweetener and a drop of vanilla if you wish)
- Granny smith apple slices dunked in crunchy peanut butter
- Berries with double cream
- Walls Mini milk ice cream lolly
- Claudi & Fin frozen yogurt lolly
- Walls Mini Twister ice cream lolly
- 1 scoop of a good GD ice cream with whipped cream, nuts and a drizzle of melted dark chocolate
- Pancakes (we have lots of pancake recipes here)
Gestational diabetes desserts & puddings
TIP: Make these puddings in ramekins, small bowls or glasses so that you don't over indulge!
- No added sugar Angel Delight or shops own brand no added sugar 'Delight' with whipped cream and nuts
- Chia Pudding
- Chocolate cheesecake (gluten free)
- Chocolate mousse
- Chocolate velvet (dairy free and vegan)
- Fluff (milk jellies)
- Lemon cheesecake
- Key Lime Pie (dairy free and vegan)
- Rhubarb crumble
- Rhubarb crumble (nut free version)
- Eton Mess
- REAL Custard
- Trifle; No added sugar or sugar free jelly, topped with no added sugar angel delight or real custard, top with whipped cream and a few berries or some chocolate shavings
Gestational diabetes teacakes and cookies
- Gingerbread cookies
- Peanut butter cookies
- Wholemeal scones with Chia Jam and clotted cream
- Lower carb Hot Cross Buns
Gestational diabetes store bought sweet treats; biscuits and chocolate
These items should not be eaten every day and only once you've managed to get your blood sugar levels under control. If you are struggling with high blood sugar levels, or erratic levels which are spiking and falling, then it is advisable to avoid eating these foods.
However, once you have good control and understanding over your levels and tolerances, then these items make some good GD treats if you feel you'd like something and want to make a better choice.
Choose no more than ONE item and pair it with natural fats and protein to slow down the release of sugar e.g. nuts, seeds, cheese e.t.c.
- 4 squares/20g of dark chocolate
- Cadbury's Freddo (milk chocolate version)
- Treat size milk chocolate buttons
- Half a Kinder Bueno
- 2 finger Kit Kat
- 2 x Nairns oat biscuits or Nairns gluten free biscuit breaks
- 2 x Digestive biscuits
- 2 x Hobnob biscuits
- 1 x Dark chocolate Hobnob biscuit
- 2 x Rich Tea biscuits
- 3 x Chocolate digestive biscuit thins
- 4 x Rich Tea finger biscuits
- 1 x Nature Valley Protein bar
For more information around eating chocolate with gestational diabetes, please see the chocolate page
Gestational diabetes UK Membership for dessert recipes
I created Gestational Diabetes UK as a GD Mum, for other Mums. I'm dedicated to providing information on gestational diabetes, from diagnosis through to birth and beyond.
I do not show any ads on my website, or have any annoying pop ups. There are no affiliate links and no financial gain for any products that are mentioned within the content. All links shown are purely for information purposes.
GD UK does not sell any physical products, instead it is funded by people via an optional membership to the website for additional recipes and meal plans.
By selling membership, it has meant that the GD UK website can remain free for all to use and so that I can continue to update with more information and support as time goes on.
If you are interested in my optional membership to help fund the website and my work involved, please click on the link below.
Thanks, Jo (Founder and Author of Gestational Diabetes UK)
Gestational Diabetes UK Membership Cake and Pudding Recipes
I really enjoy baking and so it made sense to experiment with recipes to make some things that wouldn't cause spikes in blood sugar levels, but meant that I could still bake family cakes and treats.
Baking with alternative flours has taken a lot of mistakes and mishaps along the way, but I have now learned the basics and work hard at creating new, yet classic recipes to enjoy!
Whilst you don't need any of these recipes to follow my dietary advice and benefit from all the info and research on the website, I now sell optional membership for some of the more indulgent recipes. I decided to do this to fund my work and pay for the up keep of running this website.
Many people say I should create a recipe book, but I like the fact that I can constantly add to my recipes by having them on my website.
- Bakewell Slices
- Blueberry Breakfast Muffins
- Blueberry Breakfast Muffins (nut free version)
- Bounty Mug Cake
- Brownies (dairy free version)
- Brownies (vegan version)
- Carrot Mug Cake
- Chocolate Cake (nut free)
- Chocolate Lava Cake
- Coconut Rice Pudding
- Crème Brûlée
- Lemon Loaf Cake
- Lemon & Poppy Seed Breakfast Muffins
- Mocha Cupcakes
- Panna Cotta
- Peanut Butter Oat Bran Cookies
- Rice Pudding
- Summer Pudding Mug Cake
- Vanilla Cupcakes
- Victoria Sponge Cake
- Victoria Sponge Cake (nut free version)