You may be able to find a delicious sugar free sweet bread recipe, like scones and coffee cake. But then it calls for a frosting, and there are few (if any) refined sugar free frostings out there. I’ve created an easy recipe for a healthy maple gravy frosting that is refined sugar free! This recipe is the best way to frost all your favorite baked goods: scones, donuts, bundt cakes, cinnamon rolls and more!
The Story Behind My Search for a Healthy Frosting for Breads
I do not wait for the fall season to enjoy pumpkin baked goods. I make pumpkin scones that are just to die for year-round. Friends coming over? Pumpkin scones. A get together at someone’s house? Pumpkin scones. A quick snack or breakfast? Pumpkin scones. Best quick bread recipe ever.
I was eating them often but wanted to feel better about what I was eating. I mean, I’m willing to consume my fair share of sugar, but I’m on a quest to cut it out as much as possible in easy and delicious ways.
That led to creating a fall pumpkin and maple scone recipe that is also sugar free. But then I drizzled it with a frosting that was sugar, sugar, sugar. And I wasn’t going to eat a scone without frosting. I mean, who DOES that?
I HAD to come up with a refined sugar-free version of frosting for my pumpkin scones.
This Healthy Maple Gravy Frosting Recipe is Not Technically Sugar-Free
This seems like a good place to note that I am in no way pushing a sugar-free diet – or special diets of any kind! I’ve been on a quest to cut out as much refined sugar as I can, and thought I would share this recipe in case anyone else is interested. It is also important to note that this recipe is NOT sugar-free. Maple Syrup is still considered a sugar, but from my research it looks like it has a lower glycemic index than refined white sugar. There may also be other beneficial nutrients in maple syrup that are not in sugar, but please do your own research. If you’re looking for a sugar-free recipe, this is NOT it. If you’re looking for a healthiER frosting, this is the one!
Ingredients for this No Refined Sugar Frosting
- Real Maple Syrup
- Vanilla Extract
- Nutmeg, Cloves, Cinnamon and Ginger
Tools You Will Need
The Process of Making this Frosting Refined Sugar Free
I tried many different methods for creating a frosting with no added sugar. It was not as easy as I anticipated. Turns out, sugar is a pretty important frosting ingredient.
I tried making a glaze based on maple syrup. Now I’m not a food scientist, but it seemed as if science was against this quest. Each time, the butter separated or the glaze seized up into a ball. Time.After.Time
I finally landed on the idea of making a gravy. Growing up, we made flour gravies all the time for fried chicken, tenderized steak and all that scrumptiousness. Why not make a SWEET gravy frosting?
After many attempts, it came out juuuuuuust right.
Refined Sugar Free Maple Syrup Frosting vs Powdered Sugar Frosting
This refined sugar free frosting is delicious and makes me happy to spread on my scones and other sweet breads. But I’m going to be honest. Coming from a sugar lovin’ gal, nothing can ever beat white sugar. People love it for a reason.
But is this no refined sugar frosting enough to satisfy my sweet tooth while also giving me a healthy treat?
Absolutely. It’s my new favorite way.
How Long Does This Frosting Keep?
I keep this frosting in the refrigerator. I always like to frost my scones or other sweet breads just before eating so they don’t get too soggy. The frosting can last a week in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
What Can I Use This Frosting On?
Really, the sky’s the limit on using this healthy maple gravy frosting. You can use it for the following (and more!):
- Scones (try my Fall Pumpkin and Maple Scones recipe HERE!)
- Homemade Donuts
- Coffee Cakes
- Sweet Quick Breads (like pumpkin bread or banana bread!)
- Cinnamon Rolls
Keep in mind that this is more of a medium runny frosting. It is mildly thick but is not going to stand up tall on a cupcake. This replaces the more runny powdered sugar-type frosting and will have the same consistency as that. It’s really the perfect combination to drizzle over your favorite pumpkin bread recipe, or any bread recipe that calls for a maple syrup glaze! I find that maple syrup enhances the flavor of the baked goods.
What If I Don’t Like Maple?
I use pure maple syrup and not imitation. If you ask my husband Caleb, I’m a bit of a syrup snob. However, if you’re not into pure maple syrup or if that flavor doesn’t go with your bread, you can substitute honey instead of maple syrup. I will say, however, that if you have only ever tried “maple-flavored” corn syrup (check your syrup labels!), it is not remotely the same thing! “Maple flavor” is not my personal preference either. Try real, pure maple syrup. You may discover a new favorite flavor! (I may or may not be a maple syrup evangelist. Use maple syrup! It is the better way! No more maple syrup substitute!)
Steps for Making Healthy Maple Gravy Frosting (refined sugar free) with Photos
1. Melt butter in skillet
2. Add flour to butter and whisk quickly back and forth to combine. Cook for 30 – 45 seconds, stirring constantly.
3. Pour in milk, whisking back and forth until smooth.
4. Cook on low until bubbly and thickened (2 – 3 minutes)
5. Remove from heat. Add spices, vanilla and maple syrup.
6. Spread over scones or other sweet breads just before serving for best results
Enjoy this new healthy maple gravy frosting that’s refined sugar free for breads on your journey to healthier food (that doesn’t have to taste healthy). Whether you’re taking some fall pumpkin and maple scones to a coffee gathering this fall, need a quick and delicious breakfast, or are simply craving a sweet treat, this frosting will come in handy.
Healthy Maple Gravy Frosting (refined sugar free)
A homey and fall spiced frosting, this healthy maple gravy frosting is refined sugar free. It is a great alternative for those super sweet and unhealthy powder sugar frostings!
- • 3 tbl Butter
- • 1 1/2 tbl Flour
- • 1 ½ cups Milk
- • 1/3 cup Real Maple Syrup
- • 1 tsp Cinnamon
- • ¼ tsp Ginger
- • ¼ tsp Cloves
- • ½ tsp Nutmeg
Melt butter in skillet.
Add flour to melted butter. Combine well in short back and forth motions with whisk. Let cook 30 - 45 seconds, stirring occasionally.
Pour milk into pan. Combine well in short back and forth motions with whisk. Cook until thick (2 - 3 minutes).
Remove from heat. Add real maple syrup, vanilla and spices.
Drizzle over warm scones. If you make these scones to eat throughout several days, you can keep the frosting in the refrigerator to add right before you eat the scones.
Variation: You can use honey in place of the maple syrup.
Shop the Look
Find vintage kitchen decor, dishes and utensils similar to the photos below!
Try my Fall Pumpkin and Maple Scones Recipe [Sugar Free] HERE for an excellent pairing with this healthy maple gravy frosting.
Comment below and tell me what your favorite sweet bread recipe is!
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