paleo raw tiramisu

Natural Sweeteners.

All of our sweet treat recipes use these paleo natural sweeteners instead of sugar. If one sweetener isn’t your thing just swap it for something else, it really is up to your taste buds and how they make you feel. We also like to remind everyone that sweet treats are still treats and we recommend you enjoy them occasionally! We probably enjoy a paleo dessert 2-3 times a week!

Low fructose sweeteners

Sugar can be broken down into fructose and glucose. Paleo = no refined sugars (otherwise known as sucrose which is half glucose and half fructose). It’s the fructose in sugar that is the super bad stuff. Our bodies can’t process fructose and it gets turned into fat, as well as causing a whole bunch of other health implications. Glucose is the stuff we use for energy, it gets burned up! 

Now this barely touches the edges but it gives you a merrymaker overview of why we’re slowing down on the fructose. There are all kinds of resources we recommend you check out: Sweet Poison by David Gilespie and I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson.

Baking stevia

We are pro stevia! Stevia is a sweetener derived from the stevia plants leaves. This natural sweetener has been around for ages and is now re-gaining popularity (since everyone is jumping on the refined sugar free wagon… yay!). Stevia is super amazing as it doesn’t spike our GI levels, in fact its GI level is zero! Make sure it’s 100% stevia with nothing mixed (some brands try to sneak in nasties!). 

Rice malt syrup

We like to use it because it’s fructose free, gluten free, has no preservatives and is a complex carbohydrate (which means it provides a steady flow of energy and doesn’t spike our GI level). Plus! It tastes delish too! As we said if it’s not for you just swap to another sweetener! To make your treats 100% paleo, a good alternative to rice malt syrup is raw honey (this isn’t a low fructose option… you choose!).

Can you believe that Merrymaker tiramisu cake (in the feature image) has only 2 tablespoons on rice malt syrup and it’s super yum and delish! Get the recipe!

Low fructose fruit

We love fruit. Seriously how good is fruit?! It makes us want to sing and dance! Through our paleo journey (our addiction to dates) and cutting of refined sugars we’ve noticed there are ‘sometimes fruit’ and ‘everyday fruit’. The main reason for this is the fructose level. The fruits we use in here are low fructose fruits like: berries, lemons and limes! They add a huge flavour punch plus have so many added health benefits. 


High fructose natural sweeteners

Raw honey

How yum is raw honey? It’s full of minerals like Potassium, Magnesium, Zinc and Iron as well as Vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6 and Vitamin C. We recommend eating local raw honey (that way it can prevent allergies in your area!). 

Coconut syrup

A great alternative for toffee tasting sweeteners! It’s made from pure coconut nectar and is full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and is high in electrolytes. It makes you feel really good as it has high levels of Inositol (the feel good Vitamin B8!).

Coconut sugar

A great alternative to raw/brown regular sugar. It’s a super sustainable sugar with a Low GI of 35.  We like using it in our Snickers Cake!


Dates are super versatile and yum. These have a high GI level so just be conscious of the amount you’re eating. 

Maple syrup

Be sure to use 100% maple syrup. Perfect for pancakes! Like the look of the below? Get the recipe! YUM!

paleo pikelets

Agave syrup

Agave is 90% fructose which is not good at all! So we recommend you choose something else. It funks up your hormones and leads to heaps of health problems, you can read more here

It can defineitly get VERY confusing, this is why we had a break from all natural sweetener! And guess what… some paleo sweet treats don’t even need any natural sweetener! Checkout these brownies, this apple crumble (below!) and our Mum’s coconut jam slice WINS!

Paleo sweetener free apple crumble

Have you got another natural sweetener to add to our list? Comment below! 

Always merrymaking,

Emma + Carla


Comments 15

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  4. Hi Emma and Carla. I’m a big fan of the work you girls go, however I think you need to do more research about the effects of fructose, independent from IQS and Gillepsie. I think it’s ludicrous to right off certain fruits for their high fructose content, it’s just limiting the spectrum of nutrients your body has access to. All the research showing the bad effects of fructose use high fructose corn syrup and in very high quantities, around 30% of daily intake – now the average healthy diet will not reach this limit. When we eat fruit we get a whole range of minerals and fibre with negates the “negative” effects of fructose – nature knows best! Nothing annoys me more than when people use RMS in a smoothie instead of a banana believing it to be the healthier option.The research Gillepsie relies on is based on animal studies so that cannot be taken as gospel, since we are after all humans. Furthermore, rice malt syrup, contrary to the belief shown on many popular blogs is far from low GI, to has a GI of 98 (according the University of Sydney’s GI index), which makes it incredibly misleading to label RMS as a slow release, particularity for diabetics. I personally would much rather use tiny amount of a “high fructose” sweetener such as coconut or rapadura sugar or my fave, raw honey (or even God forbid cane sugar) in a recipe rather than have to large amount of RMS to achieve the same amount of sweetness. I hope my comment does’t come across as offensive but it is just downright dangerous for false information to be spread as fact.

  5. Post

    Hi Mariam,

    Thanks so much for the effort you put in to this comment and we’re really open to everyone sharing their own opinion and ideas here – so we definitely didn’t take this offensively! We’ve gone through many transitions ourselves with our food, movement and the way we think.

    The way we eat is based on how the food makes us feel after we’ve eaten it and many fruits, for example, bananas actually make us feel quite ill after we eat them, so this is why we don’t consume them and from our own research we understand why they make us feel this way.

    We believe that we should all just be eating real food, if you like bananas and other foods that we don’t enjoy, then of course go for it! We’re all for everyone finding their perfect diet, because, really, no human body is identical and we all thrive on different things!

    In a lot of our recipes we try and offer different sweetener options so everyone can make their own mind up!

    Thanks again for sharing your opinion and we look forward to hearing more from you! e + c

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  8. Hi there Emma and Carla!
    So glad I came across your site. I feel that posts like this one are SO important and I commend you for spreading your knowledge on the subject! I am a big fan of coconut nectar and dates. Reading your post made me realise I should probably be a bit more conscious about the amount of medjood dates I eat!

    What you wrote about rice malt syrup is really interesting. I had no idea it was a complex carbohydrate. Will definitely be trying that one out 🙂

    xx wholefoodwellness

  9. Post
  10. Hi Emma & Carla,
    I am looking to make the switch to paleo, and came across your website. Great information, and all the recipes look delicious. Can’t wait to get started. What are your thoughts on coffee? Also, what sweeter/dairy substitute would you use for coffee? Thanks in advance!

  11. Not sure if my last comment posted or not, so I apologize if this posts twice. Just wondering your thoughts on coffee? Also, what sugar/dairy substitute would you recommend for coffee? Thanks in advance!

  12. Post

    Hi Lisa! 🙂 We are so happy you found us! We don’t drink coffee at the moment but we don’t think it’s necessarily all bad for you. We used to drink bulletproof coffee everyday and we always would try for organic coffee.

    We suggest you sweeten it with a little powdered stevia or coconut sugar. We find these sweeteners are best with coffee. Then we suggest you decrease this amount slowly… till you don’t need it! And trust us that day will come!

    Keep us posted on your health/paleo journey! We are all about making changes to last, don’t put too much pressure on yourself and enjoy this amazing journey you’re on!

    Get in touch with any other questions 🙂 xx e + c

  13. Post

    Also! We would suggest almond milk or coconut milk to start with. You can bring a carton to your local cafe if they don’t stock it 🙂 Then you could try bulletproof coffee (with butter) too! Here is a link with more info:

    We also should add… the reason we don’t drink it anymore was because we noticed we would get on caffein highs and then crash. We tried no coffee for a week and felt better and stuck to it! 🙂 But we definitely think it can be a healthy addition to your diet.

  14. Hi girls! Im reading this post now because I want to change my habits, it is so interesting and always learning.

    I want to know which brand of stevia you use? I really hate (sorry) but it’s too sad that the enterprises just think in money and not in the health of people.
    The mix it whit bad stuff…so I was wondering which brand you use?

    Thanks girls…greetings from panama

  15. Post

    Hello from Panama! How fun! 🙂 We actually don’t really cook with stevia anymore. We prefer honey and rice malt syrup. But we’d still eat stevia if someone made something with it for us hehe. At the time we used Natvia. xxx

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