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Just A Spoonful Of Sugar

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You’ve seen Mary Poppins, right?  It’s such an adorable movie!

After I wrote this title, I realized that I haven’t seen it in years. It’s been entirely too long since I watched Dick Van Dyke dancing on rooftops, Julie Andrews singing about funny words, children jumping into chalk drawings (I wanted the ability to do that!)… and how cute is the scene where they’re all floating on the ceiling?!

Sometimes, a girl’s gotta have her sweets. And as long as there’s no medical reason to stay away, I believe that a little real sugar in one’s diet is perfectly fine and healthy.

Here are some of my favorite sugar-containing foods:

Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter, especially good for making Chocolate Banana Butter.

Freshman year of college, when I lived in Philadelphia, there was an amazing bakery, filled with vegan cakes (such as the cookie dough cake below).  I usually went with cheesecake or coconut cake.  It was always hard to choose!

Speaking of coconut…

Nada Moo makes coconut ice cream.

As does Soyatoo (especially when stirred into Choco-licious Chocolate Pudding)

Then there is Endangered Species chocolate:


And of course, vegan cheesecake.

Question of the Day:

What are some of your favorite foods with real sugar?

***Last-minute addition: I just wanted to highlight Ruby Red’s comment in yesterday’s post, because it brought up an interesting point about how so-called “calorie-free” artificial sweeteners might actually not be calorie-free (i.e. maybe you should think twice if your sole reason for using them is to save calories). Just one more reason to stick with the real stuff (in moderation) and train your body to simply crave less sugar in the first place, instead of trying to trick it with fakes. The body’s a smart machine, not so easily fooled.

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. That chocolate cake above is vegan?!!? Sign me up!!!

  2. Megan says:

    That cake up there looks AMAZING!! I can’t believe it’s vegan!!

    Would you by any chance have any CCK approved recipes for something that is vegan AND gluten-free!?

  3. Danielle says:

    I agree that a little sugar in your diet is completely fine! I’m addicted to granola- I hope they NEVER come out with an artificially sweetened granola. That would be just…wrong

  4. Stefanie says:

    I would have to say a couple of my favorite sweets with real sugar would be brownies and cake.

    Once again, you write another great post. :-)

  5. Cupcakes! I requested my mom make them for my birthday this year and damn, they were good. 😀

    I wrote a semester-end thesis all about Mary Poppins for a history class I took while living London. My prof loved it and gave me a 100! Crazy! 😉

  6. eaternotarunner says:

    Definitely ice cream and chocolate. Can’t live without them :-)

  7. jcd says:

    That cookie dough cake looks amazing! As for my sweet tooth, it prefers natural sugars like dates and fruit as well. However, when I get a more sugary sweets craving it usually ends up being biscuits/cookies, date squares, or agave-cinnamon spread on toast. Although, I wouldn’t turn away from that cake! (I may have to scrape off the icing though – icing is generally too sweet for me.)

    Your posts about sugar are great by the way. Natural sugars are best, but the real white/beige stuff has its place. I don’t know if I would want to try any artificial sweeteners though; the whole concept creeps me out a bit. I’m on the fence about stevia, but since beet sugar is produced locally, I see no need to try a replacement made in another country.

  8. Christine says:

    ice cream, cookies, and chocolate- yum! I love mary poppins!!! I still watch it often lol

  9. Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce says:

    katie, why must you do this to me so early in the morning? there is no way i have time to whip up a cookie dough cake before i head off to class!!! dang you woman! yup, i think the most important thing is to get your body in the habit of craving all natural sugars like those from fruit, and if you want to go for a baked something sweet then it’s ok to have real sugar too! i admit i favor stevia for adding into my quickie recipes for the sake of “saving” calories, but i’d like to be able to use a bit of real sugar if opportunity comes a knockin

  10. Ha! I thought about cocaine too but forgot it by the time I commented yesterday! I LOVE sugar!!! I stay away from the white stuff, but I love sucanat and turbinado and evap. cane juice. I’m trying to limit myself, but so far, I’m not doing so well with that. I think I’ve had a sweet dessert every day for the past week or so. Oh well…

  11. Have you ever tried Mochi? It’s a brown rice dessert that you can get in health food stores- vegan- I think you would love it- it tastes like a doughnut with maple syrup- heaven!

  12. Anonymous says:

    just curious.. what is the bakery you are talking about in philly? I am living in the city now and those desserts sound delish!

  13. honey and maple syrup are definitely my go-to sugars! oh, and i have a little thing for cheesecake, too :)

  14. Lexi says:

    PB&CO Peanut butter is my favorite food that contains real sugar. Oh my gosh, so good!

  15. Anonymous,
    Have you heard of “Vegan Treats”?
    It’s a Bbethlahel, PA-based company (, but it sells cakes all over NY and Philly. Here’s a list of locations that sells their products:,-75.130348&spn=0.103376,0.22316&t=h&z=13

  16. Hey Girl, great posts and love hearing your thoughts on all this jazz; I’m similar in mindset but in actions, I eat sugar. My body gets very shakey and out of whack if I try to restrict my real sugar intake, opposite of alot of bloggers but it works for me :)

    The living in Philly freshman year comment…you know how you said awhile back you were wanting to blog about non food things, your hobbies, etc…well, that’s a perfect one. That story! I had no idea so if you’re feeling share-ey, there’s an idea for you :) or not. LOL

  17. Susan says:

    Sugar is definitely a great thing! (Helloooooooo cookies and cakes!) The truth is that our bodies treat that “white powdery stuff” the same way it treats the sugar in an apple – it breaks it down to glucose for energy and stores the excess as glycogen in our liver for when we hit that late afternoon “slump” haha. Sorry for the bio lesson, but I just want everyone to know that added sugar isn’t bad at all (in moderation)! The difference between an apple and table sugar is just the bonuses of fiber and nutrients.

    Thanks for these posts Katie!

  18. Jessica says:

    What bakery is that cake from?! My bro lives in Philly and I’ll be visiting in March! :)

    My favorite food with sugar added is Justin’s maple almond butter – yum! I also loooooove Scharffenberger dark chocolate ( I have a piece every day) and I occassionally enjoy a glass of sweetened soymilk!

  19. welshsarah says:

    I LOVE Mary Poppins. However, whenever I watch it now the experience is bittersweet as one easter monday, when it was on, my dog got run over and had to be put down. Sorry, that’s a bit gloomy!

    My favourite things with added sugar… Lindt 70% dark chocolate! And, I know it’s wrong, but I have a major weakness for Harribo. Yum.

  20. Margie says:

    I love most dark chocolate that has added sugar. I’m also a sucker for a well-made cupcake.

  21. christina says:

    hi katie! i’m bag in the bloggy world. glad to see you’re still making delicious treats :)

  22. Emma says:

    I really love this topic Katie! Thanks for posting about it :)

  23. Jenny says:

    my sweet tooth is screaming right now!! Love you, sugar 😉 **bad pun**

    p.s. it means SO MUCH that you were willing to come out of the wood work and comment on my post today girl :) you always manage to make me smile lots and lots!

  24. Katie,
    We love all the same things! The Wild Bars, the Panther chocolate, and the coconut milk ice-cream are 3 of my most favorite treats in the whole world…they rank right up there with your Fudge Babies. :)

  25. BroccoliHut says:

    I am a total stevia convert–I really like NuNaturals products. I did an baking experiment involving several sweetners a few weeks ago, and NuNaturals stevia was the favorite!

  26. lindsey says:

    girl me and you could go to townnn on sweet food :)

    i think my weakness is sweet yogurt…i can’t stand it plain!

    ♥ lindsey

  27. Alanna says:

    Let it be learned that it is never a good idea to mention Miami and “white powder” in the same post

  28. mindy says:

    hey, i live in philadelphia! what bakery?!!? i will have to check it out!

  29. psychoj1 says:

    Love this post! YUM, YUM, and yum!!! Vegan bakery? Um can you say delicious?!
    <3 jess

  30. Hey! I stumbled across your blog a little while ago and wow, you make some delicious eats! I made my own fudge babies the other day and they were incredible. You are a genius for real. I just started my own blog, so I thought I’d stop by and say hi!

  31. ilanalala says:

    I try to minimize sugar intake but one of my guilty pleasures is Honey Bunches of Oats cereal. I don’t buy it often but it’s so delicious I can’t help it every now and then.

  32. catms916 says:

    Hmmm I’d have to say my fav treat with real sugar is maple sugar candy. So ooey gooey and amazing (but it has to be from NH or VT!!) Rarely have them, maybe not since I was younger actually, but they’re so so amazing. Looove Mary Poppins by the way! 😀

  33. Favorite food with sugar. That has to be the easiest question ever! Hello chocolate!!!! To get more specific, I would guess that brownies are my big downfall. (BTW, if you’ve created a vegan brownie recipe, I would LOVE to check that link!!)

    While I missed the debates yesterday about sugar vs. alternatives because I was comatose on the couch (I plan to read the thoughts when I get the time), I tend to look for alternatives because I figure there are plenty of hidden sugars already in our diets. I kind of feel like I’m getting way more than I think I am if I use it myself, and I don’t feel as good, get more sluggish, and you get that sugar coating in your mouth from it. Just my quick thoughts so far on it!

  34. favorite food with REAL sugar I think this may have to be REAL ICE CREAM….I love a good all natural ice cream with about 5 ingrdients one being SUGAR!!! I think a little bit of this stuff is way better than a lot of the artificial stuff and will cure that sugar craving toO!!!

  35. Miss Rachel says:

    Cookies are definitely one of my favorite real sugar foods, especially chocolate chip cookies. I use vegan sugar, but it’s real sugar. Maple syrup makes a great sweetener too, but I have never been into artificial sweeteners. Like you, I don’t think sugar is bad in moderation.

    Please tell me what is the deal with those Wild “manna” Bars? Are they really that good? I haven’t seen them in my Whole Foods, but I haven’t looked that hard. Where are they usually stored – in the “bar department,” the supplement department, the candy department???

  36. I agree with you! A little processed, refined, white sugar is okay, as long as it is not an every day, all day thing! At least for me, anyway. If I eat too much I’m buzzing around like a hummingbird on meth. I can’t handle it! Raw sweets, like fudge babies or dates are definitely the way to go for me. And I have a vegan bakery, so you know fudge babies are good when I can pass up a bucket of my double chocolate frosting and have one of them instead!

    But, every now and then, usually once every week or two, I will bake a huge cake with gallons of frosting and enjoy. I can handle the jitters every once in a while!

  37. Monica says:

    This may come as a shock for some (…or not), but my favorite sugary food is chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting! It is seriously my favorite thing to bake because the cake is so good and moist, and the frosting is thick and creamy and glorious :) There are no possible ways to “improve” the health-factor of this, so I just go to town on it and know that I’m treating myself in the best way possible!

    I’ll probably be making one this weekend while I’m snowed in :)

  38. Jessie says:

    Keepin’ in real in your body is definitely the way to go. Why put something you know is artificial into your body? Even so, a little natural sweetness is essential for happy living, like chocolate peanut butter :)

  39. Kate says:

    Homemade brownies or a Ciao Bella Sorbetto…I’m not a big cake fan – fun to make but I don’t really like to eat them – but brownies once in a while really hit the spot! (and I need my brownies to be gluten free as well as dairy free – so I usually go with homemade)

  40. I cant get over how AMAZING THAT CAKE LOOKS!! 😀

  41. yoda says:

    The food looks AMAZING! I use SweetLeaf stevia and even bake with it, but I stay away from aspartame, slpenda, and saccharin.

    Though apparently there are some adverse reactions to sugar, I agree a little in moderation is ok! (the more natural the better, of course,)

  42. Heather says:

    That’s my all time favorite chocolate too!! I love every flavor I’ve tried but my fav so far has always been the 88% extreme dark chocolate… perfection.