The best sugar substitutes for use in sugar-free desserts include agave nectar, brown rice syrup, erythritol and maple syrup, according to Whole Living. Stevia is another popular option.
Agave nectar is a thick liquid sweetener harvested from cactus plants. Each tablespoon has 60 calories. Agave nectar is an effective sugar substitute for baked desserts and beverages. Brown rice syrup has a consistency similar to agave nectar, and performs well in baked goods. However, its flavor is stronger than that of agave nectar, which makes it less suitable for use in beverages.
Erythritol is a powdered sugar substitute made from sugar alcohol. This low-calorie sweetener does not affect insulin or blood sugar levels and does not attack tooth enamel. Erythritol works in beverages and baked goods, although it is slightly less sweet than standard white sugar.