Baking from scratch & carb counting

Hi, this is my first post so thank you in advance for your support. My 15-year-old was diagnosed last month, she is a baker and loves spending hours in the kitchen whipping up a magical treat. We are struggling with carb counting for from-scratch recipes that may be a bit more involved (like a batch of macaroons or a special cake). Are there other bakers in the group that can share how they manage this? Specifically, she is concerned about doing things like leveling a cake and knowing how many carbs to reduce or baking a big batch of macaroons but only using 3/4 of the frosting, then dividing it out. I have told her to guestimate as closely as she can to what she knows but she is feeling pressure to get it exact (probably the baker in her for exact measurements). Would welcome any and all advice. :pray:

I use the Mynetdiary app - it has a huge database of foods and is very accurate, and it can calculate carbs and other nutrients based on recipes you put in. Just today I found a recipe online. The nutrition info was provided but I had to enter the items manually. When I finished the carbs matched! I’ve used it before with similar results. From there is a matter of entering the portion size and it does the work. Hope this helps.

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Welcome @MtnaGirl, Teresa to Type ONE Nation. Dorie has given you a great source. I use two other sources for my simple cooking: 1) CalorieKing and 2) MyFitnessPal. I am not enough of a scratch cook of baked goods to speak as any authority. I am a meat, poultry, & seafood cook.

Please share what you find works best. It is how all of us here learn. I hope you and your child find success. She sounds like a budding Emeril Lagasse (who often says take it up a notch) cooking by eyeball or quantity sufficient to make it good. <<<< GRIN >>>>

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I don’t bake from scratch myself (but boy do I envy people who do!), but I understand the key to baking is to measure accurately so she’s probably already halfway there. Her nutritionist may be able to give her some tips too.
BTW, Chef Anne Burrell is committed to raising awareness of Type 1 diabetes in honor of her nephew and is a JDRF celebrity ambassador.

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@MtnaGirl Hi Teresa, and welcome to the JDRF TypeOneNation Forum! Having a chef for a daughter is interesting, I hope you enjoy her creations - our daughter, now in her 50’s, will post pictures of her tasty-looking creations and I’ll add a comment that I’d like some sent here. Her response, can you handle ALL the carbs?

When cooking, creating “from scratch”, I find the best way to guess at the carbs in a serving is to first list on the recipe the carbs, the fats, the protein, of each ingredient, in grams, available on most packages of ingredients; add up the total and divide by the supposed number of servings. If unsure when it comes to eating, I will estimate on the low side so that I don’t over dose.

The problem I’ve found with some of the on-line aids, is that as I scroll down in what is called "homemade, ther is a wide variance between what posters enter for very similar sounding dishes.

Enjoy eating !!!

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True. I use an app cake Yummly, and most if not all the recipes do have the nutrient info - the carbs provided serve me well when I’m calculating my boluses, but I do enter each recipe individually since Grandma’s Potato Salad and Grandpa’s Potato Salad could be very different.


I am a huge “from scratch” baker. I learned everything from my mom years ago. As I bake cakes, cookies, pies, I have learned to have one cookie or one normal slice and give it my best estimate so that the next time I’ll have a pretty good idea. Usually macaroons and cookies are made with a cookie scooper or made into the same sizes so cooking time will be even for the whole cookie sheet. With even sizes, you can have a consistent guesstimate each time. Scratch baking is so precious in my book and I’m so happy your daughter finds the joy that I do in it :blush:

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Hi Dennis-

I’m literally day 2 of our transition into the T1D community, so I apologise for the potentially ignorant question. You mentioned the fat and protein stats for the recipe nutrition. Why record that?

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Hi there @Boomstick (love that screen name by the way - are you a drummer?). I just wanted to say welcome to the community. Not to speak for Dennis but this is a safe place to come to learn and get suggestions from others with Type_1, so don’t be afraid to ask! You will learn a lot here - just bear in mind we are sharing our insights and not giving medical advice so you should check with your doctor so you’re on the same page as you’re establishing treatment. You will find you’ll need to determine how things apply to your own body since each of us is one of a kind. There will be some trial and error and tweaking involved - that’s to be expected. There is a book called Think Like a Pancreas, the most recent edition of which came out just a few months ago. I’ve been diabetic for 50+ years and just read it myself for the first time and learned a few things. I think you’ll find it helpful.
Again welcome!

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Hi @Boomstick welcome to TypeOneNation. One explanation is that all carbs are not created equal. You’ll find that some carbs are really fast and can raise blood sugar even if you take insulin and some are very slow and can take hours to raise your blood sugar. This can also be called glycemic index.

Anyway a fat rich cake or some chocolates can raise your blood sugar much slower than a piece of candy. Protein can slow absorption of carbs too. Even a zero carb item such as a hot dog (50% protein 50%,fat) can raise blood sugar on some people. No worries about not being an expert. You’ll learn a lot over the next year. There’s many years of experience here.

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Thanks for the info! The name… The Colts ex-punter named his leg Boomstick and I thought it was the funniest thing, so I use to for some online usernames. /Shrug

I was going to guess: “Ash” (Bruce Campbell) called his shotgun “boomstick” in “Army of Darkness” a movie so bad it was good. :grinning:

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I’m not a big sports fan but my sister is - she probably would have known😊. Thanks!

@Boomstick Hi Craig, and welcome to the JDRF TypeOneNation forum! Also, welcome to the life of diabetes - I’ve come to the conclusion that my diabetes could be a major factor encouraging me to pay attention to life.

I’ll also welcome you to a world where no one person is [or can be] ‘expert’ because our bodies do not tend to follow any User Manual. As Dorie said, each of us is unique and methods of managing TypeOne will vary from person-to-person; we each must find, “Doctor Me” practice, how insulin works in our bodies, and how foods affect our glucose level change - especially combinations of foods eaten at the same meal.

In my earlier response to this Topic, I used “scratch” as the operative word; my response eliminated all recipes involving a package mix. And as @Joe pointed out, some carbohydrate effect timing can be altered by both protein and/or fat content. According to my medical researcher daughter everything has to do with food solubility.

Diabetes is a life-long learning experience; although I’ve lived with diabetes since the 1950’s, I can still learn more. A key factor for diabetes is mind-set, willingness to learn and apply knowledge to everyday life.

Hi again @Boomstick. You’re getting some more detailed and valuable information, which reminded me that you should be meeting with a nutritionist soon. They can help you understand how different types of foods affect the body in general and help you learn carb counting, which is the primary although not only consideration in determining how much insulin you need when you eat. One really helpful piece is learning to estimate portion sizes (hold that thought for a minute). There are some great apps available - I use Mynetdiary myself although Sugarmate and MySugar may be more popular. Mynetdiary has a huge database containing fresh grocery items, packaged did, and menu items for tons of restaurants. You just have to plug in your portion size (that’s where the training comes in handy) and it calculates the carbs and other nurtrition info for you. Some of us on the forum​:wink::wink: recall when we had to track what we ate on pencil and paper(!). It was not pretty…