Rowena’s Sugar-free Double Delicious Chocolate Cake:
A Review

By John M. Sedlak


Chocolate cake has always been one of my favorite treats. In recent years I’ve focused my enthusiasm for chocolate on smaller quantities of higher quality sweets. But for those on a sugar-restricted diet, finding chocolate baked goods made with artificial sweeteners that also meet high taste standards isn’t always easy.

That’s why reviewing Rowena’s Sugar Free Double Delicious Chocolate Cake was a delightful surprise. Rowena’s, based in Norfolk, VA, is a producer of gourmet foods. The two key features of this cake are its taste and texture. The chocolate taste was very pleasant and distinct, without the overpowering sweetness and aftertaste of a cheap candy bar. The chocolate taste appeals to the tongue and to the olfactory senses. The ingredients were very well blended to yield a dense, creamy and homogenous texture. This latter feature makes for a great tasting cake that looks good on a dessert plate.

The basis for the success of this cake seems to be the alternative sweetener maltitol, which replaces the conventional cane sugar. Maltitol is an all-natural, sugar-free, reduced-calorie sweetener made from corn. Its sweetness level is about 90 percent that of sugar. It functions much as ordinary cane sugar in baked goods in terms of taste, aftertaste and mouth feel, but it is metabolized very slowly. Moreover, maltitol makes you feel full. (One caution: maltitol in large quantities may have a laxative effect.)

For people on a calorie restricted diet the replacement of sugar by maltitol will reduce both the total calorie count—2.1 per gram as opposed to sugar’s 4 per gram—and the speed at which the sweetener is absorbed by the body. Flour and other cake ingredients will still need to be accounted for in managing a dietary regime.

A splendid dessert can quickly be put together by placing a two to two-and-a-half ounce piece of Rowena’s Double Delicious Chocolate Cake on a plate along with several slices of ripe strawberry and serving with a good quality coffee or a medium-dry red wine. I prefer black coffee and a wine that is not so sweet it blocks the flavor of the cake.

The cake is available by mail order from

John M. Sedlak has a Ph.D. in physical chemistry. A native New Englander, he now lives in Shreveport, LA, and writes about scientific and technical topics. He holds 12 patents in the areas of chemical synthesis and electrical measurement technology.


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