My friend from teenage years messaged me yesterday and told me that she had been diagnosed with diabetics two years ago. And she is two years my junior. I start to then recall how it is like to be a diabetic. I saw my father, who was diagnosed with diabetes, inject himself in the stomach with insulin every meal. I saw how painful his death was, as he lost his sight, his organs failed, and he was disorientated. He was only 58 and was determined to live, but as he lain in his sick bed, I saw how he literally rotted away.

My maternal grandmother died when I was two. I hardly remember her. My mother told me she too died of complications from diabetes. My paternal grandmother sat on a wheelchair for four years, and eventually succumbed to complication from diabetes as well.

The lifestyle of a diabetic patient and other I call ‘lifestyle’ patient is different from us who don’t need to abstain from food for protecting ourselves. I have heard of people just hoping to taste a slice of bread again, or to be able to eat a bowl of rice. Another celiac friend traveled to Hong Kong and found no restaurant with GF marked on them. She asked me why people aren’t afraid of cross-contamination. Can you imagine how it is like.

So, I decided to firstly, cut down sugar for my family. Type 2 diabetes is on the rise. People are consuming just too much sugar, and too much food. Everything we eat outside the house contains large amount of sugar, carbo and oil. Large amount. They need to make their food delicious so that we would patronize them.

Secondly, I hope for more people to bake such things for friends, family members and relatives who cannot otherwise enjoy baked goods. It is hard to get a gluten-free or sugar-free sponge cake, swiss roll or pandan cake. Even if you can get it, it costs a lot. For those of us who can purchase freely from shops, it may not mean much. But those who cannot, it means a lot.

So do someone a little big surprise today, if you can bake. Make a cake they can enjoy and reminisce the good old times when they were like you and me. Be a blessing. 🙂

The Ingredients

It is a bit tricky to replace sugar in baked goods or leave it out altogether. Sugar has an important function of providing moisture, as well as lifting a sponge cake. So by removing sugar altogether, the challenge in making a stable meringue is doubled. But I realized you can do so. The meringue I managed to make is no less stable than a usual one, and it is also easy to fold them into the smoothie.

For the flours, I have taken into consideration the dietary needs of celiacs and diabetics. Basically wheat is a nono. For diabetics, I am recommending a mix of tapioca starch and cornstarch. Both will make the cake super soft, but dry. For those avoiding gluten, you can use rice flour for a more stable cake.

Since the flours will take away the moisture, I focused on making the texture soft and fluffy. So yeah, this cake is super moist. If you use a good stevia with no bitter taste, nobody can really tell it is a sugarless and gluten-less one.

As for the filing, if you are lactose intolerant, choose the butter cream, but if you are severely lactose intolerant, pick something like a suitable peanut butter.

This cake is very nice even for those who need not abstain. But abstinence, when done not out of desperation, is always good.

12806184_10208848137670874_5026499359498538997_n (1)

Sugarless, Gluten-free, Lactose-free Swiss Roll


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 30 g Corn Oil
  • 30 ml Coconut cream
  • 25 g Corn starch
  • 55 g Rice Flour
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Stevia equivalent to 70g of sugar (about 1/4 teaspoon of stevia extract)


  • Preheat the oven at 190C.
  • Combine the egg yolks with corn oil, coconut cream, corn starch, rice flour and vanilla essence in a bowl, and beat till well mixed, do not overstir.
  • Beat the egg whites at 50C with the cream of tar tar until medium peaks, add in the stevia. Beat till it reaches room temperature, and stiff peaks. (about 4 minutes on the kitchen aid, #6 out of 8)
  • Fold in the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture 1/3 a time.
  • Line the swiss roll cake tin with parchment paper and pour the batter into it.
  • Bake for 12 minutes on a high shelf.
  • Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in its tin.
  • Make the filing meanwhile and once it is cool, smoother the filing and then roll up using parchment paper to guide.


  • Zelda M I says:

    Dr Pam can I know the brand of Stevia u used. The Stevia that I have has a bitter after taste. Is there a Stevia conversion chart on the back of the package? Thanks in advance.

    • pamelalim says:

      Zelda, the one I am now using is Natvia. Does not have a bitter taste, but I heard there are better ones. So I am going to try others, especially those with no additional fillers. Choosing the right stevia actually involves quite a lot of trial and error. There are some websites that review the different brands of stevia. Maybe google it out?

  • joelle says:

    I am of the same sentiment when I read this dedication on people suffering from diabetic. Very similar to ur situation my mom n her side of family are diabetic. It is difficult where they can’t consume their fave food- v often desserts. I have been also looking at alternative like maltitol for baking cookies n cake. But not that positive outcome n there is always a side effect too. I am suprised at the substitute here. Have not go into finding stevia cuz I have in mind it can’t withstand high heat seems like i am wrong. Maybe have to Google n find out more. Meanwhile I have ordered agave syrup as I remember correctly one of the cake shop.. delcie I think was using this for cake suitable for diabetic. Have u tried? I have yet to start any project on it yet. But I will need to try ur recipe…. one day…. when there is time…
    I do wish there is really a shop or startup to look into diabetes interest on deserts in sg than to always tell them diet… to the older people means don’t eat anything sweet / dessert. .. when time comes that one day when I am in my mother’s shoe… I hope technology would have catch up to help on diabetes… sorry to flood this lengthy writing… but it hit my spot n I have to write back. .. thank you for sharing….

    • pamelalim says:

      Hey Joelle,
      Thank you for the comment and message! One of my students obtained a grant from the Singapore government to develop a rice that is suitable for diabetics. I am not sure when it will hit the shelves.
      As for desserts. Do you want to start a business on this? From home perhaps and sell it online? The startup costs will be low, and people can order and get the cake the next day, for example. I think there might be a market. Maybe not a huge one, but one that is meaningful. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating