SUGAR-FREE Rusk Recipe For the Hopeless Rusk Junkie

sugar-free rusk recipe for the hopeless rusk junkie

This past weekend I decided it was about time to bake a good big batch of rusks!

Not just any rusks…



I am so excited (and let me tell you why!), because I have been completely addicted to eating rusks (and usually Buttermilk Ouma rusks) every. Single. Day!

Naturally, being me, I’ve been feeling SUPER guilty about it…all that sugar and fat compressed into a delicious and comforting morsel.

Yeah I know I’m being incredibly dramatic, but that’s why I made rusks this weekend

Now, if you’re like me – a complete morning and afternoon tea rusk-dunker addict – then this is the PERFECT recipe for you!


sugar-free rusk recipe for the hopeless rusk junkie


Full disclosure – the process of developing this recipe was not without a few bumps along the way. You see, rusks weren’t designed to be sugar-free. They were engineered to be packed with just about as much sugar and butter you could find in the house! Of course, removing the essence of rusk would prove to be a bit tricky.

The first time, I tried using liquid stevia as a sugar replacement.

That didn’t work (my poor mother and father are now stuck with the batch, still pretending them to be edible! Haha!).

This time, I opted for granulated stevia, and it worked fine!

Why Stevia?

  • It’s calorie-free.
  • It is my preferred sugar substitute compared to xylitol (not digested in the gut causing flatulence and can have a laxative effect) or aspartame (linked to cancer and weight-gain)
  • Cheaper than xylitol and goes a lot further because xylitol is equally sweet than sugar and stevia (per weight) is MUCH sweeter.

The Taste

Warning: not sweet! Okay they are sweet but not overly sweet like the rusks you buy in the shops – but you should feel good about that! I had quite a few people test them – but I don’t know how reliable they are (4 being family, 2 good friends, and 1 boyfriend haha!). Guess it’s up to you to be the judge, so let me know (go easy on me please haha!)

Sugar-Free Rusk Recipe



SUGAR-FREE Rusk Recipe For the Hopeless Rusk Junkie
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 80
  • Serving size: 1 rusk
  • Calories: 115
  • Fat: 7.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 11g
  • Sugar: 1.8g
  • Sodium: 127.7mg
  • Fiber: 2.3g
  • Protein: 2.8g
  • Cholesterol: 23mg
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
A healthier rusk recipe you can enjoy dunking into your tea AS MUCH AS YOU LIKE!
  • 1 kg self-raising flour
  • 3 cups wheat bran
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecan nuts
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 500g butter, softened
  • 1.5 cups granulated stevia
  • 4 eggs
  • 500ml buttermilk
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. In a very large bowl, combine the flour, bran, coconut, baking powder, salt, pecans and cranberries.
  3. In another bowl, beat the butter and the stevia until combined.
  4. Then add the eggs to the butter mixture. Mix.
  5. Followed by the buttermilk. Mix.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix.
  7. Try and be gentle as not to develop the gluten in the flour too much (it will make the rusks dense).
  8. It will be tough to get it all mixed in, but take your time to make sure you combine the mixture properly until it becomes like a dough. Use your hands!
  9. Once combined, place the mixture on a baking sheet (or two) and pat out until it's flat and right up into the corners (about 2 cm thick).
  10. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing into rusks.
  12. Place the cut rusks back in the oven at 100 degrees Celsius for 6 hours or overnight to dry out.
  13. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before storing the rusks in an airtight container or enjoy with coffee/tea right away!


Important Notes:

  1. Don’t be alarmed by the consistency of the mixture. It is quite a dry mixture, therefore, it needs to form a dough (it’s not wet). Use your hands to work the mixture nicely and combine everything sufficiently.
  2. If you’d like a lighter rusk (more air pockets) – sift the flour.
  3. Don’t worry that the wet mixture looks curdled – it is supposed to look like that once you add the eggs and buttermilk to the stevia and butter.
  4. When you take the rusks out the oven the first time – make sure they are cold before cutting, otherwise they won’t cut easily and break apart and crumble a lot!
  5. The most important thing about making rusks is: making sure you dry them out properly!!!! There is nothing worse than looking forward to a good rusk, and ending up with a soft rusk in your mouth instead of a crunchy one!


Now go forth and dunk em SUGAR-FREE rusks my rusk-junkie friendlings 😉

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  1. Im an Irish/South African living in London and miss SA food and cannot get used to English food. I bake my own Rusks and will try your recipe. I seldom eat meat so your Butternut Salad recipe sounds divine. Celebrating St Patrick’s Day and it’s very Sunny now.

    1. Hi Jann!!!! So happy to hear from you – hope you’re not missing SA too much? Please let me know how it goes?? Also, that butternut salad is my fave! Love making it as a side too when people are over, Enjoy!!!!!

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