Applesauce is often used as a healthy substitute for oil or butter, adding moisture and sweetness to baked goods. Though there may be times when you’re out of stock or simply want to switch your recipes up, and I’ve tried almost every types of substitute to get the best results when I’m baking.
So over the last several years of cycling between diets & various restrictions, I've come up with a list of the best applesauce substitutes that you can use, too. From mashed banana to pumpkin puree, there are a vast array of options that can be used as a replacement for applesauce in baking.
These alternatives are not only delicious but also offer unique flavors and textures to your favorite recipes, though keep in mind your own tolerances & low histamine substitutes.
Why & How Applesauce is Used in Baking
Applesauce is often used as a replacement for oil or butter in order to reduce the calorie count and fat content of a recipe. Other times it’s used as a natural sweetener and to add moisture to baked goods.
Substituting applesauce for oil or butter in a recipe is simple, as you can use a 1:1 ratio, meaning for every cup of oil or butter, use one cup of applesauce. However, this substitute will change the texture of the baked goods, so they’ll become more dense and moist, which can be desirable in some recipes but not in others.
When using applesauce as a natural sweetener, it's important to note that it's not as sweet as sugar. You may need to adjust the amount of sweetener in the recipe or use a combination of applesauce and sugar to achieve the desired level of sweetness.
Best Applesauce Substitutes
½ cup applesauce = 1 pureed medium apple
Pureed apples tend to be thicker than store-bought applesauce, meaning you may need to alter the amount of liquid in your recipe accordingly. Say if, for instance, you're making muffins or cakes, you may need to add a little bit more liquid to ensure that the batter is not too thick.
One of the benefits of using pureed apples is that you can control the sweetness of your recipe. If you prefer a sweeter taste, you can add a little bit of honey or maple syrup to your pureed apples. On the other hand, if you want a more bitter or sour flavor, you can use green apples or add a squeeze of lemon juice.
Mashed Bananas (NOT Low Histamine)
1 cup applesauce = 1 cup mashed banana
Bananas have a slightly different consistency from applesauce, which means they are dense and have a thicker texture, so you may need to balance some of the ingredients in your recipe to achieve the flavor that you want.
The great thing about using mashed bananas is that they add a delicious flavor and aroma to your baked goods. They work particularly well in recipes like banana bread, muffins, and pancakes, where the banana flavor can really shine through, though you'll want to use ripe banana for this one.
1 cup applesauce = 1 cup pureed fruit
Applesauce is typically a thick and smooth puree, so you'll want to choose a fruit that has a similar consistency. Bananas, pears, and plums are all great options that can be easily pureed to the desired consistency.
It's also important to note that pureed fruit can be used in a variety of recipes, not just for baking. You can use it as a base for smoothies, as a topping for yogurt or oatmeal, or even as a replacement for syrup on pancakes or waffles.
1 cup applesauce = 1 cup pear sauce
Pear sauce is another great alternative to applesauce in baking. It has a similar consistency to applesauce, making it a perfect replacement for your recipes. However, it does have a slightly sweeter and more delicate flavor which can add a unique twist to your desserts.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
1 cup applesauce = ¾ cup mashed sweet potatoes & ¼ cup water
Mashed sweet potatoes can add moisture and sweetness to a recipe, but have a different texture and flavor than applesauce. If you're using mashed sweet potatoes as a substitute for applesauce in your baking, you may need to adjust the other ingredients to compensate for the differences.
1 cup applesauce = 1 cup berry puree
If you're looking for a flavorful alternative to applesauce, try using berry puree where you can use raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries as the base. To make berry puree, simply blend the berries in a food processor or blender until smooth. Use the same amount of berry puree as you would applesauce in your recipe.
Coconut Products (Vary)
1 cup applesauce = 1 cup coconut product
Coconut cream, coconut milk, and even shredded coconut can all be used in place of applesauce in your favorite recipes. Coconut cream is a great substitute for applesauce in recipes that require a creamy texture, as it has a rich and creamy consistency that can add a delicious flavor to any type of baked goods.
Coconut milk has a thinner consistency than coconut cream, but it still adds a delicious flavor to your recipes. Shredded coconut adds a delicious crunch and flavor to desserts, but is much drier than apple sauce.
1 cup of applesauce = ½ cup of buttermilk
One of the main benefits of using buttermilk as a replacement for applesauce is that it adds a tangy flavor to your baked goods. This can be especially useful when you are looking to balance out the sweetness of your recipe, and if you have a milk you tolerate, you can just make your own buttermilk with distilled vinegar.
In terms of baking, buttermilk is a great source of acidity, which helps to activate baking soda and baking powder, resulting in a lighter and fluffier texture just like applesauce would add.
1 cup of applesauce = 1 cup of pureed vegetables
Pureed vegetables, such as sweet potato, butternut squash, or zucchini, can be used in place of applesauce in baking recipes. These pureed vegetables add moisture and a subtle flavor to your baked goods. It also provides a similar consistency without adding any additional sweetness.
Also, using pureed vegetables as a replacement for applesauce can add a nutritional boost to your baked goods. For example, sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A and fiber, while zucchini is a good source of vitamin C and potassium.
1 cup applesauce = 1 cup pureed pumpkin
Using pureed pumpkin as a replacement for applesauce is a fantastic way to add some variety to your recipes, while also reaping the health benefits of this nutritious vegetable.
It's crucial to remember that the consistency will alter somewhat when substituting pureed pumpkins for applesauce. Pumpkin puree is also thicker and more dense than applesauce, which is typically smoother and thinner, plus it's often flavored rather than plain.
1 part applesauce = 1 part melted butter
Applesauce is a liquid, while melted butter is fat, meaning you may need to balance the other ingredients in your recipe to ensure that the final product has the right texture and consistency.
For example, if you're making muffins and using melted butter instead of applesauce, you may need to add a bit more liquid (such as milk or water) to keep the batter from becoming too dry.
On the other hand, if you're making a cake and using melted butter instead of applesauce, you may need to reduce the amount of butter called for in the recipe to avoid making the cake too heavy or greasy with this swap.