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Best Applesauce Substitute: 7 Tips & Ideas To Replace Applesauce In Recipes

Best Applesauce Substitute: 7 Tips & Ideas To Replace Applesauce In Recipes

Thank you for coming by to learn about an applesauce substitute that just may work in your recipe! 

Maybe you’re in the kitchen and want to add moisture to your baked goods, or you want the flavor of apples but you’re out of grocery-store applesauce, we have a list here for you that might help. 

Fat has always been a prime ingredient in baking and is known to improve the quality of bread, pastries, and cakes.

It helps in bringing a distinct tender texture, aroma, and richness to the bread that can entice our senses and our appetite.

The most known ingredients that aid in attaining these qualities are butter, oil, and lard.

However, some bakers have replaced these ingredients with substitutes that have a relatively lower fat content—one of the popular fat substitutes being applesauce.

Applesauce is basically mashed apples, which is already different from the typical fats from animal fat, milk, or processed oil.

Not only does this ingredient come from a more natural source, but it also contains way less fat than typical fatty ingredients used in bread.

Yet, there are certain things to consider in using applesauce as a substitute for oils and fats in baking, particularly with the amount of applesauce that should be used in place of fats.

For instance, following the 1:1 ratio, a cup of applesauce could be used to substitute for a cup of oil.

Depending on the number of eggs for your recipe, you could use ⅓ cup of applesauce per egg.

Lastly, while you can’t fully substitute butter, you could use half a butter and applesauce.

One notable thing about applesauce is its fruity taste that stands out from the typical use of butter, lard, and oil in bread.

However, you could also use other known ingredients as an applesauce substitute if you want tender and moist bread and pastries with less fat.

This option is also appropriate for people who don’t prefer the taste of applesauce or are allergic to apple-based products and food items.

SubstituteSpecific Usage or Ratio to Applesauce
Pureed Apples1:1 ratio; similar to applesauce
Fruit & Vegetable PureesAdjust to taste; no specific ratio
Honey1:1 ratio; offers a rich, sweet flavor
Almond Butter1:1 ratio; adds a nutty flavor
Coconut Oil1:1 ratio; imparts a distinct taste
YogurtUse 3/4 cup for every cup of applesauce
ButtermilkUse 1/2 cup for every cup of applesauce; adjust as needed
A close-up photo of a jar of applesauce surrounded by apples on a wooden table.

What does applesauce taste like?

Apples generally have a sweet and tangy taste, which is also the case for applesauce since these are basically mashed apples.

This is why applesauce is not just a famed baking ingredient but also a snack and side dish in itself.

There are varieties of homemade applesauce that can be sweetened with sugar or maple syrup or unsweetened, which has a natural flavor and that has been added with citrus juices to preserve its color and natural acid taste.

Manufactured applesauce, however, has a wide array of variants and tastes that can be a hit or miss for their respective prices.

Applesauce substitutes in baking and how to use them

Due to its unique taste and benefits to your bread and pastries, applesauce has always been a famed alternative baking ingredient to oil, butter, and lard.

However, other ingredients could also offer the same purpose, some of which are not often thought of when we talk about baking.

Here are nine popular applesauce substitutes that you could also use in baking!

1. Pureed Apples

If you’re looking for an applesauce replacement, why not consider its relative ingredient – pureed apples?

Also known as apple butter, pureed apples are prepared the same way as applesauce.

However, pureed apples appear more like a jam, while applesauce is just mashed apples with certain small chunks and tidbits on them.

Nonetheless, preparing both of these requires boiling apples and other ingredients of your choice, such as sugar, salt, and lemon, into a pot.

Yet, unlike applesauce that needs to be mashed, pureed apples should sit more in a boiling pot for more extended periods and occasionally stir to attain that jam-like appearance.

For a much easier method, you could also use a blender to puree the apples to perfection!

How to use pureed apples

Pureed apples and applesauce are the same, so there’s no need for a complicated measurement here.

Thus, you could use a 1:1 ratio, which means a cup of pureed apples is just as enough as a cup of applesauce.

Apple butter is prevalent in many pastries, such as the Apple Butter-Pecan Bread and the Apple Butter Cinnamon Bread.

A bowl of apple puree on a table next to apples and cinnamon sticks.

2. Fruit & vegetable purees

Similar to apple purees, you could also use other fruits and vegetables to create a jam-like ingredient that could substitute for applesauce.

In this case, fruits such as pears, peaches, avocados, and apricots, and vegetables such as potatoes, pumpkins, and zucchinis can have the same effect as applesauce. 

Try emptying a can of sliced pears or peaches into the blender and pulsing until smooth (which shouldn’t take long). 

While not a puree in itself, mashed bananas could also bring a sweet sensation to bread!

Bonus tip: If you only need a bit of applesauce in your recipe, do you have some fruit or vegetable baby food around? Any combo of these just may do the trick!

How to use fruit and vegetable purees

There are no defined measurements on the amount of purees you will need per cup/s of applesauce.

Thus, you need to define your conversion and adjust depending on the results of your dish.

You may want to look at this wonderful Pumpkin Bread With Dry Nuts recipe.

A close-up photo of a bowl of pureed broccoli and peas baby food.

3. Honey

Honey is an all-natural sweet jam-like substance that is known to be much healthier than sugar and sugar-based ingredients.

Regardless of whether the honey that you have bought is raw or filtered, this ingredient is highly suitable as a replacement for applesauce due to its rich, sweet flavor.

How to use honey

Following a 1:1 ratio, you could use a cup of honey in place of a cup of applesauce.

Considering the sweet nature of honey, this ingredient blends well with every famed pastry and bread, such as this classic Honey Bread Rolls.

A close-up photo of a spoon filled with honey dripping from a wooden honey dipper.

4. Almond butter

While a butter ingredient in itself, almond butter is actually made from almond nuts.

This ingredient, in particular, adds a nutty kick to the creamy and soft bread that we have grown to love!

How to use almond butter

Almond butter can be used to replace the applesauce with a 1:1 ratio.

This means that a cup of almond butter is enough to attain the kind of quality reached by a cup of applesauce.

For an example of a bread dish with almond butter, look no further than this easy-to-prepare Almond Butter Bread.

A wooden bowl of almond butter surrounded by whole almonds on a wooden table.

5. Coconut oil

Coconut oil works well as a baking ingredient, like canola and vegetable oils.

However, certain variants of coconut oil have a distinct taste that could affect the taste of bread itself.

While an appropriate ingredient in replacing applesauce, this oil is more appropriate in certain fruity varieties of bread and pastries.

How to use coconut oil

You could follow a 1:1 ratio for coconut oil in replacement of applesauce.

This Banana Pineapple Bread recipe uses coconut oil as its ingredient.

A photo of a glass bowl of coconut oil and a spoon on a wooden table.

6. Yogurt

Believe it or not, yogurt is also considered an appropriate baking ingredient as an applesauce substitute.

In this case, we’re mostly talking about plain yogurt, which is fermented dairy that has also been cultured with lactic acid bacteria.

However, some would also recommend a thicker regional yogurt variant known as Greek yogurt, which has less sugar than normal yogurt.

As a substitute for applesauce, yogurt similarly often has low-fat content and is seen as similar to baking soda in that it raises the dough, provides a tangy taste, and makes it tender and fluffy.

How to use yogurt

It’s recommended to use 3/4 c of yogurt for every cup of applesauce. 

Also, some people throw in a bit of flour to the mix to balance out the dough’s consistency.

Or consider experimenting with yogurt on your own to find what level of moisture and consistency is right for your recipe. 

Don’t worry, as yogurt is standard in many delicious bread and pastry treats, such as the Yogurt Flatbread.

A bowl of yogurt next to a wooden spoon.

7. Buttermilk

Similar to yogurt, buttermilk is dairy that has been fermented and cultured. It does not contain butter—the name buttermilk comes from the color of the by-product that becomes cultured buttermilk. 

While buttermilk tastes a bit sour and tangy, the flavors do not necessarily mean it’s gone bad. It used to be called “sour milk” but sour milk today means milk that has turned, gone rancid, or “gone sour” and is no longer good to drink or cook with. 

While commonly manufactured and produced, you can also make your own homemade buttermilk by mixing a cup of milk with a tablespoon of lemon or white vinegar until it has curdled and thickened slightly.

Instead of applesauce, buttermilk has a blended mildly sweet and tangy flavor, which could be great for certain dishes that need that distinct flavor.

How to use buttermilk

For this ingredient, you could either follow the 1:2 ratio or a ½ cup of buttermilk replacing a cup of applesauce.

However, you could also start by mixing half a cup of buttermilk at first and mixing the other half or specific amounts of buttermilk until you attain the certain consistency that you want for your bread.

You could try this homemade Honey Buttermilk Bread recipe if you want to try baking using buttermilk as an ingredient.

A glass of buttermilk on a napkin on a wooden table.

The bottom line

Applesauce has the distinct advantage of being an egg substitute, a leavener, an ingredient that adds moisture without fat, and sometimes it’s just to add something deliciously apple-tasting to lots of dessert recipes and beyond. 

So if you had planned on using applesauce, but you’re fresh out, consider your type of dish and flavor profile. 

If you want a fruity finished dish, find a stone fruit, pack of frozen fruit in your freezer, or other fruit/vegetable puree. 

But if you wanted applesauce to be a fat replacement, consider a fat-free yogurt, honey or fruit puree.

Yet, applesauce is not for everyone or every recipe, considering the flavor and the content, which could not be suitable for some consumers.

This is where alternatives such as honey, fruit and vegetable purees, cured milk, and coconut oil come in handy.

These ingredients provide a different spin to your bread and pastries, particularly in terms of their texture and flavor.

However, some substitutes could also cause some allergies in people, such as those allergic to nuts, milk, and certain fruits.

Nonetheless, there are many more substitutes for applesauce out there that you could try out for yourself.

At the end of the day, the objective should be to make the best bread and pastry dish that is equally sweet and appealing at the dining table and snack bar!

How To Use An Applesauce Substitute: Yogurt

How To Use An Applesauce Substitute: Yogurt

Try this method for including richness, lift, and moisture in baked goods if you are out of applesauce.


  • ¾ c of plain Greek yogurt for 1 c of applesauce called for in the recipe.


  1. Instead of applesauce, use nearly cup-for-cup of plain Greek yogurt in your baking recipe. Start with ¾ c of plain Greek yogurt for every 1 c of applesauce called for in your recipe.

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Two bowls of applesauce on a wooden table surrounded by apples.

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