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The best substitutes for applesauce in baking

The best substitutes for applesauce in baking

As for baking ingredients, applesauce is one of the most used. It adds a crisp, tangy flavor that many other ingredients can’t beat.

With that being said, home cooks need to understand the importance of knowing which ingredients work best in their place. In this way, you can be really flexible in the kitchen.

Of course, this is often easier said than done. If you’re just starting out, you’ll probably be totally dependent on the recipes listed in your cookbook. Luckily, we are here to help you.

What are the best substitutes for applesauce in baking? Depending on the recipe, the best substitutes for applesauce in baking are similar fruit purees, such as banana, peach, and pear. You can also use vegetable purees such as pumpkin and sweet potato. Butter or yogurt can also work in a pinch.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about using applesauce in baking. In this way, you will be able to fully understand why certain ingredients work better as substitutes. So don’t stop reading.

Applesauce Overview

Applesauce is a simple condiment made from apples that have been stewed to a pulp. By itself, it can be eaten straight up as a filling snack or as a satisfying dessert.

However, it is a little known fact that applesauce is incredibly versatile in the kitchen.

Apples are also incredibly healthy fruits. As you probably know, apples are known to have several nutritional benefits, including promoting a healthy heart.

Apples also have a fairly low sugar content. At the same time, they have high levels of fiber. They are also low in fat and have no cholesterol.

Plain applesauce is no different, but if you buy it at the store, it sure has a lot more added sugar.

Using Applesauce for Baking

Most of us know applesauce primarily as a filling and nutritious snack. It’s a great way to end a meal and add just the right amount of sweetness after a heavy meal.

However, applesauce also plays an important role in various baking recipes.

Listed below are some of the things you can bake with applesauce:

  • Cakes
  • Cinnamon cookies
  • crumb cake
  • muffin
  • donuts
  • Bread

This is by no means an exhaustive list of things you can make with applesauce, but it should give you a concrete idea of its versatility and usefulness in the kitchen.

With that said, the next question that inevitably arises is: what does applesauce do in baking recipes?

To answer that question, we’ve listed some of the top reasons applesauce is used in certain baking recipes below:

  • Fat Substitution – Applesauce acts as a great fat substitute in many baking recipes. This means that instead of using butter or different types of oil, you can use applesauce. Applesauce works well in this regard, as it prevents the proteins in the flour from fully integrating with the wet ingredients in your recipe, effectively preventing your end product from becoming gummy.
  • Provides Moisture and Consistency - Due to the water content of applesauce, it is known to help provide your baked goods with the desired moisture and consistency. Vegan recipes often recommend using applesauce instead of eggs for this very reason.
  • Longer Shelf Life - Another important reason people use applesauce in baking is because it gives baked goods a longer shelf life. This is because applesauce lasts a long time. So instead of using ingredients that can go bad, using applesauce also helps keep your baked goods fresh.
  • Healthy Option - As stated above, applesauce is an incredibly healthy ingredient. For this reason, many people choose to use it for baking. Remember that applesauce provides a lot of fiber and drastically reduces the number of calories.

How to Choose the Best Applesauce Substitute

There is a clear process for choosing the right substitute for applesauce in your baking recipe. First of all, you have to understand what role applesauce plays in your recipe.

Knowing its exact purpose is vital, as it helps narrow down your options and effectively gives you a better idea of what ingredients you can use for that specific purpose.

So, take a close look at your recipes. You will most likely use applesauce as a substitute for eggs and oil or as a means of adding flavor to your recipe.

In some cases, people use applesauce to get the desired consistency and texture for their recipe. In other cases, people use applesauce as the main ingredient for their baking recipe simply because it fits into their diet.

For example, applesauce is very popular among vegans. So when substituting for applesauce, you may also need to find other similar ingredients that meet those criteria.

The same rule also applies to those looking to maximize their nutritional intake.

For example, applesauce is known as an effective low-carb option. When substituting applesauce in your baking recipe, you may want to try other ingredients that would also work.

That being said, no ingredient is truly irreplaceable in the kitchen. Luckily, we’re here to keep things simple. So be sure to check out our recommended applesauce substitutes below.

Applesauce Substitutes for Baking

At this point, we have firmly established how applesauce provides a healthy alternative to regular baking.

But what if you suddenly run out of applesauce? Although this may seem like a big problem, the truth is that it doesn’t have to be. Of course, if you know how to handle yourself in the kitchen.

fruit purees

Of course, if you use applesauce primarily as a source of flavor, you should know that other fruits can do that part of the job just as well, too.

Just like applesauces, you can use any type of fruit and berry puree you can find.

That being said, you may want to consider the ideal flavor combinations before settling on your fruit of choice.

For example, raspberry purees work well in brownie and chocolate cake recipes. Banana and pear purees work best with baked goods with nuts or syrup, or with recipes that call for lots of cinnamon or nutmeg.

If you don’t have apples lying around to turn into applesauce, you might have these.

Here is a list of similar fruits that you can try:

  • Pears : Pears are the perfect alternative to applesauce. Despite having more water content than the typical apple, pears can still taste great while still providing the same level of moisture you need for your recipe. Pears also have a very similar texture to apples.
  • Bananas : Bananas are another perfect example of the great versatility of fruits in the kitchen. As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to use ripe or even brown bananas for baking recipes. This is because they get significantly sweeter as they mature. In addition, its humidity level also improves.
  • Apricot : Apricot puree is also an effective substitute for applesauce. They not only provide baked goods with plenty of moisture, but also infuse them with a distinctive spiciness.
  • Peaches : Peaches work well as an alternative to applesauce because they bring the same kind of texture and moisture to your baked goods. However, be prepared for a slight change in flavor, as peaches have a noticeably stronger flavor compared to applesauce.
  • Prunes : Before you say anything, we know this one is out of place. But be patient, because pureed prunes can work just as well as applesauce in certain recipes. For example, they work especially well in spice tart. This is because its flavor profile works perfectly with the other ingredients in that particular recipe, and the prunes will give your final product a rich, bold flavor.

The list of fruits presented here is by no means exhaustive. However, it is about exploring all available options.

So, if you have any fruit left over, you can study how to use it as a substitute for applesauce.

Just remember: fruit purees work best if you use applesauce as a source of added flavor and moisture to your recipe.

With this in mind, pay close attention to the moisture levels and flavor profile of your fruits. You may not get to the same point, but sometimes change can be a good thing.

Don’t be afraid to play with different flavors. However, you must be precise about the ratio. After all, confectionery is a science that leaves little room for improvisation.

Just remember that the applesauce ratio is 1:1.

vegetable purees

As you probably know, getting your family to eat the vegetables can be challenging to say the least.

However, everyone likes dessert. So why not kill two birds with one stone and swap out the applesauce in your baking recipe and start using vegetable purees to make your favorite baked goods?

Now this may seem a bit strange, but believe us when we say that it is a viable solution for your problem. Just remember that this doesn’t apply to every vegetable out there.

So make sure you choose the ones with a similar flavor profile to applesauce.

Listed below are our recommended vegetable purees to use as substitutes for applesauce:

  • Pumpkin - It may come as a surprise that pumpkin is one of the most used ingredients in baking. Butternut squash is perfect as a substitute, effortlessly recreating the results you would normally get when working with applesauce.
  • Sweet Potatoes - Sweet potatoes are another great alternative to applesauce by way of vegetables. They are bursting with great flavor and will only enhance any baking recipe. However, be sure to bake the sweet potatoes first before mashing them.

We specifically chose squash and sweet potatoes because they have a hint of sweetness that goes well with baked goods.

To be more specific, they work best if you’re working on something with a bit of weight, like cupcakes and cakes, as these ingredients add density to the mix.

Just like with fruit purees, the possibilities are endless with vegetables. You just have to explore all the available options.

For example, pumpkin would also certainly make a great substitute for applesauce. Again, it’s all about exploring different flavor profiles and figuring out which one works best with your specific recipes.

Dairy products

Dairy products can also serve as a substitute for applesauce. Not surprising, given the great versatility of dairy products.

Also, you practically have a lot of options. That being said, if you want to cut calories, consider using the low-fat variants of the products below.

Here are two dairy products that you can substitute for applesauce:

  • Butter – A staple ingredient in any baking recipe, butter can also serve as a substitute if you’re short on applesauce, keeping in mind that applesauce often substitutes for butter anyway. Just remember that, unlike applesauce, butter is high in fat and calories.
  • Yogurt - If you insist on a healthy alternative to applesauce, look no further. Yogurt contains a high level of nutrients and minerals, not to mention plenty of protein. In addition, its thick and creamy texture makes it a wonderful source of moisture for your pastry recipe.

There you have it: our complete guide to substituting applesauce in your baking recipes.

Remember that the key to becoming a great cook is to think with knowledge. It never hurts to know what ingredients you can use in case you run out of something as important as applesauce.