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5 Substitutes for Applesauce in Your Baking Adventures

Hey there, culinary comrades! Ever found yourself reaching for a recipe book, all ready to bake, only to realize you’re missing one crucial ingredient — applesauce?

For health-frenzied bakers or those with an allergy to the beloved fruit, this can be quite the conundrum. As I spill the beans on five fabulous substitutes for applesauce that’ll keep your bakes as healthy and scrumptious as you were hoping for. So, let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways:

  • Applesauce is a versatile ingredient in baking, providing moisture and sweetness while reducing calories and fat content.
  • There are various substitutes for applesauce that can add unique flavors and textures to your baked goods.
  • Pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt, mashed banana, mashed sweet potatoes, and apple puree can all be used as substitutes for applesauce at a 1-to-1 ratio.
  • It is important to adjust other ingredients, such as sugar and leavening agents, when using these substitutes in your recipes.

The All-Time Star in Baking, Applesauce

Now, applesauce isn’t just a moistening maven; it’s celebrated for binding ingredients and adds a natural sweetness that boasts a mere fraction of refined sugar’s guilt. Plus, it’s a health ninja, stealthily slashing calories and fat content in recipes.

But what if you’re looking to switch things up a bit? Or you’re one of us who eagerly scouts for new flavors to jazz up those baking adventures? That’s where these exquisite alternatives come into play.

1 – Pumpkin Puree


You know that warm, cozy feeling that creeps in with the autumn winds and the scent of pumpkin spice? Well, pumpkin puree can bring that into your recipe! Milder in sweetness compared to applesauce but packed with a thicker consistency, pumpkin puree holds its own in moisture retention, making it a great fall-back.

Pumpkin puree offers a mellow, earthy flavor with just a hint of sweetness, which partners perfectly with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Its texture is velvety, making it a fantastic component for dense bakes like muffins, brownies, and cakes.

Substitute Tips

When using pumpkin puree instead of applesauce, go for a 1-to-1 swap. To balance out the slightly less sweet profile, add a dash more sugar or a sweetener of your choice to adjust the taste. Experiment by halving the water content when you make pumpkin bread; it’s sheer magic.

2 – Greek Yogurt

Is tartness your thing? Then Greek yogurt might just become your new bestie in baking. With a thick consistency and a tangy flavor, it can give a refreshing kick to those baked goods.

Greek yogurt offers a slight tang that complements the sweetness in recipes well, and its texture adds a delightful ‘oomph’ factor to the fluffiness of cakes and loaves.

Substitute Tips

For each cup of applesauce, pull off a 1-to-1 swap. Watch the water content; reducing it in your recipes a smidge can avoid an overly moist result. Greek yogurt might alter the baking chemistry slightly, so keep a careful eye during the first try to make modifications.

3 – Mashed Banana

Peel back a surprise in the kitchen with mashed bananas. Like applesauce, bananas can carry their weight in contributing moisture and sweetness, while also lending a lovely banana undertone to your baked desserts.

Bananas, with their sweet and earthy flavor, are perfect for complementing a medley of spices. Their texture is smooth and contributes a substantial base to batters.

Substitute Tips

Swap bananas for applesauce at a ratio of 1-to-1. Because bananas are naturally sweeter, you might want to tone down the sugar you’d usually add. Keep in mind, though, that bananas can also lend a denser texture. Try adding a little extra baking powder or soda to keep your cakes light and fluffy.

4 – Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes aren’t just for Thanksgiving pies; they can master your muffins, too! Their slightly nutty flavor and creamy texture make them a compelling contender for your next bake.

Sweet potatoes offer a delicate sweetness and a richer, more nuanced flavor profile akin to roasted chestnuts. Their texture is denser than applesauce, contributing a hearty, fudgy quality to your goodies.

Substitute Tips

For every cup of applesauce, trade in with a cup of mashed sweet potatoes. Adjust the sweetness of your recipe to account for the natural sweetness of this root vegetable. Given its denser texture, it might help to throw in a little more leavening agent to keep things from getting too heavy.

5 – Apple Puree

Okay, technically, this one’s not different in kind. But here’s where things get interesting. It’s time to take the apple back to its basics with a homemade apple puree that’s always well worth the effort.

Fresh, bright, and undeniably apple-y, a homemade apple puree without added sugars or flavors is a true celebration of the fruit. Its texture can be tweaked to your liking, from a light compote to a smooth puree that rivals store-bought applesauce.

Usage Tips and Substitute Ratio

Substitute apple puree at a 1-to-1 ratio. Adjust your recipe’s sugar levels to account for the possible tartness of the apples used. Plus, by adjusting the final consistency of your puree, you can tailor it precisely to what your recipe demands.


Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Learn how to make your own pumpkin puree from scratch to use as a healthy and flavorful substitute for applesauce in baking.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 177 kcal


  • Baking sheet
  • Aluminum foil or parchment paper
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Food processor or blender


  • 2 small pumpkins about 3 pounds total
  • Water


  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Cut the pumpkins in half and scoop out the seeds and strings.
  • Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, or until the flesh is tender and easily pierced with a fork.
  • Let the pumpkins cool for about 10 minutes before handling them.
  • Once cooled, scoop out the pumpkin flesh and place it in a food processor or blender.
  • Puree the pumpkin until smooth and creamy.
  • Use the homemade pumpkin puree as a substitute for applesauce in your favorite baking recipes at a 1-to-1 ratio.


  • You can store any leftover pumpkin puree in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze it for later use.
  • This pumpkin puree can also be used in savory dishes such as soups and sauces. Simply omit any sweeteners and spices when using it for non-dessert recipes.


Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 177kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 7gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.04gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 7mgPotassium: 2312mgFiber: 3gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 57888IUVitamin C: 61mgCalcium: 143mgIron: 5mg
Keyword best substitutes for applesauce, pumpkin puree
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5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating