Apple sauce has a wide uses in baking and cooking, which is why I always keep a jar in my kitchen pantry. But, what do you do when you run out?
Here are my 14 ways to substitute applesauce in your next recipe – I have provided you with my tried and tested substitutes and I do hope you find at least one of them in your kitchen cupboard at home.
What is the simplest way to substitute apple sauce ? The quick answer
For apple sauce replacement as a fruit filling use any kind of fruit puree or stewed fruit.
For apple sauce replacement as an egg in baking, use vegetable oil, water and baking powder or mashed banana or potatoes – whatever you have at hand.
If you are replacing apple sauce to accompany roasted pork meat, then I’d suggest to use other savoury sauces such as cranberry, horseradish or sweet onion chutney or homemade quince jam to serve with the meat.
What is apple sauce ?
Apple sauce is made from cooked apples, which are thickened a little. Depending on the recipe, the stewed apples can also include some sugar, warming spices and lemon juice to bring out the apple flavour. Although it’s called ‘sauce’ it’s usually much thicker than other types of sauces.
You’ll find both unsweetened apple sauce and sweetened apple sauce in the shops to suit both sweet and savoury recipes.
What does apple sauce taste like?
Apple sauce has a lovely apple flavour, which is nicely concentrated as the apples are stewed and the water naturally evaporates. Other flavours depend on other ingredients in the apple sauce, for example sugar will make the apple sauce sweeter, cinnamon spice more spicey and lemon juice slightly sharper.
What is apple sauce used for ?
Apple sauce has many uses – you can simply use it as a ready made filling for fruit cakes or tarts or add it as a topping for pancakes, oatmeal or breakfast porridge.
Unsweetened apple sauce is also used for savoury cooking for example for making sauces for meat. I always serve apple sauce with roasted pork for Sunday dinner, as the flavours go well together.
I also use apple sauce as a replacement for eggs in baking, when I’m baking vegan recipes or if I’m short of eggs.
Replacing apple sauce in recipes
The type of apple sauce replacement will depend on the type of recipe you have, which is why I’ll go through this with each option.
For example if you are replacing apple sauce as a filling for a fruit based cake, you can use other type of fruit with a similar consistency to make the filling with ( e.g. pears), but you don’t want to use a toffu, which is a great apple sauce replacement if you are replacing apple sauce in baking (where you ment to use an egg).
The cheapest way to substitute apple sauce
Apart from what you already have at home from my list below, I’d suggest that the cheapest way to substitute apple sauce is simply to make your own from fresh apples – see my quick recipe suggestion below if it’s important to keep the apple flavour.
If you are replacing apple sauce that ment to act as an egg in many vegan recipes, then the cheapest and easiest way to replace it is with vegetable oil, water and baking powder (see below for exact instructions).
Stewed or Pureed Apple
The simplest way to make your apple sauce is just to cut up few apples (core them and peel them first) into small pieces and cook them for few minutes in microwave or let them stew in a small pan on a low heat on the hob.
Add sugar, lemon and cinnamon spice or my homemade apple pie mix spice if you are making sweetened apple sauce or leave as it is if you are making unsweetened apple sauce. If the apples are slightly catching add a little bit of water to prevent them from burning.
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HOW TO USE – use 1:1 ratio to replace apple sauce with apple puree or stewed apple
HOW TO USE – use 1:1 ratio to replace apple sauce with pumpkin puree (if the puree is sweetened, lower the amount of sugar in the overall recipe)
Fruit with a similar texture as apples are best to use for fruit fillings so that you don’t end up with a runny filling. This could be for example pear, plum or various berries. Citrus fruits are usually too runny for this and they are best used for fruit curds (see below).
HOW TO USE – use 1:1 ratio to replace apple sauce with fruit puree
Fruit curds are great for cake, pie or tarts filling, but not great for baking as they are a little too runny. You can use any shop of homemade fruit curd from any kind of fruit you like – it only depends on what you have in your kitchen cupboards and your taste.
Here are some of my favourite fruit curds recipe, including my own Apple Curd recipe, which is only slightly more buttery and sweeter than regular apple sauce. Each recipe has a full instructions, but I’ve also put together a step by step guide for fruit curd making at home.
HOW TO USE – use 1:1 ratio to replace apple sauce with fruit curd
Where you need to replace apple sauce in baking recipes, you can successfully swap it with unflavored tofu. It’s an easy swap and you won’t taste the tofu in your final bake as the flavour is very mild.
HOW TO USE – use 1:1 ratio to replace apple sauce with tofu
Apple sauce can be also easily replaced in sweet recipes by mashed banana. Use the same amount as the apple sauce in the recipe and substitute it with banana.
Bananas are great replacement for apple sauce when you are baking (and the apple sauce is originally replacing egg) or as a fruit filling for cakes and tarts.
HOW TO USE – use 1:1 ratio to replace apple sauce with mashed banana
Full fat or Greek Yogurt
Yoghurt is a great replacement for apple sauce for baking, but it’s too runny to replace apple sauce if it ment to be used for cake filling.
From experience, I recommend using full fat plain or full fat greek yoghurt as 0% fat or low fat ones are very unstable and go very runny when heated.
HOW TO USE – use 1:1 ratio to replace apple sauce with yoghurt
Mashed sweet or regular potato
Cooked and mashed sweet or normal potato also makes a great replacement for apple sauce where the apple sauce ment to be used for baking (usually as replacement for egg). Potatoes are full of starch which is why they will bind the recipe together the same way apple sauce would.
You can use any leftover of boiled potatoes and just mash them up or quickly chop one potato into small pieces (peel the skin first) and build in small amount of water in a microwave or in a small saucepan on the hob.
If you have shop or homemade potato flour you can also mix one tablespoon of potato flour with one tablespoon of water and create a quick version of mashed potato. Add more potato flour or water to create the same consistency as apple sauce.
You can also use previously frozen potatoes for this – just make sure they are defrosted properly before you mash them up.
HOW TO USE – use 1:1 ratio to replace apple sauce with mashed potato
The following substitutions are best for replacing apple sauce in baking, where the apple sauce ment to be used instead of egg.
Vegetable Oil + Baking Powder + Water
To replace apple sauce in baking recipe that ment to act as an egg, you can also very successfully use a mixture of vegetable oil, baking powder and water. It’s an easy and cheap swap and it works well for any cake, biscuits, cookies, brownies, pancakes or fruit cake recipes.
You can use any kind of vegetable, sunflower, olive or nut oil in this substitute, based on what you have at home and also what you are baking. I usually use flavoured oils for savoury bakes (for example garlic flavoured oil is great for savoury biscuits, bread or pizza dough, but for cakes or cookies I’d use vegetable or sunflower oil which doesn’t have any flavour.
HOW TO USE – to replace apple sauce which is worth one egg in the recipe, use 2 tablespoons of water mixed with 1 teaspoon of oil and 2 teaspoons of baking powder
Flack seed + water
To make apple sauce replacement with flack seeds, simply add one tablespoon of flack seeds to 3 tablespoons of water. Leave the flack seeds to soak up the water and use instead of egg where the recipe tells you to use apple sauce.
HOW TO USE – to replace apple sauce which is worth one egg in the recipe, use 1 tablespoon of flax seeds + 3 tablespoons of water
Chia seed + water
To make apple sauce replacement with chia seeds, simply add one tablespoon of chia seeds to 3 tablespoons of water. Leave the chia seeds to soak up the water and use instead of egg where the recipe tells you to use apple sauce.
HOW TO USE – to replace apple sauce which is worth one egg in the recipe, use 1 tablespoon of chia seeds + 3 tablespoons of water
Aquafaba is the liquid from canned chickpeas. It’s sometimes sold separately as powder, but if you have opened can of chickpeas in your fridge, then you are in the luck! The taste of the chickpeas won’t come through in your baking, so you don’t need to worry about that.
HOW TO USE – to replace apple sauce which is worth one egg in the recipe, use 3 full tablespoons of aquafaba (chickpea water)
Mayonaise (not suitable for vegan diets)
Where the apple sauce is replacing egg in the baking recipe, you can also replace the apple sauce with mayonnaise (not flavoured with any strong herbs, but lemon flavour is fine). Since mayonnaise is made mainly from eggs, one large tablespoon is equivalent to one egg.
You don’t have to worry about the flavour changes – if anything, the mayonnaise adds a lovely buttery taste to the cake sponge. I also use mayonnaise often as an egg replacement in pancakes and the taste is delicious.
HOW TO USE – 1:1 ratio – for example 1 tablespoon of apple sauce for 1 tablespoon of mayonaise
Egg (not suitable for vegan diets)
If you are replacing apple sauce that ment to act as an egg in baking and you are not vegan and don’t mind using an egg, the best substitute for apple sauce in this case is an egg. Usually, the recipe tells you to use apple sauce equivalent to the amount of 1, 2 or 3 eggs (depending on the amount of the cake bater).
You don’t need to make any other adjustment to the cake or baking recipe once you swap the apple sauce for an egg.
HOW TO USE – 1:1 ratio – for example 1 portion of apple sauce for 1 egg – this is usually 1/4 cup of apple sauce that replaces 1 egg
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