How to Use Applesauce Instead of Oil When Baking

Oven baked gluten-free maize pancakes with applesauce
Applesauce and baked biscuits. (Image: Heike Rau/iStock/Getty Images)

For guilt-free baked goods, applesauce makes a fine stand-in for vegetable oil. Applesauce adds not only moisture and flavor to baked goods, but fiber and nutrients. Using it successfully takes some experimentation, though. Stick with oil or butter for cookies, and substitute only part of the oil initially.

Step 1

Substitute applesauce for oil in cakes, quick breads or muffins that are already somewhat moist and dense. Applesauce works well in carrot cake, chocolate cake, spice cake or gingerbread cake, as well as most muffin and quick bread recipes. Brownies made with applesauce tend to be dry and crumbly, while cookies turn out puffy and cake-like, rather than crisp or chewy.

Step 2

Use unsweetened, unflavored applesauce as a substitute for oil. Sweetened varieties add extra sugar, which can alter the texture of the baked good and applesauce flavored with cinnamon or other flavorings will change the taste

Step 3

Measure applesauce with a glass measuring cup, using 3/4 the amount of oil called for in your recipe. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of oil, use 3/4 cup. If the batter seems dry, add a tablespoon or two more.

Step 4

Reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees and reduce the cooking time by 5 to 10 minutes. Baked goods made with applesauce tend to cook faster than those containing oil and they're prone to drying out. Remove them from the oven as soon as they spring back lightly when touched, or stick a toothpick in the center of the cake. It's done when the toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs.

Things You'll Need

  • Unsweetened applesauce

  • Glass measuring cup

Tip

Applesauce changes the texture and taste of baked goods and some recipes respond better than others. When in doubt, start by eliminating half the oil, rather than the entire amount. If you're happy with the results, you can experiment with using less oil next time. To substitute some of the applesauce, use applesauce at a rate of 3/4 cup for each cup of oil. For example, if a cake calls for 2 cups of oil, reduce the oil to 1 cup. Substitute 3/4 cup of applesauce for the remaining cup of oil.

Applesauce is an inexpensive, widely available product that has a neutral flavor, but it's not your only option. Try pureed avocado for a creamy, mild flavor, or pumpkin, squash, banana or prune puree. These ingredients add a distinct tastes to baked goods and work best in highly flavored cakes, such as chocolate or spice cake.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.