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How to Substitute Applesauce for Oil in Baking

substitute-applesauce-for-oil-in-baking-recipes

Substituting applesauce for oil is one of my favorite healthy baking tips. Applesauce is inexpensive to buy, easy to make, and healthier for you than oil. You can substitute applesauce for oil in many of your baking recipes.

Substituting with applesauce is very simple. Use the same amount of applesauce as you would oil.  But, note that most of the cookbooks I’ve read say that you shouldn’t use more than 1/4 a cup of applesauce as a substitute for oil. Using more can change the chemistry of a recipe and it might flop.

To keep that from happening, my suggestion is to start with 1/4 a cup and increase it incrementally if the recipe calls for more oil. For example, if a recipe calls for 1/2 a cup of oil, then the first time I make the recipe I will use 1/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup of oil. If the recipe works, I’ll increase the applesauce by 1/8 a cup the next time. If it works again I’ll substitute applesauce for the the entire amount of oil.

For some recipes, you can safely substitute the entire amount and for some only half the amount still results in a delicious outcome.  Either way, using applesauce instead of the entire amount of oil called for in a recipe will save on calories and fat without altering the taste.  An easy (and inexpensive) healthy baking tip!

Here are a few of our favorite muffin recipes that I personally substitute applesauce for oil:

mocha banana muffins

Mocha Banana Muffins

brown_sugar_cinnamon_muffins

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Muffins

smore muffins

S’more Muffins

What is your favorite healthy substitute?

See more recipe ideas here.

Photo credit: 3liz4


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Comments

  1. kriswithmany says:

    If my recipe calls for a pureed fruit, I’ll put in more of the fruit and cut out some of the oil. For quick breads (ie, pumpkin and banana), I cut out the oil completely.

  2. Lisa Morosky says:

    Have you been sneaking looks at my Google history? I was just Googling all kinds of substitutions early tonight (this one – and also whole wheat flour for white flour, coconut oil for butter, honey for white sugar, and some others). Thanks for this! :)

  3. 4M'sNaB says:

    I will also cut out the oil in quick breads and will substitute juice, usually orange. They bake up very moist and I get rave reviews!

  4. I was just advising a friend to try this! Great minds…..

  5. I actually heard that you can also substitute pureed Beans for the oil in baking too.
    I have made a chocolate cake with pureed Black Beans instead of the oil and NO one had a clue. They told me that it was the BEST cake I have ever made.
    The rumor I heard is as long as you use the bean that matches the cake no one will know. For example: White cake ~White Beans, Spice cake~Pinto Beans and so on.
    Give it a try I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.

    Just don’t tell the kids or your husband let them try it first. :)

  6. Dan Miller says:

    My wife was telling me that applesause replaced for oil is more unhealthy than using the oil due to the ecvess sugars in the applesause. Do you have any information as to which would be the more healthier way to go?

  7. Katherine Haberlack says:

    I usually make my own applesauce or purchase the unsweetenend kind. I’d think that would cut sugar content a bit, no?

  8. Sam Russell says:

    @Dan Miller – It depends on if you’re more concerned about sugar or fat. The sugar in unsweetened apple sauce is all fruit sugar which is better for a person than refined sugar. If I was worried about sugar, I wouldn’t be eating store bought pumpkin bread anyway.

  9. jen says:

    @don and sam. That is true about the sugar. Again, unsweetened would be the route. Butr Sam, in your semi-sassy response, what about those out there that DO have to watch sugar intake AND fat. more Americans are on this train than just the fat watching one.

  10. Dan says:

    @Jen and others. Sugar is a sugar is a sugar regardless of whether it’s from a fruit or not – body treats them all the same. The only difference is that if you are using unrefined sugars, there are trace minerals.

    Think about it though – applesauce is boiled apples blended with no added sugar and no waste if you leave the skin on. Juice is fruit or produce stripped of skin and most fiber with very little end-product and a good % of waste. Because of volume, you end up juicing more fruits which increases the sugar content, rendering it the same as any soda on the market as far as sugar content is concerned. Oil is an unnatural state for the seed or nut. If you eat a peanut, it is not the same benefit as eating peanut oil. I am not anti-fat, but there are better ways to get your fat than through oils! Once you change the state of the food, you increase absorption of higher calories and sugars, and the heart healthy benefits of those foods in their, whole, natural state is reduced or lost altogether.

    It’s not a bad thing to consume these products, necessarily, in moderation if you are healthy and active. So, in response to Jen’s question, if you are at the point where you have to watch sugar intake AND fat, why don’t you just eat healthier and stop eating desserts altogether if food is such a problem. I know people want to fit in and enjoy the many foods of our culture, but seriously, if you are worried about your health, skip the processed desserts, even if they have “healthy” ingredients. Sorry, but that is the ONLY solution that WORKS! You can’t really live in the middle on this one as you are playing so dangerously close to the edge.

  11. irene says:

    Modesty aside, I make chocolate cake to die for using applesauce and plain yogurt, absolutely NO butter or oil, yet incredibly moist and healthful. I use half caster sugar and half brown sugar.

  12. cynthia says:

    My mom makes a chocolate cake that has sauerkraut in it! I don’t think it is necessarily in the healthy category although you could probably so some further substituting. Anyway, it is so moist and delicious! She chops the kraut so that if you can find it in the cake it looks like coconut. Typically, I would not touch sauerkraut but gobble it up in that cake! Yum Yum!

  13. Juli says:

    Irene – would you please share your recipe for this awesome sounding chocolate cake? Thanks!

  14. Audry says:

    I am looking up recipes for my friend who cannot eat any type of oil. It’s something she can eat that she can add to change a recipe to something she can actually eat and not get sick. Applesauce I had heard of, but juice is new and I’m eager to try it. And the beans. Who would have ever thought? Not to mention the nutritional value of them. Thank you!

  15. Diana Klingenberg says:

    My Mom made the best chocolate cake with mayonnaise instead of eggs and oil. It was a dense dark chocolate cake.And on top she made a dark chocolate cooked fudge icing. A real after school treat!!

  16. Guy says:

    Ummm, Diana. You do realize mayo is an emulsion of egg yolks and oil. Most likely your mom made the cake less healthy.

  17. Mom says:

    *Guy, you are funny!!!!, and right!!!!

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