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Can You Substitute Applesauce for Butter?

Maria Foster
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by Maria Foster

Butter, although tasty, doesn’t have a reputation as being the healthiest condiment. Therefore, many have considered substituting other ingredients for butter, such as applesauce. Can you substitute applesauce for butter, or will it mess with your dish’s flavor or consistency?

When substituting applesauce for butter, many find it difficult for their baked goods to keep the same moisture and taste. But when you swap the ingredients correctly, you can achieve a similarly delicious baked good.

Let’s check out some ways in which applesauce can serve as an alternative to butter.


Can Applesauce Be Used As a Substitute For Butter?

Yes, applesauce can be used as a substitute for butter, and it is even healthier in many ways. Applesauce does not include all of the saturated fats that butter does and it has various health benefits such as immunity support and increased tissue production.

Using applesauce could also be an excellent way for those with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance to enjoy baked goods without adverse reactions.

Applesauce is a great substitute; however, it is important to substitute the correct amount of applesauce compared to the butter recommended in the recipe. It is also important to remember that applesauce is very sweet, so you should lessen the amount of sugar you add to your mixture.

See Also: The Best Substitutes For Ghee (Cooking & Baking) | Best Substitute for Vegetable Oil in Brownies | The Best Substitutions For Coconut Butter

Why Would You Use This Substitute?

Apples have various health benefits, and applesauce is primarily baked apples that retain many of the same health benefits. Like most ingredients, applesauce comes in many variations, such as some added sugars or additional fruits. However, many are just apples, water, and ascorbic acid. Applesauce is typically a nutritious and tasty ingredient that is mostly free of unhealthy additives.

As far as how it works in recipes, applesauce is a viable substitute for butter or other fats because it prevents most of the flour from mixing with other liquids. 


Applesauce may even positively affect your overall health and wellness! Studies suggest that it lessens the risk of various diseases such as colon cancer, cardiovascular issues, and bad cholesterol. Interestingly, the ingredients in applesauce include different antioxidants for increased immune health.

Many different applesauce brands sold in the supermarket also include vitamin C and ascorbic acid. These ingredients promote the healthy operation of many bodily functions, such as the immune system. Applesauce can help the healthy growth of tissue and cartilage, aid the body in absorbing iron, and help you heal or recover from illness or injury quicker.

Of course, you probably need to eat it more often than just as a substitute for oils and butter in baked goods. But it’s a start!


Fruits have always been one of the hallmarks of any healthy diet. Substituting applesauce for butter allows you to enjoy your favorite baked goods without feeling guilty. Butter contains a variety of saturated fats that can have a negative effect on anyone’s waistline. By substituting applesauce for butter, you can further negate these issues and live a healthier life.


Many people have allergic reactions to dairy or have lactose intolerance. Because baked goods are usually heavy on using butter, many who experience dairy issues avoid them altogether. However, with alternatives such as applesauce, those who experience dairy issues can prevent these complications.

A Bowl of Apple Sauce

How Much Applesauce is a Good Substitute for Butter?

Depending on what you are baking, how much applesauce you should substitute for butter will vary significantly. It boils down to what the individual recipes call for. However, many find it challenging to figure out the difference in ratio between the two substances. Let’s check out the following steps to ensure that the substitution is appropriately used to ensure a great final product.

Review Your Recipe

If your recipe calls for melted butter, then substituting applesauce for butter may be a viable alternative. You may also use applesauce successfully as an alternative to softened butter, depending on how delicate your baked good (and its recipe) happens to be.

For most of these substitutions, cakes and muffins will react the best. However, cookies may be too soft and not rise well with applesauce, although this can be avoided by not adding extra water to the mixture.


A good rule of thumb aims for a 1 to 1 substitution ratio; therefore, ½ of butter is similar to ½ cup of applesauce. In some instances, you could also use ¼ cup of butter and ¾ of applesauce if the consistency is sufficient. You could use half butter and half applesauce to keep the appropriate texture of the baking mixture.

Let’s go over the substitution ratios needed for brownies, cakes, cookies, muffins, and bread.

Which Recipes Could This Work For?

Substituting applesauce instead of butter could work for a variety of recipes, such as cakes or muffins. Though using only applesauce as a substitute for butter in cookies may not yield the same results, it is still possible.


When putting together a brownie mix, for a 19.9 oz. size, you should use ½ cup of applesauce. For an 18.4 oz. size, you should use ¼ cup of applesauce in place of butter. This is important, as you want to retain the consistency of the brownies.


For cakes, it is recommended for an 18 oz. batter to substitute ⅓ cup of applesauce for ⅓  cup of butter, and reduce the amount of water added from 1 ¼ cups to 1 cup, so the mix isn’t too watery or inconsistent.


For cookies, it is recommended for 17.5 oz. oatmeal raisin batter to substitute ⅓ cup of applesauce for ⅓ cup of butter and to not add any water to the mix. For a 17.5 oz. of chocolate chip, you should substitute ¼ cup of applesauce for ⅓ cup of butter and, again, not add any water to the mixture.

For a 17.5 oz. of double chocolate cookies, it is recommended to substitute ¼ cup of butter with 2 tablespoons of applesauce and no water. For 17.5 oz. of peanut butter cookies, substitute three tablespoons of butter with two tablespoons of applesauce, with no water added to the mix.


For a 17.1 oz. mixture, substitute ¼ cup of butter with ¼ cup of applesauce. Here, you’ll want to keep the same amount of water and eggs that the mixture recommends.


For an 18.1 oz. bread mixture, substitute ¼ cup of butter with ¼ cup of applesauce. Keep the recommended amount of eggs and water for this mixture.

Bottom Line

Now that we’ve dived into the question, “can you substitute applesauce for butter?” you’ve learned that applesauce can be a great alternative to butter and other high-fat ingredients commonly seen in baked goods. It can significantly lessen these recipes’ caloric intake and allow those with dairy allergies to enjoy these foods. It also has significant health benefits and can help reduce the risk of various cardiovascular diseases or cholesterol issues.

It is important to follow specific ratios to retain the same consistency and taste of your chosen recipe. If you follow these ratios for the substitutions correctly, you will have a great cake, brownie, cookie, or any other type of baked good that is healthier and less of a strain on your diet.

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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