Applesauce is one of the most popular purées available. You can use it to add flavor and spruce up a wide array of dishes, improving their taste significantly.
While many love applesauce for cooking, one of the areas where it particularly shines is in baking. However, you could be looking to get some substitutes for it from time to time.
So, what is the best substitute for applesauce in baking? Pumpkin purée is the ideal substitute for applesauce in baking. Pumpkin purée is a perfect one-for-one substitute with an identical texture and consistency to applesauce. They taste a tad differently, but you can get pretty much the same sensation with pumpkin purée nonetheless.
An Overview of Applesauce
Applesauce is an impressive purée that can transform your cooking in several ways. People have been making it for centuries. Even the most modern iterations of applesauce have been around for quite a while.
One of the many benefits of applesauce is that it’s pretty easy to make. You can use different types of apples to make applesauce, including Fuji apples, McIntosh apples, Jonathan apples, and Golden Delicious apples. Applesauce tends to have a sweet and savory taste, although it can also be slightly tart based on the types of apples you use and whether you add any spices to your recipe.
Interestingly, the applications of applesauce are just as extensive as the types of apples you can use to make it. You can use applesauce to garnish vegetables and meat, improve the taste of smoothies, salads, and bakes goods.
At the same time, you can serve applesauce on ice cream, add it to toast with almond butter, and incorporate it into oatmeal. With so many applications, it’s pretty easy to see how they have become so loved.
Why Substitute Applesauce in Baking?
- Apple allergies: It’s pretty rare, but some people have allergies to apples. If you’re such a person, there’s a significant chance you won’t be able to take applesauce either. So, a substitute is in order for you.
- A change of taste: Some might be looking to try something new from time to time. In that case, applesauce might not do it so much.
- Non-availability: If you can’t find applesauce anywhere, you will need something else to improve your baking and add that lovely taste.
Options for Applesauce Substitutes in Baking
Best Overall Substitute for Applesauce in Baking: Pumpkin Purée
To be fair, you can use pumpkin purée as a substitute for a great many things. However, when it comes to substituting applesauce, pumpkin purée works like a charm. This Thanksgiving staple is most likely in your kitchen cupboard already, so feel free to whip it out in your baking session.
Keep in mind that this is pumpkin purée, not the regular pumpkin pie filling. Both are different, so watch out for that when you’re making your purchase.
Pumpkin purée primarily works as an applesauce substitute because it has the same texture as the latter. So, when it comes to baking, you can use pumpkin purée to get the same level of consistency and feel as what you’d get if you used applesauce.
Note, however, that the two don’t exactly taste alike. Still, if you’re looking to replace applesauce because you want to switch up your taste, it makes pumpkin purée all the more ideal for you. Since pumpkin purée doesn’t taste so bad in the first place, you’re more than covered.
All you have to do is pick a few cans of pumpkin purée, and you’re ready to go. It’s a tremendous one-for-one replacement, so you don’t have to make any compositional adjustments.
However, it would help if you kept a few things in mind. The first is that applying pumpkin purée to your baking recipe means your dish will need some more time to get done. So, you will need to keep a much closer eye on what you’re making. The longer time is primarily because pumpkin purée comes with more moisture content. So, it will take a while longer to dry. As long as you’ve got that locked, you’re ready to roll.
Best Substitute for Identical Taste: Puréed Apples
If you’re looking to capture the essence and taste of applesauce, then puréed apples are perhaps the ideal substitute for you. Puréed apples are also perfect for people who don’t want to get processed food with preservatives like most applesauce options tend to be.
Still, the identical taste and flavor profile is what makes puréed apples so great.
You can pretty much make puréed apples on your own. You merely need apples and a food processor. Just wash the apples and core them, then blend them with the food processor for a few minutes. You don’t even need to peel off the apples’ skin.
With no extra sweeteners and preservatives, puréed apples are the ideal substitute for applesauce. Even better is that they can work as one-to-one substitutes, and they also hold a significant amount of nutritional value for you.
Best Substitute in Crunch Time: Mashed Bananas
Apples and bananas don’t precisely taste alike, so you know you’re stepping a little outside of the conventional taste circle here. However, if you don’t have so much time to look for applesauce and you need to add something to your baking, mashed bananas are an interesting choice.
With mashed bananas, you don’t need to spend so much time in preparation. Just let the bananas ripen well enough and mash them properly after you peel them. If you want an even more refined texture, let the food processor mash them well, and you’re good to go.
Note that like pumpkin purées, you will need some time to let this work with your baking. Mashed bananas have significant moisture, so you will need to adjust your cooking time a little bit. A medium-sized banana is a perfect substitute for half a cup of applesauce, and you can add some more water to the bananas if you feel you want a thinner texture.