If you’re looking to make some of your favorite baked goods a wee bit healthier or vegan, applesauce is your magical friend! Applesauce can be used as a substitute for oil, butter, or eggs, and still give you delicious baked treats. “How?” you ask? Let me tell you!
The first thing to know is that you should always use Unsweetened Applesauce, as apples have a natural sweetness already. Also, avoid the varieties that contain cinnamon if you don’t want that added flavor in your product.
If you are replacing the oil in a recipe, you will use a 1:1 ratio. So, a recipe that calls for 1/2 cup oil can be made with 1/2 cup applesauce instead.
For replacing butter, I don’t recommend a full substitution, as the milk proteins in the butter are not replaced with the applesauce. Instead, try reducing the butter by half and substituting the other half with a 1:1 ratio. This will help make your treat a little healthier but maintain the integrity of the product. If you’re looking to make a vegan version, then I would recommend using a vegan butter substitute.
To replace the eggs in a recipe, you can substitute 1/4 cup applesauce for each egg required. The reason this works is that the pectin in applesauce acts as a binding agent, just like the proteins in egg whites do.
One very important thing to note is that eggs can be used as binders and also as leavening agents in baking, so if your recipe does not already call for baking soda or baking powder, add 1 teaspoon of baking powder per 1/4 cup of applesauce.