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How to Make Applesauce

How to Make Applesauce

Applesauce isn’t just for packing in your kid’s lunch box. Sure, the canned applesauce that comes in those little snack-packs is quick and convenient for your on-the-go needs, but homemade applesauce is a treat — even for adults. Plus, it is one of the easiest and least complicated things (ever) to make from scratch.

Start with about six apples, peeled, cored, and sliced. Place them in a large pot and add in 1 cup apple juice, the juice of one lemon, ½ cup of brown sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon. Cook the apples, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes. After the apples are tender, purée them in a food processor until smooth. There you have it — simple, easy, and delicious applesauce made in less than one hour.

So, now that you have all of this delicious and fresh applesauce, what are you supposed to do with it? There are plenty of options instead of eating it alone, which is perfectly fine, too. For low-fat baking, you can substitute applesauce for the fat (butter, oil) in the recipe. Try making applesauce muffins or cakes. It’s also great over pancakes, pork chops, or warmed and spooned over vanilla ice cream.

However you use applesauce, remember that it’s simple and easy to make at home. You can even incorporate other fruits like pears, strawberries, or apricots. Try making applesauce in the fall when apples are at their peak and then canning or freezing to enjoy all year long.

Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.

Microwave Applesauce

1. Place apples and water in a 2 quart microwave safe dish. Cover with microwave-safe cover.

2. Cook on high for 10 to 12 minutes or until the apples are soft enough to mash.

3. Use a potato masher or fork to make chunky applesauce.

4. Add the sugar a little at a time to reach desired sweetness. Add cinnamon.

Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Frozen apple slices work great in this recipe.

Strawberry & Cream Croissant French Toast For Your Weekend Brunch

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13 Mouthwatering Applesauce Recipes

These dishes bake applesauce right into all your favorite fall recipes.

Because a bowl of applesauce a day keeps the doctor away.

For a healthier sweet treat, try these delicious muffins.

Get the recipe at Chelsea's Messy Apron.

Tools you'll need: $6, Mini Muffin Pan,

This simple recipe makes a great snack for the kiddos.

Get the recipe at What the Fork.

Tools you'll need: $27, Slow Cooker,

You'll love these bite-size treats.

Get the recipe at Baking With Mom.

Tools you'll need: $6, 12-Cup Muffin Pan,

These cinnamon applesauce bars are topped with pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon and smothered in a thick cream cheese frosting.

Get the recipe at Inspiration Kitchen.

Surprise! Nothing makes scrumptious waffles better than applesauce, baked in.

Get the recipe at Well Plated.

Just try turning away from this cake: Mix bananas, chocolate and applesauce with ingredients like sugar and cocoa to dish up this mouthwatering, fudgy treat.

Small Batch Homemade Applesauce

Easy small batch homemade applesauce made with fresh apples, a slice of lemon, and hint of cinnamon will leave you wondering why you buy it from the store.

I had no intention of posting this Homemade Applesauce recipe, but it’s so ridiculously easy, I couldn’t not blog it. I’m pretty sure I’ve made it at least five times now, mainly because I needed a (healthy) snack for my lunch at work. Out of carrots? Made applesauce. Ate all the cauliflower last night? Made applesauce. Nothing to dip in the hummus? Made applesauce. You’d think by now I would make a giant batch, but I just make a small batch of one or two apple’s worth at a time. With a little bit of prep and a little bit of cooking, you, too, can have fresh homemade applesauce for healthy snacking.

One of the benefits of making homemade applesauce is control. You don’t have to worry about preservatives or the amount of sugar. Sweetness depends on your apples, so it’s hard to say how much sugar to add. Using tart, Granny Smith apples may require more sugar than say Honeycrisp apples, for example. I love the naturalness of the apples, so I only use about 1-2 teaspoons of sugar. However, Dad said it needed more when I gave him a bowl.

I smash my apples using my adjustable potato ricer. I didn’t realize how versatile this tool is. Not only do I use it to make applesauce, I also use it to squeeze out excess liquid out of shredded apples, shredded squash, and cooked spinach. I leave the peels on my apples because they get left behind in the ricer, but if you need to smash the apples by hand, then you’ll need to peel them first.

As far as which apples to use, I say it’s preference. Sometimes I’ll use two or three kinds of apples. So far I’ve used Golden Delicious, Gala, Jonagold, and McIntosh, some mixed some not. If you do mix red and green apples, your applesauce will be a bit on the pink side. Do you like your applesauce warm or cold? Although I love eating it both ways, I prefer it right after cooking while it’s still warm. Probably because it reminds me of hot apple cider that warms you up on a chilly afternoon outside.

What to do with homemade applesauce

The most obvious would to scoop some in a small bowl and just enjoy it as a snack or dessert.

  • make applesauce pancakes like these buckwheat pancakes with applesauce,
  • or you can add it to your smoothies,
  • I love yogurt mixed with applesauce,
  • Add some homemade applesauce into your overnight oats,
  • Bake with applesauce, etc.

If you have a lot of apples and want some more inspiration, get this Kelly's Upside Down Apple Chai cake. It looks delicious, doesn't it?

"I get you. If I make a batch of homemade applesauce, how long can I keep it?"

Homemade Applesauce Recipe

Homemade Applesauce: blog post about homemade applesauce recipe is long pending. If I make a list of FAQs, the first question would be “I can’t find unsweetened applesauce. Can I make it at home?” I also get a few other questions like “do you have a recipe for homemade applesauce?, or How to make applesauce at home?

For those who don’t know already, unsweetened applesauce is an egg substitute as well as a fat substitute in baking recipes. Actually any pureed/mashed fruit can be used for that matter. I have so far tried recipes using mashed bananas, applesauce, pureed dates and prunes as egg substitutes and as fat substitutes in baking recipes.

To know more about when to substitute pureed fruit for the eggs in a recipe, check the page about Egg Substitutes. You can use 1/4 cup of pureed fruit for each egg to be replaced but after many years of egg-free baking, experience has taught me that substituting for eggs while baking is not always straightforward.

You will have to do some mix and match, change the number of leavening agents, etc. This substitute does not work in cookies because they tend to become very soft. It’s better suited for a quick bread, muffins, and cakes.

Note that such baked goods will be quite dense and moist. Also, it is suggested that while using pureed fruit to replace the fat in a recipe, you may want to use at least 25%-30% of the fat mentioned in the original recipe and substitute the rest with the fruit. The amount of baking powder can also be increased a little bit while using pureed fruit.

Making applesauce at home is as easy as boiling water. Here I’m going to just talk about making a simple applesauce recipe for immediate use and not about canning. Good food starts with good/fresh ingredients.

So if possible try to get organic apples because it is one of the produce in the “Dirty Dozen” list which has the highest level of pesticide contamination.

6 Creative Ways to Use Applesauce

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line cookie sheets with parchment.

Whisk flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, applesauce, and vanilla bean paste until combined. Add the flour mixture and mix on low until combined. Scrape down bottom and sides of bowl.

Portion onto prepared sheets using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop. Bake for 12 minutes or until the tops bounce back when lightly pressed. Remove to a wire cooling rack.

Once completely cooled, make the glaze. Whisk powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla bean paste. The mixture will seem thick at first, then it will loosen. Spoon or pipe over the cooled cookies.

Have you had a chance to try our Instant Pot applesauce yet? I don&rsquot want to be dramatic, but it&rsquos changed my life. I&rsquom now craving applesauce with every meal&mdashand that didn&rsquot happen when I was buying those little cups.

So, we&rsquove all heard of &ldquopork chops and applesauce&rdquo a la Peter Brady, but how about some ways to use applesauce that maybe you&rsquove never considered?

1 - Ice cream sundae sauce

Heat 1/2 cup applesauce with 1 tablespoon light brown sugar and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon. Once warm, spoon over vanilla bean ice cream and top with chopped toasted pecans. It rivals apple pie&mdashand that&rsquos saying something.

2 - Cheese board accoutrement

Add a little ramekin of homemade applesauce (no cinnamon, please) to your next cheese board. It&rsquos just the right amount of unexpected sweetness paired with cheese and crackers.

3 - Applesauce cookies

Yes, applesauce can be used as a fat replacement in recipes (I think the best application for replacement is in muffins), but what about really letting the applesauce shine? Applesauce cookies are light, fluffy, and soft with a mild apple flavor. Perfect for fall outings!

4 - Potato pancake topping

You haven&rsquot lived until you&rsquove eaten a potato pancake with applesauce and sour cream. Trust me on this one. Make Meseidy&rsquos potato pancakes (they&rsquore the base for this recipe) you can even use instant mashed potatoes! Hint: make the potato pancakes ahead of time and reheat in a skillet or the oven just before serving.

5 - Oatmeal stir-in

Oh, oatmeal really doesn&rsquot get cozier than this! Cook up oatmeal using your favorite method, top with a generous swirl of applesauce and chopped pecans. Comfort food breakfast for fall!

6 - Peanut butter spread

Stir equal amount peanut butter and homemade applesauce until smooth. Spread on toast, bagels, crumpets, graham crackers, you name it. I actually prefer this to straight peanut butter toast. It&rsquos so light and delectable!

Love Apples? Try These Recipes:


  • 4 pounds of apples (about 8 to 10 apples, depending on the size), peeled, cored, and quartered (use apples varieties that are good for cooking such as Granny Smith, Pippin, Gravenstein, Mcintosh, Fuji, Jonathan, Jonagold, or Golden Delicious)
  • 2 strips of lemon peel (use a vegetable peeler to strip the zest only, not the pith)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Up to 1/2 cup of white sugar (can sub half of the white sugar with brown sugar)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt


Place the peeled, cored, and quartered apples into a large pot. Add the strips of lemon peel, the lemon juice or vinegar, cinnamon, sugar, water and salt. (You might want to start with half the sugar at this point and add more to taste later.)

Bring to a boil on high heat, then lower the temperature, cover the pot, and maintain a low simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the apples are completely tender and cooked through.

Once the apples are cooked through, remove the pot from the heat. Remove the lemon peels.

Use a potato masher to mash the cooked apples in the pot to make a chunky applesauce. For a smoother applesauce you can either run the cooked apples through a food mill, or purée them using a stick blender or a standing blender. (If you use a standing blender, do small batches and do not fill the blender bowl more than halfway.)

If the applesauce is too thick, add more water to thin it out.

If not sweet enough, add more sugar to taste. If too sweet, add more lemon juice.

This applesauce is delicious either hot or chilled. It pairs well with pork chops for savory dishes, it's terrific with cottage cheese as a snack or light lunch, and it's great with vanilla ice cream or yogurt.

Freezes well and will last at least a year in a cold freezer. If you freeze it, make sure to allow enough headroom in your jar for expansion. At least an inch.

Canning applesauce is something that I do on a regular basis so that I can have it on hand for my 4 year old. It happens more often than it might need to for him though, because my husband and I both eat it too! It's so delicious. I apologize for nothing.

However, I don't mind the extra batches because every time I make this applesauce recipe I feel like I'm transported to some old farm where the apples have just been picked off the trees. They still have the warmth of the sun on their skins as I peel them, and the texture of the fruit is firm and crisp.

It doesn't matter that they actually came from the store, because for the entire time I'm peeling and chopping, I get to pretend that we live somewhere where apples thrive. Where the air is crisp in the fall instead of muggy and warm. Where the apples have a cold dew in the morning and spritz you with their sweet juices when you take a bite.

In reality, I live in Texas where apple trees have a constant uphill battle against the heat to produce their delicious fruit.

So instead of going down to the orchard to pick a few bushels of apples for a day of canning applesauce, I head to the grocery store to buy them in bulk when they go on sale. Organic applesauce from the store tends to be mushy and bland, so we always make our applesauce from scratch.

Of course, you don't have to buy organic for this recipe we just find that it has the best taste. And since my son has so many reactions to non-organic foods (fruits in particular), non-organic isn't an option for us.

Applesauce Recipe for Canning or Eating Fresh

While this homemade applesauce is perfect for canning, you don't have to can it! Instead, you can eat it fresh or store it in the fridge for up to a week.

If you do want to add a few jars of this applesauce recipe to your shelves, it's a very simple process! If you've never canned anything before, you might check out my Water Bath Canning Guide for Beginner's before starting. It will give you an overview of the process and have you on your way to a pantry full of home canned applesauce!