How to Cook With Applesauce Instead of Sugar

by Amber Canaan
Replacing sugar with applesauce dramatically reduces the calorie content of many recipes.

Replacing sugar with applesauce dramatically reduces the calorie content of many recipes.

Using applesauce in place of sugar in cakes, cookies and other recipes makes use of natural fruit sugar for sweetness. It also drastically reduces the calories included in the finished product, because calorie for calorie, applesauce has more sweetening power. One cup of sugar has over 700 calories, while a cup of applesauce only has 100. Applesauce also adds vitamins, minerals and fiber that refined sugar alone doesn't have. Applesauce still affects your blood sugar, though, so diabetics should limit consumption of goods baked with it.

Determine the amount of sugar required in your chosen recipe. Consider all types of sugar, including granulated white sugar and brown sugar.

Replace the sugar with an equal amount of applesauce. Baked goods like cookies, sweet quick breads and cakes are excellent recipes for substituting applesauce for sugar.

Mix the applesauce in with the wet ingredients if your recipe requires separate mixing of the wet and dry ingredients. Otherwise, mix it in with the other ingredients in place of the sugar.

Decrease the amount of liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup per cup of applesauce used. Applesauce contains a lot of liquid so you'll need to reduce the water or milk in the recipe for proper consistency in the finished product.

Follow the remainder of the recipe as directed. Evaluate the results for taste, texture and overall sweetness. You may need to experiment find the optimal proportion of applesauce in a given recipe. If completely replacing the sugar doesn't taste quite right, consider replacing only half of the sugar. Reducing the sugar by any amount will save calories.


  • Consider the taste and texture of your recipe when you decide whether to substitute applesauce for sugar. Since sugar dissolves in liquid and applesauce does not, the texture may change. Puddings, cheesecakes and other baked goods with a creamy consistency may not be a good choice for making this substitution.

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