When the lure of baked goods is too hard to resist but you're watching your waistline, bake with unsweetened applesauce in lieu of oil or butter. Though substituting some of the fats with unsweetened applesauce might change the texture of the baked good, it can provide a way to soothe your sweet tooth without regret. Additionally, unsweetened applesauce can replace eggs to make a baked good vegan. If you're not quite sure what to do with unsweetened applesauce, though, take heart – substitution isn't a complicated process.
The Ratio for Oil or Butter
Applesauce works as a substitution for both oil and butter in baking recipes, and recipes using unsweetened applesauce work best with a 1:1 ratio – for example, if an ingredient list calls for a 1/2 cup of oil, replace it with a 1/2 cup of applesauce.
Although butter can also be substituted in a 1:1 ratio, it's best to only replace a portion of it with applesauce. The substitution can change the consistency of baked goods – cookies more so than breads or cakes – so stick to substituting just half. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, use 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of applesauce. If you don't mind a dense crumb, though, you can substitute all the butter with applesauce. If a boxed baking mix includes a recipe for both oil and butter versions, choose the oil recipe for the best outcome when using applesauce.
The Ratio for Eggs
To use applesauce to replace eggs, substitute 1/4 cup of applesauce for every egg in the recipe. However, keep in mind that the substitution only works if there's another ingredient that acts a leavening agent, such as baking powder or baking soda. In these recipes, eggs are used for moisture rather than to help baked goods rise.
The Baking and Serving Process
Recipes using unsweetened applesauce instead of butter or oil perform differently in the oven, so keep an eye on it during baking. Typically, these baked goods won't brown as quickly and they're easy to overbake. Remove the bread, cake or cookies from the oven a few minutes before the prescribed baking time, and test with a knife or toothpick to determine if it's done.
Once the dish is done baking, let it cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Reduced-fat recipes using applesauce crumble more easily.
- Always start with a small amount of applesauce, such as 25 percent of the overall oil called for, when using it as a replacement for fat-based ingredients. Every baked good is different and reacts differently to the applesauce. Once you determine the recipe can work with applesauce, you can increase the amount up to 50 percent of overall oil called for in the recipe the next time you make it.
- Always watch the baked good as it bakes to ensure it doesn't burn. Using applesauce as a fat substitute can slightly alter the baking time, depending on the recipe. The applesauce may cause the good to cook quicker or slower than indicated, again depending on the recipe.
- Don't use applesauce to replace solid or soft butter or shortening in baked goods. Only use applesauce as a replacement for liquid fats in baked goods, such as oil or melted butter. Solid or soft butter and shortening provide a crisp texture to baked goods, whereas applesauce provides moisture and a dense consistency. Replacing even a one-quarter of the solid or soft butter or shortening with unsweetened applesauce may dramatically alter the texture and taste of the recipe.