Best Substitute for Applesauce in Baking

Applesauce is a popular ingredient in cake recipes, used as a natural sweetener, to add moisture, and to keep the cake tender and fluffy. However, it can sometimes be challenging to find applesauce at the grocery store, or you may simply prefer to use a different ingredient.

If you’re in such a situation and looking for a substitute for applesauce in cake, you’re in the right place.


In this article, we will discuss various options that you can use as a substitute for applesauce in cake, to achieve the same flavor, texture, and moisture.

What makes applesauce an ideal ingredient in cake?

Applesauce is a versatile ingredient that is used in many cake recipes for several reasons.

  • It acts as a natural sweetener, eliminating the need for added sugar in the recipe.
  • It helps to maintain the moisture in the cake, keeping it tender and fluffy.
  • Applesauce also adds a subtle flavor to the cake, giving it a fruity, slightly tangy taste.

Common Substitutes for Applesauce in Cake

Here are some of the most popular substitutes for applesauce in cake:


Yogurt is a great alternative to applesauce in cake recipes. It adds moisture and richness to the cake, while also reducing the need for added sugar. Greek yogurt works best in cakes, as it is thicker and has a tangy flavor.

Mashed bananas

Mashed bananas are another excellent substitute for applesauce in cake. They add natural sweetness, moisture, and texture to the cake. The banana flavor may come through in the final product, so make sure it is a flavor that you enjoy.


Butter is another popular substitute for applesauce in cake recipes. It adds richness, moisture, and flavor to the cake. However, keep in mind that butter will also increase the fat content of your cake, so use it in moderation.


Oil is another option for substituting applesauce in cake recipes. It adds moisture to the cake and keeps it tender and fluffy. Vegetable oil, canola oil, or melted coconut oil are all good options.

Pumpkin puree

Pumpkin puree is a delicious substitute for applesauce in cake recipes. It adds natural sweetness and moisture to the cake, as well as a subtle pumpkin flavor. This is a great option for fall-themed cakes or for those who prefer a more unique flavor profile.

How to Substitute Applesauce in a Cake Recipe

The amount of substitute that you need to use will depend on the recipe you are using. Here is a general guide for substituting applesauce in a cake recipe:

  • For every 1 cup of applesauce, use 1 cup of yogurt, mashed bananas, or pumpkin puree.
  • For every 1 cup of applesauce, use 1/2 cup of melted butter or oil.

It is important to keep in mind that the exact amount may vary depending on the recipe and personal preferences. Experiment with different substitutes to see what works best for you.

I'm Jennifer Tirrell, a self-taught baker, and founder of CakeRe. As an experienced baker and recipe publisher, I have spent over a decade working in the kitchen and have tried and tested countless baking tools and products. From classic cakes to creative twists, I've got you covered. So grab your apron and let's get baking!

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