This banana bread recipe calls for applesauce and it's not something that's available at the stores here. Will it be okay if I just leave it out or can I use any other common ingredient to replicate the effect?

  • 6
    I know this is old, but for anyone finding this on Google, it's worth mentioning that ita very easy to make applesauce! Basically bake/boil (I've heard microwave works too) a peeled apple with a little water. Some apples bake down to basically a sauce consistency, others you may need to blend.
    – user28957
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 2:04

6 Answers 6


Applesauce has little flavor and almost no nutritional value. It is added to baked goods for the one thing it does have- pectin.

Pectin interferes with gluten in a similar manner to fat although by a different mechanism. For this reason applesauce is often used to replace some of the fat in recipes for health-conscious bakers. See this question.

Other banana bread recipes are very similar to cakes and rely on a huge amount of fat- often creamed with a large amount of sugar.

Your options are then to:

  • Replace the applesauce with some other oil substitute. Another puree of high-pectin fruit would work.
  • Switch to a recipe that just uses the fat and enjoy a richer banana bread.
  • 2
    @Sobachatina--Couldn't one substitute water+pectin, since that's most of what the apple sauce is contributing?
    – Ray
    Commented Jun 7, 2012 at 15:28
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    @Ray- sounds reasonable. Though I can't imagine a place where you could find pectin for sale but not applesauce. Commented Jun 7, 2012 at 15:32
  • @Sobachatina Okay, what if I use more butter? Will that be ok?
    – Uday Kanth
    Commented Jun 8, 2012 at 8:05
  • 4
    Applesauce made with decent apples has plenty of flavor. That made with modern hypersweet, hyperpalatable cultivars has all the flavor of a cheap storebought tomato, in February. Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 0:11
  • 1
    Although it's quite easy to make applesauce (dice several apple varieties into a pan, add a little water, simmer for 15 minutes and mash), another excellent substitute for applesauce is pumpkin puree. It too has little flavor in baked goods and is high in pectin. Commented Nov 10, 2018 at 21:32

Why not making your own? Making your own applesauce is actually very easy. So I bet there are apples for sale in the stores? The simpelest I can think of is: 4 apples 3/4 cup water (1/4 cup sugar) 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon Peel core and chop the apples. Cook it all together on medium heat until the apples are soft. (15-20 minutes) It is no work at all and tastes delicious.
Personally I would use applesauce with no added sugar when using it in cakes.

However if you think it is to much work anyways (but I do not hope so!) it is good to know that in lots of recipes, applesauce is used to replace oil to lower the amount of calories. (Some also claim that applesauce replaces eggs, but I have no experience with that) However, stating something like: 'replace 1 cup of applesauce by 1 cup of oil' can not be done properly. Applesauce contains water where oil does not. So it will make your cake more fat, and applesauce make the baking more 'cakier'. Also you are making a fruit cake, and of course the apple taste improves this fruity taste. I also think using oil will make you cake more 'heavy' then applesauce. You can read more about applesauce replacing oil via this link. I think if you are going to replace the applesauce by oil, you have to experiment about the substitution rate. But I would start with using 1/4 cup of oil in stand of the 1/4 cup of applesauce.

If you don't want to make your own applesauce, nor replacing the sauce by oil you might want to look at baby-food. Some jars of baby-food contain just some kind of apple puree.

  • While it's a good idea to make your own, I think it's quite a lot of work if you only need 60 ml of apple sauce.
    – Mien
    Commented Jun 7, 2012 at 15:24
  • 3
    I think cleaning a couple of apples and cook them for 20 minutes it not a lot of work. It takes maybe 5 minutes and just 20 minutes waiting in which you can prepare the rest of the cake. And you can eat the rest, freeze it for the next time or... (or just make lots of cakes. )
    – Lotte Laat
    Commented Jun 7, 2012 at 15:28
  • It's a small thing, but it's still something else to keep track of, so I totally understand substituting something else if possible.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jun 7, 2012 at 16:58
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    Why cook when you can nuke? 4 minutes in a covered dish in microwave will reduce most peeled, chunked apples to squishy pulp. Stir w a fork. Adding sugar or cinnamon is optional. Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 0:13

The unsweetened applesauce also provides a bit of acid. How about replacing the same weight, not volume, with apple juice and increasing the banana content by an small amount -say half a sm banana?

According to http://www.onlineconversion.com/weight_volume_cooking.htm 1 cup AS = 8.6oz so 2 oz of juice would be about right

With only 1/4C in the recipe, I am assuming that changes here and there won't spell disaster.


Use chocolate pudding out of a little kids cup. It adds an amazing chocolate flavor to the banana but it's not over powering. Use the same amount of pudding as you would with applesauce.


Look for applesauce in the baby food section.


A whipped fat can substitute the missing applesauce.

  • Hello Gwen, and welcome to our site. I understand you had best intentions when you wrote your answer, but we don't discuss the nutritional benefits of food here, just cooking techniques. This is probably the reason why your answer attracted a downvote. I edited that part out, leaving the actual substitution suggestion. If you would expand it (what fat is suitable, how exactly you substitute), it would be even more useful.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jan 1, 2015 at 15:09

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