What to use in your recipe when you're out of applesauce

Sometimes when you want a little bit of sweet without a whole lot of fat — or you've suddenly realized you're out of oil — you need a good alternative. A popular substitution in cakes, bread, and muffin recipes that call for oil and butter is something you might have hanging around in your fridge — applesauce. Applesauce serves up fewer calories than oil and adds zero fat calories, while it also adds in a hint of sweetness. Even though applesauce is a very common baking substitute, there are other options out there you can try that yield the same baking results, which is a great thing to know if you're completely out of applesauce. 

Different substitutes for applesauce

When it comes to baking, the American Heart Association is all in favor of replacing oil and butter. Besides applesauce, there are plenty of other options, though. They say that other fruit (and even vegetable purees!) will do the trick. Not only do they lower the fat content in your baking recipe, but they add plenty of moisture to prevent your masterpiece from crumbling and falling apart. Livestrong says to try banana, pumpkin, or sweet potato purees, but definitely be mindful of the flavor, as whatever you are baking will take on a hint of the puree you add. So, if you're not a fan of a certain fruit flavor, you may want to stay away.

The good thing about puree substitutions is that they're easily interchangeable with oil and butter. Rachael Ray says a good rule of thumb is to substitute 2/3 cup to 1 cup of puree for each cup of oil or butter in the recipe. Ray doesn't recommend completely replacing oil and butter with purees in cookie recipes, but says you can reduce the amount and add in some puree to make up the difference. 

How to substitute applesauce with dairy

If you're not a fan of alternative fruit purees, try substituting dairy for oils instead of going the smushed fruit route. Angie Thayer, a registered dietician and food and regulatory specialist at Wilton Brands, says yogurt is a great substitute for vegetable oil. It reduces fat while providing your cakes, bread, or muffins with a thick and creamy texture. For measuring purposes, you'll want to add 3/4 cup of yogurt for every 1 cup of oil (via Livestrong). 

It looks like applesauce isn't the only all-star in the baking-substitute game. There are many alternatives that can help put a healthier twist on your baking habits and the end results will be just as tasty.