Fatfree Baking Tip #1

by on April 14, 2006
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Normally I don’t do a lot of baking, but this week I found myself baking banana bread in addition to the most important thing I bake all year–my daughter’s birthday cake, which is in the oven even as I type. This year, I decided to reduce the fat in my traditional recipe a little by using the time-honored technique of substituting apple sauce for some of the oil. If you’ve looked at or made any of my bread or cake recipes, I’m sure you’ve noticed it. What I haven’t let on is a little secret that makes adding apple sauce to recipes very easy:

Apple Sauce

Individual serving packages. I used to buy those big jars of natural apple sauce, use a half-cup or so, put the rest in the fridge, and then a month later find green fur growing in the jar. After throwing away a few jars of barely-used apple sauce, I found myself reaching for the little snack-sized containers that my daughter takes for lunch. These come in 6-packs, and each holds 4 ounces, which is a little more than 1/3 cup and not quite 1/2 cup. When you see me indicating 4 ounces of unsweetened apple sauce, that’s what I’m using. Now you know my trick.

The birthday cake is now out of the oven, and the whole house smells like . . . . oops, can’t tell you the flavor. It’s a surprise, you know! Check back later tomorrow night for all the details, photos, and possibly even a recipe.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 las1261 October 17, 2009 at 12:28 am

I use applesauce in baking. I make some yummy oatmeal raisin cookies with applesauce for the oil. And I am in the process of experimenting with applesauce in cornbread! The first time I used equal amounts of applesauce to oil, and it came out very gooey. Tasted fine, but didn't like the texture. Second time I used half the amount of applesauce to oil ratio. And it turned out much better! I may try again with a third of the amount and see what happens!


2 Kitty May 22, 2010 at 10:15 am

I made banana ‘cake’ (or ‘bread’ – as a ‘virgin’ baker, I don’t know the difference) – yesterday using applesauce instead of oil. Since I didn’t add sugar either, the fruit was solely responsible for any sweetness.

It’s didn’t come out too bad, considering my embarrassing track record of charring anything inside an oven. I was especially delighted when my picky hubby appreciated the dessert!

I plan to make an apple-nut muffin next. It appears that thee baking-bug has bit me!


3 lauren deneen June 11, 2010 at 10:53 am

Try apple butter instead of apple sauce-it makes whatever you are baking a little bit darker but the flavor is great as it is a ‘concentrated’ apple sauce.

Look for the unsweetened kind in a natural food store as supermarket apple butter usually contains corn syrup and or other sweeteners and fillers. It is more expensive but worth it! I put it in vegan chocolate chocolate chip cookies for up to all the oil called for in the recipe or any part of it. I have also used it in vegan corn bread.


4 Gail October 14, 2010 at 3:04 am

That sounds perfect for baking sweets! We already love “toast” sprouted bread with apple butter as a treat, we often enjoy it as a snack or dessert!

I never thought of baking with it!


5 Irreverent Cook September 13, 2010 at 12:52 pm

I love to use pureed prunes for a smoother texture. Just soak dried prunes in hot water, and puree them slightly with a hand blender with a few tablespoons of hot water.
I use it in cookies and it comes out great every time!


6 Mekkie February 5, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Yogurt and canned pumpkin work pretty well too. Obviously you have to be careful with pumpkin though because of the flavor. If you’re substituting a non-acidic ingredient (oil) with an acidic one (applesauce), you should swap a little baking powder with baking soda. This might be why some of your recipes aren’t coming out right.


7 SusanV February 5, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Whose recipes? Mine are coming out just fine! :-)


8 This Chick Eats March 31, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Great tip and trick. Thanks!


9 kay March 11, 2012 at 9:54 pm

what is the exact substitute for applesauce to oil?
can anything be substituted for butter?
I LOVE carrot cake, please tell me you have a fat free recipe for me.


10 Susanne May 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Great idea – thanks


11 Monica July 26, 2012 at 11:49 pm

I used to do the same thing and found this little trick works so much better!


12 Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie October 25, 2012 at 9:11 am

I’ve been using pumpkin puree as well for my fall baking needs! :) Sooo good!


13 Jo Carr February 3, 2013 at 8:15 am

I have a baking book which uses Prune Puree along with applesauce or alpple juice as a substitute also. Unfortunately, I loaned it to a friend and she’s out of town this weekend when I wanted to make some oatmeal cookies for my family.
I love your web site and appreciate the many recepies you offer.



14 cooljusher March 13, 2013 at 8:41 pm

So glad to have discovered your blog. My husband has recetly been advised by the Dr. to follow a fat free diet because of early signs of health problems, won’t do me any harm either! The recipes on here look so ‘do-able’ with easy to find ingredients. Thank you!!


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