Alternative Ingredients

April 22, 2020 York, Maine

Written by: Stephanie Miller, Recipe Development Specialist

If there is one thing I love, it is baking. There is just something soothing about creating a mixture, placing it in the oven and watching it turn into a delicious baked good. However, as much as I love baking, I don’t love all of the baked goods sitting around my house waiting to be eaten! So, whenever possible I try to create a healthy-version of my favorite baked goods when I just feel like baking. One of my favorite go-to substitutes for baking is using applesauce. As the Recipe Development Specialist for Stonewall Kitchen, I was very excited when we acquired Vermont Village as their applesauce was already my favorite applesauce for baking so it was a perfect match for me! Subbing applesauce is fairly simple and will work best in recipes for cakes or quick breads and helps to create very moist, flavorful, healthier versions of your favorite recipes.

How to substitute applesauce in your recipes;

Granulated Sugar: If you wish to swap your sugar for granulated sugar, it is a 1:1 ratio. You will also want to decrease the liquid portion of the recipe by about ¼ cup per cup of applesauce. Since applesauce creates more moisture than sugar, the decrease in additional liquid will help to even it out.

Eggs: You can swap ¼ cup applesauce per egg in most recipes.

Butter or Oil: If your recipe calls for melted butter or oil, you can do an even, 1:1 swap for applesauce. Note, you cannot swap if the butter called for is softened, room temperature or cold – it must call for melted butter or it will not create the same results.

Have fun and play around with your substitutions! You can swap half the sugar, or all of it.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes using Vermont Village Applesauce.

Peach Upside Down Cake

What you need:

  • 2-3 ripened peaches, sliced thinly
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup Vermont Village Unsweetened Peach Applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups allpurpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • Vanilla Ice Cream, optional

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
  2. Pour melted butter into an 8”or 9” cake pan and swirl to coat the bottom.  Sprinkle evenly with ½ cup light brown sugar.  Arrange the peach slices on top of the brown sugar, starting the middle and working towards the edge, until the bottom of the cake pan is filled.  Discard any extra slices.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the softened butter and remaining light brown sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the egg and beat until well incorporated.  Add the applesauce and vanilla and mix until uniform.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk into the mixer bowl, fully incorporating each addition before adding the next.  Begin and end with the flour mixture, scraping the bowl between additions.
  6. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and gently spread with a spatula to cover the peaches completely.  Gently tap the cake pan a few times on a hard surface, like the counter, to allow the cake mixture to work into the spaces between the peaches and the air bubbles to come out.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the top is slightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  8. Gently run a knife along the edge of the cake to help it release from the pan.  Place the serving plate you wish to use on top of the cake pan.  Flip the pan over and allow the cake to release onto the serving plate.
  9. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

What you need:
For the muffins

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ¼ cup Vermont Village Unsweetened Cinnamon Applesauce
For the topping
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

What to do:

  1. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper muffin liners. Preheat oven to 400° Fahrenheit.
  2. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar. When fully combined, add the melted butter and continue whisking until the mixture is frothy and creamy. Stir in the applesauce until fully incorporated.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the applesauce mixture and fold it in until it is just incorporated, do not over mix.
  5. Divide the batter evenly amongst the cups, so that they are approximately ¾ full.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients. Sprinkle the sugar mixture on the tops of each muffin.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until muffin tops have puffed and browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan slightly before removing.

Stephanie Miller Recipe Development Specialist

Stephanie began her career in the marketing department at Stonewall Kitchen back in 2009. After a short hiatus to stay home with her 2 young girls, she returned to the company she loved, doing what she loves to do. She spends her days developing recipes, testing new products, and styling food for photography. Stephanie can’t pick just one favorite Stonewall Kitchen product – Smoky BBQ Aioli, Raspberry Salsa and Country Ketchup are 3 of the products you will always find in her pantry.