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Applesauce replacing oil in brownies??

Does this trick work? Are there any caveats? Can applesauce be substituted for fat in other baked goods/similar items? Looking forward to trying this healthy alternative! (any other good tricks like this appreciated!)


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  1. Yes, substituting applesauce in baked goods is a common strategem for reducing fat in diets.

    1. I've used this little trick a lot. The texture changes somewhat, it's a little "cakier" or less dense but the flavor if anything was improved (IMNSHO) by the slight fruitiness. It worked in brownies, cakes, quickbreads. If you don't want to sacrifice density, try using 1/2 oil & 1/2 applesauce.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bkath

        If your recipe calls for more than one egg reduce the eggs down to one. This will make your brownies fudgy. I was making brownies one night and realized I had run out of oil, and my best friend says "Just use applesauce" I was a little skeptical but decided to do it, and like you said it does come out alot cakier. Use one less egg and you will get a little bit fudgier brownie(i like them). However, I will never use oil in brownies again! I love the flavor w/ applesauce much better

      2. Be sure to use unsweetened applesauce. I do this all the time and it's a great trick

        1 Reply
        1. re: cooknKate

          Yes, unsweetened applesauce is key. The first time I did this I added sweetened applesauce to carrot cake. Might as well have used the oil!

        2. I find that when you substitute, you should use about 3/4 c. applesauce for each cup of fat the recipe calls for. Otherwise, things get a little soggy.

          1. i've read some recipes for fat free brownies and they seem to prefer prune puree for chocolatey stuff and applesauce for lighter tasting things. I agree that you shouldn't use sweetened applesauce and strangely enough I would also say don't use really good tasting organic applesauce unless you don't mind that whatever your making tastes like apples, or at least mine did. this did work pretty well for my (apple) blueberry muffins and pumpkin nut muffins. but maybe not brownies.

            1 Reply
            1. re: choctastic

              I agree about using prune purée (or baby food, if you don't want to bother puréeing prunes yourself). You can also use plain canned pumpkin.

            2. Given the high number of dieting individuals in my life, I've done quite the bit of experimenting. Applesauce and prune puree work well, as do mashed banansas in specific things. I've also done muffin and cake recipes using fat free unflavored yogurt and sour cream to sub, and these work decently as well. For one friend (who LOVES avocado) I used mashed avocado, since this is "good fat" in plain muffins that turned into green avocado muffins...

              2 Replies
              1. re: Emme

                Oh, was I disappointed with that substitution! Although when sliced it looked like there were white chocolate chips in the brownies, there was no denying the presence of black beans...the taste was awful, although I am a bean fan. I had to toss it!

                1. re: dralady

                  Hello DRALADY--- The secret is to take the can of black beans and put the whole thing, including the juices, into the blender FIRST. Then add it directly to the mix, replacing the eggs, oil & water. I've been making my browning this way for over a year and have taken them to many events & potlucks with great reviews!

              2. I've also read that black beans is a good replacement for oil in brownies, it was a very popular weight watchers recipe.

                1 Reply
                1. re: josie888

                  Are they mashed? Can you share the recipe?

                2. another option which makes it even MORE low cal then applesauce is using canned pumpkin and adding in a little pumpkin pie spice so you get a nice chocolately pumpkin cake taste no fat and less carbs then applesauce

                  1. Applesauce is a good substitute for fat. It will make the brownies very moist, but they will dry out more quickly than with fat. Another option is a jar of strained prunes like they make for babies.