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I like to substitute applesauce for oil when I bake quick breads or cookies. I was wondering if there is a specific formula for such substitutions? — Lax, MA

Bonnie Moore


Applesauce is a terrific substitute for oil or butter. Anywhere from 3/4 cup to 1 cup of applesauce can be substituted for 1 cup of oil or butter. However, there isn''t a specific formula that I can give that guarantees success finding the right ratio can often be trial and error. I find that most recipes really suffer from substituting 100% of the fat with applesauce. I often try using half of the fat called for and replacing the remaining half with applesauce you get good results and still save quite a bit of fat per serving.

Here are a few tips for low-fat baking success:

  • Replace the 1 cup butter or oil with 3/4 cup applesauce, drained crushed pineapple, mashed ripe bananas (great in chocolate desserts) or a fruit butter, such as apple or pear.
  • Use cake flour or pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour. It will make cakes and cookies lighter in texture.
  • When a recipe calls for baking powder or soda, be sure to use the full amount and be sure it is fresh. Be very careful not to over mix the batter. Over mixing will make the final product dense and tough.
About Bonnie Moore

Bonnie Moore, FoodFit's Executive Chef, graduated from Boston University with a bachelor's degree in Math and Statistics before forsaking her calculator for a whisk. Bonnie earned an associate degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University and a degree in pastry arts from L'Academie de Cuisine. She was the sous chef at the Inn at Little Washington, the only five-star, five-diamond kitchen in the United States, and a former chef-instructor in the professional program at L'Academie de Cuisine in Maryland. Bonnie likes to be involved with food at every stage, from planting seeds at the farm to creating a meal for her family. She believes that there is no better place to foster community and nourish those you love than around a table piled with delicious food.

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