10 Best Apple Butter Substitutes That You Can Try

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Looking for the best apple butter substitutes, are you? I get it. Once, I was desperately trying to parade my cooking skill in front of your mother. On judgment day, I realized that I was out of an incredible ingredient in baking waffles. 

Apple Butter

Nothing can be more daunting than the spirit of cooking being extinguished, huh? You never thought apple butter would cheat you. You must have wondered what the possible substitutes for apple butter could be at that unfortunate moment, and you came to the right place. Some of the best substitutes for apple butter are applesauce, pumpkin puree, avocado, buttermilk, and olive oil.

Apple butter has nothing to do with butter (yeah, the name is kind of a misnomer). It is the yummy, fruity spread that you get after slow-cooking apples with sugar and spices. It is an incredible binding agent that can be used in any baking recipe.  But you sure would love to know what can be substituted for apple butter. Just in case you are out of time (or are too lazy), *laugh*. Let us deal with exactly that today in this article.

Quick Peek: Apple Butter

Apple Butter

The following scribbles tell you what apple butter is, its flavor, consistency, culinary uses, and health benefits.

What Is Apple Butter?

It is not butter, not jam, and not jelly. So what is apple butter anyway? Apple butter is produced by slow-cooking apples with sugar, cinnamon, and cloves for a long time (really long!) That lot of time can melt rocks even (our patience as well), so how will sugar be an exception?

Once the sugar caramelizes, the slow-cooked apples become rich, deep, brown-colored syrupy liquid with an intense apple flavor! You get the delicious and amazing apple butter which can be deemed butter-like in texture. Well, if not for that buttery texture, I have no idea why it is named apple butter. *clueless!

Is Apple Butter Same as Applesauce?

I get it! You must be scratching your heads right now. How the heck is it different from applesauce? Don’t worry. Prepare to be enlightened!

Apple butter is simply a concentrated version of applesauce. Applesauce can be prepared in a jiffy, I mean, yeah. You just need to wait until the apples are cooked and softened. Cinnamon or sugar can be added to enhance the flavor of applesauce. Some may even puree or mash the apples further to reduce the chunks. Thus, applesauce is the same as apple puree but not apple butter!

Describing Apple Butter: Flavor and Consistency

Apple butter undoubtedly has the rich apple flavor you simply crave when it is the season of apples. It also comes with a slight tartness that is characteristic of apples. It has a characteristic consistency similar to that of a fruit jam.

Uses of Apple Butter

Apple butter can be mixed with any of your favorite cereal – simply try it with oatmeal, and you will not regret it. Slip a spoon of apple butter into your cakes, muffins, cookies, or waffles instead of eggs or butter. It acts as a sweetener as well as a binding agent. It can be used in sauces, dips, or glazes as well. Additionally, topping your sandwiches, meat, or veggies with apple butter is simply yum.

Apple Butter On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

If an apple a day can keep the doctor away, how will apple butter be an exception? Let us find out. Apple butter is a very good source of macronutrients such as fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and fiber. It is also rich in copper, which helps in boosting the immune system as well as the nervous system. It also cures constipation and obesity if moderately consumed.

However, apple butter can’t be deemed a supremely healthy ingredient due to the presence of sugar in it. The added sugar in apple butter is highly caloric in value and can lead to weight gain and diabetes.

Why Do We Need A Substitute For Apple Butter?

Although apple butter can be easily available, there might be times when you are out of time to go to the store. You wish you knew about the substitutes for apple butter in the midst of a recipe. Believe me; we have all been there. 

Also, if I tell you that few ingredients can emulate the flavor and consistency of apple butter, isn’t that great? Some of the best substitutes for apple butter replace apple butter amazingly well. Let us now move on to the important stuff – the best substitutes for apple butter that can save your day and your recipe.

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

10 Best Apple Butter Substitutes

Now that you know everything you need to know about apple butter let us discuss the best substitutes for apple butter. Let’s see the ten best apple butter substitutes.

1. Applesauce


The best substitute for apple butter, without a doubt, is applesauce. Applesauce is what you get after slow-cooking apples until they are softened. Essentially, the flavor is akin to that of apple butter.

While apple butter has a syrupy texture, applesauce has a light, chunky consistency. Applesauce can be used instead of apple butter in any recipe that calls for apple butter. As a matter of fact, you can even prepare apple butter with applesauce. Simply add applesauce, sugar, cinnamon, or spices of your choice onto a pan and simmer down until you have the thick, brown apple butter.

2. Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin is a healthy fruit with a sweet, earthy flavor. Pumpkin puree can be used to replace apple butter in baking recipes as there isn’t any considerable difference in flavor and texture between the two. For an exact flavor of apple butter, use pumpkin puree along with a spoon of lemon juice or cinnamon powder. It can be used in cocktails, desserts, toasts, and bread.

3. Avocado


Avocado is a green-colored fruit with brown skin, fondly known as alligator pears or butter fruit. It is a powerhouse of essential nutrients, minerals, and healthy fats. It deeply boosts heart health and aids in proper growth and development in children.

For replacing apple butter with avocado, use ripe avocados and mash them. It will give the necessary creamy texture to your recipes with a buttery flavor. Use mashed avocado on a 1:1 ratio with apple butter. The greenish hue of avocado puree or paste wouldn’t affect the outcome of your recipe.

4. Buttermilk


Earlier, buttermilk referred to the leftover remnant liquid after churning cream into butter. Nowadays, buttermilk is produced by adding vinegar or lime juice to milk. Buttermilk has a sour, tangy flavor with acidic notes and can be used as an alternative to apple butter in muffins, cakes, or desserts. You may need to use half a spoon of buttermilk to replace a spoon of apple butter.

5. Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Olive oil, surprisingly, can be a considerable substitute for apple butter. It has a unique, pleasant flavor that brings out the best in whatever recipe you try. Consuming olive oil has been shown to reduce the risk of heart diseases to a great extent. It is a healthy substitute for apple butter and can be used with a pinch of cinnamon powder if you wish to emulate the flavor of apple butter. It can be used to substitute on a 1:1 ratio in recipes.

6. Yogurt


Yogurt is a protein-rich alternative to apple butter. It has a sour, tangy flavor with a smooth consistency and rigid texture. When added to your baking recipes, it helps render a fluffy, moist texture. Word of caution: remember to use regular yogurt while substituting for apple butter and not the flavored ones. It ensures texture, moisture, and flavor to recipes that call for apple butter.

7. Butter


Butter in baking recipes is a classic ingredient with a rich, creamy, sweet taste, and I am out of words to describe its taste simply because the taste of butter can’t be expressed but only felt!

The buttery taste and flavor of butter do so many good things to your recipe. Apart from giving a mildly sweet taste, it upgrades the flavor and blends in really well with other ingredients. Use a cup of butter to replace a cup of apple butter and go all buttery crazy!

8. Apricot Jam

Apricot Jam

Apricot jam is a delicious preserve made using apricots, sugar, and lemon juice. It has a sweet-tart flavor and a thick consistency. It is mostly used as a glaze and as a filling in desserts and pastries. Apricot jam is an easily available alternative to apple butter with a sweet yet tangy flavor and a thick texture akin to apple butter. It can be readily used in recipes that call for apple butter, and you will barely notice the difference.

9. Pear Butter

Pear Butter

Made using pears, pear butter is a preserve, similar to apple butter, made using pears. Some of the recipes for pear butter make use of pears with their skins on. There is also a considerable difference in the amount of sugar used in the recipes. Also, ginger, anise, cardamom, nutmeg, and lemon juice are added while making pear butter.

Pear butter has a sweet, spicy flavor and a buttery consistency. The similarities in textural profiles make pear butter a good substitute for apple butter. You can use it as a topping in muffins, oatmeal, and other baked goods.

10. Margarine


Margarine is a kind of healthy spread prepared using oil, salt, water, and a few emulsifiers. It is often used as a healthy alternative to butter. Initially, it was made with the help of animal fats. Nowadays, it is prepared using vegetable oil. Margarine has a buttery flavor and a creamy, sticky texture making it a considerable substitute for apple butter. It can be used in cakes, donuts, or cookies in lieu of apple butter.

Short Recap Of Best Apple Butter Substitutes

That must have been an exhaustive read on the best apple butter substitutes, right? Let me make it easy for you to remember the details with the help of some points.

Best Apple Butter Substitutes In Terms Of Flavor-

  1. Applesauce
  2. Pumpkin Puree
  3. Avocado
  4. Buttermilk

Best Apple Butter Substitutes In Terms Of Consistency-

  1. Applesauce
  2. Pumpkin Puree
  3. Butter
  4. Apricot Jam

 Final Musings

The list of substitutes for apple butter is now ready, waiting for you to be explored and experimented with further. Let this list not refrain from trying out other substitutes that you think work best. Share your results and experience working on these substitutes, and I will see you soon with another article!

How To Use Apple Butter Substitutes In A Recipe

Apple Butter

Apple Butter Substitutes

Craving for a waffle and out of apple butter? Take the help of a few apple butter substitutes. Some of the best substitutes for apple butter are applesauce, pumpkin puree, avocado, buttermilk, and olive oil.
5 from 1 vote


  • Applesauce
  • Pumpkin Puree
  • Avocado
  • Buttermilk
  • Olive Oil
  • Yogurt
  • Butter
  • Apricot Jam
  • Pear Butter
  • Margarine


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you replace apple butter with applesauce?

Apple butter can be replaced with applesauce in any recipe. 

What is the difference between apple butter and applesauce?

Apple butter is basically a concentrated version of applesauce. Apple butter is cooked for a longer time which gives sufficient time for sugar to caramelize and hence you get an intense apple flavor.

What does apple butter taste like?

Apple butter has a concentrated apple flavor. 

What kind of apples are best for apple butter?

Soft apples are best suited for making apple butter considering the long time period the process takes.

How to make apple butter from applesauce?

Combine sweetened applesauce with cloves, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and sugar. Heat it over medium flame for about 45 minutes until you get a thick texture. Your apple butter should be ready.

Can I use apple butter instead of butter?

Apple butter can be used instead of butter in any baking recipe.

How long does apple butter last?

Apple butter, with refrigeration, can last for a year.

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