8 Best Substitutes For Apple Butter

Apple Butter

You are desperately trying to parade your cooking skill in front of your mother. On the judgment day, you realize that you are out of an incredible ingredient in baking waffles. 

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 of apple butter could be at that unfortunate moment.

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 with what apple butter can be substituted. Just in case you are out of time (or are too lazy), *laugh*. Let us deal with exactly that today in this article.

What Is Apple Butter?

Apple Butter

It is not butter, not jam and definitely 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) and so how is sugar going to be an exception?

Once the sugar caramelizes, the slow-cooked apples turn into a 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!

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 if any. Thus, applesauce is the same as apple puree but definitely not apple butter!

Uses of Apple Butter

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

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, pancakes, muffins, cookies, or waffles in lieu of eggs or butter. It acts as a sweetener as well as a binding agent.

Apple butter can be used in sauces, dips or glazes as well. Additionally, topping your sandwiches, meat or veggies with apple butter is simply yum.

That said, let us not forget about winning the game of the hour – baking waffles. Let us move on to the important stuff – the best substitutes for apple butter that can save your day and your recipe.

8 Best Substitutes For Apple Butter

Now, it’s time for what you came for. Let’s see the 8 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. 

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.

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 remnant liquid that was leftover 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 as well. It can be used as an alternative for 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. 

This healthy substitute for apple butter can be used with a pinch of cinnamon powder if you wish to emulate the flavor of apple butter.

6. Yogurt


Yogurt is a protein-rich alternative to apple butter. It has a sour, tangy flavor with a smooth consistency and rigid texture. It helps render a fluffy, moist texture when added to your baking recipes.

Word of caution: remember to use regular yogurt while substituting for apple butter and not the flavored ones.

7. Butter


Butter in baking recipes is a classic ingredient that has 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 an easily available alternative to apple butter that has 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.


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 you trying out other substitutes which you think work best. Share your results and experience and I will see you soon with another list!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.