can i substitute applesauce for yogurt in baking 2

Can I Substitute Applesauce for Yogurt in Baking?

As a baker, you might encounter a moment when you do not have yogurt, or yogurt does not appeal to your taste palate. That’s when the question arises, can I substitute applesauce for yogurt in baking? The good news is that yes, you can! Both applesauce and yogurt have been known to be acceptable substitutes for each other in baking recipes. This article will dive into the world of baking substitutions explaining how and why applesauce and yogurt are used as substitutes and offer tips on how to use them interchangeably.


The art of baking requires using precise measurements and ingredients. However, unforeseen situations such as running out of an ingredient or allergies come up. Substitutions become essential, but it’s crucial to ensure that alternative ingredients complement the recipe’s original intent. Understanding a substitution’s effects on flavor, texture, and consistency is vital for successful baking. This article aims to equip bakers with knowledge about substituting applesauce for yogurt in their recipes.

The Role of Applesauce and Yogurt in Baking

Applesauce and yogurt are often used interchangeably as substitutes in baking recipes due to their qualities that closely mirror each other. However, applesauce is primarily used as a fat substitute while yogurt is added mainly for its acidic content. Fat helps keep baked goods moist; however, the healthy benefits of reducing fat are apparent, making substitutes like applesauce desirable. The addition of yogurt in baking contributes to the tangy flavor we all associate with some baked goods like cheesecakes and fruity bread loaves.

The Nutritional Differences Between Applesauce and Yogurt

The nutritional value between applesauce and yogurt varies slightly. Applesauce has fewer calories and fat than yogurt, especially when selecting ones with no added sugar. Yogurt, on the other hand, contains a higher protein content that provides energy and strength to the body. Moreover, yogurt has a probiotic benefit that supports gut health.

The Consistency Factor

The consistency of batter and dough impacts the final texture of your baked goods. Applesauce acts as a binder, which helps keep baked products together, similar to eggs in muffins or cakes. The consistency of applesauce can be liquid or thicker-like depending on how it’s prepared. Conversely, yogurt adds moisture to baked goods since it contains water; however, it can vary from heavy cream to the lightness of milk.

Factors That Affect Baking Consistency

  • Liquid Content: Batters with more liquid tend to be thinner while doughs with less liquid are thicker. Depending on how thick or thin your substitute is will determine whether you need to make adjustments in another area like fat.
  • Fat Content: Reducing fat content in baking can impact the moistness and structure of a product. Substituting with applesauce instead of oil or butter lowers the fat content but increases the product’s sweetness level.
  • Sugar Content: Depending on recipe specifications, reducing or increasing sugar in a recipe will also impact the sweetness level.

Understanding Applesauce as a Baking Substitute

Applesauce is an excellent substitute for oil and butter in most baking recipes and has become popular in vegan baking. Applesauce imparts natural sweetness to baked goods when subbed for oils or butter, giving your sweets a healthy twist without sacrificing flavor.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Texture Changes: Baked products substituting with applesauce can be denser due to applesauce’s liquid substitution and may not rise as much compared to using oil or butter.
  • Flavor Changes: Applesauce adds sweetness to baked goods, which may affect the flavor profile. However, it blends well with flavors like cinnamon and ginger.
  • Nutritional Benefits: The fat content in oils is replaced with applesauce’s natural sugar content, making baked goods healthier. Applesauce is also low in calories compared to oil, making it an ideal substitute for weight watchers.

Understanding Yogurt as a Baking Substitute

Unless you are vegan, yogurt can be substituted for sour cream or buttermilk in almost all recipes since the consistency is similar and both ingredients add a slightly tangy taste to your baked goods. The acidity of yogurt creates a soft crumb texture in cakes and muffins.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Texture Changes: Yogurt’s consistency is thicker than applesauce, meaning that batter using this substitute will be thicker as well. This could result in a fluffier texture in cakes, but not necessarily less dense than what you expect when using butter or oil.
  • Flavor Changes: Yogurt has a slightly tangy taste that contributes depth to flavors such as blueberry muffins.
  • Nutritional Benefits: Yogurt contains probiotics that support digestive health due to the live cultures present during fermentation.

The Science Behind Substituting Applesauce for Yogurt

Substituting either applesauce or yogurt results in a similar impact regarding liquid changes in the recipe. When substituting yogurt, it’s essential to add extra liquid since it does not provide moisture as much as applesauce does. Utilizing applesauce as a substitute in specific recipes helps lower the fat content. In contrast, using yogurt substitutes for sour cream or buttermilk contributes to a product’s acidity level since all contain lactic acid.

Acids are an essential component of baked goods and help activate the leavening agent in baking powder, resulting in fluffy texture. Yogurt’s acidity can tenderize gluten in flour dough through acid-based protease enzymes, which are beneficial during fermentation—the other reason to appreciate the substitutability of applesauce and yogurt.

Tips for Successfully Substituting Applesauce for Yogurt

Using substitutions such as applesauce or yogurt requires modifications to ensure the batter or dough consistency remains adequately moist for proper baking results.

  • Liquid Adjustments: Yogurt’s consistency is thicken than applesauce, and batters might require extra liquid when substituting with it than if substituting with applesauce.
  • Fat Adjustments: Reducing fat content is a major benefit of subbing out butter or oil with applesauce. If baking a recipe that already contains enough fat, substituting with applesauce will make the baked good overly sweet.
  • Baking Time/Temperature Adjustments: Baking times may vary depending on how you substitute. It is best to monitor your product regularly while baking until you determine how long your preferred substitute takes to cook through thoroughly.

Recipes Using Applesauce or Yogurt as a Substitute Ingredient

If you’re ready to experiment using these substitutes in your baking recipes, here are some suggestions on what baked goods to try:


  • Applesauce – Banana Nut Muffins or Blueberry Muffins using applesauce instead of oil.
  • Yogurt – Chocolate Yogurt Cupcakes instead of buttermilk.


  • Applesauce – Oatmeal Applesauce Cookies instead of butter.
  • Yogurt – Blueberry Oatmeal Yogurt Cookies instead of sour cream.

Quick Breads

  • Applesauce – Applesauce Chocolate Chip Bread instead of oil.
  • Yogurt – Lemon Yogurt Bread instead of sour cream.

Other Substitutes to Consider

If neither applesauce nor yogurt are available, consider these other substitutes:

  • Buttermilk- Substitutes for yogurt or sour cream. It can also be used naturally as a leavening agent ingredient in baking powder.
  • Sour Cream- Substitutes for yogurt or buttermilk and adds tanginess to baked goods.
  • Silken Tofu- Used for vegan or lactose-free baking, contributes moisture like yogurt.


In summary, substituting applesauce for yogurt serves as an excellent substitute because both provide similar impact on consistency and structure. The substitution fully depends on the recipe requirements and your personal preference. Take note that if you plan to substitute, adjust the necessary liquid requirements per recipe and stay vigilant on recipe cook times while monitoring your product to achieve successful substitution results!

1. Can applesauce be substituted for yogurt in all baking recipes?

Yes, applesauce can be used as a substitute for yogurt in most baking recipes. However, it is important to note that the texture and taste of the baked goods may be different with applesauce. Applesauce is a great substitute for yogurt if you are looking to reduce the fat content in your recipe.

2. How much applesauce should I use to replace yogurt in baking?

1/4 cup of applesauce can be used to replace 1/4 cup of yogurt in most baking recipes. It is important to remember that too much applesauce can make the baked goods too moist or dense, so use it sparingly and adjust depending on your desired texture.

3. Will using applesauce instead of yogurt affect the taste of my baked goods?

Yes, substituting yogurt with applesauce might slightly affect the taste of your baked goodies. Applesauce has a slightly tangy and sweet taste that may not blend with all types of baked goods. However, many people find that the slight difference in taste is not noticeable and still produces delicious treats.

4. What are other substitutes for yogurt in baking?

If you do not have applesauce on hand or prefer not to use it, there are other substitutes available. You can use sour cream, buttermilk, mashed bananas, silken tofu, or coconut cream as substitutes for yogurt in different baking recipes. Be sure to choose the appropriate substitute based on the recipe you are making and flavour preferences.

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