Healthier Baking trial #3: Applesauce for sugar
One of the building blocks to baking is a crazy amount of sugar. For this trial I tried to reduce calories in baking by reducing the amount of sugar used and replacing it with applesauce.
The health benefits of applesauce are minimal. However, with the capacity to be a sweetener for a fraction of the calories, using applesauce in place of sugar when trying to bake healthier sweet treats can be a lifesaver. I did the math and 1 cup of sugar contains roughly 770 calories. A cup of applesauce only has 52 calories!
Okay. So what’s the process? In theory, you could swap out as much sugar for applesauce as you’d like, but again the ratio is 1 to 1. So for example, 1 cup applesauce for 1 cup sugar. Or replace the amount of sugar you want to leave out with the same amount of applesauce. If the recipe call for 1 cup of sugar, and you only want to leave out ½ cup of sugar, just replace that half cup with half cup of applesauce. 1 thing to note however is that because applesauce has more liquid than plain sugar, you will generally want to reduce the amount of water or milk used by 1/4 for every cup of applesauce used.
For my trial of this healthier substitution, I made pumpkin spice cupcakes. You can find this decadent recipe here. You will find after looking at the recipe that it calls for 1 cup white sugar, and 1/3 cup brown. I swapped out all of the white sugar for 1 cup of apple sauce, but left everything else the same, needing to add slightly more milk than called for and using the not so runny batter to fill up the muffin cups most of way full, as the mixture didn’t rise much for me while baking.
The cups cakes turned out beautifully in regards to texture and appearance, though you there was a noticeable difference in the flavor. Remember though, I swapped out all of my white granulated sugar. My suggestion when using this substitution is to swap no more than half of the called for sugar out for applesauce. Any amount that you swap out will help the recipe be healthier overall. The point of using these swaps is to create sweet treats that would enjoy just as fully as if you hadn’t swapped a thing. If we swap out all the unhealthy stuff, but don’t enjoy the result, I don’t feel we have really accomplished anything beneficial.
Thank you for reading, and good luck with your baking adventures! Please comment if you have any questions, or anything other experiences, or ideas to add! I look forward to hearing from you!