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Best Apple Butter Substitutes – 5 Great Replacements

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If you are in love with everything about fall, the flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, and apples, then you might be a fan of apple butter. This sweet butter is often used as a side dish or simply an addition to sandwiches.

And if you are a baker in the making, you can use it in various baked goods. Who doesn’t like some apple butter on a spoon? Well, you can eat it by itself and enjoy the taste.

apple butter substitute

Best apple butter substitutes

Apple butter substitutes are applesauce, pumpkin butter, oil, regular butter, margarine, and homemade apple butter you can make from apples.

Apple butter is basically concentrated applesauce. It is pureed or cut and cooked which gives you that caramelized touch.

It can be tricky to choose just the right substitute for a specific recipe. Sometimes oil will work better than butter. Find out how you can use replacements if apple butter is required by the recipe but you didn’t have the time to buy some!

What can be used instead of apple butter?

Who doesn’t love nice applesauce? Well, apple butter is just a type of applesauce that is more concentrated. It is created by slow cooking that lasts for a long time until the sugar in the apple actually caramelizes. The apples then get that deep brown color we all love so much.

It is often mixed with vinegar and lemon juice to produce a tart flavor and can be seasoned with clove or cinnamon.

To make apple butter you only need apples, obviously, which you need to peel and chop. You also need sugar which can be brown or white, it is up to you.

You can add some apple juice or cider and spice it up with some spices. The most common ones are vanilla, cinnamon, lemon juice, nutmeg, and cloves.

It is the perfect addition to any kitchen, especially in the fall since it will give you that fuzzy and cozy feeling along with an amazing smell of home cooking.

There are more types of apple than we know, that’s for sure. Depending on their sweetness, acidity, and hardness or softness, they are used to produce different products.

Apple butter is usually made with softer apples since they cook more easily. So if you are considering making your own butter, find yourself some McIntosh, Cortland, or Granny Smith apples.

Apple butter is packaged and delivered in glass jars, like any jam you can find in your local store. Since it is very acidic and contains a lot of sugar, you don’t have to worry your apple butter will go bad even if you keep it at room temperature.

Apple butter is your go-to ingredient no matter if you wish to make pies, cakes, sandwiches, pastries, or marinade. But what if you don’t have any and you just want it so much?

Well, we will teach you how to make your own as a substitute for a store-bought butter, and how other substitutes can work with different dishes.

For now, let’s discuss the main apple butter substitutes you can use.

Read also : Best Tarragon Vinegar Substitute Ideas


Let’s start with applesauce. Now, applesauce is very similar in taste to apple butter but did you know you can actually make butter with it? You can even make applesauce yourself and make delicious cakes with it.


It is simply a sauce made of apples. Its taste can vary from sweet to spicy. It isn’t very expensive so you can buy it if you don’t feel like making it at home. It is often used in European as well as North American kitchens.

It is often served with pork and goose meat in Britain and goes well with potatoes and pasta. It is also paired up with the blood sausage in Germany or other sausages in countries such as France.

Its variety is no joke since in different countries it goes well with different dishes. So you can try any of those combinations.

If you have ever heard of pierogis, a polish dish, you should know applesauce is used as an ingredient! In Europe, it is used for delicious applesauce cakes.

 Pumpkin butter

Pumpkin butter can be used as a substitute for apple butter in almost any meal since it doesn’t differ much in consistency and flavor. It is a great alternative, and it is used in a variety of dishes and drinks such as cocktails, toasts, bread, desserts, and can even replace cheese on pizza.

It is delicious and gives you that taste of a home-baked experience. If you’d like more of a zing in it, so it replicates that apple flavor, add a bit more lemon juice, or at least some lemon rind.

pumpkin butter

Butter and margarine

Regular butter is also a great substitute and even softens the sweetness of the recipe, so if that is your goal use butter. If you want to go for something plant-based and less fatty than butter use margarine.

Margarine is a plant-based butter and it might be an option for you if you wish to watch your figure and still get the same taste in your finished product.


If the only thing you have even remotely similar to any butter is oil, feel free to use it. It is another substitute often used instead of apple butter. Make sure to choose the right one for you since the offer is really competitive.

You could use avocado, coconut, canola, olive, grapeseed, sesame, peanut, sunflower, or vegetable oil. They differ in fats, flavor, and consistency. Coconut oil is hard at room temperature so it is the most similar to butter in its hard form.

Homemade apple butter

Homemade apple butter is an alternative to store-bought butter if you have apples on hand. So how do you make it?

To make it you need to follow some very simple steps.

Put finely chopped apples of your taste in a pot along with sugar, vanilla extract, or any other sweetener or spice and add a pinch of salt.

It should be left to cook for an entire day but remember to stir it every now and then. There’s no need to add water, as the goal is to let the apples release all their moisture and only cook in their natural jelly.

Remember to keep stirring, otherwise it can and will stick to your pot and burn. And yes you read that right, this will take you the better part of a day. You need low, slow cooking to get this butter right.

And that’s it. Now you have an alternative which is the real deal and not to mention – it is made with only a few ingredients which are all delicious and good for you.

Read Also:Pineapple Substitute

What can you substitute for apple butter in a recipe?

We have covered the ideas for substitutes, but how to use them in recipes and which ones work with what foods? This is where it might get a bit tricky.

Apple butter can be used on toast. Very simple. As a substitute, you can use butter, pumpkin butter, or in this case jam. If you make your own jam and you make it with apples, it might not be the best for cooking but it is a great addition to simple meals and snacks like this one.

If you are a fan of oatmeal but it is a bit too bland for your taste and you need something to spice it up, use pumpkin butter, jam, or apples. You can easily buy canned apples and combine them with other fresh fruits as well.

If you like to add apple butter to pancakes or waffles, try to use syrup or pumpkin butter. You can even use regular butter to give them a bit of extra flavor.

For cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts, use pumpkin butter, margarine, or regular butter. Oil is also appropriate to use in this case. Pumpkin butter gives you a very similar taste like apple butter, so it is a good way to go when it comes to these kinds of recipes.

If you usually use apple butter for marinades, or the recipe requires you to do so, use butter or pumpkin butter. You can also use applesauce or a cider, even apple juice. Wine might be a great thing to add in this case. So figure out what works best for you.

It goes the other way around too, so apple butter can replace applesauce or pumpkin butter to add some sweetness to your recipes so don’t be scared to experiment!

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