Homemade Applesauce

Make your own delicious unsweetened applesauce with just apples, water and cinnamon. It’s easy, wholesome and tastes 10x better than the store-bought kind!

We love making homemade applesauce because it’s simple and the kids love it! It makes for a great after school snack, like our homemade snack mix and favorite whole wheat bran muffins.

Homemade applesauce in jar

3 Ingredients + 5 Minutes

If you have little kids, chances are you go through a lot of applesauce each month. With apple season on it’s way and back to school in full swing, I thought it would be nice to share a recipe for homemade applesauce.

This was my first time making applesauce, and I couldn’t believe how EASY it was. Just 3 ingredients and 15 minutes!

We love to eat applesauce with oatmeal, toast or to use it in some of our baked goods!

Apples in food processor

Best Apples for Applesauce

First let’s talk about the main ingredient: APPLES. When it comes to applesauce you want to use sweet apples like Golden Delicious, Fuji, McIntosh, or Gala.

Of course, there are several other varieties you can use, but these are the most common & are usually available at well-stocked grocery stores.

For this particular batch of applesauce I decided not to PEEL the apples. While the end result is slightly more tart, the peel is full of nutrients that would otherwise be tossed.

I also skipped the sugar and I’m glad I did, because no one missed it. If you want to peel the apples and add a bit of sugar, go for it!

Applesauce pureed in food processor

Applesauce Cooking Methods

Next is the cooking method. You can either use a crockpot and cook your apples on low for 6 hours or high for 2, or use a non-stick stockpot like I did and boil them for 15-20 minutes. Both work great!

Just toss the sliced apples in the pot with ½ cup of water and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon (also optional, you can also decrease the amount if you’re not a huge fan or just want a subtle cinnamon flavor), cover and let the stovetop do the rest.

When they’re nice and tender, transfer them to a blender, food processor or use a potato masher or immersion blender to create a thick, slightly chunky sauce.

Don’t get too carried away or you’ll end up with a puree. The applesauce pictured here is pretty smooth, my second batch was a little chunkier and had more texture, which was perfect, but again – if you like more smooth, blend away!

Homemade applesauce recipe in jar

Storing + Variations

Allow the applesauce to come to room temperature, then eat it, refrigerate it, or freeze it.

Stored in an air-tight container or jar, homemade applesauce can last for 7 days. It can last for up to 2 months if frozen.

You can also can applesauce, but we will have to save that tutorial for another day because the process is a lot more involved. 😉

Want to change it up? You can customize it by swapping out an apple for your favorite fruit. We love using pears, peaches, mango and strawberries.

The flavor combos are endless, although apple & cinnamon is classic! Have fun experimenting and make sure to come back and comment below, I’d love to know what kind you made.

Be sure to check out our pumpkin applesauce and cinnamon apples too.

For recipes to make with applesauce, check out:

Homemade Unsweetened Applesauce | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Homemade Applesauce Recipe

Make your own delicious unsweetened applesauce with just apples, water and cinnamon. It's easy, wholesome and tastes 10x better than the store-bought kind!
4.95 from 20 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 5 cups
Calories: 142kcal
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Ingredients

  • 3 lb apples - I prefer using a mix of Golden Delicious, Fuji, Macintosh, or Gala
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • Prepare the apples by slicing and coring them-- no need to peel, unless you want to.
  • Place the sliced apples, water and cinnamon in a large pot or saucepan set over medium heat.
  • Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender.
  • Use an potato masher, immersion blender, blender or food processor to "puree" the apples, keeping it slightly chunky. Let the applesauce cool to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Notes

-My applesauce is slightly darker because I didn't peel my apples and I used cinnamon. Feel free to peel the apples and omit the cinnamon, if desired.
-If you prefer your applesauce on the sweeter side, add 2-4 tablespoons of granulated sugar to the apples as the cook.

Nutrition

Serving: 5g | Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 291mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 147IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg

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About the Author

Natalie

Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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Comments:

  1. If I don’t peel them does the peel break down so not lumpy? How many cups of apple to every 1/2 cup of water?

  2. Turned out great! Used a bit more cinnamon as I enjoy the flavour. Vitamix worked like a charm. Thanks again for the recipe!

  3. I used apples from my sister in law’s trees. None us know what kind they are but w call them apple cherries. They are slightly bigger and my apple shaped than crab apples and have a more apple taste. Coring these little guys is hard work, so I didn’t do it and the apple sauce came out a bit trashy but oh so good! Thanks for th idea!

  4. Okay, so we made apple-fijoa-sauce! Another extreme bounty of fall (depending on where you are located) is the fijoa aka guavasteen aka pineapple guava. These tiny fruits have an outer gritty consistency, an inner gel-like center, and a sweet and tart flavor. They worked so perfectly with this applesauce recipe – we did approximately 1/2 apples, half fijoas, 1/2 c water like the recipe stated (no cinnamon), then blended in the food processor. My daughter (6, who still enjoys applesauce on occasion) is the fijoa fanatic, and was overjoyed that I found another use for her favorite fruit! Thanks so much for this easy, healthy, and adaptable recipe!!!!

  5. I’ve been making my applesauce with microwave cooking.  6-10 minutes on high in 2quart covered Pyrex dish after coring.  Usually, 3# makes a bit more than a quart.  After nukeing them, into the food processor, pulse or continuous until they are the consistency preferred.  Voila, applesauce! Enjoy, freeze or heat to boiling for canning.  I don’t add any water, leave skins on, add a bit of cinnamon or whatever you enjoy.  
    So easy. I also use whatever type of apple that is available, usually a mix of varieties.

  6. This recipe is super easy and delish. It needs no added sugar at all! I’ve had fun mixing up the different types of apples.  3 lbs of apples usually ends up being five apples from my grocery store.  First batch was 2 jazz, 2 envy, 1 honeycrisp, second batch was 1 jazz, 1 envy, 3 honeycrisp and they both came out great. Everyone I’ve given some too loves it!  Definitely keep the peels on. My ratio is 5 apples per 1/2 c water.

    1. So simple, but a fall favorite for sure! Love that you’ve been experimenting with different varieties/combos!

  7. I made this applesauce wth the skins on according to the directions, and it came out delicious.  No added sugar necessary! 

  8. Wonderful and easy recipe! I prepared it with Galas using the slow cooker method, left the skins on, bumped up the cinnamon and used a potato masher to reduce the cooked apples to a nice chunky consistency.

  9. I used apples my neighbor picked from her tree. Not sure what kind they are, but the applesauce is plenty sweet with no sugar added and has a nice texture after being mashed with a large spoon. Great recipe for the perfect applesauce!

  10. Just wanted to share my experience with 2 different style apples. Cortland and Pink Lady. The Cortland broke down twice as fast as the Pink Lady. If you are using two different kinds of apples, you may want to add the harder apples first and then the softer ones; although I’m not sure if you can overcook apples. Probably not. Does anyone have any thoughts about this? Definitely try making your own applesauce. It is definitely awesome and easy.

    1. Yes, Cortlands are VERY soft apples to begin with. Choosing apples that are similar in texture or density is always helpful!

  11. We just made this & it’s still a little warm but so delicious!! We used Gala apples, which I peeled per my husband’s request. I added almost 2 tsp of cinnamon because I just love it. I mashed mine then threw it in my Ninja & pulsed. SO easy & I have been looking for something sweet but trying to stay away from sugar & this more than fits the bill! When my husband tried it, he thought I put sugar in! Thanks for a tasty, easy recipe!

  12. This is a good recipe. I personally have been making apple sauce for many years with little or (ideally) no sugar added. I simply quarter the apples, add say a half to one cup of water and then cook them down in a big pot for several hours stirring every 15 minutes so that they all spend time near the bottom of the pot. Then I run them through a food mill which strains out the seeds and other chaff and then cover with foil or not (depending on how thick you like it) and bake the result (350 degrees F) to bring it up close to boiling. At that point I can the sauce in pint or quart jars using the hot pack method. I believe that the length of time cooking is key since the fructose sugars caramelize becoming even sweeter with longer cook times. Spices are optional but would add them at the last minute before canning. YMMV (your mileage may vary)…

  13. 5 stars
    This applesauce looks so smooth & creamy! My kids go through so much applesauce…I’m going to have them help me make some!

  14. 5 stars
    Went apple picking this morning and saw your recipe. We had never made applesauce before, so we made half the recipe, and it was the BEST applesauce!!! Thank you so much for inventing this recipe.

  15. 5 stars
    I added 1/4 of a teaspoon of nutmeg to the recipe and it turned out amazing! Definitely keeping this one

  16. 5 stars
    I love the idea of keeping on the peels. Never thought to do that, makes it more nutritious and alot easier! This came out perfect, thank you! About how many apples is 3 lbs?

    1. Thank you for letting me know! I am glad you liked it! That’s a good question..I’ve never really counted. I am trying to think of the 3 lb bag…maybe somewhere between 10-15?

  17. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe! I’ve been looking for something like this since my family is currently on a diet. I’ll be making it soon!

  18. I think the serving size is supposed to be 1 cup. I put 3 lbs of apples in My Fitness Pal and divided by 5. Came out to 146 calories for 1/5 of the recipe.

  19. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! so easy to make and really delicious! Will surely have this again! Well done!