Perfect Homemade Applesauce

Homemade applesauce is easy to prepare.It makes the kitchen smell amazing and taste so much better than anything you can buy at the store. Switch to the Homemade Applesauce recipe


Which apple varieties make the best applesauce?

Applesauce is easy to make at home, and you can use almost any apple to make it. So if you’ve read this and are worried you don’t have apples suitable for applesauce, stop. You can use any apple with our simple recipe.


When it comes to making applesauce in our kitchen, we choose the apples we love to eat. For us, that means sweet and crunchy apples like Honeycrisp, Fuji, Cox, Gala and Pink Lady. They taste great after baking, and when we use sweeter apples like these, we don’t even need to add a sweetener like sugar.

Tangier apples like Granny Smith also work. Depending on how you like your applesauce, applesauce made only with Granny Smith apples may need a touch of sweetener.

That’s okay though, because in our recipe below we recommend making the applesauce sugar-free, and then we recommend testing it right before mixing to see if it needs sweetener. You can’t go wrong with this method, and you’re guaranteed to have an applesauce you’ll love!


you might also like our Easy Instant Pot applesauce

Why do you add lemon juice or vinegar to applesauce?

Our applesauce recipe has four main ingredients: apples, a cinnamon stick, lemon juice (or vinegar), and vanilla extract. Lemon juice might seem like a weird ingredient, but we recommend adding it.

We love the combination of lemon and apples and use it in other apple recipes too. The lemon juice preserves the color of the apples and balances out their sweetness. The best tablespoon of applesauce tastes sweet and tart at the same time. It’s that balance of sweet and tangy that makes applesauce extremely difficult to turn down.

When apples cook, they lose some of their natural acidity, so the lemon helps with that and enhances the flavor of the applesauce.

If you don’t like lemon, try orange juice. We use orange juice instead of lemon juice to crisp up our apple. If you don’t have fresh lemon or orange juice, try apple cider vinegar.

How do you make applesauce with cinnamon?

Apples and cinnamon are made for each other. We love the combination as much as anyone; For example, try our Cinnamon Baked Apples or this Homemade Apple Pie. We add a cinnamon stick to the jar when making applesauce.

I’ve found a cinnamon stick works, but you can always add more for a stronger cinnamon flavor. It is also possible to add ground cinnamon at the end of cooking. Start with 1/2 teaspoon and go from there.


You can also add other spices to this recipe. I love adding a whole star anise or two which gives it a sweet liquorice flavor. It’s totally optional. We also encourage you to check out our apple pie recipe and use it as a guide. In this recipe we combine cinnamon with ginger, cardamom, allspice and nutmeg. You can add spices to taste.

How long does homemade applesauce keep?

Applesauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. You can also freeze applesauce for up to 6 months (maybe longer).

We recommend using another source for instructions on canning applesauce. We don’t have much experience in canning and preserving food.

More apple recipes

We love apples! Here are some of our best apple recipes:

Perfect homemade applesauce

  • COOK

Homemade applesauce is easy to make, smells amazing in the kitchen, and tastes so much better than anything you can buy at the store. Use apples that you enjoy eating. For applesauce, we particularly like to use sweet, crunchy apples and generally avoid sweeteners. If you feel the applesauce needs a little extra sweetness, add sweetener to taste at the end of cooking. We recommend brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey.

Apples with skin or peeled? Applesauce made from the leftover skin has more color and a little more flavor. I use a medium disc vegetable grinder to mix the sauce and remove most of the cooked skins to get the best texture. If you don’t have a vegetable grinder, you can grind the peels into the sauce. Or pass the sauce through a sieve to remove the skin. If you don’t want to do any of these extra steps, use peeled apples.

Makes about 4 cups

Watch us at the recipe

will need

4 pounds sweet, crunchy apples (8 large ones), rinsed, see suggestions

A 3-inch cinnamon stick or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, fresh orange juice or apple cider vinegar

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1 to 2 whole star anise, optional

Brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, or other sweetener to taste, optional


  • make applesauce
  • Peel the apples (optional, see note above). Remove apple cores and cut apples into large chunks or quarters.

    Place the apples, cinnamon stick, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and star anise in the bottom of a large, heavy saucepan. Add 1/4 cup water and toss the apples in the pan several times.

    Cover the skillet with the lid, then cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until very tender, 25 to 35 minutes. While the apples are cooking, check that the pan is not dry. If so, add some water and reduce the heat a bit.

    Remove the pot from the heat, remove the lid and let the apples cool for a few minutes.

    Try the applesauce. If you want to add sweetener, add it to taste. Start with a teaspoon and then add from there.

    Puree or mash apples to desired consistency. If you left the apple skins on, a medium-disc meat grinder will quickly separate the applesauce from the skins. You can also pass the sauce through a sieve to separate the skin from the sauce.

    The applesauce will thicken slightly as it cools, but if it seems too runny, return the applesauce to a saucepan and simmer until reduced.

    • save applesauce
    • Store applesauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Freeze applesauce for up to 6 months, maybe longer.

      We don’t have instructions for canning applesauce and encourage you to consult other canning resources.

Advice from Adam and Joanne

  • Best Apples: Most types of apples will work in this recipe. Depending on how sweet and sour they are, you may need to adjust with a little sweetener like maple syrup or brown sugar. We use apples that we love to eat, which means we typically make applesauce from sweet and tart apples like honeycrisp, gala, or fuji.
  • For maximum apple flavor, combine two or three types of apples.
  • Add More Cinnamon – A cinnamon stick adds a little spiciness to the applesauce, but it’s not overwhelming. If you like a lot of cinnamon in your applesauce, add an extra 1/2 teaspoon to the saucepan.
  • Nutritional Information: The nutritional information below is an estimate. We use the USDA database to calculate approximate values. We did not include sugar in the calculations.

If you make this recipe, take a picture and use the hashtag #inspiredtaste. We love seeing your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutritional value per serving: Part 1/4 cup / calories 60 / total fat 0.2g / Saturated Fatty Acids 0g / cholesterol 0 mg / sodium 1.3mg / carbohydrates 15.5g / fiber 2.7g / total sugar 11.6g / protein 0.3g

AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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