How To Make Applesauce


There are tart apples, and sweet apples, and dry apples, and dozens of flavors to choose from. But when you buy pre-made applesauce, odds are the ingredients just list “apples”. And of course high fructose corn syrup … because simply using sweeter apples is apparently too hard.

So if you’re trying to avoid HFCS — and you probably should — or if you just don’t like the flavors of applesauce available in the grocery store, you could always make your own. It’s really easy, and you get to choose the apples you like best.


6 medium apples (about baseball-sized)
1 cup raw sugar (white is fine)
cinnamon to taste


Peel the apples.

Those are Cortland, by the way.

Cut out the core.

By the way, that link above for peeling the apples shows a different way to get the core out. That method wastes slightly less of the fruit, but the method shown here is faster, and you won’t accidentally get seeds everywhere.

Dice the apple pieces into small cubes, about a half-inch or less.

Put in a large pot, with just enough water to almost cover the first layer of apple pieces.

Add the sugar and stir to coat everything.

Cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are dark golden brown and all the water is cooked off.

At this point, you could stop and use this as a topping for ice cream, or just throw it in a bowl with some whipped cream on top.

Or, take a potato masher and lightly crush everything.

And that’s it.

Oh … you noticed I never added cinnamon. We actually prefer our applesauce without it. If you want to add some, start with about a teaspoon after cooking, but before mashing. Adjust to your preference.




  • 6 medium apples (about baseball-sized)
  • 1 cup raw sugar (white is fine)
  • cinnamon to taste


Peel and core apples, and dice into half-inch pieces. Place in a large pot, and add just enough water to almost cover the first layer. Add the sugar and mix to coat everything.

Cook over low heat for 30 minutes, until the apples are deep golden brown and all the water has cooked off.

Add cinnamon to taste, starting with about a teaspoon.

Crush lightly with a potato masher or a fork.


  1. I’m SO making my own. I like the one with cinnamon, but the stores seem to think the price of cinnamon and saffon are pretty much equal. It’s ridiculous to pay so much more for a jar that has a smidge of cinnamon as opposed to the plain.

  2. Barbara Cool says:

    Yep, I said we could easily make applesauce everyday… but it’s easier to open a jar everyday… Yours looks really good… Great Job! It would go really well with a nice baked ham… or for breakfast, yum!

    Next we’ll get you on to making applebutter for your toast or biscuits.

    • Heck I don’t even bother cooking mine. I just throw the peeled apples etc. in a Vita-Mix and a few seconds later I have a very tasty applesauce.

  3. Amy, I’ve noticed that. Like they’ve cracked the mystery of the universe for you, and they can add the exact right amount of cinnamon for you.

    Barb, no way … ain’t going to happen. I’ve been to apple butter festivals, and I’ve seen how long it takes to cook down.

    • Applebutter is easy. I chop cored apples in my food processor then put in my crockpot until it is full mix with 2 1/2 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon allspice, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 2 tablespoons cinnamon. Let it cook over night then run it through my food processor again. Let it finish cooking while I’m at work. Then come home and can it. Of course I give it a stir when I walk by it. I usually start it after dinner.

  4. 1gdcowgrl says:

    Just found your site and LOVE it! I am always looking for ways to use less processed foods. Never knew that applesauce was so dang simple! I’ve got 2 jars in the cabinet that I don’t want to open after seeing you make some!!

  5. No, go ahead and use it. Unless you just found out you’ve got a medical condition, I don’t believe in throwing out food.

    I know people who found out they had celiac — gluten intolerance, they can’t eat wheat — who had to throw out or give away most of what was in their pantries. But if you already have it, and you’ve been eating it up ’til now, you might as well finish it.

    Disclaimer: I’ve got a few things in the pantry that are probably past their expiration dates because, “I don’t eat that any more.” So yeah, I’ve got a bit of a plank in my eye.

  6. Try making applesauce using cider instead of water. Makes it sweeter and with a more concentrated apple flavor.

    Apple butter…. boil up some cider until it’s like syrup then add the apples. Just like the apple sauce the cider add lots of flavor and reduces or eliminates the need for added sugar. Once it has begun to thicken a bit I cook it the rest of the way in a crock pot. That way it reduces the need to stir as often. Near the end you may have to put a lid partially on it or a splash screen if it’s doing the big bubbles that splash all over. Don’t add the spices until near the end. I add them about the last hour. I’ve found if you add spices too early they tend to lose their flavor and just taste bitter. I also add any additional sweeteners near the end if needed. Bottle and water bath can like any other jam. So good on pancakes or waffles. I like my apple butter much better than the stuff you buy.

    Next thing I’m going to try is pumpkin butter using cider. I think it will add lots of flavor and sweetness. Instead of pumpkin I’m going to use Butternut squash. I have lots and to me they are better flavored than pumpkin. The only thing I’m leery of is water bath canning this. I don’t think there will be enough added acidity with the cider to make it safe. So I’ll either refrigerate and use quickly or try freezing the excess.

  7. I just peel, core, and chop enough apples to fill a crock pot and add a cinnamon stick and turn it on low and let it cook all day. It gets nice and mushy and tastes so good! We have done this with all sorts of apples, but I really like the Jonagold and Honeycrisp apples!

    • Kate in Italy says:

      With Honeycrisp Apples that would be some EXPENSIVE applesauce! I couldn’t imagine using them for applesauce when they’re the best apples I’ve ever had raw. Plus, in Oregon (we grow Honeycrisp apples in the Rogue Valley), they STILL cost upwards of 3 dollars a pound. Last time I did applesauce in the crock pot, I didn’t use cinnamon. I used Vanilla Bean and a little tiny bit of Mint. Odd? Absolutely. Good? 100%.

  8. Barbara Cool says:

    In your newsletter you mentioned the red hots — my great aunt in WV used red hots in her applebutter recipe… a VERY nice addition and I’m going to add some to a jar of my applesauce, too, just to check it out! The cider idea above from Sheila sounds like a really wonderful way to add that extra flavor boost.

    I have a complaint about your new format… I really like it, but I’m not notified when someone adds comments to a topic! Did I miss something???

  9. Barb, you’re right about the comment notification. I hadn’t thought about it before switching to the new system, but there’s no way to do the email notifications. Or rather, I’m sure I could find a plugin to do it, but it would put me over my email quota real fast. I’ve already had to slow down the newsletter so that it takes most of the day to finish sending it.

    If you use a Feed Reader — like Google Reader, which is what I use — you can subscribe to the comments, either all comments for the site or individual posts. When I get time, I’ll check to see if there’s a plugin that will let you subscribe right from where you’re adding the comment. That’s the best I’ll be able to do.

  10. What’s up with the crazy newsletter popup on every page? It’s annoying as hell.

  11. Mugros, if you click the “no thanks” link it will stop that popup for a month. If you register for the newsletter, it will stop permanently

  12. It didn’t stop after clicking “no, thanks”. Possible cause is that i disabled cookies and only allow it on sites where it is necessary.
    Anyway this popup is annoying visitors and is generally a bad design decision. There is a subscription option on every page, it doesn’t need another popup. And i’ve never signed up for a newsletter just because a popup prompted me to do so.

    • Yes, it’s because of the cookies. Usually people who disable cookies also disable javascript, so it’s not generally an issue. And my numbers show that more people sign up using this method than the ones in the sidebar. Lots of people don’t know what RSS is, or what a feed is, or why they should care. Since they don’t know to look for it, they’ll never find it otherwise.

  13. Mike Stockman says:

    Peel? Core? I don’t think so. I always just quarter the whole apples and throw them into a pot, skin, seeds, and all, with a splash of water, no sugar (I use largely Macs, some Cortland or Rome Beauties when available, and some other sweet apples, so none needed), and yes, a tiny bit of cinnamon.

    When they’re done cooking, I run the results through the food mill. Nice, smooth applesauce.

    Pros: No peeling or coring, you get a nice reddish color to the applesauce, and theoretically, any vitamins in the peel get into the sauce.

    Cons: You may not like red applesauce, you may not have a food mill (but you should), and theoretically, any pesticides in the peel get into the sauce.

    Bonus points if you can get, say, a 10 year old to turn the food mill crank for you.

    Also, applesauce is great for canning because it’s high-acid and doesn’t need a pressure canner. We go apple picking in the fall, get several huge bags of apples, and make a bunch of jars of applesauce to put on the shelves. If you don’t want to can, it also freezes well.

    So, other than the fact that I just realized I’m disagreeing with almost everything you said, Drew, great article! :-) Applesauce is so much easier than people realize, so thanks.

    • Mike, you just described Barb’s family’s method. And they hook up a power drill to the the food mill, so they beat your 10-year-old handily. 😛

    • Peel? Core? I don’t think so. I always just quarter the whole apples and throw them into a pot, skin, seeds, and all, with a splash of water, no sugar (I use largely Macs, some Cortland or Rome Beauties when available, and some other sweet apples, so none needed), and yes, a tiny bit of cinnamon.

      Yes if you get sweet apples to begin with you don’t need any sugar or at best just a little bit of honey.

    • We don’t core either. You said that you go picking every year. We do pick for fun, but our sauce is made from the apples “2nds”… apples that didn’t make the cut – fallen to the ground, bruised, little holes, etc. Much cheaper that way and 99.% of the problems with the apples are just cosmetic.

  14. Mike Stockman says:

    Hmmm, so I did. Except that using yellow apples doesn’t get you that rosy color of my applesauce, and I’m not making enough to equip an army. But yeah, guess I’m not so original. :-) But it’s the way my mother taught me, so it’s the way I do it.

    (And officially, it has to be a Foley food mill, not just any old brand. No idea why; it’s what Mom used to use, and her mother before her. And I have no connection to that store, it’s just the easiest link the Google found for me.)

    But ultimately, isn’t the real difference between the two that your version comes out a little chunky, and the food mill version is smooth? Or does your version get rid of the chunks too?

  15. No, mine is chunky, although the chunks are pretty soft. I’d say the difference in texture between store-bough applesauce and mine is about the difference between cream of wheat and oatmeal. So it has a more textured mouth feel, but not so much you actually need to chew it if you don’t want to.

  16. Chunky is good…

  17. I love homemade applesauce. :) We were spending waaay too much money on my favorite snack at the store, so I set out to find a way to make it.
    Well, we learned how to make it in a crock pot, easiest thing in the world. We peel and quarter the apples, toss them in the crock on low overnight and mash them with a fork (don’t own a potato masher) when we wake up. The only thing we add is cinnamon, because we use pretty sweet apples already. A friend of mine leaves the peel on, but I like to munch on the peels as I peel and quarter.

    Before Christmas we started experimenting with making apple butter in the crock pot, and it was sooo good and easy. My grandmother actually asked me for the recipe! Seeing as I had NO idea how to cook anything except dried out scrambled eggs when I got married a couple years ago, that was a huge compliment. :)

  18. I have a case of yellow apples, I love to make apples sauce for Xmas gift. So all. I have to do is cut apples, and put in crock pot and add cinnamon at the end? My mother in law made the best applesauce cake. She from the south. Yellow cake with apples sauce topping. Dose any one know how to make it. I love to here from you.


  1. […] Not now, thanks Skip to content HomeAboutBuy the BookWhat people are sayingThe Story of Roger HBlogPoll resultsRecipe browser « How To Make Applesauce […]

  2. […] is not difficult at all. The applesauce recipe I featured today was adapted and modified from both Cook Like Your Grandmother and Simply Recipes . You can choose any type of apples you like. The amount of sugar should only be […]

  3. […] by peeling and dicing the apples. (Same process as when making the applesauce.) But since this isn’t going to be cooked, you don’t want it turning brown. To preserve […]

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