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Simple Apple Butter Substitutes (How To Use Them)

Simple Apple Butter Substitutes (How To Use Them)

If you are making a recipe that calls for apple butter but you’re all out don’t go running to the grocery store yet. Today we are going over the best substitutes for apple butter, so no matter what recipe you are making you probably have at least one of them on hand.

Apple butter is used for everything from toast and sandwiches to baking and topping waffles. The delicious flavor reminds me of fall and going home to visit my family. I always try and have some on hand but sometimes my grocery store is out so I’ve learned to sub this fantastic ingredient with a number of kitchen staples.

So what are the top substitutes for apple butter?

The best apple butter substitutes are applesauce, pear butter, pumpkin butter, apricot jam, and butter.

The substitute you use will depend on what you are making and what you already have on hand. Read on for the best uses for each apple butter alternative and how to use them.

Apple Butter Alternative

Apple butter is made by pureeing real apples and then reducing them until they have that distinctive creamy texture.

Apple butter is sweet and works in all types of cooking or as a fall inspired topping.

I particularly enjoy topping crepes and waffles with apple butter. It’s an aromatic delight and my family loves it too!

Apple butter is also a popular way to spice up autumn holiday baked goods. There are so many great recipes that use apple butter, so when subbing while baking you need to use a replacement that is similar to apple butter. Let’s go into each alternative into detail.


bowl of cinnamon applesauce

Did you know you can make apple butter with applesauce? Well not only is it possible, it’s easy too!

All you need is a jar of applesauce, a saucepan, and a blender. You can also add spices or sweeteners if you want to upscale your flavor.

Start by putting your applesauce and spices into your saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Stir your applesauce while it’s on the heat and continue until the consistency reaches the desired thickness.

Now just add it to your blender and process until it is smooth and creamy. You can now use your apple butter in your recipe. Store any leftover apple butter in an airtight container in your refrigerator.

Some spices and sweeteners that go well in apple butter.

Pear Butter

two pears on a bench

Pear butter is quite similar to apple butter. It is sweet and spiced and can be used in any recipe that calls for apple butter.

You can top an English muffin, oatmeal, or toast as well as bake with it.

While some grocery stores will carry apple butter, you may want to make some yourself.


1 cup of pear butter equals 1 cup of apple butter

Pumpkin Butter

pumpkin and pumpkin seeds

What better way to replace the wonderful fall flavor of apple butter than with pumpkin butter? This creamy alternative is perfect for baked dishes as well as a topping.

Pumpkin butter tastes amazing on a fresh baked slice of bread as well as topping off waffles with maple syrup.

Any dish will taste like it was baked by grandma with pumpkin butter.


1 cup of pumpkin butter equals 1 cup of apple butter

Related: Pumpkin Puree Substitutes

Apricot Jam

jar of apricot jam

So apple butter is very similar to jam so what better way to substitute to it than with some delicious apricot jam. This jam is sweet and offers a similar texture to apple butter making it ideal for topping off your favorite dish.

Apricot jam is found at most grocery stores and it is relatively affordable. Try topping off some fresh baked banana bread with apricot jam the next time you bake some.


1 cup of apricot jam equals 1 cup of apple butter

Related: Apricot Jam Substitutes

Dairy Butter

butter on a dish

So what do you do if you don’t have any of the other substitutes on this list? That’s right, use some good old fashion dairy butter.

This ubiquitous kitchen staple can be used in any recipe that calls for apple butter so when in a pinch give it a go.


4 tablespoons of butter equals 1 cup of apple butter

More Apple Butter Replacement Ideas

Now that you know the best substitutes for apple butter, let’s dive into some bonus options you can try.

Because apple butter is basically a jam, you can use any fruit jam or preserves in your recipe. Classics like strawberry and blueberry are great but even pineapple or orange marmalade will work in a pinch.

We can also get real creative and use Nutella or cashew butter. Our options are only limited by our imagination when replacing apple butter.

Can I substitute butter for apple butter?

Yes, you can substitute regular butter for apple butter. You will lose out on that sweet and spicy apple flavor, but butter can be used in all types of recipes that use apple butter.

Is apple butter the same as applesauce?

No. Apple butter has a lower moisture content than applesauce and it has been blended to a creamy texture.

You can make apple butter by reducing applesauce until it is thick and then processing it in a blender.

Can I substitute apple butter for butter in cookies?

Yes. Apple butter can be used to replace fats in baked recipes like cookies. That means apple butter can be used in place of dairy butter or oil.

Does apple butter contain butter?

No. There is no butter in apple butter. It get’s it’s name from it’s creamy texture which is reminiscent to dairy butter.

Apple butter gets it’s creamy texture by have most of it’s moisture removed.