When it comes to trimming the fat from cakes, breads and other home-baked goodies, applesauce has bushels of appeal! Applesauce and other fruit purees can serve as slimming substitutes for the shortening, oil, butter or margarine often called for in recipes.
That's because fruit purees perform some of the same functions as fat in baking. For instance, fat brings moistness and flavor to baked goods, adds tenderness to the texture and helps promote browning. The fiber and natural sugars in purees also hold in moisture and help tenderize. The fruit sugars aid in browning, too.
If you're looking for a fat substitute that won't alter the color or flavor of your recipe, pick unsweetened applesauce. It's easily accessible and inexpensive.
At first, try substituting applesauce for half of the fat in a recipe. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of fat, use 1/2 cup applesauce and 1/2 cup butter, margarine, oil or shortening.
Mix the batter and if it seems too dry, add a little more applesauce. The next time you make the recipe, try replacing even more fat. Continue reducing the fat until you've found the lowest amount that will still give you the desired results.
Most breads, cakes and other sweet treats made with applesauce will taste moist, tender and flavorful. See for yourself by mixing up our Golden Oatmeal Bread (pictured above right) or yummy Applesauce Cake.
Slice into the old-fashioned Golden Oatmeal Bread and savor the subtle oat flavor, crunchy pecans and sweet raisins, with just a hint of cinnamon. The recipe was developed by our Test Kitchen.
"Applesauce Cake is a family favorite that is so sweet, moist and tender, no one will know it's a low-fat cake," says Joanne Huff of Champaign, Illinois.