Making brownies with applesauce? Does it work?

I recently learned that applesauce is a replacement for oil, so I decided to put it to the test on a box mix of brownies without using any oil.

I wanted to keep the recipe simple in order to see if this healthy cooking hack worked, so I picked up a box mix of brownies and followed all cooking steps except, of course, swapping the amount of oil for an equal amount of unsweetened applesauce. 

I chose to use unsweetened applesauce instead of regular applesauce because the unsweetened is healthier, but also because I did not want to add any additional sugar to the prepackaged mix.

When I was mixing the batter, I had no issues combining the ingredients at all. After I poured the batter into the pan and placed it in the oven, I licked the spoon (even though your aren't suppose to) and I couldn't taste any apple at all. It tasted like regular brownie batter. 

After baking them, they came out of the oven with a slightly bubbled top and they didn't look or smell any differently from regular brownies.

However, once they cooled, I cut them and realized that they had more of a cake consistency than a fudge brownie consistency like the box suggests. Even though they may have come out a little dry, they still tasted like a sweet chocolaty treat. 

It is no secret that brownies are unhealthy, but by altering them just a little bit, you can save on all of the calories that oil brings. Just by using half a cup of unsweetened applesauce (70 calories), instead of half a cup of olive oil (960 calories), the total mix is cut back by 890 calories. 

This recipe is perfect for someone who is being conscious of their diet or calorie intake, but still wants to enjoy a cake-like brownie treat.

Making brownies with applesauce may have seemed a little unconventional at first, but once they were made, I realized that the applesauce did not affect the taste of the brownies, only the consistency. If you know ahead of time that the consistency is going to be similar to a cake or muffin, and you enjoy that texture, this treat does not disappoint. I have yet to try it, but I wonder if this recipe would taste even better if it was baked into a muffin tray (or even as a cupcake with the addition of icing).

Ashley Campbell

Applesauce Box Mix Brownies

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:25 mins
  • Total Time:30 mins
  • Servings:20
  • Easy


  • 1 Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix or any other box brownie mix
  • 2 Eggs or however many eggs your chosen mix requires
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce or use the amount however much oil your box mix requires
  • 3 Tablespoons Water again or however much water your mix suggests
  • Step 1

    Preheat your oven to 350°

  • Step 2

    Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, and stir well until all of the ingredients are completely mixed

  • Step 3

    Pour the mixture into a greased 9x13 inch baking pan

  • Step 4

    Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean once inserted

  • Step 5

    Let cool, cut, and enjoy!

    Ashley Campbell