The 9 Best Substitutes For Apple Butter

What can I use instead of apple butter? The best substitutes for apple butter are sweet condiments like apple sauce, pear butter, pumpkin butter, and apricot jam. Try pumpkin puree and avocado as healthy substitutes, or use butter, soynut butter, and cookie butter instead.

Apple butter is a butter-like sauce made by cooking down fruit, water, and sugar until caramelized and thick. Use it as a delicious topping for sandwiches, desserts, yogurt, and oatmeal, a low-fat ingredient in baking, for marinating, glazing, and basting meat, making sauces, and as a side dish. Here are our nine best substitutes for apple butter.

The Best Apple Butter Substitutes

Apple Sauce

The best substitute for apple butter is apple sauce.

To make apple sauce, cook apples with sugar and spices until soft and mushy. If you keep cooking apple sauce for a long time, it will turn into apple butter, essentially a concentrated version of apple sauce.

Use apple sauce instead of apple butter for a fruity topping for your yogurt, granola, or oatmeal at breakfast, as a filling for a sweet crepe, or as a side or glaze for pork.

Like apple butter, apple sauce is an excellent addition to muffins, cakes, or quick bread. Use apple sauce in equal quantities to apple butter.

Pear Butter

An ideal substitute for apple butter is pear butter.

Pear butter consists of long-cooked pears, sugar, and spices – in other words, it is like apple butter but made of pears.

Because pear butter is close to apple butter in flavor and consistency, you can use pear butter as an equivalent to apple butter.

Try pear butter as a sandwich topping, breakfast addition, quick dessert or snack, or baking ingredient. It is delicious with potatoes and pork, in particular.

Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkin butter is a tasty alternative to apple butter.

You can make this delicious fall spread using canned rather than fresh pumpkin, cooked with pumpkin spice (ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice), cinnamon, lemon juice, apple juice, and brown sugar.

Because pumpkin butter has the same consistency and similar flavors as apple butter, it makes an excellent replacement. However, you will still taste the pumpkin flavor rather than the slight tartness of apples. Use pumpkin butter on bread, muffins, or French toast.

It makes a wonderful baking ingredient instead of apple butter, especially if you’re making cheesecake, cinnamon rolls, gingerbread, or fruitcake. It goes particularly well with peanuts (think cookies) and tops your oatmeal or yogurt.

Pumpkin butter is a little sweet for savory applications but is good with sweet potatoes and pork. Use pumpkin butter to replace apple butter 1:1.

Apricot Jam

Another fruity substitute for apple butter is apricot jam.

Apricot jam is a sweet preserve made from chopped apricots and sugar. Ideally, apricot jam should retain some of the fruit’s tartness.

You can use apricot jam instead of apple butter if you need a spread for your toast or bagel. It can also replace apple butter in marinades for meat and glazes for pork, ham, and BBQ chicken.

Apricot jam makes a delicious accompaniment to a cheese board or baked brie.

Use apricot jam in equal portions to apple butter, but be conscious that it contains more sugar, so it will caramelize more readily.

Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin makes a handy substitute for apple butter.

You can make pumpkin butter from pumpkin puree, but if you don’t have time, use the pumpkin to replace apple butter.

You can’t use pumpkin puree as a spread or topping, but you can stir it through oatmeal or smoothies.

Pumpkin puree works well in baked goods, and not just pumpkin pie.

Substitute canned pumpkin for apple butter when making cheesecake, quick breads, bread pudding, rice pudding, doughnuts, or cinnamon rolls.

Replace apple butter with equal amounts of pumpkin puree, so long as you enjoy the flavor and color of the pumpkin.


An unusual substitute for apple butter is avocado. More nutritious than apple butter, avocado is rich in heart-healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Avocado is tasty as a toast or sandwich addition but doesn’t have the sweet flavor profile of apple butter.

If you use apple butter in vegan baking to replace butter or eggs, try mashed avocado as a substitute. Avocado adds richness, moisture, and creaminess to the texture of baked goods.

To avoid the flavor or color coming through, use avo in spice cakes, gingerbread, or chocolatey bakes. Use equal amounts of avocado as you would of apple butter.

Dairy Butter

For non-vegans, use dairy butter as a substitute for apple butter.

Because it is high in milk fats, butter adds richness and moisture to the food. A rich source of calcium, butter also gives a protein kick.

Even though apple butter sounds like it is related to regular butter, the two only have their consistency in common.

Butter is the basis of most sandwiches but won’t have the same fruity, sweet flavor as apple butter.

Use butter instead of apple butter if you need fat when baking or in a sauce. You will need less butter than apple butter because it is far richer and oilier.

Soynut Butter

A vegan alternative to apple butter is soynut butter.

Soynut butter consists of roasted and creamed soybeans, so it is a rich source of protein and isoflavones, necessary for heart health.

Soynut butter is popular with those avoiding nuts, as it offers a similar nutty flavor and creamy texture. This tasty butter comes in various flavors, including chocolate, making it an alternative to hazelnut and chocolate spread.

The obvious use of soynut butter is a spread on toast, pancakes, and waffles, but it also makes a healthy ingredient for smoothies and overnight oatmeal. It doesn’t taste or look like apple butter but is a similarly lovely topping.

Replace apple butter with soynut butter in bakes, especially cookies and chocolatey items. You can use equivalent amounts.

Cookie Butter

Cookie butter is a scrumptious substitute for apple butter.

This sugary spread is made from crushed spice cookies, speculoos, or ginger cookies, mixed with sugar and oil to create a buttery consistency.

Although far less healthy, you can use cookie butter to top a sandwich, cake, ice cream, waffles, or even oatmeal in the same way as apple butter.

Cookie butter makes a tasty addition to bakes, including scones and banana bread. However, you can’t use cookie butter as a fat or egg replacement like apple butter, just as a pop of flavor.