Pumpkin Spiced Applesauce (No Added Sugar)

Pumpkin Spiced Applesauce (No Added Sugar)

Spice up fall with this simple, no-added sugar pumpkin spiced-applesauce. Delicious on its own or added to baked goods, get the recipe now! 

Apples have always been more like crackers to me. 

Delicious with cheese or peanut butter, but just okay on their own. 

Now, as someone who grew up in an apple valley town in Connecticut, Bry would strongly disagree. To him, apples are the epitome of fall – with or without the cheese or peanut butter. 

But as I’ve gotten more into cooking and baking, I’ve gotten a stronger respect for apples as an ingredient. Sure, they’re delicious baked into pies and cobblers, but with their combination of sweet and tart, apples can add so much flavor and moisture to dishes. 

Adding apples and spices to a saucepan

While I’ve used a lot of shredded or diced apples in recipes on the blog, I wanted to change things up and start playing around with applesauce. 

But before adding it to baked goods and dishes, I wanted to really nail down homemade, no-added sugar applesauce. 

Now, making applesauce is super easy and straightforward. The creative part of it is coming up with just the right combination of apple varieties and spices for how you want to use it. 

Pureed applesauce in a food processor

For this recipe, I wanted a no-added sugar applesauce that was slightly tart and lightly spiced.

Besides being a good snack, I also wanted a recipe that would help add a little fall-spiced warmth to any recipes I used it in — especially muffins and quick breads. 

However, feel free to play around with different apple types and spices!

What You’ll Need to Make No-Added Sugar Applesauce

Container of pumpkin spice next to a large bowl of Granny Smith and Gala apples
  • 4 Gala apples: in my opinion, Gala apples are one of the best for applesauce as they have a mild, sweet flavor and break down really easily into sauce. Plus, they’re super popular and are easy to find. 
  • 2 Granny Smith apples: to balance out the sweetness of the Gala apples, I like adding a few Granny Smiths for that tangy, acidic flavor. They also aren’t as soft, so they’re a good option if you like a little texture to your applesauce. 
  • Pumpkin pie spice: apples and pumpkin pie spices are just meant to be together. I keep a jar of pumpkin pie spice around during the fall, but you can also make your own blend. For 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, combine 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon ground allspice. 
  • Water: while you don’t need a lot, water will help steam the apples while they simmer, breaking down their cell walls so that they can be pulsed into a sauce. To avoid losing nutrients, make sure to add the water to the food processor as well. 

What are the best apples for applesauce? 

Pumpkin Spiced Applesauce (No Added Sugar)

Generally, soft apples are the best as they break down easily. However, with the help of a food processor, I think it’s more important to focus on flavor than texture. 

I like to use a combination of sweet and tart apples. For example Cortland, Fuji, and Gala are all on the sweeter side and can be balance out by Granny Smiths, Braeburn, LIberty, and Rome apples. 

Of course, you can also go with apples that are a mix of sweet and tangy, such as honeycrisps or Pink Lady’s.

Traditional apple picking apples, such as McIntosh, Gravenstein, and Jonmac are ideal for applesauce has they’re both soft and a balance of sweet and tart. 

Ways to use homemade no-added sugar applesauce 

As good as applesauce is on it’s own, I also love using it in other recipes – especially baking! With the pumpkin spice added to it, this homemade sauce would be especially good in fall-flavored muffins, quick-breads, pancakes, or waffles. 

Here are some other ideas for putting leftovers to good use: 

Bowl of chunky pumpkin-spiced applesauce

Other similar recipes you might like 

Looking for more ways to enjoy in-season apples? I’ve got you covered! 

Pin This Recipe For Later!

Pumpkin spiced applesauce pin image

Pumpkin Spiced Applesauce (No Added Sugar)

Spice up fall with this simple, no-added sugar pumpkin spiced-applesauce. Enjoy it on its own or use it as a butter substitute for healthier baked goods!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time27 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Healthy applesauce, Homemade applesauce
Servings: 6
Calories: 103kcal


  • 6 apples ideally a mix of sweet and tart
  • 1 ½ – 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ cup water


  • Wash, peel, and roughly chop apples into cubes (the smaller, the quicker they’ll cook)
  • Place apples in a large stockpot and add pumpkin pie spice and water.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, or until softened.
  • Transfer apples to a food processor and pulse until it reaches your desired consistency. Option to manually mash them with a potato masher for a coarser texture.
  • Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 10 days, or freeze for up to 1 year.


Nutrition for 1/6 of recipe: 103 calories, 0 grams fat, 26 grams carbs, 4 grams fiber, 19 grams sugar, 0 grams protein

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About Kelli McGrane Headshot

I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

About Kelli McGrane Headshot

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