Applesauce Vs. Apple Butter

Glass stemed dish of apple sauce.

What is the difference between applesauce and apple butter? They seem to be almost exactly the same, so why the different name?

Cettina from Malta, Europe



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By susan winship 4 405 02/25/2009

Applesauce is apples (peeled or unpeeled and then strained) cooked down until tender with a little water and sometimes cinnamon and sugar.
Apple butter is applesauce cooked down with apple juice and more spices until it's a spreadable loose paste. It's usually cooked down in the oven rather than the top of the stove (applesauce).

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By Grandma J 54 1,041 02/25/2009

Butters are not much different than making a jam of the fruit. It all depends on how much of the fiber you want to include. You can use a thickening agent such as a pectin product or spend some time cooking it down to very think substance. I don't add spices to mine, I just cook on low for a couple of hours, until desired consistency (water/juice removed). A fruit butter would be about the same as making homemade tomato paste (smoother than purchased).

Applesauce can be sweetened, cinnamon added or left plain "natural". Many kinds of apples can be used, depending on what your favorite apple is. Peeled or as I did it, cored and pureed in the blender, then cooked down slowly. I found I could add pureed pears, skins and all to help with the flavor. Then process it as directed by Ball or Kerr. Homemade applesauce gets to be brown in color, as well, if fruit fresh of some sorts was not used.

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By jsham (Guest Post) 02/25/2009

Applesauce is simply apples that have been cooked and mashed, sometimes with sugar added. Apple Butter is ecentially made from applesause. My recipe, and I am not giving measurements here, just a method. An amount of applesauce with sugar, vinegar and spices (cinnamon and nutmeg) cooked down to a thicker mass than applesauce. So, the basic difference, I suppose, is the seasoning and the thickness of the finished product. Hope this helps you to understand the difference.

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By Heather Krucker 10 282 02/25/2009

They add spices to the apple butter. Each are wonderful, but definitley taste different.

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By Harriet Schipper 11 135 02/25/2009

In addition, applesauce is usually served as a dessert or side dish. It also is sometimes added to cakes or cookies in place of oil to reduce calories/cholesterol. Apple butter is usually used as a spread on toast, bread, etc. because it is much thicker and spicy.

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By Judi 18 939 02/25/2009

My applesauce is just like others have said: apples cooked down. I add no sugar or spices.
Apple butter is (in my house) cooked apples with spices and sugar cooked in a pan on the stove top.
Applesauce is usually eaten with other foods (pork for one) or just alone. Apple butter is something we eat on pancakes or toast.
Applesauce is a yellow color, apple butter is brown from the spices....at least this is the way it's done in my house.

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By cettina 78 392 02/26/2009

Thank you all so much. yes, I have understood the difference now. and why they have different names. It makes sense now.

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By Shytbyrd51 09/17/2015

Apple sauce made with brown sugar and cinnamon and nutmeg will taste more like apple butter.

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