Maple Cinnamon Applesauce

maple cinnamon applesauce recipe

I know it’s been around for a while, but I just want to say that central heat is amazing. How I survived the past four winters with my little space heaters and dangerously vintage floor heaters is beyond me. In my new apartment, all I have to do is scootch the little dial on my wall a smidge to the right and I instantly hear the whoosh of hot air flowing throughout my apartment. I suppose this is how people who are accustomed to modern-day conveniences feel like when they turn on their new surround sound system for the first time. I am the maestro of my thermostat, you guys!

peeled apples

Although I could keep my place as warm as a Tahitian beach house through February, I have no desire to do so. After enduring those chilly winters, I feel like something’s wrong if I am warm enough to walk around the house barefoot and in pajama shorts as leaves fall off trees in the 40-degree weather outside.

Cold weather calls for sweaters, comfort food and general coziness, which means that I’ll be keeping the thermostat down comfortably low. That way I can fully enjoy cold weather comfort food like homemade applesauce, which warms up the house and fills it with a glorious sweet, spiced apple scent better than any candle.

apple chunks

This rustic applesauce is more like apple pie filling than the mealy, uniformly textured store-bought applesauce. While I remain indifferent in the great homemade pumpkin purée debate, there is no question when it comes to applesauce. This hearty, chunky homemade applesauce made from ripe, in-season apples puts the store-bought kind to shame.

maple cinnamon applesauce

This recipe for maple-sweetened applesauce caught my eye as I read through Diane Rossen Worthington’s latest cookbook, Seriously Simple Parties, which is just what it sounds like. In the headnote for the recipe, she explains that covering the pot of apples at first basically steams them, then uncovering the pot later in cooking allows the liquid to reduce and that sweet apple goodness to intensify in flavor. This sounded like a good plan to me, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could make applesauce in just twenty minutes of stove time. Please make it before apple season is over!

homemade cinnamon-maple applesauce recipe

Maple Cinnamon Applesauce
5.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 to 4
Naturally sweetened, rustic homemade applesauce that cooks in under twenty minutes. This chunky applesauce tastes just like apple pie filling—serve it on oatmeal or pancakes for breakfast, as a sweet snack (try adding yogurt and granola), or dessert (with ice cream, perhaps?). I like mine with creamy steel-cut oats (omit the orange juice and zest) and a swirl of homemade pecan butter.
  • 3 Gala apples (or another variety of sweet red apple)
  • 3 Granny Smith or pippin apples
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • dash of sea salt
  1. Peel, core and chop the apples into 2-inch chunks. In a heavy, nonreactive Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat, combine the apple chunks, maple syrup, cinnamon and lemon juice. Cover and simmer for about 12 minutes, or until the apples have softened up a bit.
  2. Uncover the pot and continue cooking, stirring occasionally to break up the larger chunks, until the apples are soft but still have some texture (5 to 10 minutes). Remove from heat and, if necessary, add more maple syrup, cinnamon or lemon juice, to taste. Serve warm or chilled; let it cool to room temperature before storing it in the fridge.
  • Adapted (just barely) from Seriously Simple Parties by Diane Rossen Worthington.
  • Yields about 3 cups of applesauce.
  • Although I haven't tried these substitutions, Diane suggests that you could use Asian pears instead of Gala apples, or honey or agave syrup instead of the maple syrup.
  • If you want a fine applesauce, purée the final product with an immersion blender.
  • Diane says this applesauce will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.


  1. says

    Growing up I *hated* apple sauce. It fell in with green peas and apple juice, things they’re forever giving children that I just couldn’t abide. But homemade apple sauce changed that totally. It really is a different beast and so so good. I feel like if there’s ever a thing you don’t like from growing up, try it homemade, and if you still don’t like it, then you *really* don’t.

  2. says

    I am obsessed with applesauce. Obsessed! And adding maple and cinnamon to it? Oh Kate. You’re a genius! So simple yet I would have never thought of it. And yeah, central heat is great. I had to look up what floor heaters were. I’m happy you no longer have that. Now if we could just get some AC over here…

  3. sweet road says

    Applesauce is great for literally any time of day because it’s not so incredibly sweet that it’s a sugar overload. I would like to try making applesauce because homemade applesauce is soooo delicious, I just haven’t made it myself yet!

  4. Maria G says

    Kate –

    Big fans of applesauce in this house! We started just as the peaches were waning with a Apple Peach Sauce. Now we’re into the Pear Applesauce variety. I’ve never thought of using maple syrup! Thanks for the new twist!

    Love your work!


    • says

      Apple peach sauce sounds amazing! Do try the maple syrup, I think it helps the applesauce develop a more complex flavor than sugar would. How good would this applesauce be on pancakes?!

  5. says

    This looks so delicious Kate! I have been making applesauce as well (out of fear that if I eat any more pumpkin I might just turn into one) and it’s so addictive! I agree with you – fall definitely calls for comfort food like this! I’ve gotta admit though, I’d totally love to wake up in tropical climates year-round. We have some very chilly and snowy winters here in Ontario and having grown up in the Middle East for 5 years, I learned that it can still be Christmas without snow! :)

    • says

      I’m not sure I could survive a cold Ontario winter! You never know what the weather’s going to be like in Oklahoma, and I’ve experienced several warm, sunny Christmas days. They’re so nice.

  6. says

    Oh, that with granola and yogurt for breakfast would be dreamy.
    And I like to keep my apartment on the colder side, too. Besides being quite cozy, it is also a smart choice for the environment.

  7. says

    I remember the first time my roommate made applesauce and it was love at first spoonful! There was no comparison between that and storebought. They aren’t even in the same league! I love how some of the apples stay whole in this…great texture.

  8. says

    I’ve always wondered what you do with applesauce (it’s not really much of a thing here) but I really like the sound of it. I can imagine this would be so delicious with yogurt and granola as you suggest!

  9. Pat Carson says

    I changed a very old recipe I had by substituting your idea of maple syrup instead of brown sugar for apples cooked in butter on the stove. They are cut in quarters and cooked for twenty minutes covered. It was so much better with maple syrup. The original recipe by Madame Benoit a very good Canadian cook.

  10. Yen-Ning says

    Made this last night and had it with oatmeal this morning. It was heavenly! It took me less time to cook. I used raw honey instead of maple syrup. Turned out great! I am not a big fan of apple but apple+ cinnamon +oatmeal is my comfort food breakfast to start a freezing cold morning. Thank you for the nice recipe, Kate!

  11. says

    This looks wonderful :) You really cannot beat homemade applesauce. And the chunkier the better for me. That smooth tasteless stuff at the grocery store… Yuck! I think I need to evaluate my apple supply and make some sauce this afternoon, you’ve got me craving it now :D

  12. Sander says

    Another great recipe, thanks! I’m actually drowning in apples out here in Northern, CA at the moment, so I’m seeing how freezing some works. Also, I used the blender trick, left out the syrup and have been using the sauce as a substitute for water or milk in other baking recipes.

  13. Alyssa says

    This is so reminiscent of my grandma’s applesauce…except I’m sure she used about three pounds of white sugar and probably some butter, too. I love that it only takes twenty minutes (or less!). Perfect!

  14. Quynh-Anh says

    Hi Kate. I would like to make this recipe, but only half the yield. Would you say 1 1/2 of each apple variety be closer to 1 1/2 or 2 cups? I prefer to measure my fruit for recipes in cups or grams as I never know what sized fruit will be available on any given day at the markets. Some days the apples are gigantic whilst other days the apples are petite. It varies so much like the whether down here in Melbourne, Australia.

    Kind regards and looking forward to your reply :)

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