Easy Pumpkin Cinnamon Applesauce

Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr
Total 1 hr 15 mins

Homemade Pumpkin Cinnamon Applesauce is a healthy and delicious alternative to store-bought! Naturally sweetened with apples and pumpkin and a hint of vanilla and cinnamon, you and your kids will love this easy homemade applesauce recipe all season long!

Grouping of Red apples in a collander.

My Favorite Homemade Applesauce

Sometimes, we all need a break from store-bought! I’m certainly the last person to tell anyone to cut out processed foods completely, but I love having the option to make things at home. One of my favorite recipes to make from scratch is easy and delicious applesauce made from natural ingredients; it’s just so incredibly simple to make, and a thousand times tastier than the store-bought kind!

As someone who frequently bought applesauce from the store once upon a time, I had never actually read the ingredients label on my “Natural” applesauce and surprise, surprise; not so natural. That’s why this Pumpkin Cinnamon Applesauce is everything I love about a homemade recipe: super easy, with seasonal ingredients, and above all, unprocessed! 

I was happily surprised to find that I didn’t even need to add any sugar to the recipe; the pumpkin and apples are sweet enough, naturally! Delicious, packed with fall flavors, diet-friendly, vegan and gluten-free – you couldn’t ask for more out of an applesauce recipe. Especially one as easy to make as this one!

Why Add Pumpkin?

The best part about making your own applesauce is the abundance of add-in options, and how easy it is to customize! You can add just about anything in terms of ingredients and flavors, which is how I wound up with Pumpkin Cinnamon Applesauce. Not only does Pumpkin really bring the flavor of fall, but it serves to naturally sweeten this recipe alongside the apples without compromising on the texture.

Pumpkin Applesauce served in a green bowl with a spoon next to a jar of applesauce.

Recipe Ingredients

Just six simple ingredients come together to make this irresistibly fall-flavored pumpkin applesauce! Here’s the short list of what you’ll need:

  • Apples: Cored and chopped.
  • Cinnamon: For a hint of warm spice next to the pumpkin and apple. You can also use pumpkin pie spice for an extra fall kick!
  • Pumpkin Puree: Pure canned pumpkin puree, and not pumpkin pie filling.
  • Vanilla: Pure vanilla extract gives the best natural flavor.
  • Lemon Juice: Alternatively, apple cider vinegar for a bit of acidity to brighten the flavors.
  • Water

What Kinds of Apples to Use

The best apples for applesauce are McIntosh or Golden Delicious apples since both varieties soften easily when cooked.

How to Make Pumpkin Cinnamon Applesauce

There are two types of people when it comes to applesauce: Chunky, or Smooth! To make the applesauce, you’ll need a large pot, plus a potato masher or food processor depending on the texture you prefer your sauce to be. Either way, this is the easiest recipe for homemade applesauce!

Cook the Apples: Combine the chopped apples, cinnamon, lemon juice, and water and bring everything to a boil. You’ll continue to simmer the apples until they’re super soft, then remove the mixture from the heat.

Add Pumpkin & Vanilla: Add in the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract and stir well. Next, decide whether you would like your sauce prepared to a smooth or chunky texture!

Blend: For chunkier applesauce, use a potato masher to smash the mixture together until you reach the desired consistency. For smooth applesauce, transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and puree until the sauce is completely smooth.

Serve applesauce at room temperature, or cold straight from the fridge. Enjoy this delicious Pumpkin Cinnamon Applesauce on its own, or see more serving suggestions below!

Tips for Success

  • Leave the Apples Unpeeled: Not only will it save time, but the skin of an apple holds a lot of nutrients. Once the apple is cooked down and pureed, you won’t even notice the peels!
  • Add Honey or Maple Syrup: If you prefer your applesauce with some extra sweetness, you can keep it natural by adding in a little honey or pure maple syrup.

Ways to Use Applesauce

Breakfast, side dish, healthy snack, condiment – applesauce is just the best of all worlds and super versatile! I love to enjoy this homemade applesauce alone or as an accompaniment to so many ingredients and dishes. Here are just a few suggestions on ways to use Pumpkin Cinnamon Applesauce:

  • Enjoy fresh applesauce for breakfast two ways: topped with yogurt and sprinkled with chopped nuts or muesli, or spread over toast in place of jam or butter
  • Use it as a topping for Gluten Free Pancakes or Pumpkin Pancakes
  • This applesauce makes a delicious autumn-inspired filling for homemade Pop Tarts
  • Stir a spoonful into Overnight Oats for some extra apple-pumpkin flavor
  • Sweet and flavorful applesauce is amazing as a condiment for juicy Pork Chops or roasted Pork Tenderloin
  • Warm your applesauce a little and serve it over vanilla ice cream for a delicious fall treat “à la mode”

How to Store

Store this Pumpkin Cinnamon Applesauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week to enjoy whenever inspiration strikes!

Can I Freeze This?

Yes! To freeze applesauce, store it in a freezer-safe container and keep frozen for up to 3 months. Allow frozen applesauce to thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.

More Apple Recipes to Try

Can’t get enough when it comes to apples? Here are more recipes to try this season:

Yield: 8 servings

Pumpkin Cinnamon Applesauce

How To Make Appleasuce

This flavorful Homemade Pumpkin Cinnamon Applesauce is a healthy and delicious alternative to store bought! Naturally sweetened with apples and pumpkin plus a hint of vanilla and cinnamon, you and your kids will love this easy applesauce recipe all season long!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds apples, cored and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

In a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat, combine apples, cinnamon, lemon juice, and water. The liquid will not cover the apples. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat. Simmer the apples for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally, until apples are super soft.

Once apples are nice and tender, remove the pot from the heat. And now we split off into two groups of people. Chunky or Smooth!

Chunky: Add pumpkin puree and vanilla. Smash apples with a potato masher until you reach the desired chunky-ness.

Smooth: Carefully transfer apples and all liquid to food processor or blender. Add pumpkin puree and vanilla. Puree until desired consistency.

Serve applesauce room temperature or cold, straight from the fridge. Store applesauce in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 1 week. Or freeze up to 3 months.

Notes

Notice in the directions the apples do not need to be peeled. The skin of an apple holds a lot of nutrients, and once the apple is cooked down and pureed, you won't even notice it's there! Also, this recipe has No Sugar Added, just natural sweetness!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 83Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 4gSugar: 15gProtein: 1g

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Comments

76 Responses
  1. DOCTOR.THOMAS

    Wow,this is wonderful, i even grow this pumpkins but i have never tried this .i wish you keep us posted on the same so that we know how to prepare .it seems its delicious .

  2. Rolinda Corrigan

    What a brilliant idea! Love that it is sugar free as I sit here with morning toast, tea and a bowl of Pumpkin Applesauce. Thx Lady ♥️

  3. Rebekah

    You’re saying its unprocessed but you’re adding pumpkin purée and vanilla? Huh????? If you’re making unprocessed food why didn’t you just BUY A SMALL PUMPKIN and do that.

  4. JAW

    Can someone help me with the pumpkin purée part? I’d like to go unprocessed but not sure how to prepare the pumpkin purée. Thanks!!

  5. Karen

    I’m making this for my son’s Autumn Market. I’ve tries all kinds of applesauce in the past: apple + pear, peach, strawberry, blueberry, lingonberry, but NEVER pumpkin. Thank you SO SO SO SO much for the inspiration.

  6. Danielle

    I read unprocessed as if to mean not preserved. It’s a common word to use for boiling the jars to seal and preserve them “Process for 15 minutes in boiling water”
    I could be wrong though.

  7. mary beth kraft

    i am going apple picking this weekend and am SO excited to have a new recipe in which to use them! as always, love your posts. thank you!

  8. Chelsey

    Just tried this and LOVED it!

    Btw, citric acid is what’s found naturally in fruits like oranges and lemons and is what makes them so acidic. So your apple sauce has citric acid in it, since you added lemon juice. FYI, citric acid is also what keeps apples from browning (the browning is caused by oxidation, which citric acid prevents).

  9. Lauren

    What apples are the best to use for applesauce? I know different apples are better for baking but I didn’t know about applesauce.

    1. Jessica

      I am not sure what are exactly BEST for applesauce, but I would recommend using something like a honey crisp or a fuji apple!

  10. war_eagle

    Went and got apples at the orchard today with this in mind. Got home and realized I didn’t have lemons, but did have the bottled lemon juice. So much for keeping the creepy chemicals out this round! Oh well, the next batch will be with pure, fresh lemon juice.
    I kind of wish you had estimated how many apples since I really didn’t feel like stepping on the scale with mine. Also unsure if they should be covered or not while simmering. I’ve got my lid on and fingers crossed. 🙂

  11. he Burlesque Baker

    I am LOVING your site! Sassy, funny commentary and fun recipes to try in the kitchen? Count me in! And I love pumpkin—never thought about it in applesauce! I wonder about mixing other fruits in, or even doing a pumpkin pear sauce? So many combinations!

  12. natalie (the sweets life)

    catching up on my google reader finally and I am SO excited to try this sometime this Fall. YUM!

  13. Nikki

    I’m making this tomorrow!! I was trying to decide today if I want to make more pumpkin recipes or more apple recipes this month, and now I can do both in one! 🙂 Thanks for making my mind up for me!

  14. Katelyn

    This looks great! I love pumpkin everything. A couple of weeks ago I tried this pear applesauce recipe:

    http://cookincanuck.com/2011/09/crockpot-pear-ginger-applesauce-recipe/

    It’s insanely easy to make because you just throw everything in the crockpot and let it cook down. I subbed ground ginger for fresh and skipped the added sugar, which you really don’t need if your pears are ripe. And the smell while it cooks all day–aFREAKINmazing. I’ll probably be posting about it next week along with a baked oatmeal recipe that uses the applesauce.

    As far as natural foods go, I’ve got my own soapbox. Also, if you’re making applesauce consider purchasing organic apples if you can since conventional apples have such a high concentration of pesticide residues. Conventionally-grown apples are actually number one on the Environmental Working Groups ‘dirty dozen’ this year.

  15. Lauren

    @Jessica – I gave her a bowl of it and a spoon. She took one bite and looked at me like “Something’s different…” Then she took another bite. And another. Then she put her whole hand/fist in there and grabbed it. Then she put the bowl up to her face and tried to get the remaining sauce with her tongue.

    I’d say she liked it 😀

    1. Jessica

      Ahh! I love it!

      I will be babysitting a friends 2 year old next week and I am going to try it out on her! I was worried it might be too…different! But now I can’t wait! Thanks Lauren!!

    1. Jessica

      Kayla, I know a lot of people who make applesauce in a slow cooker. I am sure you could do it…but I personally don’t have any experience doing it! I don’t want to wait hours when I can make it so much faster! What can I say…I’m impatient ;-D

  16. Lauren

    I made this tonight and it is SO tasty! Going to test it with my 18 month old tomorrow 🙂 I love the extra nutrients pumpkin adds to the applesauce.

  17. Yellowfish

    I just learned about the canned oil packed garlic recently, because I grew some habaneros and wanted to make habanero oil. It turns out, if you just put things in oil (like the garlic) it is a perfect environment to grow botulism, and I guess in the 80’s before they knew that, a lot of people got really sick from jarred garlic in oil. So, now they just put in phosphoric or citric acid because they are antimicrobial, and will actually prevent the garlic from killing you. So… turns out, if you find canned garlic that is just garlic and oil you should actually stay away!

    The things I was reading about making infused oils and getting botulism were so intimidating I just ended up deciding to make vinegar instead of accidentally poisoning myself :). Anyways, I thought it was interesting, though (you know, scary but interesting).

  18. Paula

    This sauce sounds lovely. I love the combination of not only the apple and pears, but the pumpkin as well.

    Best wishes on reducing your processed food intake this month and kudos to you for taking up the challenge.

    I agree with you about everything being in moderation but I also happen to believe that processed food is one of the reasons why we are seeing such a rise in food allergies over the past several years. I also believe that a diet of processed foods can and does kill people by way of heart attacks, strokes and yes, different forms of cancer.

  19. Nutmeg Nanny

    Yum! Pumpkin and apples….I never thought to combine the two! This has to be out of this world delicious!

  20. Erinn

    I love this! I make my own applesauce as well, not just because it’s better for you, but mostly because it just tastes better. You can tailor every batch to fit your current flavor of choice which is always a plus. I’ve done a few different fruit combinations, but never pumpkin so I’m definitely going to have to try that!

  21. Madi @ Sit Down and Eat Your Peas!

    This looks delish! Just the other day I went apple picking and one of my weekly goals was to use some of my pumpkin butter that I made last week to flavor an applesauce! You totally got there first!

  22. Anne Marie

    This looks fabulous! Great post!….for me, the processed food gremlins attack from the miniature candy bar aisle, so it’s a great time of year for an unprocessed food support group, er, web challenge.

  23. Chiara @ The Wandering Cook

    That looks delicous! I have just (finally!) found a crock pot here in Switzerland… they are not easy to come by… and I was thinking of making appesauce in it. I guess I’ll try your rendition!

  24. Emily

    Well I’m with you about staying off processed food completely… I don’t think I can do it! lol. But I do love an occassional made from scratch stuffs, just to make myself feel like I’m making the effort. 😛

    I love your take of the applesauce and the title itself already sounds delish! Love the photo by the way! 🙂

  25. Jen at The Three Little Piglets

    In one of my cooking classes, the chef did a little demo on processed foods. He gave us all a few things to try and then proceeded to explain why they were all really bad for us. My favorite was a juice drink – one of the ingredients had some really fancy name. Turns out it was really dried and crushed up beetles! Ew! I hate living in a world where you need a PHD in science to buy your food!

  26. Joanne

    I absolutely for sure do my best to eat unprocessed and yeah…sometimes I slip up…but I say it’s the effort that counts.

    This pumpkin applesauce sounds delicious…I want it mixed into some greek yogurt!

  27. Anna

    I do understand where you are coming from. If we can make a dish from scratch without adding anything processed, so much the better. That is because there will be things that come in contact with us that we have no control over. Almost everything is processed, so the littlest unnatural ingredient that we can avoid means a lot! Thanks for this!

  28. Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living

    I need this in my life… asap! Pumpkin and apples dominate my diet this time of year, and combining them in one recipe has me feeling giddy :).

  29. danielle

    I just bought a bunch of apples to make applesauce with today – I love the idea of adding the pumpkin to it! I think I am going to try this recipe instead.

  30. Nicole, RD

    “Honesly, will processed food kill us all one day? Hell if I know.” LOL! I loved that. I also love that there’s NO added sugar in this. SCORE. When I go apple picking in a few weeks, this is the first recipe I’m making. Thanks!!

  31. emiglia

    What a great goal! I have been doing the same thing ever since I fell head-over-heels for my year-long farmer’s market. The only unprocessed things I have a hard time giving up are pretty embarassing: krab and Boursin cheese (not together).

  32. Diana

    I gave up processed food for Lent last year-and it totally broke my candy habit! The first 3 weeks or so all I wanted was gummy bears and twizzlers-it was rough-but I haven’t wanted them since. Hang in there!
    The one thing I added back right away was tortilla chips, they’re made pretty much with corn and canola oil and salt, so they’re not really very processed anyhow! Other than those, canned tomatoes and beans (not from scratch, but the store) and tortillas- I really haven’t added much processed stuff back in.

    PS: Be careful with deli meat-it has just about the highest possible level of fake in it! You’d be better off to make pulled chicken or pork or beef, or make your own roasts to slice.

  33. Tania

    LOVE!!

    I wonder if you could can it….though my boys would probably inhale it in no time!

    On the agenda for next week.

  34. Paula @ Dishing the Divine

    I’m with you – I love pumpkin and apples…. and therefore think I could TOTALLY love this sauce. 🙂

  35. Jenny Flake

    I think if I had a bowl of this in front of me I wouldn’t be able to stop eating it! Looks fabulous girl!! xoxo

  36. Lori @ RecipeGirl

    I just made regular old applesauce the other day, but pumpkin sounds awesome!! The unprocessed thing is cool- I’m not doing it but maybe one of these days!

  37. Mimi

    Yum! I just realized you can freeze applesauce (I usually can my applesauce) so I have a batch in the freezer as well this year! Do you think it would be ok to can this as well? Nothing better to me than a taste of fall in late February when I swear the winter will never end!

    1. Jessica

      To be honest, I don’t know a ton about canning and the safety.

      But if you are able to can the other applesauce you make, as long as it is made in the same general way, this applesauce should be can-friendly as well. Since the pumpkin is from a can already…and everything else should be ok as well.

  38. brandi

    i love the idea of October Unprocessed and am doing something similar – no processed foods during the week, leaving the weekends unplanned since i know i’m going to be traveling quite a bit. I’ll be doing my best, but I know it won’t be possible to go completely unprocessed at some of the events.

    ps; can’t wait to see you this weekend!

    1. Jessica

      I know! I am so excited to see you and everyone else. Nashville watch out, here come a plane full of foodies! 😀

  39. Nichole

    Just for your information: phosphorus-containing substances (like phosphoric acid) occur naturally in foods such as milk, meat, poultry, fish, nuts, and egg yolks.. so no need to be sad if you *accidentally* consume it.

    1. Jessica

      Thanks Nichole, I will keep that in mind for the future. But I did a little google-ing and it is added to the garlic as a preservative. It is also one of the main ingredients in soda. So apparently I normally drink it pretty often.

      I would still like to avoid it when it is added as a preservative, or for in coke for the flavor/acid quality, and not something that happens naturally.

  40. DessertForTwo

    What a great spin on applesauce!

    I love eating unprocessed! When I eat something processed, I swear I can feel it–I get sluggish and have a craving for something sweet or caffeine-filled to keep me up.

  41. raquel from Florida

    It looks great!
    We began our October unprocessed with home made pasta: only flour, eggs and olive oil, topped with unprocessed marinara sauce (Tomatoes, olive oil, real garlic and home grown basil). It takes time and effort but it is well worth it!
    Lovely pictures!

  42. Jen @ BeantownBaker.com

    I’ve never heard of putting pumpkin in applesauce. But it sounds delicious! I always put cranberry in my applesauce.

    1. Jessica

      I hadn’t either, but why not? I had a open can of it in my fridge and I have seen other flavors added at the store. So I decided to give it a try! 😀 And I love it! But then again…pumpkin and apples are my two favorite fall flavors.

  43. Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    I made homemade applesauce recently and loved it… but pumpkin applesauce sounds even better!

  44. The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh

    Okay, don’t tell the hubby but he eats applesauce everyday and I’m thinking about making this for him because you know, it would be made with love and not out of a jar. The freezing option sounds good so I don’t have to make batches every week. Hmm, you’ve given me some inspiration here. I’m sure the hubby will thank you!

    1. Jessica

      Girl! Do it! It’s super easy and makes your house smell delicious!

      Plus, yes just make a big batch and freeze it! That way it’s ready to go whenever he is.

  45. Kathryn

    I’m so impressed with all the people who are doing October Unprocessed. I’d love to try but I know I’d last about 5 minutes before I gave in!

    Gorgeous pics and an equally gorgeous recipe!

    1. Jessica

      That’s me! I am already missing my diet coke this morning! But I am giving it my best effort! Maybe instead you can just try to just cut back on the amount of processed foods you eat this month. It’s really just all about awareness of what we are putting into our bodies! 😀

  46. Lauren

    That looks like heaven! Pure heaven. Would you believe I’ve never cooked with pumpkin before?? I’m going to have to remedy that!

    1. Jessica

      I am sitting her shocked.

      Girl, go buy yourself some pumpkin right now! Then come home and make the Pumpkin Whoopie pies that are on the blog from last year (just search them in the search bar up top). And then try your hardest to not eat them all by yourself! They are soooo good!

  47. Heather of Kitchen Concoctions

    I’ve made traditional applesauce before and an apple/pear version, but I don’t know why I have never thought to do a pumpkin version! I love this idea. PS: Beautiful pics!

    1. Jessica

      What? Apple, Pear?! I bet that was perfect! I am definitely trying out that flavor next time. Did you cook the pears with the apples?

  48. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

    This looks stellar and I can only imagine how good your house smelled while
    you were making this!

    And unprocessed food…for 5-6 yrs I was a strict vegan and a strict GF person. So 99% of what I ingested was made from scratch. I am still veggie and mostly GF and so 95% of what I eat I make myself as unprocessed as possible. Great post girl!

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Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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