Homemade Unsweetened Cinnamon Applesauce

October 8, 2019

Homemade unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon is quick and easy to make, has just two ingredients, and no added sugar. Make it the traditional way on the stovetop more quickly in the Instant Pot.

no added sugar applesauce in glass serving bowl

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Guess what?! I have another apple recipe for you today* and this time it’s one I know your kids will love. In fact, my kids made this recipe with me, which was more than half the fun.

*Did you see these other apples we made post apple picking? Check out my Spiced Quinoa with Roasted Apples and Root Vegetables and Apple Peanut Butter Pancakes with Sautéed Cinnamon Apples.

making homemade applesauce with the kids

Kids Love Applesauce

I don’t know about you, but my kids loooove applesauce. It’s one of the first table foods they ate and almost four years later they still ask for it multiple times a week. I always keep a jar of unsweetened applesauce in my pantry, but in the fall I try to make my fresh homemade version whenever possible (especially after apple picking)!

Don’t have kids? Don’t click over to another page just yet. This recipe is for everyone of any age. It makes a great accompaniment to grilled chicken, it’s a lower sugar flavor boost when stirred into plain yogurt, and with Hanukkah coming up, it’s the perfect side for those potato latkes everyone’s going to be making!

no sugar applesauce

Flavor-Packed Homemade Unsweetened Applesauce 

As I mentioned before, when I buy applesauce, I only get the unsweetened, no-sugar-added variety. This is what I use when I cook and bake with applesauce also. It’s one of my tricks for cutting the added sugar in recipes, especially baked goods.

So of course when it comes to making my own homemade applesauce, you won’t find any added sugar in my recipe. In fact this recipe only calls for two ingredients – apples and cinnamon (I don’t count water as an ingredient!). That doesn’t mean it’s not packed with flavor. You may have wondered why the applesauce you see here is so dark in color – unlike the classic cream-colored applesauce your family may be used to. The dark color is due to two things in particular:

  1. I don’t peel the apples prior to cooking. The peel adds flavor, and, perhaps more importantly, fiber, which makes this applesauce even better for you and your kids and more satiating.
  2. I add cinnamon to the applesauce, which adds flavor and natural sweetness without the need for adding sugar or any other sweeteners to the recipe.

apples and cinnamon in Instant Pot

Instant Pot Applesauce

Traditionally I have made my no sugar added applesauce in large stock pot on the stove, but ever since I started using the Instant Pot, I’ve been making it in there instead. It doesn’t cut the cook time by that much since it takes time for the pot to come to pressure, but it certainly makes my life easier since I can set it and go off to do other tasks in the kitchen or elsewhere. I also find that when I make it in the Instant Pot, blending the cooked apples is much quicker than when I make it the traditional stovetop way.

Below I share recipes for both stovetop and Instant Pot homemade unsweetened applesauce. Take your pick – either way you won’t be disappointed with the outcome and your house will smell amazing when you’re done!

Stovetop Unsweetened Cinnamon Applesauce

Stovetop Unsweetened Cinnamon Applesauce

Yield: ~20 1/2-cup servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Make the most of apple season with a batch of homemade stovetop applesauce. Made with the apple peel for more fiber and cinnamon for a flavor boost without any added sugar. Get the kids involved and enjoy the warm smells of fall filling your kitchen!

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Kosher


  • 3 to 4 pounds apples
  • 3 to 4 cups water
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon


  1. Cut washed apples in half to remove core. Then cut into big chunks and add to a large soup pot. 
  2. Add water and cinnamon to pot and stir to mix.
  3. Over high heat, bring apples and water to boil. Reduce to medium heat and boil for about 20-30 minutes, until apples are very tender. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  4. Carefully pour apple mixture into food processor and pulse until smooth. Alternatively, use an immersion blender directly in the pot to puree. Enjoy!

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 65Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 9mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 3gSugar: 13gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information was calculated by Nutritionix. It may not be 100% accurate.

no sugar added applesauce

Instant Pot Cinnamon Applesauce

Yield: 5-6 lbs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Homemade Instant Pot Applesauce is a staple in my fall kitchen. Thank goodness for the ease of making it, since the kids devour every batch.

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Kosher


  • 7 pounds apples
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon


  1. Cut washed apples into big chunks, discarding the core and seeds.
  2. Place apples, water, and cinnamon in the pot of the Instant Pot.
  3. Cover the IP and turn the steam release handle to the“Sealing” position. Set to “Pressure Cook” on high pressure for 10 minutes. (Note: It will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure)
  4. When the cook time is done, wait 15 minutes for the pressure to naturally release. If it is not fully released after 15 minutes, turn the steam release handle to the "Venting" position. (Be sure to wear oven mitts when doing thjs.) Press "Cancel" on the IP and carefully open the lid and stir the sauce.
  5. Remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot and use an immersion blender to puree the sauce until smooth. (Note: to blend, you can also pour the applesauce into a traditional blender.)
  6. Allow the applesauce to cool before transferring it to containers. Store in the refrigerator for a week to 10 days, or freeze for future use.


If you prefer chunky applesauce, you can skip the step of blending.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 84Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 4gSugar: 17gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information was calculated by Nutritionix. It may not be 100% accurate.

Do you ever make your own applesauce?

What’s your favorite way to enjoy it?

Share with me in the comments below!

vegan unsweetened applesauce

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  1. Your girls are soooo cute!! My kids have always loved applesauce and the only time I’ve ever made it homemade is in small batches when I was making baby food for them! I have to get back into making it now that they are older, great recipe!

  2. […] produce during the fall and winter months because they are not in season and I’d rather buy apples, pears and citrus fruits since they are more flavorful at that time of […]

  3. What a perfect fall recipe to make with your daughters! I don’t know any kids who don’t love applesauce, so this is a great family activity!

  4. This sounds so good and so easy!! I’ve always wanted to make my own but always end up buying it. I’m definitely going to try these, especially with all the beautiful apples available right now!

  5. What cute girls! I love that they are already so excited about the kitchen. I remember the first time I made applesauce – I couldn’t believe how easy it was!

  6. I used to make homemade applesauce with my friend and her mom! The cinnamon flavor is definitely where it’s at!

    1. Hi Linda,
      I don’t peel the apples because I like having the additional fiber in there, but you can peel them if you prefer. Having the peel does lead to a darker color, but if you’re adding cinnamon it will be darker anyway. Would love to hear if you try the applesauce!

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