Applesauce Cookies – A Wartime Rationing Recipe

These applesauce cookies feature a few war time rationing tips from WWII. Some are used today to reduce fat and calories in our baking.

applesauce cookie split with glass of milk
Using applesauce means you need less sugar and fat in the recipe.

Also Read: War Time Molasses Cake, Extending Butter – A Rationing Hack from War TimeTasty Vegetable Loaf from WWII

These cookies use shortening instead of butter and replace some of the sugar with corn syrup. They also use applesauce which also means you don’t have to use as much fat and sugar.  These cookies were a hit at son’s Cadet Corp’s Remembrance Day Parade.

Making and trying these recipes gives our family a teeny tiny taste of some of the challenges that families faced during war time.  More importantly, it makes us appreciate how fortunate we are to have endless food options available to us daily – thanks to those who fought  to protect the rights and freedoms that we all believe in.

pile of apple sauce cookies

Applesauce Cookies Recipe

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4 from 3 votes

Applesauce Cookies – A Wartime Rationing Recipe

A war time rationing recipe that replaces butter with shortening and sugar with syrup. The applesauce also helps reduce sweeteners and fat content. Adapted from a recipe in Economy Recipes for Canada’s “Housoldiers” (Toronto: Canada Starch, 1943).
Prep : 10 minutes
Cook : 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 1/2 cup shortening or lard
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 egg well beaten
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 cup thick applesauce
  • 2 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts optional


  • Cream shortening with sugar.
  • Add syrup gradually and beat well.
  • Add well beaten egg and mix well.
  • Stir baking soda into applesauce and add to creamed mixture.
  • Add sifted dry ingredients, raisins and chopped nuts.
  • Mix thoroughly and chill dough for 30 minutes.
  • Drop by spoonfuls 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 15 to 20 minutes until golden.


Yield 4 dozen cookies
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applesauce cookie in half
Acid in the applesauce with baking soda can cause a pink tinge to these cookies.

Best enjoyed with a glass of cold milk – something we can enjoy today without worrying about rationing.

Thanks to the Canadian Home Economics Foundation for its support in helping me test and share these recipes.


I often make muffins with applesauce to reduce the amount of oil I need – how about you, do you use any of these tips in your baking today?  I’d love to here your ideas, leave a comment here or on social media, I’m on Instagram @getgettys and Facebook @GettyStewart.HomeEconomist.

Getty Stewart is a Professional Home Economist,  speaker, frequent media guest and writer dedicated to putting good food on tables and agendas.  She is the author of several recipe books on enjoying and preserving fruit, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener. Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this.

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