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Rosy Applesauce with Red Hots

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Rosy applesauce gets both it’s red color and a fun cinnamon flavor from red hots. This twist on a vintage recipe is a fun way to turn fresh apples into a delicious and vibrant homemade applesauce.

Bowl of smooth red applesauce flavored with cinnamon candies.

If you are looking for a way to make your homemade applesauce special, you are in the right place. The addition of cinnamon imperials makes this sauce pretty and tasty.

Vintage Recipes

I have been having fun getting back to my roots of sharing recipes from my family. There is something about an older recipe that has been passed down through generations.

vintage cookbook with yellowed pages and fun illustrations with a recipe for rosy applesauce.

I was looking through cookbooks at my mom’s house and stumbled across and old one that had been my Maw-Maw’s when she was a young girl. The binding and cover have seen better days and there are pencil scribbles in the book, but that is what makes it extra special.

Paging through it was so much fun. Some recipes really are timeless and others seem so strange and definitely give away what era they come from.

Some of recipes that show their age are still fun to make. So I will likely share a few as time goes on, but I thought I would start with this fun gem and I have a refrigerator of fresh apples from the local orchard.

But as cooking techniques and appliances change, sometimes it makes sense to take those old fashioned recipes and put a slight twist on it. So this takes the idea of the original recipe but has been changed to match my current way of cooking.

What I Love About This Applesauce Recipe:

First, adding red hots not only adds color and cinnamon flavor but they give a bit of vintage flare. Similar to the red hot candied apples recipe, there is just something about combining them with apples to make a special treat.

You can leave the skins on the apples! You don’t have to worry about the skins discoloring the applesauce, because it is going to be pink no matter what.

Leaving the skins on the apples not only makes prep quick and easy, but it means you get all of that fiber and nutrition in your finished sauce. A lot of the good stuff is in the peel!

However, if you really want to peel your apples you can. Do whatever you prefer.

Making Homemade Applesauce

A saucepan and a paring knife will get you a long way to making this pretty sauce. Clean and core the apples then cut them into chunks.

Place them in a saucepan and add a cup of water or apple juice. Cook over medium high heat until the apples are soft, about 10 minutes.

I like using an immersion blender to process things like this applesauce. It makes it super easy, you don’t have to transfer anything hot.

However, you can use a food mill. Or put the softened apples in a food processor or blender.

Just be aware that the apples and liquid are hot, so watch to make sure the steam isn’t building up. Vent the lid a couple of times if needed.

Bowl of homemade red hot applesauce with fresh apples and red hot candies nearby.

Once the apples are processed to your liking, add the sugar and red hots and continue to cook over low heat until the red hots and the sauce is thickened to your liking. Give it a taste and add more sugar or red hots if desired.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of apple should you use to make applesauce?

Many varieties work well for making applesauce. I used Jonagold this time, however gala, fuji, golden delicious and McIntosh also work well.

Can I make this applesauce in a Crockpot?

Yes! Cook the apples and water on low for 6-7 hours or high for 2-3 and then process and add the candies and sugar.

Continue to cook with the lid off until it is thickened to your liking.

Can you can homemade applesauce?

Yes, this applesauce can be canned. I am not a canning expert, so I will leave the instructions to someone more experienced. Check out this post on canning applesauce for step by step instructions.

More Great Apple Recipes

If you have bushels of apples looking to get used, I have plenty of great apple recipes for you to try. Here are a few that are a great place to start.

Spoon with a bite of red cinnamon applesauce ready to eat.

My great-grandma’s apple pie is exactly what an apple pie should be. It is classic and hard to beat, especially if you add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

If you like the apples at Cracker Barrel, try making cinnamon apples in the slow cooker. I have an instant pot recipe too if you are in a hurry.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!

Bowl of smooth red applesauce flavored with cinnamon candies.

Red Hot Applesauce

Servings: 8 Servings
Author: Carlee
Rosy applesauce gets both it's red color and a fun cinnamon flavor from red hots. This twist on a vintage recipe is a fun way to turn fresh apples into a delicious and vibrant homemade applesauce.
4.93 from 13 ratings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 6 large apples
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • cup Red Hot candies or similar


  • Wash apples. Remove cores and cut into bite sized pieces.
    6 large apples
  • Place apples in large saucepan with water. Cover and cook over medium high heat until soft, about 10-15 minutes.
    1 cup water
  • Carefully process until smooth. I like using an immersion blender for this part, but a food mill, food processor, or blender will work.
  • Add sugar and Red Hots to saucepan with applesauce and continue to cook over medium-low heat until the candies are dissolved and the applesauce is thickened to your liking.
    ¼ cup granulated sugar, ⅓ cup Red Hot candies
  • Taste the applesauce and add more sugar or candies if desired.
  • Store cooled applesauce in the refrigerator for a week to ten days or freeze for longer storage.


  • Feel free to use apple juice in place of the water.
  • If you can't find Red Hots, look for Cinnamon Imperials.
  • You can use honey or maple syrup in place of the granulated sugar if you prefer.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 148kcalCarbohydrates: 39gSodium: 6mgFiber: 4gSugar: 30g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


Saturday 17th of February 2024

This was delicious. I didn't need to add any sugar, the red hots made it plenty sweet enough. Also, though I liked the idea of not peeling, my picky 4 year old picked up on the tiny pieces of peel and wouldn't eat it🙄 My other 3 children enjoyed it as did my husband and myself.


Saturday 17th of February 2024

You have to love those kiddos finding the littlest things. 🤣 I am glad everyone else liked it!