Looking for an Almond Extract Substitute? You Have Alternatives!

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The humble almond is a genuine multitasker. This single nut yields a plethora of delectable culinary goods, ranging from almond flour and almond butter to almond milk and almond paste.

What is one of the most beneficial almond derivatives? Of course, almond extract!

It’s not a flavor you’d use every day, but when a dish calls for the toasty and nutty note of almond extract, it truly begs for it. True enough, there are various backup choices accessible in case your stockpile runs out unexpectedly.

What is Almond Extract?

Although not manufactured from the delicious almonds that we consume by the handful, almond extract is typically prepared from the oil of a cousin known as the bitter almond. This bitter almond oil, when mixed with ethyl alcohol, yields an extract with a warm, sweet, and nutty almond taste. The taste of almond extract is strong, and depending on the brand or location of production, certain kinds may have a stronger flavor than others.

You’ll most likely find a variety of almond extracts in the baking department of your local grocery store.

Pure Almond Extract

This is the most genuine and flavorful almond extract available. Any extract designated pure must get its taste only from bitter almond oil. Pure extract should only include water and ethyl alcohol in addition to the oil.

Natural Almond Extract

A container labeled natural almond extract may be flavored with additional ingredients such as stone fruit pits (such as apricots), cassia bark, or a mix of these. Each of these alternative sources has components that are the same as or comparable to the ones that provide the unique almond taste found in authentic bitter almond oil.

Imitation Almond Extract

The almond taste in this extract is manufactured synthetically rather than from bitter almonds or bitter almond cousins. But, imitation almond extract does not imply poor quality! Food technology has improved to the point that many fake flavorings are practically indistinguishable from the genuine thing.

What is Almond Extract Used For?

Despite its name, the goal of using almond extract in a dish is not to have people exclaim, “Wow, this tastes just like almonds!” It is instead utilized as a taste enhancer. This extract’s robust, sweet taste enhances the rich and toasty overtones found in many sweets, breads, and baked items. Something about the extract’s nutty taste and bitterness simply brings certain flavors to life, particularly chocolate, stone fruits like peaches and plums, cherries, and honey.

You’ll note that the measurements for almond extract in most recipes are rather modest. Don’t be fooled, this is potent stuff. In fact, when using this extract in cooking, you should always take additional care to measure precisely, since even a few extra drops or a touch of overflow may quickly dominate a meal.

6 Best Almond Extract Substitutes

You may substitute any of the following components for almond extract in a recipe, although some will work better than others depending on the other ingredients. Another aspect that will influence your selection is which of these alternatives you happen to have on hand!

Vanilla Extract

When it comes to flavoring cakes, baked goods, and other sweet goodies, vanilla extract is without a doubt the go-to extract. It makes little difference whether the dessert is vanilla-flavored or not, since the flowery perfume of vanilla can readily complement practically any other sweet taste you can think of. This chameleon-like property is what makes vanilla extract an excellent substitution for almond extract, and although the taste profile will undoubtedly change, it will undoubtedly be wonderful.

How Much to Use:

If the recipe already contains vanilla in other forms, use a 2:1 ratio of vanilla extract to almond extract (such as vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste).

Amaretto (Almond Liqueur)

While not necessarily produced with genuine almonds (in fact, apricot kernels with all of the same taste components!) Amaretto has a distinct almond flavor, making it one of the greatest replacements for almond extract.

Since almond flavored liqueur has a milder almond taste than extract, you’ll need to add quite a bit to obtain the flavor impact you’re going for. This might be an issue if you don’t want to add that much alcohol to the recipe, or if your recipe is sensitive to the total amount of liquid, as most baking recipes are. If you use this as a substitute for almond extract, you may want to lower the quantity of another liquid component (such as milk or water) if feasible.

How Much to Use:

Begin with a 4:1 ratio of almond liqueur to almond extract, then taste and adjust as required for consistency and flavor.

Other Nut Extracts

There is more than one nut extract in the globe! There are many different types of nut extracts, and they are occasionally classified as flavoring rather than extracts. Other typical nut extracts include walnut, pecan, hazelnut, and even pistachio extract. These little bottles give concentrated taste that, although not the same as almond extract, may impart the same warmth and nuttiness to a meal.

Other nut extracts, as you would assume, will not be useful in the event of a nut allergy unless it is established that the sensitivity in issue is exclusively to one specific nut and not to others.

How Much to Use:

Utilize a one-to-one ratio! You may substitute another nut extract for the amount of almond extract specified in a recipe.

Cherry Juice

This is a weird one, isn’t it? How does cherry juice work as a replacement for almond extract? That makes a lot more sense than you would imagine! Cherry pits contain benzaldehyde, the taste ingredient that all of them share in common, much as apricot pits do for amaretto’s almond flavor.

Although it is not healthy to ingest cherry pits or any other stone fruit pits, remnants of the same flavorings may be found in cherries and their juices. Whether you have a bottle of sour cherry juice or a jar of maraschino cherry juice in the fridge, substituting cherry juice for almond extract will give a similarly sweet nuttiness to your dish.

How Much to Use:

Keep in mind that a 4:1 ratio of cherry juice or maraschino cherry juice to almond extract will provide more sweetness as well as red coloration to the meal.


Cinnamon has a distinct scent that is warm and somewhat spicy, making it an excellent option for almond extract. Although cinnamon tastes nothing like almonds, it is likely to complement the other flavors in most other sweet meals. Indeed, as previously stated, some almond extract is manufactured from cassia bark, which is a relative of cinnamon!

How Much to Use:

Begin with a 2:1 mixture of cinnamon and almond essence. If the taste appears insufficient, add a pinch extra or, if wanted, sprinkle a touch on top of the completed dish.

Orange Zest

Oranges, like other citrus fruits, have an innate balance of bitterness and tang, making them an excellent replacement for almond extract. Nevertheless, you must use just the zest, since the orange juice will be excessively sweet and add too much liquid to the equation. Orange zest works very well in recipes with strong chocolate, honey, or cinnamon tastes!

How Much to Use:

Try a 4:1 orange zest to almond extract ratio.

How to Make Your Own Almond Extract

Finally, if you want to create almond extract at home for the next time you need some almond flavoring in your life, there is a simple technique to do it! Nevertheless, since this procedure requires many steps, it will not be of much use at this time.

You’ll need 2 parts vodka to 1 part almonds to produce homemade almond extract. For instance, 1 cup vodka to 1 cup almonds. Be careful to use raw and unsalted almonds while preparing homemade extract. This is critical!

  • Place the almonds in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and give them a rough chop.
  • Pour the vodka over the chopped almonds, shut the jar, and store it in a cold, dark spot, such as your pantry closet.
  • Let the extract to soak for approximately 6 weeks, shaking the jar once a week or so!

After 6 weeks, the vodka will have extracted as much flavor from the almonds as possible. Remove the chopped almonds with a fine mesh filter, discard them, and pour your fresh homemade almond extract into a clean, new container.

Best Almond Extract Substitutes, The Final Say

Despite the particular taste of almond extract, there are many alternative substances that produce the same flavor compounds that are unique to it, providing you lots of choices when it comes to almond extract replacements!

Vanilla extract is unquestionably delicious. If you happen to have a bottle of almond liqueur or a variety of nut extracts on hand, they will be excellent alternatives. What about cherry juice? Surprisingly successful! When everything else fails, try orange zest or cinnamon! The taste will not be the same, but these components are likely to complement those currently in your dish.

Whichever alternative you pick for today, set aside a few minutes to begin making your own DIY extract. Your future self will be grateful!


What tastes like almond extract?

Here’s an out-of-the-box solution for almond extract: maraschino cherry juice. Cherries and almonds go so well together, and cherry pits allegedly taste like almonds! I’ll wait while you take a smell of those maraschino cherries in your fridge.

How much vanilla can I substitute for almond extract?

Following vanilla, almond extract is one of the most often used extracts in baking. You may use almond extract for vanilla extract in a 1:1 ratio. That is, for every 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of vanilla extract used in the recipe, substitute it with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of almond extract.

How important is almond extract in a recipe?

Almond extract adds taste to sweet sweets and balances the acidity of sour cherries in your favorite cherry pie. This extract is seldom required in a recipe and serves mostly as a taste enhancer. While baking and cooking, you may simply replace almond extract without compromising too much flavor.

Is there an imitation almond extract?

McCormick Fake Almond Extract is a must-have ingredient for making one-of-a-kind baked products. Fake Almond Extract enhances all of your favorite dishes with a wonderfully balanced nutty, fruity taste.

How do you make almond extract at home?

Making Almond Extract
Cut unsalted raw almonds.
Fill a big jar halfway with almonds.
Fill to an inch above the nuts with vodka.
Put blanched and chopped almonds in bottles.
Fill the bottles with the contents of the jar.
Keep cold and dark for 5-6 weeks.
Jun 21, 2021

Do almond extract and vanilla extract taste the same?

While almond extract is far more strong than vanilla, it will produce a comparable taste profile if used judiciously. You’ll only need half as much almond extract, and you may be surprised how much you like its nutty taste in your favorite vanilla dishes.

Can anything replace almond extract?

Vanilla extract is the most often used alternative for almond extract. Since the almond taste is significantly stronger, you may add up to twice as much vanilla. If the recipe already includes a lot of vanilla flavour, you may leave it out.

Can I use extra vanilla extract instead of almond extract?

Use twice as much vanilla extract in lieu of the almond extract. The vanilla will modify the taste of the dish, but it should work well with the other components. Since almond extract has a stronger taste than vanilla, you’ll need twice as much to obtain the same effect.

What can I substitute for almond?

Almond Replacements

Hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, and unsalted pistachios are the finest nut substitutes for almonds. It is advisable to replace those with similar textures (such as sliced for sliced, chopped for chopped).

What does almond extract do for cookies?

A dab of this extract lends a toasty, nutty taste to our muffins and cookies. We know we’re on to something excellent when almond fragrances flood the home. I adore how almond extract adds a marzipan-like taste to baked items.

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