Almond extract is a baker’s delight with an intense nutty aroma that pairs well with many recipes. But are you out of it? Worry not, we have a list of the best substitutes for almond extract for you. Other than that, you can find their uses, flavor profile and health benefits.
Almond extract pairs well with several flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, maple, and butterscotch. When used sparingly, it can also add a great flavor to salad dressings, sauces, custards, and ice creams.
Whole almonds, amaretto, almond essence, almond milk, vanilla extract, walnut extract, pecan nut, hazelnut extract, Maraschino Cherries Juice, cinnamon, chocolate extract make some of the best substitutes for almond extract.
With so many options to try out, first, let’s try to understand more about almond extract and its flavor profile which will make it much easier for you to pick a substitute for the same.
Quick Peek: Almond Extract
This section will help you learn all the vital information about almond extract. You will get to know more about its flavor and texture profile uses and nutritional information. So, let’s get started.
What Is Almond Extract?
Almond extract is one of the most common and popular ingredients found in bakery goods. It is an intensely flavored concentrated liquid that is made from bitter almond oil, alcohol, and water.
Almond extract is made by cold-pressing almonds, which helps to preserve its nutrients. The combination of oil and alcohol creates a long-lasting flavoring agent. However, not all almond extracts are pure.
Most almond extracts you see in food products are actually made from the kernels of peach or apricot pits or are produced synthetically. You might be feeling cheated right now. It is but natural to wonder how the flavor works.
An almond extract made from peach or apricot pits will not be labeled as “pure” and will certainly not have almonds or almond oil listed as ingredients.
So, while purchasing almond extract, you can check for its purity by reading its ingredient list. This piece of information is good news for people who are allergic to almonds, as no real almonds are involved in wide varieties.
Describing Almond Extract: Flavor And Texture
Truth be told, almond extract tastes nothing like almonds as it is made with bitter almond oil. It has a strong nutty taste with fruity notes and is liquid in consistency. Even a few drops of almond extract provide a robust flavor.
The flavor of almond extract is intense as compared to other extracts, and it also depends on the brand and its place of production. While some varieties may have a strong flavor, others might be more intense. However, if you do not like its taste, you can use substitutes for the almond extract to derive the best flavors out of your recipes.
Uses Of Almond Extract
Almond extract makes for a great ingredient for flavoring bread, pastries, cookies, toppings, fillings, and milk-based drinks. You can also use it in toppings or fillings. However, almond extract should be used sparingly as it has an intense flavor.
Almond Extract On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope
Although almonds come with a wide variety of health benefits, the almond extract contains vitamins and minerals in a lower concentration. However, people with almond allergies should avoid using pure almond extract.
Apart from its culinary use, almond extract is beneficial for your skin. It is used in cosmetics and for strengthening skin and hair.
Why Should We Substitute Almond Extract?
Although almond extract is a great flavoring agent, there might be several reasons that might prompt you to seek its alternatives. Firstly, you may dislike the flavor of almond extract altogether due to the strong taste it imparts. Secondly, you might be allergic to it. Maybe, you want to use it in your recipe but can’t find it anywhere.
So, let’s discover the alternatives for almond extract and its use.
11 Best Almond Extract Substitutes
This section takes you through the best substitutes you can use in place of almond extract. You will get to understand the flavor and texture of each substitute, what recipe they work best in, and the substitution ratio.
1. Whole Almonds
If you are a fan of almonds but dislike the strong flavor of almond extract, then whole almonds make the best substitute for its extract. Whole almonds have a unique nutty flavor that can be used in any recipe, in any form, for its flavor and crunch.
Depending on the recipe, you can also toast whole almonds to add a smoky flavor to your recipes. However, whole almonds have a much more subtle flavor as compared to their extract. Hence, even after using a whole cup of almonds, you will derive a mild flavor.
Whole almonds can be used in soups, cookies, granolas, cakes, salads, muesli, dessert toppings, ice cream, and milk-based drinks.
2. Almond Essence
Almond essence makes for a cheaper substitute for almond extract as it is made using artificial flavoring. In terms of flavor, almond extract is extremely potent, so you should use it sparingly.
On the other hand, while almond extract may not be useful for people with tree nut allergies, almond flavoring should be safe. Almond essences are mostly used as a flavor enhancer in confectionary goods such as cakes, pastries, cookies, and desserts.
Amaretto is an Italian almond-flavored liqueur, which is prized as the best substitute for an almond extract for its sweet yet bitter taste of almonds. It is often made with apricot kernels, though the flavor profile matches almonds.
Amaretto is essentially used to make cocktails and shooters but also makes for a great ingredient in cookies, cakes, dessert sauces, glazes, and ice creams. Tiramisu, a popular Italian dessert, is often flavored using amaretto.
To capture the almond taste, you must use amaretto, about four times the volume of the almond extract.
4. Almond Milk
Almond milk is made by blending almonds with water and has a nutty flavor and creamy texture. Being a direct product of almonds, it is certainly a good substitute for almond extract with subtle flavors.
Almond milk has gained popularity in many countries, and it is certainly a great alternative for almond extract in dishes that call for a large number of liquids.
That means if you are planning to make almond soup for dinner, then almond milk would be the best choice that brings together a creamy texture and flavor.
5. Vanilla Extract
One of the most common and easily available ingredients at any supermarket, vanilla extract makes for a great substitute for almond extract. With its light and warm flavor notes, vanilla extract tastes similar to almond extract.
This quality makes it a great option to use in any recipe without changing any other ingredient. Vanilla extract does not have a strong and powerful taste as compared to almond extract, and so you can use it in double the quantity.
Vanilla extract can be used in a whole lot of recipes which also include hot and cold beverages, smoothies, baked goods, pancakes, waffles, French toast, sauces, dressings, and much more. Apart from its culinary uses, it is also used in perfumes and room fresheners.
6. Walnut Extract
The best way to substitute almond extract in any recipe is to use another nut extract. Walnut extracts bring out a rich and earthy taste to recipes and thus make for a great replacement.
Feel free to use the walnut extract in recipes that call for almond extract in a similar ratio.
7. Pecan Extract
Nutty and rich, pecan extract adds a decadent, sweet, and butter flavor to many recipes. Again, like any other nut extract, pecan extract can be used in baking, beverages, and ice creams.
Apart from sweet dishes, pecan extract also works well in savory dishes like pork chops, chicken, salmon, and salad dressings.
8. Hazelnut Extract
If you are looking for a warmer and buttery flavor profile, then hazelnut extract makes for a great substitute for almond extract. Hazelnut pairs well with many other ingredients, and thus its extract elevates the taste profile of recipes.
You can easily substitute almond extract for hazelnut extract in a ratio of 1:1. Hazelnut is the most popular coffee and chocolate flavor because of which its extract can be used in many confectionary treats.
9. Maraschino Cherry Juice
Maraschino cherries are sweetened preserved cherries that go as a popular topping for ice cream sundaes and cocktails. They are also used as garnishes for foods like cakes, pastries, parfaits, and milkshakes.
Now you might be wondering how cherries can be used as a replacement for almond extracts. Well, they really do! Maraschino cherries have a familiar taste profile to almond extracts. Just as apricot pits give amaretto its “almond” flavor, cherry pits contain a flavor compound called benzaldehyde that is common in all.
While using maraschino cherry juice as a substitute for almond extract, always keep in mind the extra sweetness it brings along. You can use a 4:1 ratio of maraschino cherry juice to almond extract.
Almond extract is also made using cassia bark from which cinnamon comes. Hence, cinnamon makes for the best substitute for almond extract.
Cinnamon has a uniquely warm and slightly spicy aroma and taste which pairs well with the other flavors in almost any other sweet dish. So, you can use ground cinnamon powder as an alternative for almond extract.
11. Chocolate Extract
The chocolate extract is another alternative that makes for a great almond extract substitute. It is easily available and a safe option for people allergic to almonds. You can replace almond extract for chocolate in any baked goods as it also pairs well with all kinds of citrus fruits.
Short Recap For Best Almond Extract Substitutes
I’m sure that you are elated to find a great list of substitutes for almond extract and have already picked the best one for yourself. However, if you are still a little confused, allow me to further break it down.
Best Almond Extract Substitutes In Terms Of Flavor and Texture-
- Almond essence
- Almond milk
Best Almond Extract Substitutes That Are Not Almond Based-
- Vanilla Extract
- Chocolate Extract
Best Almond Extract Substitutes You Can Consider Choosing Last-
Although Maraschino cherry juice is a great fit in terms of flavor that matches almond extract, you can consider choosing the latter as it is sweeter in taste. However, you can balance the sweetness in your recipe in proportion to the sugar content.
How To Use Almond Extract Substitutes In Recipe
Almond Extract Substitutes
- Whole Almonds
- Almond Essence
- Almond Milk
- Vanilla Essence
- Walnut Extract
- Pecan Extract
- Hazelnut Extract
- Maraschino Cherries Juice
- Chocolate Extract
Almond extract is a great flavoring agent for baked goods. However, you can consider using almond extract substitutes in case of availability or allergic issues. To derive the best flavors out of the substitutes, you should keep the ratio of its alternatives in mind.
So what are you waiting for? Pick up your favorite alternative for almond extract and let me know how your recipe benefited from it.
Frequently Answered Questions (FAQs)
Does almond extract have alcohol?
Yes, the key ingredients of almond extract include alcohol which, in fact, makes up 90% of the proportion.
Can I leave almond extract out of a recipe?
Yes, you can choose not to use almond extract in your recipe and replace it with any other flavor as an alternative. Or you can even use milder flavoring agents of almonds such as almond milk and whole almonds to have a subtle taste of almonds.
What can I substitute for almond extract in baking?
You can use vanilla extract, chocolate extract, and any nut-based extract to use as a substitute for almond extract.
What is the difference between almond extract and almond essence?
The main difference between almond extract and essence lies in the purity of the product. While almond extract is derived from almond nuts, its essence is made using artificial flavorings.