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10 Best Almond Extract Substitutes Including Homemade Recipe

Almond extract is a popular baking ingredient and dessert. You probably enjoy the nutty, sweet, and intense flavor in recipes with vanilla, chocolate, and coffee flavors.

Although almond extract is a great ingredient, several reasons and situations might prompt you to seek alternatives.

  • You dislike the taste
  • You’re allergic to almonds
  • You can’t find it anywhere around you

Fortunately, there are several simple substitutions for almond extract and straightforward approaches to creating your own.

10 Best Almond Extract Substitutes for You

If any of the above reasons limit you from using almond extract in your recipe, you can choose a great substitute from the following top ten alternatives:

Amaretto

amaretto

Most people consider amaretto the perfect almond extract substitute that captures the natural almond flavor.

Remarkably, the main ingredient for the liqueur is apricot kernels, alongside several herbs and spices included in the mix.

Despite its intense flavor, it’s too concentrated to use in pastries and desserts.

Notably, amaretto isn’t a none-for-one almond replacement. To substitute amaretto for almond extract, you must use about four times the volume of the almond extract to capture the perfect almond taste.

The only setback with this replacement is it increases your recipe alcohol content, so you must be cautious while adding the amaretto.

Vanilla Extract

vanilla extract

Can I substitute almond extract for vanilla extract? Of course yes!

Despite their different origins, almond and vanilla have numerous similarities.

So it isn’t surprising that vanilla is among the top almond extract substitutes, especially when preparing brownies or cakes.

Furthermore, vanilla is available in numerous places with varying prices and quantities.

Despite delivering the same aroma as almonds, it can’t bring the same sweetness level. So you’ll have to use lots of it to create the perfect sweetness.

Preferably, use a teaspoon of vanilla for three drops of almond extract, but also consider your taste and preferences.

Cinnamon

cinnamon

Replacing cinnamon with almonds doesn’t make sense since they don’t share many similarities. Cinnamon sticks have a stronger flavor than almond extract.

But it’s okay to include the herb as seasoning. When using it as an almond extract substitute, you only need a small quantity.

Just half a teaspoon of cinnamon can deliver almonds’ mild and sweet scent. Furthermore, the barks’ inherent properties can stabilize your body temperature.

However, cinnamon’s strong flavor makes it less favorable for fruity dishes.

Orange Zest

orange zest

Only a few people consider orange zest as an almond extract alternative. Despite the sour taste, including the peel in your cake creates a delightful scent.

What’s more, you can make yours at home. But specialized cutlery will help you achieve suitable smoothness and size.

You may also add a little orange juice to minimize the pungent odor. This will leave you with a fantastic taste and sweet aroma that’s perfect for muffins, cupcakes, or pies.

You may like: 12 Replacements for Orange Zest

Cherry Juice

cherry juice

Did you know that almonds and cherry pits have the same taste?

These two ingredients have flavors that play well together, and that’s why they’re sometimes part of some recipes.

As unusual as this may seem, cherry juice can also be a perfect alternative for almond extract.

To achieve superior taste, replace one part of almond extract with four parts of cherry juice in your recipe.

Almond Liqueur

almond liqueur

Almond liqueur can be an excellent almond extract substitute in times of need.

The two flavors share numerous similarities, and wine’s high alcohol content shouldn’t worry you as it evaporates as you heat.

Despite sharing numerous similarities, replacing almond with its liqueur form isn’t as straightforward.

Different wine brands have varying ingredients and proportions. When deciding the almond wine to use, ensure you go for a 4:1 or 8:1 ratio.

The liqueur may not exert a substantial effect, but don’t be tempted to use too much as it could cause an unpleasant smell and bitter taste.

Mint Extract and Chocolate

chocolate mint

Though seemingly strange, the combination can deliver a sweet scent and a slight bitterness, resembling almond extract’s flavor.

While you can easily find chocolate extract cheaply, a quality mint extract is relatively costly.

Once you have everything, mix two chocolate extract teaspoons with two mint extract teaspoons to replace two or three drops of almond extract.

This alternative is perfect for pastries and cakes.

Lemon Extract

lemon extract

Though a less popular alternative, lemon extract offers several benefits for an ideal almond extract replacement.

Of course, the final products will have a slight taste difference, but this won’t affect the overall serving.

You can make lemon extract easily at home by combining lemon juice and filtered water. The resultant scent will be pretty similar to almond extract, so the ratio should be 1:1.

Notably, the lemon extract is compatible with different food varieties, hence an excellent almond extract substitute.

Other Nut Extracts

Hazelnut, walnut, or pecan can perfectly replace almond extract.

While these may not deliver the taste of the other options, the alternatives can do a great job when substituting almonds’ flavor.

Nut and seed extracts can work to their optimal potential when you use them in the 1:1 ratio. In some exceptional scenarios, you can utilize the flavor essence differently to create unique scents.

Homemade Almond Extract

Why struggle to look for a substitute when you can create your homemade almond extract?

This is the perfect step if you’re tired of the other substitutes that won’t deliver the ideal almond flavor.

Besides saving more effort and time, this approach will also cost way less than processed products.

All you need is enough almonds and an extraction solution like vodka and certain food glycerin types. Toast the almonds, divide them into tiny bits, and mix the raw materials and the solvent in a large jar.

You’ll then filter to remove the solids then evaporate the solution to remain with the extract.

homemade almond extract

How to Make Almond Extract

Yield: 45 tablespoons
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes

Homemade almond extract recipe.

Ingredients

  • 4 cup almonds (blanched)
  • 4 cup vodka ((80% proof or higher))
  • 4 vanilla beans (split)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and toast the almonds for 10 minutes.
  2. Divide the cool almonds into tiny bits, and mix almonds, vanilla beans, and vodka in a large jar.
  3. Put the mixture in a dark and cool place for about 8 weeks. Shake the mixture every 4 days.
  4. Filter to remove the solids.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 60 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 55Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 46mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g

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FAQs About Almond Extract

What can I substitute for almond extract in cookies?

Almond extract is an ingredient found in many cookie recipes. It gives cookies a distinct scent and flavor that can’t be replicated by anything else.

But what if you don’t have any almond extract?

With the help of vanilla extract, your cookies (especially the sugar cookies) are just as delicious without using almond extract!

What can I substitute for almond extract in cherry pie?

If you don’t have almond extract on hand to make a cherry pie, there are some great substitutes!

One of the most common substitutes for almond extract is vanilla extract since they are both derived from nuts and spices.

You can also use lemon juice or orange zest-both of which provide an acidic flavor profile similar to the taste of almonds.

If you want to avoid adding extra acidity to your cherry pie filling, try substituting honey or maple syrup for the almond extract.

What can I substitute for almond extract in baking?

Almond extract is an essential ingredient in baking but it can also be hard to find. Luckily, vanilla extract and almond-flavored liqueur both work well as replacements in baking.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve run out of almond extract, dislike its taste, or are allergic to it, the above substitutes can be significantly helpful.

Of course, you want to go for a substitute that you like and won’t experience the challenges of using original almond extract.

So when choosing a almond extract replacement, consider your preferences and superior taste.

I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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