Almond extract is an intensely flavored liquid that makes any baking dish go-round, with only a few drops.
And nothing — I mean NOTHING — beats the joy and rewarding feeling of swiftly whipping up a palatable recipe with such a magical ingredient.
However, some alternatives strike a delectable balance of fruity and nutty flavors just like Almond, and you will definitely need these replacements when you don’t have almond extract in your kitchen.
Some of the best almond extract substitutes we’ll be discussing today are vanilla extract, cinnamon, orange zest, and almond liqueur.
And once you get to know each of these substitutes as well as their usage, they might turn out to be your secret ingredient for amplifying the intensity of everything from tasty treats to warm winter beverages.
Best Almond Extract Substitutes
For whatever reason you can’t get your hand on some Almond extract, as usual, you can always count on these substitutes.
1. Vanilla Extract
And the first on our list is Vanilla Extract — made by macerating and percolating vanilla pods in a solution of ethanol and water.
This extract is known as an essential ingredient that adds distinct and delicious taste in many Western desserts, especially baked goods like brownies, cookies, cakes, as well as ice creams, custards, and puddings.
It is SO CRAZY only the smelling vanilla has calming effects on adults and is also a safe substitute especially for those allergic to any type of nuts.
However, vanilla extract only offers little or no flavor and mostly produces just a sweet-smelling aroma.
They only carry a sweet fragrance and potent flavor, unlike Almond.
And in recipes, vanilla extract is sugary, almost caramelly in taste with a light floral component that tastes like jasmine.
Thus, if you find almond extract just a little bit too strong for your liking, the vanilla extract would be your best bet.
For the substitution, use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract over 3 drops of almond extract.
Health-wise, they offer antioxidant effects, anti-inflammatory properties, benefit brain health, and help reduce added sugar intake.
The best part? They are readily available in most baked goods stores or grocery markets.
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2. Vanilla beans
Suppose you can’t find vanilla extract, you can always reach out for Vanilla beans. They’ll make the perfect replacement even to almonds as they are the closest alternative flavor-wise.
All you need to do is carefully slice the bean in half and scrape out the soft seed interior using a knife or fork.
You can either throw away or repurpose the outer bean pod and use the seeds in place of the vanilla extract.
To replace 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of vanilla extract, use the inner seeds of 1 whole vanilla bean pod.
More importantly, there are a wide variety of flavorings made from vanilla beans available online and in specialty grocery stores, each of which makes a good sub for vanilla extract.
Read Also: Almond Extract Vs Vanilla Extract
Cinnamon is a highly delicious spice gotten from the inner bark of trees scientifically known as Cinnamomum.
This ingredient has its trophies for its medicinal properties over eons.
Cinnamon might not resemble almonds in any way. But make no mistake, you are looking at a sweet, aromatic woody spice with a slight citrusy note that enhances any baked dishes, rice pudding, french toast, churros, pumpkin, squash, or sweet.
You can never go wrong with this almond extract substitute. It just reminds me of how warm autumn and wintertime can be.
They are pocket-friendly and available in every supermarket.
And I wouldn’t hesitate using this on chocolate or nut-based pastries instead of fruit ones, because it doesn’t compete with the aroma of the fruit when mixed.
For the substitution, use ONLY half a teaspoon of cinnamon over 2 drops of almond extract.
4. Orange Zest
Citrus Zest (for example orange) is by far the easiest substitution on this list.
Citrus peel not only gives an amazing fruity taste and citrusy aroma ideal for fruit-based desserts and pastries but also houses robust antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that are good for your overall health.
So next time don’t throw away those orange peels, that’s where all the flavor and nutrition lies.
Whenever you’re out of almond extract, Use the orange zest instead in baking and cooking, even in salad dressings.
Wash the fruit properly and dry it with a towel. Then, use a cheese grater for the best results.
Don’t worry Orange zest has a strong, pungent sweetness without the bitterness of the pith.
Thus, it won’t ruin the meal so long as you’re using a teaspoon of orange zest to substitute 2-3 drops of almond extract for every baked dish.
Supposing you don’t like the Zest?
Well, you canjust squeeze the orange instead and add some of the juice for about 1-2 teaspoons. This will also provide the desired citrusy flavor and aroma you seek.
Read Also: Best Substitutes for Orange Juice
5. Almond Liqueur
For whatever reason you can’t compromise the goodness of almonds; you can always reach out for Almond Liqueur for aid.
Made with oil extracted from bitter apricot kernels, almond Liqueur taste and have almost the same qualities as an almond extract — although the Extract’s flavor is more concentrated.
Both have alcoholic content but tend to evaporate once it’s being cooked, making it safer to consume by children.
Moreover, the almond liqueur is easy to find in the nearest grocery store or any online store.
Be careful to not add too much liqueur to prevent a bitter taste as well as a strong aroma in your baking dish.
Use the same ratio of 1:1 substitution and follow precisely the same recipe that you use for baked dishes that call for almond extract.
Conclusion | Alternatives to Almond Extract
Among all of the almond extract substitutes, which one did speak to you?
Is it almond Liqueur, Vanilla, or Orange Zest?
Well, any will do just fine. But since it’s a matter of personal preference, choose what’s best suited for your recipes.
Mind you, if you opting for orange Zest there are other Zest or juice of citrus fruits you can as well use such as:
They all bring flavor to your recipe without adding any tartness or additional liquids. Just add 1–2 tablespoons (15–30 mL) of zest to your baked goods, salad dressings, sauces, or even to top off dishes.
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