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9 Options To Use as Almond Extract Substitute.

Are you looking for a good almond extract substitute? We’re here to help you. We have quite a few options available on our list below. Next time you prepare muffins, French toast, or cakes, consider using one of the choices below.

white table top with dark brown glass bottle labeled "organic pure almond extract"

What Is Almond Extract?

Almond extract is one of the top flavoring agents that adds a strong almond taste to recipes. This extract was created after the 1700s. During this time, there was a shift in how food items were transported. The shift included processing for better preservation. The downside of processing was removing a lot of the flavor from foods. Flavored extracts became an easy way to add a variety of flavors back to foods.

You can use it in many baking recipes, including sweet and savory (like bread) dishes. Almond extract is often used in cakes because it gives them a sweet and nutty almond flavoring. You can also use it in other desserts, like ice cream or pudding.

Almond Extract Varieties

There are three varieties of almond extract include pure, natural, and imitation.

Pure almond extract (typically found on store shelves) is created from bitter almonds. These almonds, alcohol, and water are combined to create the extract. On some occasions, this type of extract is made from apricot kernels or similar stone fruits.

Natural almond extract is not made from almonds. Instead, it’s made from cassia bark (like cinnamon).

Regardless of the ingredients in each type of extract, they have nearly the same flavor. There are very subtle taste differences. But, most people will not notice this in recipes unless they have a sensitive palate.

Almond Extract Substitutes and Alternatives

1. Imitation Almond Extract

Imitation almond extract is a good substitute for almond extract in a pinch. No nuts are used in processing this extract. Because of this, it makes an excellent swap for those who have a nut allergy and still want a nutty, almond taste.


This almond extract alternative is easy to find and affordable. It replaces the flavor nearly perfectly.


Those with a sensitive palate may taste the small taste difference in this swap.

Cooking Tip:

  • Use this replacement in a 1:1 ratio.

2. Amaretto (Almond Flavored Liqueur)

Almond liqueur is created similarly to almond extract. For weeks, flavoring agents, like apricot and almond pits, soak in vodka or another alcohol. Once the alcohol has absorbed the flavors, it is strained, and sugar is added.

You’ll be able to find a similar nutty taste. However, almond-flavored liqueur will have a sweeter taste due to the added sweetener. You’ll also note a mild almond flavor and additional flavor notes in the liqueur.


Smaller almond liqueur bottles are affordable and easily found at nearby grocery stores. This swap offers a similar nutty taste and sweetness. Use liqueurs for cake recipes.


Because of the milder taste, adding more liqueur into recipes is necessary. Doing so alters the texture of your dish. You may also need to change the quantities of your other ingredients.

Other flavoring agents are added during the seeping process. For this reason, amaretto’s flavor might not exactly match the almond extract’s flavor.

Cooking Tip:

  • Start with a 4:1 ratio and add more for a stronger flavor.

3. Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract is a versatile flavoring agent used in baked goodies. This extract swap offers recipes with a sweet, sugary flower taste. That said, it is the best substitute for almond extract in cookies.

Vanilla extract is also pricier unless you’re using imitation vanilla extract. This replacement for almond extract is easily found in stores. You likely already have some in your kitchen, especially if you bake often.


This extract is versatile and readily available. It adds a similar sweet flavor and warmth to recipes.


Purchasing vanilla extract is a pricy option that may not align with all budgets. It also presents a much different flavor.

Cooking Tip:

  • Use a 1:1 ratio. 

4. Vanilla Bean Paste

Vanilla bean paste is another replacement for almond extract. This paste works well in thicker recipes that need a lot of moisture, like custards. It’s made from ground vanilla beans, vanilla extract, and corn syrup.


Using this option provides a delicious vanilla flavor to specific desserts. This is an excellent substitute for almond extract if you dislike its aftertaste. 


Due to the texture, the uses are limited. This paste already contains a sweetener. Because of this, you may need to adjust the quantities of other added sweeteners.

Cooking Tip:

  • Use ½ the amount required by the recipe.

5. Maraschino Cherry Juice

This cherry juice might seem like one of the odd substitutions for almond extract. Yet, maraschino cherries and bitter almonds are associated with each other. They are often soaked together to make the bottled cherries you see in stores. Maraschino cherry juice will add a slight nuttiness and sweet taste to recipes.


Maraschino cherry juice is easy to find, especially if you have a jar of cherries already in the fridge. It’s an inexpensive alternative that provides a similar nutty, sweet taste. This swap can be a great alternative if the appearance is not an issue.


The flavor will be different since the cherry juice is much sweeter. Don’t use this substitute if your dish is lighter, as the bright red liquid will create a red hue.

Cooking Tip:

  • Use a 4:1 ratio.

6. Chocolate Extract

The chocolate extract is made in a similar manner as almond extract. But here, cocoa beans are soaked instead of vanilla pods or bitter almonds. When using chocolate extract, expect a rich chocolate flavor. You may also observe a slight alcohol aftertaste. Use this substitute in cakes, ice cream, cookies, and muffins.


Chocolate extract adds a delicious flavor to any recipe.


This extract swap is challenging to find at the store. You will likely need to order it online instead. It also does not bode well with all recipes.

Cooking Tip:

  • Replace almond extract with chocolate extract using a 1:1 ratio.

7. Ground Cinnamon

Ground cinnamon does not offer an almond flavor. But, it still works well as a flavoring agent. It brings warmth and a slightly woodsy taste to dishes. Use cinnamon for most baked goods. It will work except for specific fruit-based recipes, like anything that includes cherries.


This replacement is readily available, budget-friendly, and aromatic. Ground cinnamon adds a delicious taste to sweet recipes.


Cinnamon does not share the same flavor, so there will be a noticeable taste difference.

Cooking Tip:

  • Use 1 teaspoon of cinnamon for every four drops of almond extract.

8. Chopped Almonds

If you’re only looking for an almond taste in recipes, chopped almonds can also work as replacements. This is especially helpful if you aren’t concerned about changing the texture of your recipe.

Chopped almonds will add both a crunch and flavor to any baked dish. You can use this swap in sweet and savory recipes as they have a neutral taste.


You’ll have a similar almond flavor. They’re also easy to find in the grocery store. 


Chopping almonds adds time to the recipe; it does not produce the same flavor. Plus, purchasing almonds can be pricey.

Cooking Tip:

  • There is no exact ratio for this swap. You can start with ¼ cup of chopped almonds to replace 1 teaspoon of almond extract. Then, adjust depending on the recipe and your taste preference.

9. Homemade Almond Extract Recipe

Creating your own almond extract is much easier than one might expect. It only involves two ingredients, including blanched almonds and high-quality vodka.

Going with this option is excellent if you have plenty of time. This is because it takes 8-10 weeks to prepare almond extract as it needs to steep in the alcohol for this time frame.

This pure almond extract replacement will offer a similar flavor to recipes. That is, if you have plenty of time.

To make homemade extract, you will need:

  • 1 cup of raw blanched almonds (skinless)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 cup of vodka
  1. Directions:
  2. Soak the almonds in the water overnight.
  3. Strain the almonds. Roughly chop them, place them into a glass jar, and add the vodka. Screw on the lid and shake well.
  4. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 10 weeks, shaking the jar every couple of days.
  5. After 10 weeks, strain the extract. You can use a filter, cheesecloth, or mesh strainer. Discard chopped almonds. Bottle and label your extract.


This option offers a similarly delicious taste in baked goods. Plus, you can customize the flavor as you see fit.


Making this homemade recipe is pricier, and high-quality vodka is an expensive ingredient. It also requires advance notice due to its long steeping time.

Cooking Tip:

  • Use a 1:1 ratio.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Substitute Almond Extract for Vanilla Extract?

Yes, you can substitute almond extract for vanilla extract and vice versa. This option is one of the most effortless replacements, as you can use a 1:1 ratio. The flavor will be slightly different; however, you’ll still have a delicious taste in your baked goods.

What Does Almond Extract Do in a Recipe?

The primary use of almond extract is to add flavor to sweet treats like desserts and baked items. Thanks to its unique aroma and taste.

Can I Use Ground Almonds Instead of Almond Extract?

Yes, you can use ground almonds instead of almond extract. However, this will not work with all recipes as it will change the consistency. You will also need to alter the other ingredients to account for the change in texture. 


You can easily find a suitable almond extract substitute from the list above. One of the best substitutes for almond extract is vanilla extract. But if you’re not in a hurry, homemade almond extract is the top option.

More Ingredient Substitutes

Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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