Here's What You Can Substitute For Almond Extract

From cookies and pastries to breads and almond-flavored drinks, there are tons of recipes that call for almond extract. Almond extract also serves as a great flavor enhancer for pairings like peach, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberries, among other flavors. Almond extract is perfect for adding a mildly sweet, aromatic hint, even in some unexpected places, like recipes for salad dressings and sauces (via Nielsen Massey).

If you run out of almond extract while cooking or baking, there are certainly substitutions that can be made. Vanilla extract and almond-flavored liqueur are both very good replacements for recipes that call for almond extract. Depending on what you are making, some options are better than others. While it will not help in terms of immediate use, it's also possible to make your own almond extract at home. It simply calls for lightly toasted, chopped almonds that have vodka (or glycerin for non-alcoholic extract) poured over them. The catch is that it takes a couple of months at least for the extract flavor to really develop (via The Spruce Eats).

How much of each almond extract replacement to use

The recipe that you are cooking or baking — and, of course, what's available in your pantry — will determine which of the two almond extract substitutes is best. If the flavor profile of the dish can withstand some alcohol, or if the alcohol will cook off in a pan for things like sauces, then almond liqueur might be the best choice. For every one part almond extract a recipe calls for, multiply it by four to eight to achieve the same flavor with an almond-flavored liqueur like amaretto. That means a recipe with 1 teaspoon of almond extract would need 4 to 8 teaspoons of amaretto. Extracts are typically much more potent, which is why it calls for so much more liqueur.

Because vanilla extract is another flavor of extract, it requires significantly less than an almond-flavored liqueur replacement. For every part almond extract, add two parts vanilla extract to a recipe. Vanilla extract will help the dish achieve the same aromatic warmth as almond extract, though it will be slightly different.