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If you’re like most home cooks, you probably have a bottle of maple extract in your pantry. But what do you do if you run out or can’t find it? There are plenty of substitutes for maple extract or flavoring, but not all of them work well. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to find the best substitute for maple extract and give you a few ideas to get started. Happy cooking!
What is Maple Extract?
Maple extract or maple flavoring is a natural flavoring made from the sap of the maple tree. It has a sweet, woodsy flavor that is often used in baking and cooking. Unlike other extracts, maple extract is not made from concentrated syrup or sugar. Instead, it is made by boiling down the sap to remove water and then concentrating the remaining flavors.
This process creates a concentrated, highly-flavored extract that can add a unique depth of flavor to many dishes. While it is most commonly used in sweet recipes, maple extract can also be used to add a touch of sweetness to savory dishes or sauces. Whether you’re looking to enhance the flavor of your favorite recipes or create new culinary masterpieces, maple extract is a versatile ingredient that will surely add something special to your kitchen creations.
Maple Extract Substitutes
In this section, I go over as many alternatives that have maple flavor. This is for those recipes that are specific about having that flavor. If the flavor is not a big deal and you just want to swap the extract for a different one. Then head to the next section and check out the extracts I recommend.
Maple syrup is a sweet, viscous liquid made from the sap of maple trees. It is harvested in early spring when the sap is running high and the days are warm enough to evaporate some of the water content. Maple syrup is a great way to add that beautiful maple flavor to your recipe or dish. The thing you have to keep in mind is the sweetness level and liquid ratio when using it as an extract substitute. This is common with other liquid sweeteners like honey or agave.
For example, if you were making a maple latte, you could skip the simple syrup and maple extract and just use maple syrup. But you might have more complex recipes that involve baking. This is where liquid ratios play a big role. Use your best judgment and always start with a small amount and add as needed.
Maple sugar is a type of sugar that is made from the sap of maple trees. The sap is collected from the tree and then boiled down to concentrate the sugars. Maple sugar has a unique flavor that is often used in baking or as a topping for pancakes and waffles (YUM). It can also be used as a substitute for brown sugar or other types of sweeteners.
While maple sugar is not as commonly used as other types of sugar, it can be a great way to add that wonderful maple flavor and not have to worry about throwing off your liquid ratio like maple syrup.
Maple butter is a type of spread made from boiled-down maple syrup and other ingredients. It has a smooth, creamy texture and a rich, sweet flavor. Maple butter can be used in a variety of ways, including on toast, pancakes, waffles, or even as a frosting for cakes or cupcakes. It can also be used in savory dishes, such as roasted meats or vegetables. Making it a GREAT sub for maple syrup extract!
Maple butter can be found in grocery stores or online, and it is relatively easy to make at home. To make maple butter, simply boil maple syrup, butter, and a bit of cinnamon until it thickens, and then blend it until it achieves a smooth consistency (optional). Once made, maple butter will keep for several months if stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Maple cream is the simple sister of maple butter. While maple butter uses additional ingredients, maple cream is simply maple syrup heated until it thickens and then cooled until it forms a spreadable consistency. Maple cream has a smooth, creamy texture and a rich maple flavor as well. It would work like a charm for subbing out maple extract.
Maple candy is a type of confectionary that is made from boiled maple syrup. It is a traditional treat in many parts of North America, and it can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes. The texture of maple candy ranges from hard and crunchy to soft and chewy, and the flavor is both sweet and slightly bitter.
Maple candy is often used as a topping for desserts or as a standalone treat. It can also be added to hot beverages such as coffee or tea. For many people, maple candy is a reminder of the unique flavor of maple syrup. And that’s exactly why it made it on this list.
Now, because this is a candy, the application will not work as a maple extract replacement for some recipes. But it can for many, especially ones that involve a liquid where you can steep the candy so it can release its flavor.
Maple Coffee Creamer or Syrup
Maple has become a popular flavor for beverages. Many brands now sell maple-flavored coffee creamers, and even coffee syrup brands like Torani sell maple flavors. The difference between these and just using maple syrup is that these creamers and coffee syrups are a more concentrated flavor. So, you can use a little and get that punch of maple flavor.
Using Other Extracts As A Substitute for Maple Extract
If you don’t care if the recipe you are making has a maple flavor and are willing to swap it with a different extract, then these are some of the best replacements that should complement your recipe well. You can usually do a 1:1 swap with these.
You can’t go wrong with vanilla. It’s a classic and compliments many dishes, especially sweets. It’s a softer flavor than maple. So, if you are looking for a more unique take, try one of the others or even add two. For example, vanilla and rum or vanilla and almond.
Rum extract is another great option! It brings depth and richness like maple but without the worry about the alcohol. It’s a great extract to have and use.
One of my favorite extracts to have around is caramel. It has a distinct flavor, but it tends to work well where maple would go. Almost like a distant cousin, “hey, we look alike, but we’re different!“
Almond extract is one of those that can skyrocket a recipe into tastebud heaven or take it to the depths of “what’s that weird flavor??” Some ingredients pair well with almonds, while others do not so much. The flavor hunt has an amazing list of things that work great with almonds. Check it out here: What Goes With Almond 34 Amazing Almond Pairings For You To Try
My Final Thoughts on Maple Extract Alternatives
In this post, we shared a few different substitutes for maple extract. If you are looking for a replacement and don’t care if the recipe has maple flavor, then vanilla extract or rum extract would be good options.
If you want to stick with that maple flavor, then maple syrup, maple butter, and others will be your best bet! No matter what you decide, my hope is that your recipe comes out delicious! Happy Cooking!