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The fall is now almost over, but one of the best flavors of the season is maple. You may love the taste of this ingredient on pancakes, donuts, cookies, and other desserts. Some individuals even use real maple syrup in their coffee and french toast.
Many recipes that use this flavor use maple extract. During fall, however, it is easy to run out of this ingredient quickly. Thankfully, there are a variety of substitutes that you likely already have in your pantry. Continue reading below to learn more.
Table of Contents
- Origins of the Use of Maple Flavoring
- What is Maple Extract?
- How to Make Maple Extract
- How to Make Fenugreek Extract
- Maple Extract Substitute Examples
- Find Alternative Ideas for Maple Extract
Origins of the Use of Maple Flavoring
The first people to use the sap from maple trees were the indigenous tribes found in the northeastern regions of North America. Through the years, many legends came about to describe how these individuals used the ingredient.
Most agree, however, that the tribal people cooked venison in maple syrup instead of water when serving food to the chief. When European explorers made their way to North America, the indigenous families taught them their ways. The first indication of cooking with maple syrup in a record came from Andre Thevet in 1557.
What is Maple Extract?
Maple extract is a popular ingredient used in baking as an alternative to pure maple syrup or sugar. It comes from a process in which manufacturers evaporate sap from Sugar Maple trees if authentic.
There is also imitation maple extract. This ingredient is a byproduct of propylene glycol, so most agree that it is best to use the pure form. Authentic maple extract will have the strong, sweet flavor you need.
How to Make Maple Extract
You can make your own maple extract rather than purchase it. After following the steps in the recipe found below, let the mixture sit for six weeks. This process will give the purest flavor.
- Measure out a cup of 100% pure maple syrup.
- Pour in a cup of vodka.
- Let the mixture sit for the six weeks you need for a strong flavor.
How to Make Fenugreek Extract
Some individuals choose to make fenugreek extract because it has a very similar flavor to maple. The process is just as simple, as seen in the steps below.
- Stir fenugreek seeds in a pan for five minutes.
- Grind the seeds.
- Heat a cup of vodka and a dash of vanilla extract on the stovetop, stopping the mixture right before it reaches the boiling point.
- Add the ground fenugreek seeds and the alcohol mixture to a jar and store it in the dark.
Maple Extract Substitute Examples
1. Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is the most obvious substitute for maple extract. As mentioned earlier, you can make the latter out of this ingredient.
Maple syrup is much more affordable than extract. You will not immediately achieve the same level of flavor as you would with maple extract, however.
If you do make a substitute with real maple syrup, use double the amount of extract you need. Only use a 100% pure ingredient, however. You do not want the added chemicals and sweeteners if you want to get close to the same level of flavor that exists in maple extract.
2. Maple Candy
If you are careful when using it, maple candy makes another good substitute for the extract. Make sure you use a product that has a high maple syrup concentration.
To use maple candy as a substitute, you will need to melt it on a stovetop. Use the same amount as what your recipe asks for in maple extract.
Before you add in the melted maple candy, taste it. Ensure that you enjoy the flavor, as that is what will come through in your creation. Since maple candy is typically sweet, this substitute may be best for desserts or pancakes.
3. Maple Butter
If you take the time to melt maple butter, you can use it to substitute maple extract. It has rich fat content, making it best for lighter desserts like cookies or fudge.
You will achieve the general flavor of maple in your recipe. It will not show up as strong, however.
When adding in the melted maple butter, you will use the same quantity required for the extract in the recipe. You do not want your dessert or dish to be too fatty. This type of content can harm the texture of your dessert.
Molasses is a powerful ingredient when you taste it on its own. It almost has a bitter flavor that repulses many people. When you add molasses to a dessert, however, it gives off a maple-like flavor.
Molasses is a very thick product, meaning it is harder to mix in than maple extract. You will still use the same amount that the recipe lists.
Molasses is an ingredient that is up to your personal preferences, however. You only want to add the amount that you are comfortable with since it has a strong taste. Add less if the ingredient is too much for you.
5. Maple-Flavored Coffee Creamer
Maple-flavored coffee creamer is another substitute for maple extract that you will need to use correctly. It is best for liquid desserts like frozen coffees, puddings, and other toppings.
You can add coffee creamer to your recipe for a solid dessert, however. It will create a batter that is much less firm, so do prepare yourself.
When you want to follow a recipe using this substitute, you will need to double the amount of maple extract. Doing this step will ensure the flavor comes through in your creation.
6. Vanilla Extract
Believe it or not, vanilla and maple extract have very similar flavor profiles. They both have a sweet and aromatic taste that will enhance any recipe or dessert you create.
When substituting maple extract with vanilla extract, you will use the same amount. Some individuals do notice a slight difference in taste. As long as you are not too picky, however, you will achieve a beautiful flavor profile.
Both vanilla and maple extract are great ingredients, however. They will last you for months as only a minute amount equates to a lot of flavors.
7. Almond Extract
Almond extract is another possible replacement for maple extract in your favorite recipes. The flavors are much more different than those when you use vanilla extract, however.
If you only use almond extract, you will achieve the sweetness you want. This ingredient will also give your dessert a nutty flavor, however. Many cooks and bakers combine almond extract with honey to enhance the sweetness.
Almond extract is another ingredient that you have to experiment with to get the perfect amount. You must not put it in your dough or mixture until you know you have the flavor profile you need. If the sweetness of almond extract is not strong enough, for instance, add more honey.
8. Brown Sugar
If you enjoy baking, you likely have brown sugar in your pantry. This ingredient will immediately add an added layer of sweetness to any recipe, whether it be a dessert or a side dish like sweet potatoes.
Brown sugar gives off a molasses-like flavor if you do not like the full bitter taste aforementioned. If you use brown sugar in a recipe for a substitute for maple extract, use less white sugar. Using too much of either will create a dessert that is too sweet.
9. Rum Extract
Rum extract does not necessarily pair well with every dessert or recipe that requires maple extract. Both ingredients offer a high level of sweetness, however. You will not have to combine the rum extract with honey to get the perfect level of sweetness.
Maple extract and rum extract also both have a very similar appearance and texture. You can add the same amount of either to any recipe.
If you want to get creative, consider combining the rum extract with vanilla extract. This step will allow for a much more diverse flavor profile that will create a delicious dessert.
10. Agave Syrup
Finally, you can use agave nectar as a substitute for maple extract in any recipe. Many individuals already use this ingredient as a replacement for maple syrup or honey.
When measuring out agave nectar as a substitute for a recipe, you will measure out the same amount as needed for maple syrup. Remember, double the amount of maple extract you would typically include.
Agave syrup is best for breakfast or dessert topping. It is also a good replacement for maple extract in an icing recipe.
Find Alternative Ideas for Maple Extract
There are many other maple extract substitutes besides those listed above. You can use honey on its own, for instance.
All of the options above are strong alternatives to maple extract, however. They offer a similar level of sweetness and texture. You are sure to have a delicious-tasting dessert or recipe in no time.
Can You Use Maple Syrup Instead of Maple Extract?
Maple syrup is one of the most popular substitutes for maple extract. You will need 1/2 to 3/4 a teaspoon of the former to equate to the latter.
Take it slow, however, because maple extract is much more intense than syrup. Make sure you choose 100% pure maple syrup when choosing a substitute.
Can You Make Maple Extract?
You can make maple extract at home. You only need to combine one cup of 100% maple syrup with a cup of vodka. After six weeks, you will have a pure and homemade maple extract for any of your recipes.
What is the Difference between Maple Syrup and Maple Extract?
Maple syrup and maple extract are two completely different ingredients. The latter helps to create the former. Maple extract is the most concentrated form of this flavor.
If you only add maple syrup to a recipe, you put in sweetener mixed with maple extract. Adding maple extract, however, is just the flavor.
Is Maple Extract the Same as Vanilla Extract?
Many individuals substitute vanilla extract with maple extract. The two are not the same, however, but they have the same sweet flavor and aroma.
Maple extract can mimic the flavor that vanilla can give a dessert. When substituting the two, use the same amount as required for the recipe. There is barely a difference between the two.