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Strawberry extract is commonly used in baking, whether it’s for strawberry cupcakes, muffins, or doughs that require strong strawberry flavors. So when you’re all out of strawberry extract, you’re probably wondering what is there for you to use instead. Sometimes the substitutes are as simple as a jar of strawberry jam! In this article, we’ll reveal some interesting and tasteful strawberry extract substitutes that can be used for all purposes.
Table of Contents
What is Strawberry Extract?
Strawberry extract is a combination of natural juice concentrate from fresh-picked strawberries, along with additional ingredients such as alcohol, water, or sugar. It’s made from the berries’ sweet and tangy juices by extracting them to get an even more concentrated taste. Despite the presence of some other elements in strawberry extract, it still manages to impart a sweet, juicy, and slightly sour taste, coupled with its beautiful dark red color. When added to dishes such as cakes and pastries (especially those made with whipped cream), it will turn an attractive pink shade.
How to Make Strawberry Extract?
Many people prefer to make their own homemade strawberry extract because it can be difficult to find pure extracts that do not contain artificial flavors. You can easily make your very own homemade pure strawberry extract using alcohol or none at all!
The first step is to prepare your ingredients and tools, which include fresh strawberries, sugar, water, pan, cheesecloth, funnel, and dropper bottle. Chop your strawberries into small pieces, then put them in a pan with water and sugar. Cook for about 20 minutes on low heat until the mixture thickens slightly (a sign of its progress). Allow the mixture to cool completely before using a cheesecloth to filter out any lingering solids from the mixture (this will leave behind only liquid). Lastly, pour your filtered extract into a bottle using a funnel and store it in a cool, dry place until ready for use!
What Can I Use Instead of Strawberry Extract?
You might not always have strawberry extract in your pantry when you need it. But don’t worry! There are many alternatives that will work just as well. If you can’t find your special vial of strawberry extract, try one of these options:
- Vanilla Extract
- Strawberry Candy Oil
- Cherry Extract
- Almond Extract
- Lemon Extract
- Strawberry Syrup
- Strawberry Jam
- Raspberry Extract
Vanilla extract is the best strawberry flavoring substitute that you can easily find in any baker’s basket. This is because it also imparts a sweet scent and gentle taste that is almost identical to the strawberry fragrance found in the strawberry extract. Additionally, vanilla extract is present in almost all pastries to amplify and elevate the aroma of the main ingredients in baked goods. You only need to add a few droplets of this sweet extract, and you can freshen up your cake.
Strawberry Candy Oil
Strawberry flavored candy oil can be used to replace strawberry extract in any baking recipe. You can also use it to flavor cocktails, ice creams, fudge, and more! Strawberry-flavored candy oils tend to have a very potent strawberry taste. One or two drops are all you need to get that strong berry flavor. You should only use strawberry oils to replace strawberry extract in baking and cooking applications.
Cherry extract is made from the juice of cherries, which explains why it’s so tasty. It’s also used in baking and in a variety of cocktails, but its main use is to give your cake a sweet and slightly sour taste, which makes it a great strawberry substitute.
Also, like strawberry extract, cakes with cherry extract will provide a sweet taste followed by an attractive tartness – however, unlike strawberry extract, you don’t have to worry about making sure your cake has enough sugar. If cherry pies are delicious, cherry cakes will be even better. If you want your pastries to be extra juicy, try using this extract in place of vanilla or lemon extracts when baking pastries next time.
Next up is almond extract. This is another great substitute for strawberry extract. Almond extracts tend to provide lighter, sugary flavors akin to almond macaroons. You can add a couple of drops to your pastry for a slight, intense savory flavor that will enhance the sweetness of other ingredients.
If you’re looking for an alternative to strawberry extract, consider using lemon extract. It’s a citrusy extract made from the rind of lemons and is normally used in many varieties of cakes and pastries. Lemon extract has a great citrus flavor that elevates the taste of any dessert.
If you are making something with fresh strawberries, the lemon extract will enhance that taste even more. If you’re trying to replace strawberry extract with lemon extract since it is so fruity, keep in mind that both extracts have distinct tastes: while strawberries are sweet and fruity, lemons are sour, so they happen to complement each other very well.
Strawberry syrup is perhaps one of the most popular substitutes for strawberry extract. It’s often used to give drinks a strong, sweet strawberry flavor without any alcohol inclusion. Much like many other syrups, it comes in both regular and diet varieties – and both of these types will add a lot of sweetness to your drink recipes. You may want to reduce or eliminate some of the sugar from your original recipe if you choose to use the strawberry syrup as an alternative.
If you’re an extract-hater like me and just can’t stand the artificial flavor of synthetic extracts but still want to whip up a batch of strawberry-flavored treats, then the strawberry jam is the perfect solution. Strawberry jam has a concentrated, natural strawberry flavor that is incredibly delicious in cakes and desserts. It will also add a pretty blush of color to your baked goods. Use a tablespoon of strawberry jam to replace a teaspoon of extract; this will give you enough flavor without overpowering your recipe with sweetness (which could cause problems if you’re baking something sweet).
Raspberry extract is a little harder to find than strawberry extract, but it’s still relatively easy to find online. It’s just as sweet, just as pink and fruity, and it smells so good that you’ll be inclined to eat it straight out of the bottle! If you want to give your baked goods and cocktails a fresh, flavourful boost with all-natural ingredients instead of artificial flavors or dyes, then raspberry extract might be your go-to replacement for strawberry extract.
Strawberry Emulsion Substitute
Strawberry Emulsion is an easy substitute for strawberry extract. If you don’t have any on hand, it’s well worth the effort to make your own emulsion. Emulsions are superior to extracts because they contain suspended particles of fruit and not just the flavor molecules that come from distilling alcohol. When subjected to heat in a recipe (like heating up a cake batter or filling), emulsions won’t bake out like extracts might do, so you end up with a better flavor in your baked cake, pastries, etc. Use these substitutions:
- Mint Extract
- Coffee Extract
For those who want to re-create the flavor of strawberry emulsion in their own kitchens, the mint extract is an excellent alternative. Mint extract has a refreshing and cooling taste that pairs well with chocolate and vanilla ice cream, as well as cookies. It can also be used to make desserts like mint chocolate chip cake or brownies.
Coffee Emulsion is a great substitute for Strawberry Emulsion. These extracts are very similar in terms of flavor and consistency; however, the coffee emulsion will appear much darker in color than the strawberry emulsion. Your finished cakes or cookies will look different as well since they will be an amber brown rather than pink or red. Coffee Emulsion is also a great way to accentuate desserts with rich coffee flavor without actually using any coffee or espresso. The extract is particularly good for chocolate creations because it brings out the chocolatey notes in any recipe you use it with.
Recipe Ideas to try
Here are some recipes that require the inclusion of strawberry extract but will work just as well with some of the alternatives listed above:
- Strawberry Fudge
- Strawberry Cheesecake
- Red Velvet Cheesecake
- Strawberry Chocolate Chip Chia Pudding
Strawberry fudge is a delicious dessert that requires the use of both strawberry extract and vanilla extract. It’s a fun dessert for kids, and it can be used as an edible centerpiece at parties.
If you have a recipe that calls for strawberry extract and is all out, don’t panic. You can use cherry or strawberry jam instead. It will give your dish a different flavor, but the end result will still be delicious. This cheesecake is topped with fresh strawberries that are creamy, decadent, and simply scrumptious.
Red Velvet Cheesecake
Red velvet cheesecake is a tasty dessert that you can enjoy year-round. All you need to make this delicious treat are two red velvet cake mixes (one for the cake and one for the cheesecake), heavy cream, sour cream, and cheese.
Strawberry Chocolate Chip Chia Pudding
With its bright red hue, this chia pudding is a fun way to get your daily dose of strawberry extract. It’s also an exciting breakfast option that delivers the taste, texture, and health benefits you’d expect from a strawberry extract without being too overpowering.
For this recipe, we used plain full-fat yogurt paired with non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt. If you’re looking for something decadent without all the sugar or fat of traditional chocolate chip cookies, try this pudding instead.
Strawberry Extract Substitutes
We hope you enjoyed learning about these substitutes for strawberry extract. While they may not all work in every situation, there is sure to be one that will work for whatever you are trying to make. Feel free to experiment with different extracts and see what works best for you!
Can I use strawberry syrup instead of strawberry extract?
Strawberry syrup is a great choice to substitute for strawberry extract. This syrup is generally a lot sweeter than strawberry extract, so be mindful of this when adding it.
How can I make strawberry extract?
Press the strawberries a bit so that they fit in the jar, and pour the alcohol into the jar so that the strawberries are completely immersed in the alcohol. Make sure that there is about an inch of alcohol above the strawberries. Close the lid of the jar and store it in a cool dark place for around 8 weeks.
Does strawberry extract taste like strawberries?
Strawberry extract smells of alcohol, and the taste is a super mild strawberry.