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What’s The Best Maple Extract Substitute For Baking & Cooking?

There are some maple extract substitutes to use in baking and dessert making.

The maple extract’s flavor is hard to miss so it’s a common ingredient in many delicious food recipes.

It’s more concentrated than maple syrup so you would need twice as much syrup to get this intensity.

If you have neither maple extract nor syrup, don’t worry! I’ll tell your everything about similar ingredients that can work as maple extract substitutes.

What's The Best Maple Extract Substitute For Baking & Cooking featured image | Girl Meets Food

What’s maple extract?

Concentrated maple sap is boiled down to create a flavored liquid called maple extract. It’s often used to give food a distinctive maple flavor, and its rich, sweet flavor makes it a popular ingredient in baking and cooking.

Adding that signature maple taste to pancakes, waffles, baked goods, and desserts is easy with a few drops of maple essence.

Maple extract and maple syrup are not the same things! It’s true that maple syrup is similar, but the flavor of pure maple extract is far stronger.

Best maple extract substitutes

4 bottles of maple syrup stand on a wooden surface | Girl Meets Food

Find your best substitute for maple extract with these ideas:

  • Maple Syrup

The taste of maple syrup is a little different, but it still provides the same beautiful maple flavor.

You may need to change the amount of sugar in your recipe as real maple syrup is significantly sweeter.

I often use maple syrup in recipes that call for maple extract. It allows me to cut back on sugar and other sweeteners.

  • Maple candy

If you don’t have maple extract or syrup, a good alternative is to use maple candy. This will give your dish a strong and delicious maple flavor.

Be mindful of the sugar content in these candies. You may need to use less sugar for your recipe in this case.

  • Maple butter

This spreadable substance is often used as a topping for pancakes, waffles, and baked goods.

It provides the same rich but sweeter flavor of maple syrup. Keep in mind that this consistency may not work in all recipes.

I love using maple butter as a dipping for French toast or waffles. It adds a sweet touch allowing me to use less sugar.

  • Maple flavoring

Maple flavoring can be used instead of real maple extract in many recipes, despite its lack of authenticity. This liquid flavoring mimics the maple taste with artificial or natural ingredients.

There can be a lot of synthetic chemicals as part of it, so it’s best to check the ingredient list before you buy it.

I used maple flavoring to make ice cream. It was super easy to put together and delicious!

  • Maple creamer

Are you a coffee-lover? If so, you can use maple creamer as an alternative to maple extract.

This creamy liquid adds that distinct sweet flavor of maple syrup to your drink. It has the same taste as real maple extract but with more sweetness.

  • Vanilla Extract

To replace maple extract, vanilla extract works well. It won’t replace the authentic flavor of maple extract in your dish, but it will add a complementary flavor profile.

But remember that vanilla extract is far stronger than maple extract, so use it with caution.

I like maple-vanilla combos in pies and cupcakes. I tried skipping maple extract in those recipes and they still tasted amazing with vanilla only.

  • Caramel extract

Another fantastic alternative to maple extract is caramel extract. Similar in taste, it may provide depth and sweetness to your cooking.

It’s important to remember that caramel extract has a stronger flavor than maple extract.

I used caramel extract instead of maple extract to make maple-glazed cookies. They tasted amazing!

  • Butter pecan extract

Pancakes and waffles, in particular, benefit from the use of butter pecan extract as a replacement for maple extract. It shares a similar flavor profile and can replace the nutty flavor in your dish.

  • Rum extract

Rum extract is also a great alternative to maple extract. It adds a nice depth of flavor to pancakes, waffles, muffins, and other baked goods.

  • Almond extract

Almond extract is another great substitute for maple extract. It has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor, which works well in many recipes.

I used almond extract in place of maple extract to make my pancakes taste delicious!

  • Brown sugar

Brown sugar can be used in place of maple extract to provide a caramel-like flavor and sweetness to baked items. It’s not quite the same as pure maple extract, but it’s handy to have around all the same.

  • Molasses

The maple flavoring in baked beans and gingerbread, for example, can be replaced with molasses. While it won’t give your food the signature maple taste as pure extract does, this syrup might still be a tasty addition.

  • Cinnamon

Recipes asking for maple essence can have the same warm, sweet taste achieved by substituting cinnamon.

It’s not a one-to-one replacement for maple extract, but it works wonderfully as a substitute in certain foods.

I like combining maple syrup and cinnamon in some recipes. For example, I make overnight baked apple oats using both of these flavorings.

  • Agave nectar

Agave nectar is a natural sweetener with a mild maple flavor. It’s not as strong as maple extract, but it can still provide sweetness and flavor to dishes that are calling for the presence of maple essence.

  • Honey

Honey can give your dish some of the sweetness you’d get from maple extract. It’s not an exact replacement, but still a good substitute.

Maple extract substitute FAQs

Maple syrup production on a fire | Girl Meets Food
Where is maple extract used?

Maple extract is used in making pancakes, waffles, baked goods and sweets.

Are some substitutes for maple extract better than maple extract?

Depending on the dish, a different extract may be better than maple extract.

Recipes calling for a caramel flavor can benefit from brown sugar, while those calling for a warm, sweet flavor can use cinnamon.

Is maple extract healthy?

Yes, maple extract has some potential health benefits.

It provides some essential antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. At the same time, it can be high in sugar and calories so it’s best to use it in moderation.

What’s the difference between maple extract and maple syrup?

Maple extract is a more concentrated form of syrup.

Maple syrup is merely the boiled-down sap, whereas maple extract is manufactured by boiling it down to concentrate its taste and fragrance.

Can I make homemade maple syrup?

Yes, you can make homemade maple syrup. All you need is maple tree sap and a stove top to boil it down until you achieve the consistency of syrup.

How did it go? I hope you liked all these incredible substitutes for maple extract. I also have more extract replacements, like strawberry extract replacements!

BOTTOM LINE: maple syrup, maple butter, vanilla extract, caramel extract, butter pecan extract and many more can replace maple syrup in baking and cooking. These ingredients add a signature flavor to baked goods, desserts and other dishes.

Are you looking for more general replacement ideas? Check out these best kale substitutes, green onion alternatives and mint substitutes!

In addition, if you’re following a plant-based diet it might be useful to check whether Maruchan ramen noodles are vegan and Mission flour tortillas are vegan!