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Coconut Extract Substitute (And How To Use Them)

Coconut Extract Substitute (And How To Use Them)

Uh oh! You’re out of coconut extract but need it to finish your recipe. Have no fear, there are a number of substitutes you can use and I’ll let you know what they are.

No matter what you are making, there is a great replacement for coconut extract. I’ve spent a lot of time testing different alternatives and figuring out which one’s provide the best flavor.

So what are the coconut extract substitutes?

The best substitutes for coconut extract are coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut water, almond extract, imitation coconut extract, coconut rum, and vanilla extract.

Depending on what you are making and what you already have available any of these extract alternatives will help you make a delicious dish.

Coconut Extract Replacements

coconut and coconut oil

Coconut extract is a flavoring product that comes from the meat of a coconut. Coconut extract is used in tropical drinks and desserts such as chocolate covered coconuts and coconut cream pie. I often use it when making homemade coconut ice cream! You can find it in specialty stores like Whole Foods and online sites that sell baking supplies such as King Arthur Flour.

But what do you use when you don’t have any? Any of the following coconut extract alternatives will help you make a tasty dessert or coconut beverage.

Coconut Oil

bowl of organic coconut oil

Coconut oil is made from cold-pressed coconut meat and it is a good source of healthy saturated fat. Coconut oil comes from the same plant as coconut extract so the flavor is very similar. It’s one of the best substitutes for coconut extract because it takes just like the real thing.

Because of it’s high melting point, you may have difficulty using it as a substitute in recipes that call for heated extracts. But if you are looking for a completely raw and natural solution then you can use this substitute instead of coconut extract.

Related: Coconut Oil Substitutes

Coconut Milk

coconut milk in pitcher and coconuts

Coconut milk is a sweet, milky liquid made from coconut meat. It’s usually sold in cans, but you can also buy it dried and mix it with water to make your own fresh milk. Coconut milk is thicker and richer then coconut water so when mixed with other ingredients it adds a lot of flavor and body to baking recipes.

Coconut Water

coconut water and sliced coconut

Coconut water has a lot less flavor then coconut milk and it doesn’t have as much fat or calories either. But it still has enough of the sweet taste to act as a great substitute for coconut extract in some dessert recipes.

Related: Coconut Water Substitutes

Almond Extract

almond extract and almonds on table

Almond extract is made from bitter almonds. It has a very sweet almond flavor and it works well as a substitute for coconut extract in baking recipes. Some people find it has a fresher taste then coconut extract, but that depends on what you are using it for. Almond extract is an excellent substitute for chocolate cake recipes or any other recipe that calls for the use of both almond and coconut extracts.

Imitation Coconut Extract

Imitation Coconut Extract bottles

Imitation coconut extract is made from a combination of chemical ingredients and it closely resembles the flavor of real coconut extract. It’s great for making vegan coconut desserts or using in recipes that call for small amounts of coconut extract but you don’t want the full flavor or alcohol content that comes with real coconut extract.

Coconut Rum

Coconut Rum cocktail

Coconut rum is made from the by-products of real rum manufacturing and it has a sweet, mellow flavor. It’s a great substitute for coconut extract in tropical drinks like coconut milk and coconut water.

Pure Vanilla Extract

bottle of vanilla extract

Vanilla extract is made by steeping vanilla beans in alcohol and it has a very strong flavor. It’s popular in many baking recipes because it gives baked goods such as cakes and cookies a complete flavor without using any other flavor ingredients.

Uses For Coconut Extract

Some of the best uses for coconut extract are to add a rich, sweet accent to as well as tropical drinks and desserts. Here are some examples:

Chocolate covered coconuts

Coconut cream pie or ice cream (homemade)

Coconut rum (drinks)

Like I said earlier, any extract alternative will work in recipes that call for coconut extract.

Bottom Line

Coconut extract is one of the most popular and versatile sweet extracts available. It’s flavor is rich with a tropical, sweet taste that works well in many recipes. If you are looking for a substitute to coconut extract I recommend using almond extract, coconut oil or imitation coconut extract.