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The 5 Best Substitutes for Anise Extract

Have you ever wondered if there is an extract that can be used to give a licorice or fennel aroma and flavor to your dishes?

Anise extract might just be what you’ve been looking for.

This potent anise flavoring is commonly used in many classic recipes, from cookies and cakes to sauces and beverages.

There may come a time when you don’t have anise extract on hand while cooking.

Fortunately, there are several alternatives that can provide similar results.

To find out what these are, as well as how to use and substitute anise extract, keep reading.

What’s Anise Extract?

Anise extract is a flavoring derived from the essential oils of a plant, also known as aniseed or Pimpinella anisum, native to the Eastern Mediterranean region and parts of Asia.

This popular flavor has attracted people all over the world since ancient times and was used by ancient Greeks to sweeten their wine.

Anise extract has a unique flavor reminiscent of licorice, star anise, fennel, and thyme; it’s earthy and slightly sweet, like a combination of all four flavors with a hint of warmth.

It works well when added to cakes, pies, icings, tea cakes, or muffins for an exotic taste twist.

It adds a unique richness, depth, and complexity to beverages, cakes, ice cream, and other popular desserts.

Additionally, anise is often used to make teas, cookies, and even liqueurs like absinthe or sambuca.

Whether used as an ingredient or on its own, anise extract brings unmistakable flavor to any recipe.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Anise Extract

If you’re looking for a substitute for anise extract, you have quite a few options.

Here are the five best substitutes for anise extract that can be used in baking and cooking.

1 – Pernod

Pernod is a popular liqueur that originated in France, made with a combination of licorice-tasting spices such as anise, fennel, and star anise.

It has a distinctive taste, strong and slightly sweet but still mellow and smooth.

If you ever need to substitute for anise extract when baking, Pernod is a great option.

It has all the flavor without the potency of a concentrated extract, so it won’t overpower the finished dessert.

Just bear in mind that because it is an alcoholic beverage, you might need to adjust the liquids in your recipe when using Pernod instead of extract.

2 – Anise Liqueur

Anise liqueur, also known as Anisette, is an intensely aromatic liqueur made from the sweet-smelling seeds of the anise plant.

The flavor can be described as licorice candy with a hint of peppermint and is often used in relatively small amounts calling for a subtle yet powerful flavor profile.

For those wishing to experience the taste of anise without using alcohol, substitute one teaspoon of anise extract for two tablespoons of anise liqueur in any recipe.

This will ensure that all the rich flavors of this delightful liqueur remain prominent throughout your preparation.

3 – Licorise Extract

Licorice extract has a sweet flavor, yet quite distinct from that of regular sugar.

It is made from licorice root and may be used to flavor desserts, candies, and other food items.

Its taste lends a slightly peppery note to the overall flavor, and it’s commonly found in gin, black beer, and even some types of tobacco.

For those who want to avoid black licorice candy because of its strong taste, licorice extract can be used as an effective substitute for anise extract; simply use half the stated amount of anise extract called for in a recipe and replace it with the same ballpark measurement of the licorice extract.

This substitution will produce a strikingly similar result in terms of flavor.

4 – Licorise Liqueur

Licorice liqueur may have a reputation for being an acquired taste, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying.

This complex digestif is steeped in tradition, formulated with star anise extract and licorice root alongside fennel, citrus, and other herbs.

The result is a powerful flavor that can be perplexing for some yet quite enjoyable to those who acquire the taste.

For anyone looking for an anise-flavor substitute in their cocktails, licorice liqueur makes a great choice.

Don’t be intimidated by its strong flavor–it’s surprisingly smooth and often enjoyed cold over ice or mixed into coffee or espresso-based drinks.

5 – Star Anise

Star Anise is a spice popular in many Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines, usually made from the star-shaped fruit of an evergreen tree.

It is known for its sweet, licorice flavor, often used in combination with other spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg.

To replicate the flavor of anise extract, you can grind or crush some star anise, then mix it into a recipe that calls for anise extract.

You may need to add a bit more of it than what is called for in the recipe to get the desired taste, as star anise tends to have a stronger flavor than standard anise extract.


In conclusion, anise extract is a powerful and difficult-to-replicate flavor, but there are several substitutes that can be used to achieve similar results.

Whether you opt for Pernod, anise liqueur, licorice extract, licorice liqueur, or star anise depends on the recipe and what you are looking for in terms of taste, but all the above-mentioned substitutions can help you recreate the flavor of anise with ease.

With a bit of experimentation, you’ll find the perfect substitute that meets your needs.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Anise Extract

The 5 Best Substitutes for Anise Extract
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Pernod
  • Anise Liqueur
  • Licorise Extract
  • Licorise Liqueur
  • Star Anise


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.

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