If you’re one of the many people who love the taste of coconut, you might be disappointed to learn that coconut extract is far from natural.
It’s made by refining coconut oil until it becomes flavorless and colorless.
However, a few substitutes can give your baked goods the same coconut flavor without the use of the extract.
Here are five of the best substitutes for coconut extract.
Keep on reading to find the best one for your needs.
What is Coconut Extract?
Coconut extract is a natural flavoring made from the meat of coconuts.
It is used in many desserts, baking recipes, and savory dishes from Thai and Indian cuisine.
Coconut extract has a sweet, rich flavor similar to that of coconut milk or cream.
Unlike these other ingredients, however, coconut extract is entirely fat-free.
Coconut extract is made by simmering shredded coconut in water until the water takes on a rich, brown color.
The mixture is then strained, and the water is evaporated to create a concentrated extract.
This extract can be added to recipes or used to make coconut-flavored syrup.
Coconut extract can also be found in somebody’s care products, such as lotions and soaps.
Thanks to its pleasant aroma and moisturizing properties, coconut extract can help to soothe and hydrate the skin.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Coconut Extract
Coconut extract is a concentrated flavoring derived from coconuts, commonly used in baking and cooking to add a tropical twist to dishes.
However, if you run out of coconut extract or need a substitute due to dietary restrictions or availability issues, there are several alternatives to consider.
In this guide, we will compare the top 5 substitutes for coconut extract, discussing their key characteristics and suggesting proper ratios to help you find suitable alternatives.
|Substitute||Key Characteristics||Proper Ratio|
|Coconut Oil||Extracted from coconuts, it provides a rich coconut flavor and aroma when used in cooking and baking||Use an equal amount of coconut oil as a substitute for coconut extract|
|Coconut Milk||Creamy liquid extracted from grated coconut flesh, it adds a subtle coconut flavor and richness||Use an equal amount of coconut milk as a substitute for coconut extract|
|Coconut Water||Clear liquid from the inside of young, green coconuts, it has a mild coconut taste||Use an equal amount of coconut water as a substitute for coconut extract|
|Almond Extract||Concentrated almond flavoring, it can provide a nutty and sweet taste to recipes||Use half the amount of almond extract compared to coconut extract|
|Imitation Coconut Extract||Artificially flavored extract designed to mimic the taste of coconut extract||Use an equal amount of imitation coconut extract as a substitute for coconut extract|
Now, let’s dive into each substitute in more detail:
1 – Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has been having a moment lately.
Proponents claim that it can do everything from improving heart health to fighting Alzheimer’s disease.
However, the jury is still out on many of these claims.
However, one certain thing is that coconut oil is a delicious and versatile cooking ingredient.
It has a slightly sweet flavor that enhances both savory and sweet dishes.
In addition, it is relatively stable at high temperatures, making it an ideal choice for frying.
Coconut oil can also be used in place of butter or other oils in baking recipes.
So whether you are looking to boost your health or want to add a new flavor to your cooking, coconut oil is worth trying.
- Key Characteristics: Coconut oil is extracted from coconuts, providing a rich coconut flavor and aroma when used in cooking and baking. It can be a versatile substitute for coconut extract, adding a similar tropical essence.
- Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of coconut oil as a substitute for coconut extract. Adjust the quantity based on personal preference and desired level of coconut flavor.
2 – Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is a delicious, creamy alternative to cow’s milk, rich in vitamins and minerals.
It is made by grating the meat of a mature coconut and then steeping it in hot water.
The resulting liquid is then strained and can be used in place of cow’s milk in many recipes.
Coconut milk is a good source of iron, calcium, and magnesium and contains lauric acid, which has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
Additionally, coconut milk is naturally lactose-free and can therefore be consumed by lactose-intolerant people.
Coconut milk is a great choice for those looking for a healthy, delicious alternative to cow’s milk.
Try it in your morning coffee, or use it in place of cow’s milk in your favorite recipes.
Delicious and nutritious, coconut milk is an excellent addition to any diet.
- Key Characteristics: Coconut milk is a creamy liquid extracted from grated coconut flesh. It adds a subtle coconut flavor and richness to recipes. While it may not have the same concentrated flavor as coconut extract, it can provide a pleasant coconut undertone.
- Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of coconut milk as a substitute for coconut extract. Adjust the quantity based on personal preference and desired level of coconut creaminess.
3 – Coconut Water
Coconut water has long been a popular drink in tropical countries, and its popularity is now spreading to the rest of the world.
Coconut water is the clear liquid from the center of a young, green coconut.
It is naturally sterile and contains a variety of electrolytes, including potassium, sodium, and magnesium.
Coconut water is also a good source of antioxidants and vitamins C and B.
Many people believe that coconut water has numerous health benefits, including improving digestion, regulating blood pressure, and boosting immunity.
Some research even suggests that it may help prevent kidney stones and urinary tract infections.
While more research is needed to confirm these potential health benefits, there is no doubt that coconut water is a delicious and refreshing way to stay hydrated.
- Key Characteristics: Coconut water is the clear liquid found inside young, green coconuts. It has a mild coconut taste and can be used as a refreshing substitute for coconut extract in beverages or light recipes.
- Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of coconut water as a substitute for coconut extract. Adjust the quantity based on personal preference and desired level of coconut hint.
4 – Almond Extract
Almond extract is a concentrated almond flavor made by extracting natural oils from crushed almonds.
It is commonly used in baking to add a rich, nutty flavor to cakes, cookies, and other desserts.
While it is available commercially, many people prefer to make their almond extract at home.
The process is relatively simple and only requires a few ingredients.
First, the almonds are finely ground and then combined with alcohol and water.
This mixture is then stored in a dark, cool place for several weeks to allow the flavors to marry.
The final step is to strain the extract and bottle it for use.
Homemade almond extract has a more intense flavor than the store-bought variety and can be a great addition to any baker’s pantry.
- Key Characteristics: Almond extract is a concentrated almond flavoring that adds a nutty and sweet taste to dishes. While it is not coconut-flavored, it can provide an interesting alternative in recipes that benefit from a hint of nuttiness.
- Proper Ratio: Use half the amount of almond extract compared to coconut extract. Adjust the quantity based on personal preference and desired level of almond essence.
5 – Imitation Coconut Extract
Imitation coconut extract is an inexpensive, sugar-free alternative to pure coconut extract.
It is made from a blend of water, propylene glycol, and flavorings.
While it does not have the same intense flavor as pure coconut extract, it can be used in many recipes that call for coconut extract.
It can also add a hint of coconut flavor to drinks and baked goods.
Because it is so versatile, imitation coconut extract is a great pantry staple for anyone who loves the taste of coconuts.
- Key Characteristics: Imitation coconut extract is an artificially flavored extract designed to mimic the taste of coconut extract. While it may not provide the same depth of flavor, it can be a convenient option when coconut extract is unavailable.
- Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of imitation coconut extract as a substitute for coconut extract. Adjust the quantity based on personal preference and desired level of coconut-like taste.
Coconut extract is a popular ingredient in many desserts, but it can be difficult to find and quite expensive.
Fortunately, there are a few good substitutes that can be used in its place.
Almond extract and imitation coconut extract are all good options.
However, if you want to get the full coconut flavor, you need to use coconut milk or coconut oil.
Add a few drops of the extract to your recipe, and you’ll be able to enjoy the delicious taste of coconut without having to track down the real thing.