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The 5 Best Substitutes for Coffee Extract

Have you ever wondered how to make your recipes truly stand out?

Coffee Extract is an easy and delicious way to enhance the flavor of both savory and sweet dishes.

Using this strong yet subtle ingredient brings intense coffee flavor without the bitterness that comes with using brewed coffee.

But what if you don’t have any around? Learning how to substitute coffee extract and discovering the five best substitutes for it are great ways to create a different flavor profile in your cooking without having to buy it.

What’s Coffee Extract?

Coffee extract is a concentrated form of brewed coffee.

Its origin dates back to the 17th century when coffee was boiled in large quantities for hours until it was reduced down to a concentrate.

This old-fashioned preparation gave the coffee a more intense flavor that has continued to the present day.

The coffee extract has a robust and bitter taste with notes of nuttiness, chocolate, and smokiness, depending on the type of beans used.

Though you cannot drink it as is and need to mix it with some water or milk, coffee extract can be used in many recipes ranging from cookies and cakes to savory sauces and braises.

Whether mixed in drinks or included in baked goods, coffee extract adds richness and complexity to any dish.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Coffee Extract

If you’re looking for something to replace your daily cup of coffee extract, there are plenty of great options.

Here are five of the best alternatives:

1 – Instant Espresso Powder

For those looking for a quick and convenient way to make espresso without the hassle of a machine or other time-consuming methods, instant espresso powder is the answer.

Rich flavor packed in a fine powder, it packs the effect of many intense shots of freshly brewed espresso into one simple teaspoon, meaning you can enjoy your favorite coffee beverage any time with minimal effort.

Unlike regular instant coffee, this form of espresso delivers an intense and bold flavor accompanied by an exquisite aroma – ideal for both baking and beverages.

As an added convenience, it can be used as an addition to normal ground coffee beans when making espresso to further bolster its flavor i.e., substitute 1 teaspoon of instant espresso powder for one tablespoon of regular coffee extract for more prominently-flavored drinks.

2 – Coffee Liqueur

Coffee liqueur provides an excellent flavor to a variety of recipes.

The taste of this delightful addition is unmistakable coffee in nature, but it often has significantly more depth and does not have the same bitterness as regular filter-drip coffee.

Coffee liqueur can make an incredible substitution for things like a coffee extract in recipes.

It should be noted that it should not be made as a replacement for regular espresso or filter coffees, as it is significantly sweeter than those.

The coffee liqueur has a subtle sweetness to it that makes it incredibly enjoyable by itself or when included in baked goods and cocktails.

3 – Espresso + Vanilla Mixture

Espresso and vanilla are a delectable combination for coffee lovers.

This mixture is often used to add complex flavor notes to coffee drinks, desserts, and other culinary recipes.

The espresso creates a deep and bold taste while the vanilla adds sweetness – resulting in a silky smooth flavor.

If you’re making a recipe that calls for coffee extract, simply substitute equal parts espresso and vanilla in its place.

You’ll soon find that this flavorful blend adds something special to any dish.

4 – Carob Powder

Carob powder has been used throughout history to create a delicious and nutritious treat.

Its taste is a bit like cocoa, with a sweet but slightly sharp flavor that is unmistakable.

You can use carob powder as a substitute for coffee extract, which gives it an interesting mocha-like quality that makes regular desserts and baked goods more interesting.

Simply blend the carob powder into your favorite recipes using a standard recipe measure and enjoy some of the health benefits and great taste this unique product offers.

5 – Coffee + Sugar Mix

Sugar and coffee can be a tantalizing combination.

From sweet Turkish delights to dirt-cheap instant coffees, sugar adds a unique sweetness that is hard to resist.

For those who appreciate the occasional mix of sugar and coffee but don’t have time for energy-consuming recipes, there’s an easy way to substitute regular coffee extract with the ever-delicious sugary solution.

All it takes is two teaspoons of regular granulated sugar or other flavored variations whisked into hot water instead of your usual espresso shot to kickstart your day and embark on any adventure.


In conclusion, coffee extract is an excellent ingredient for any number of recipes, but there are many ways to substitute it with other flavorful ingredients.

Instant espresso powder, coffee liqueur, espresso and vanilla mixtures, carob powder, and a mix of coffee and sugar are all viable options for those looking for alternatives.

Depending on what you’re doing with the recipe, you may find yourself experimenting with different flavors to find the perfect balance between your taste and your desired outcome.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Coffee Extract

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


  • Instant Espresso Powder
  • Coffee Liqueur
  • Espresso + Vanilla Mixture
  • Carob Powder
  • Coffee + Sugar Mix


  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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