What is Maple Extract?
Maple extract is a mixture of alcohol and maple that gives a delightful maple flavor to anything it is added to. It’s a great addition to pancake batter, and other baked goods. Add a little to buttercream frosting, and you’ve got maple frosting.
Making real maple extract at home is not so simple. To make maple extract using real maple, you need commercial equipment. So, an easy alternative is to use fenugreek seeds to make an extract that tastes like maple. Fenugreek tastes very similar to maple when prepared the right way, and, in fact, many companies selling maple extract might use fenugreek to get the maple flavor. Keep reading for easy maple extract substitutes.
Maple Extract Substitutes
1. Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is a no-brainer substitute. You probably already have some, or you can easily buy some at any grocery store. Maple syrup has the same flavor as maple extract, except it may be a little sweeter. When substituting for maple extract, use double the amount in syrup.
2. Maple Sugar
Maple sugar is just maple syrup that has been cooked longer, until it crystalizes into sugar granules. You can buy maple sugar, or make it yourself in about 20 minutes with maple syrup. You can substitute maple sugar for maple extract 1:1.
3. Maple Cream
Another maple extract substitute is maple cream, or sometimes called maple butter, which is like maple syrup but has a richer, fattier taste. Maple cream is just maple syrup that has been boiled so the sugars crystalize. This process transforms maple syrup into a creamy spread. It is not as sweet as maple syrup, but just as flavorful. To use it as a substitute for maple extract, melt down the maple cream, then use it in a 1:1 ratio.
4. Maple Candy
Maple candies could be decent maple extract replacements if you either melt them down, or chop them up into little pieces. The candies are usually just shaped crystalized maple. They could easily be incorporated in desserts to add sweet maple flavor.
Molasses works surprisingly well as a maple extract substitute. Though the flavor is obviously not the same, it still has that sweet, caramelized taste that will work well in whatever maple extract is used. Use the same amount of molasses as you would maple extract.
6. Caramel Extract
Caramel extract may not have the same flavor as maple, but it’s pretty close. Caramel extract can easily be used to replace maple extract, in a 1:1 ratio.
Maple extract is not something that is easy to make at home. In a pinch, the easiest substitute is maple syrup, which is very readily available.