What is Strawberry Extract?
Strawberry extract is a mixture of usually alcohol, and strawberries, usually added to food or drink to infuse a strong strawberry flavor. It’s made by soaking strawberries in alcohol to extract that flavor from them. Strawberry extract can easily be made at home, it just takes some time for the mixture to soak and infuse. In case you need a strawberry extract substitute in a pinch, these substitutes will surely be adequate and impart the bright taste of strawberry that you’re seeking.
Strawberry Extract Substitutes
1. Freeze-Dried Strawberries
Freeze-dried strawberries are a great choice because when ground into a powder, they have just as intense of flavor as the extract. They are fairly inexpensive and really mimic the flavor of strawberry extract very well. Freeze-dried strawberries can be substituted 1:1 for the extract.
2. Strawberry Puree
If you happen to have fresh or frozen strawberries on hand, you can easily whip up a strawberry puree. It’s a fast, easy way to get all the flavor of strawberry extract. This recipe is a good one, and it can substituted easily for the extract. I would use a little more puree than the amount of extract called for, because it probably won’t be as intense. It’s hard to give exact measurements because the puree can vary so much in intensity.
3. Strawberry Jam
Strawberry jam is something you will likely have in your pantry, or can easily be found in any grocery store. You can add it as is, or even mix it with some water to make it into more of a liquid.
4. Strawberry Syrup
Strawberry syrup is another great choice to substitute strawberry extract. These syrups are usually a lot sweeter than strawberry extract though, so be aware of that when adding it. Syrup can be substituted in a 1:1 ratio as the extract.
5. Strawberry Liqueur
If you happen to have some strawberry flavored liqueur on hand, it’s a pretty close match to strawberry extract. It’s pretty much made of the same components as the real extract: alcohol and strawberry flavor. This substitute is more expensive and harder to come by though, which is why it’s last on this list.
6. Lemon Extract
Lemon extract will provide the best results for finicky baking recipes that need precise ingredient measurements. Other substitutes like strawberry puree or syrup are not as concentrated as an extract is and will require a larger volume of the ingredient added to the recipe, as well as add more sweetness. This can seriously ruin the ratio of ingredients in a recipe, leading to an imbalanced flavor and wrong texture. Lemon extract of course cannot recreate the strawberry flavor of the original recipe but if you are okay with that, it’s more likely to be a successful substitute.
7. Almond Essence
Almond essence is a low risk substitute that is fairly neutral in flavor. It is a great choice if you want just want to add complexity and depth in flavor without changing your recipe too much. Almond essence can taste warm and compliments most other sweet flavors, especially fruit flavors and creamy desserts.
If you’d rather make strawberry extract yourself, check out this DIY recipe below:
Strawberry ExtractCourse: food and recipesCuisine: dessertDifficulty: Easy
Making strawberry extract yourself is easy! It just takes some time to let it steep. But you will be rewarded for your patience with a fresh and flavorful extract!
- Mash the chopped strawberries with the sugar. Put mixture in jar and cover with vodka. Make sure the strawberries are completely submergedAdd more vodka if they are not completely covered.
- Store jar in a cool, dark place for up to 8 weeks. Swish the jar gently occasionally.
- After the 8 weeks, strain the strawberries out, and you’re left with strawberry extract!