9 Best Rum Extract Substitutes

Rum extract is used to make alcoholic beverages and baked goods. It is a type of flavoring that can be used as a substitute for alcohol when making baked goods.

It is commonly used when making Jamaican Rum Cake, which is usually served on special occasions like Christmas or birthdays.

But what happens when you run out of rum extract and need to make your favorite cake recipe? You don’t have to miss out on any more baking fun because of lack of ingredients – I’ve got some awesome suggestions right here.

There are plenty of rum extract substitutes that will work just as well in your recipe, so you can still enjoy those delicious cakes.

9 Best Rum Extract Substitutes

The best substitutes for rum extract are vanilla extract and rum. You can also use bourbon, tequila, and coffee extract as rum substitutes for baking recipes.

So, if you don’t have rum extract on hand, these substitutes will do the job in a pinch.

1. Rum

White Rum

Rum is a delicious and versatile drink that can be used as a substitute of rum extract in many recipes.

Rum is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented sugarcane juice or molasses. It is then distilled and aged in oak barrels. There are different types to choose from, such as white rum, dark spiced rum, or coconut rum; each one will add its own flavor profile to your dish.

Substitute rum extract with rum that matches the flavor profile of your dish. For every 1 tbsp of rum extract use 3 tbsp of light rum or 2.5 tbsp of dark rum.

2. Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract can be used in many recipes that call for rum extract to add flavor and sweetness.

Vanilla extract is produced from the vanilla bean, which is simply a cured pod from an orchid plant. It is a sweet and fragrant liquid used as a flavoring for many kinds of dishes such as desserts, beverages, and baked goods.

It is usually best to use imitation vanilla extract because it has a similar taste but with less sugar content than real vanilla extract does. Imitation extracts are widely available at most supermarkets, so you should have no problem finding this substitute.

When using vanilla extract as rum extract substitute, measure the amount stated in the recipe and add an equal amount of vanilla extract to your dish. It’s that simple!

3. Tequila

Tequila can be used as a rum extract substitute in many recipes because of its flavor profile that resembles rum extract.

Similar to rum, the process of producing tequila starts with the fermentation of a plant product. The first and most important ingredient in making tequila is blue agave that has to be cooked and distilled into a liquid called “pina”.

Tequila usually comes in either gold or white color depending on how long it was aged. Tequila can be used as a substitute for rum in many recipes that call for the distinctive taste of rum.

To substitute rum extract with tequila, measure the amount called for in the recipe and use double the amount of tequila instead.

4. Bourbon


Bourbon is another alcoholic beverage that you can use as a substitute for rum extract in your recipes. Bourbon has a flavor profile that resembles but is slightly different from rum, so it will add a unique taste to your dish.

Bourbon is a type of American whiskey with distinct caramel and vanilla notes. It gets its taste and amber color from the mash that consists of at least 51% corn. There are many types to choose from: Kentucky straight bourbon, Tennessee whiskey, and blended bourbon to name a few.

To substitute rum extract with bourbon, measure the amount called for in the recipe and use double the amount of bourbon instead.

5 . Cognac

Cognac can be used as a rum extract substitute in many recipes because of its intense flavor.

Cognac is a grape brandy distilled from wine grapes grown in France, specifically within the Cognac region. The best cognacs are aged in oak barrels that give them their golden color and unique flavor.

To substitute rum extract with cognac, measure the amount called for in the recipe and use the same or slightly more amount of cognac instead.

6. Coffee Extract

Coffee extract is another ingredient you can use to substitute rum extract in your recipes. It has a distinct taste but without the powerful alcohol content found in booze.

Coffee extract is a concentrated, sweet, and dark liquid that turns into syrup when mixed with water. It can be used in making various drinks and desserts such as coffee cake or tiramisu.

To substitute rum extract with coffee extract, just use the same amount as the rum extract in the recipe.

7. Orange Liqueur

Grand Marnier Substitutes

Orange liqueur can also be used as a substitute for rum extract. It is a sweetened distilled spirit that is flavored with oranges. Orange liqueur is a sweet and tangy alcoholic beverage, which adds color and flavor to your drinks and baked goods.

Many brands of orange liqueur exist such as Triple Sec, Grand Marnier, Curacao, or those made from brandy, tequila, or cognac.

However, you have to use the triple amount as you would with rum extract.

8. Cachaca

Cachaca is a clear and unaged alcoholic beverage distilled from fermented sugarcane juice. The taste of cachaca is similar to rum, but with more hints of fruitiness.

Cachaca and rum are both made from sugarcane but each is produced according to a slightly different method. Technically, cachaca can only be manufactured in Brazil from fresh cane juice that has been fermented and single distilled.

Rum, on the other hand, maybe produced just about anywhere, and it’s typically made from molasses (a cooked byproduct of sugar production) that is distilled to a much higher percentage of alcohol by volume.

While substituting Cachaca in place of rum extract, make sure to triple the amount of what the recipe called for to get a similar taste.

9. Coconut Rum

Many recipes call for a type of rum that has a distinct coconut flavor from its sweet taste to its light gold color. For those recipes that call for such type of rum, you can substitute with coconut rum.

Coconut rum is a clear distilled beverage that tastes like coconut and has an intense flavor profile. It’s made from distilled sugarcane and flavored with either real or imitation coconut extract.

To make your own substitution for rum extract, measure the amount called for in the recipe and use double the amount of coconut rum instead.

What is Rum Extract?

Rum extract, or rum essence as it is sometimes called, is a staple ingredient for many types of drinks and baked goods. Jamaican Rum Cake is one example of this.

It’s made of a mixture of sugar, natural and artificial flavors, and caramel coloring.

Rum extract also has the same properties as real rum – it is dark in color and highly aromatic. It gives your dish that extra ‘kick’ that is otherwise difficult to achieve.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does rum extract taste like?

Rum extract has a sweet, rich, and molasses-like flavor. It’s a dark brown syrup with a powerful, distinct taste of alcohol that adds color and sweetness to various dishes.

Rum extract has a strong flavor that can overpower your recipe if not used in an appropriate amount. You should use it sparingly as you would with vanilla or other extracts.

What is the alcohol percentage of rum extract?

Rum extract contains about 35% alcohol, which is a typical level for most extracts. It means that you have to use it in an appropriate amount when baking a dish.

Different brands of rum extract may have different percentages of alcohol in them so check the label before buying one or substituting your recipe’s called-for ingredient with it.

What does rum do in baking?

Rum works well in baked goods and desserts to add moisture and a rich flavor. It’s proven that rum extract can enhance the flavors of existing ingredients such as spices, fruit flavorings, and chocolate.

It also enhances brown sugar taste in cookies, pies, or cakes that call for dark brown sugar or molasses. Rum works best if it has a flavor similar to the flavor profile of what it is being added to.

Can almond extract substitute for rum extract?

Almond extract is another good substitute for rum extract. Almond extract has the sweetness of vanilla but with a more fruity flavor just like rum.

It’s a dark brown liquid that typically comes in small bottles and contains alcohol, glycerine, natural flavors, water, sugar, or caramel color.

Final Words

I hope this list of rum extract substitutes has been helpful in finding you a substitute for rum extract for whatever you are baking or preparing. The important thing is finding something that tastes good and brings your recipe together.

What is your favorite alternative? Let us know in the comment section below.

I’m a passionate food blogger on a journey to become a go-to person who can help others prepare delicious foods. I share recipes, food substitutes, and other cooking tips. Read more about my journey...

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