5 Amazing Rum Extract Substitutes

Rum extract is made using, well, rum, and a concentrated rum flavor – it is a popular addition to all your baked goods and cooked meals! 

That said, while it may contain alcohol, this isn’t high. In fact, you even find alcohol-free variations. 

Since it is so cheap, it is always worth keeping a small bottle in your kitchen. When stored in a cool, dry location, it can last indefinitely – providing your dishes with a flavor similar to rum. 

The best part about this extract is that it is concentrated – allowing you to add it to all your meals without disturbing the balance. 

When purchasing this extract, look for ones labeled as “natural” as this is a pure extract. Those labeled as “imitations” are made using artificial flavoring. Therefore, you won’t achieve those rich flavors. 

5 Amazing Rum Extract Substitutes

Rum extract can be added to cupcakes, brownies, banana bread, and puddings. While some savory meals may call for rum extract, this isn’t common. 

If a specific recipe calls for rum extract, however, you don’t have any at home. Well, luckily for you, this isn’t the end of the world – there are other alternatives that are just as good! 

One option is to simply leave it out, however, you get those rich flavors. The next best option is an alternative to rum extract. 

Some of the best substitutes include vanilla extract, rum, coffee extract, bourbon, cognac, coconut rum, and tequila. 

With this in mind, this article will explore all the different alternatives to rum extract that will provide you with all those rich flavors. 

Let’s get started. 

What Is Rum Extract?

Rum extract is used for flavoring and is derived from rum. It is made using the same flavor compounds as rum, however, after extraction, they are purified. 

You can use rum extract to flavor all your baked goods, food, and drinks. Likewise, it can even be used as a preservative, too. 

Thanks to its strong flavor, it can provide your dishes with a Caribbean flair. Moreover, it is available in both powdered and liquid forms. 

What To Use Instead Of Rum Extract?

If you don’t have any rum extract in your pantry, then don’t worry, there are a few different alternatives you can try that will provide you with a similar, rich flavor. 

For instance, you can use vanilla or almond extract. Or, you can even make your own simple syrup using water and sugar and then add a touch of vanilla or almond extract to it. 

Moreover, you can use coffee as a substitute for baking and tequila for cocktails. 

However, it doesn’t end here, below, we have outlined all the different alternatives to rum extract you can implement in your meals. 

1. Vanilla Extract

A popular flavoring in many desserts, including ice creams, cakes, and cookies, vanilla extract is derived from soaking vanilla beans in alcohol – which extracts the flavor. 

Dating all the way back to the Aztecs, vanilla extra has a long history. Here, they used the ingredient to add flavoring to their chocolate beverages. 

Today, it is used across the world to flavor a variety of cuisines. The result is something that is slightly floral and sweet. 

In fact, it is one of the most versatile flavors, ideal in both sweet and savory dishes. 

Besides desserts, it can also be used to flavor savory dishes, including pork and chicken. 

Moreover, you can use vanilla extract as a substitute for many recipes that call for rum extract. 

This is ideal for those who don’t like the taste of rum or are looking for something that contains a less potent alcoholic flavor. 

Furthermore, you can find vanilla extract in most supermarkets. It is generally sold in a small bottle and is somewhat inexpensive. 

2. Rum

One of the best alternatives to rum extract is rum itself. Since they are both made using rum, it means you’ll be able to achieve all the same aromas and flavors – which is ideal for your baking recipes. 

There are different varieties of rum that you can use to produce your own extract. That said, the popular variety is white rum, however, you can also get spiced and dark rum, too. 

If you’re looking for something that contains a stronger flavor, you can try a flavored rum like coconut or pineapple. 

To make the extract, start by simply pouring some rum into a small saucepan. 

Then, over medium heat, bring it to a simmer – cooking it for around 5 minutes. Here, make sure you aren’t letting it boil since it will cause the alcohol to evaporate.

After cooking the rum for a few minutes, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool. After cooling, strain it into a clear bottle or glass jar. 

When stored in a cool, dry place, your extract will remain good for up to 6 months. 

For your recipes, all you have to do is add a few teaspoons of the extract to achieve a delicious rum flavor that can’t be achieved from store-bought ones. 

3. Bourbon

If you’re unfamiliar with bourbon, it is an alcoholic liquor that contains a similar flavor to rum. While it is a popular addition to a variety of cocktails, many people are using it in the kitchen, too. 

You can add this liquor to all your favorite baked goods, including brownies, cookies, and cakes. That said, if you’re using it as an alternative to rum extract, you’ll want to make sure to double the amount. 

4. Coconut Rum

As its name suggests, coconut rum uses coconut cream or milk as its base. 

The liquor is generally made by infusing rum with coconut flavors. That said, some brands use artificial flavors, too. 

The drink itself originated in the Caribbean where it remains a popular beverage today. 

It was first mentioned in 1650 when the English explorer, Jonathan Dickenson, recorded coconut rum among the habitants of Barbados. 

Coconut rum features a pale or clear color that contains a coconutty and sweet flavor. 

While it can be enjoyed on its own, it can also be used in various cocktails, including daiquiris or piño Coladas. 

Many people prefer this type of rum as opposed to traditional rum since it contains a milder flavor and is less likely to cause a hangover. 

As such, it can be used as a substitute for rum in various baked goods and meals. 

5. Cognac

If you don’t have rum extract, cognac can be a good substitute when it comes to baking and drinking. 

If you’re unfamiliar with cognac, it is a type of brandy that is made using grapes – containing a very similar flavor to rum. 

When substituting these ingredients, simply use equal amounts of cognac for rum extract. That said, you’ll want to keep in mind that these are two different flavors – therefore, adjust accordingly. 

Moreover, it’s important to remember that cognac is a more expensive option when compared to rum extract, too. 

6. Coffee Extract

As a concentrated flavoring, coffee extract is made using a combination of coffee beans and alcohol. It is ideal for cocktails, baked goods, and tiramisu. 

While it doesn’t have quite the same flavors as rum, if you don’t mind your baked goods having a slight coffee flavor, then it can be used as an alternative to rum extract. 

The best part? You don’t have to adjust any quantities in the recipe, simply use the same amount you would for the rum extract. 

7. Tequila

The national drink of Mexico and a type of mezcal, Tequila is derived from the blue agave plant – which is native to Jalisco, Mexico.  

It takes plants around seven to ten years to be ready for harvest. The result is a distilled juice that can be used to make tequila. 

The most popular type of tequila is known as silver, or Blanco, which is bottled straight after distillation. 

Other varieties include reposado – which is aged for two to twelve months using oak barrels. As well as, añejo, which requires an aging process of over a year. 

You can enjoy tequila straight, however, it can be found in a range of cocktails too, including Palomas and Margaritas. 

Traditionally, tequila is made with 100% agave juice. That said, some brands are known to use up to 49% of other sugars, including honey or cane sugar. 

The result is a sweeter-tasting tequila. 

Hence, if you’re looking for an alternative to rum, you can try using tequila. 

Final Thoughts

Many recipes call for the inclusion of rum extract, however, when you don’t have it in your pantry, don’t worry! There are many different alternatives you can use to achieve great results. 

Some of which include coconut rum and tequila to vanilla extract and coffee extract. 

Hopefully, this guide has informed you on everything you need to know about the best rum extract alternatives. 

5 Amazing Rum Extract Substitutes

Recipe by AubreyCourse: Substitutes


Prep time


Cooking time





If you’re out of rum extract, don’t worry! There are some great substitutes that you can use to achieve similar flavors in your baking and cooking. Here are the five best.


  • Decide on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy

Recipe Video

https://youtu.be/UUNTKqxd1AoVideo can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: What is substitute for rum in baking? (https://youtu.be/UUNTKqxd1Ao)
Scroll to Top