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Upgrade Your Baking: 5 BEST Substitutes for Rum Extract

Have you ever eaten something so good that you wondered what ingredients gave it that extra burst of flavor? One secret ingredient could be rum extract.

The distinct and delightful flavor in the dish can be yours to create, too.

But what if your recipe calls for rum extract, but you are out of it?

No problem – there are plenty of substitutes with bold, recognizable flavors that could elevate your dish even more.

Dive deeper into the art of using rum extract, how to substitute it, and which five replacements will give you the results that match its unique taste.

What’s Rum Extract?

what rum

If you’re in the baking business, you’ve probably heard of rum extract.

This robust ingredient brings depth and character to recipes, creating treats with a unique flavor like no other.

It’s an absolutely essential spice for creating desserts such as custards and puddings.

Rum extract is not actually derived from aged rum, but it does contain a hint of alcohol to add that classic spirit taste that so many love.

While some people may be wary of using it due to its alcoholic content, the alcohol evaporates during cooking, so it’s perfectly safe to use in dishes, even when serving children.

In terms of taste, think dark molasses and brown sugar combined with warmth and spice – truly an unforgettable flavor combination.

You can buy rum extract at most baking stores or online retailers, and it’s sure to make any dessert instantly irresistible.

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Rum Extract

If you’re a fan of baking and have ever found yourself in search of rum extract, then you know it can be tough to track down.

But fear not—we’ve done the hard work for you by researching the five best alternatives that are available.

1 – Rum


Rum is an alcoholic beverage derived from sugarcane that has a unique flavor profile.

It can be aged, which gives the drink a characteristically dark hue and rich, complex taste.

The aging process, which can range from 1-3 years in oak barrels, can affect its sweet and smoky notes.

Many Caribbean countries are famed for their varieties of rum that have distinct nuances due to the climate, soil, and local production practices.

Depending on its origin or preference, it might be smoother or bolder with hints of spices and the aromas of exotic woods.

Typically it’s enjoyed as part of a long cocktail or neat in order to fully appreciate its nuanced flavor profile.

Although there is no substitute for pure rum, if a recipe calls for rum extract, then you could replace that with an equal portion of light rum or mix dark rum with water to dilute it before using it in your recipe.

2 – Vanilla Extract


Vanilla extract is something that often gets overlooked in the pantry, despite its ability to turn ordinary dishes into extraordinary creations.

Made from ground vanilla beans soaked in alcohol, it has an intense flavoring that is warm and more complex than just regular sugar.

In terms of taste, it can be described as having a sweet, mellow flavor with hints of caramel and a creamy aftertaste.

As such, it is great for making desserts or baking treats with a richer taste.

To replace rum extract when baking, use one teaspoon of vanilla extract for every tablespoon of rum extract as instructed by the recipe.

It’s also perfect for adding sweetness to beverages like shakes and smoothies or even enhancing soups and stews.

3 – Bourbon


Bourbon is a delightfully exquisite form of distilled liquor.

It’s made from whisky grain, which has been aged in charred American oak barrels.

This maturation process develops the whiskey’s rich, robust flavor while imparting a subtle smoky flavor.

On the palate, you should expect a smooth yet slightly sweet taste with notes of wood and tobacco.

While some people sip it neat, adding this distinct taste to your favorite cocktail can take things up a notch.

If using bourbon as a rum extract substitute, start by using only one tablespoon per recipe and adjust according to preference.

At first, the pronounced bourbon flavor can be surprising, but with the right balance, you could find yourself crafting up an interesting and completely unique new concoction.

4 – Coconut Rum

coconut rum

Coconut rum is an interesting alcoholic beverage that comes in countless varieties.

It is derived from coconut ‘wine,’ which has its origins in the South Pacific island cultures.

This fascinating and refreshing drink can be used as a mixer in tropical drinks, a pleasant companion to desserts, or substituted for regular rum in recipes like baked goods to add extra flavor.

One unique characteristic of this alcohol is that its taste can range depending on the brand and how it is processed.

Typically it offers a sweet but mild flavor with subtle hints of coconut aroma.

Additionally, it can be mixed with cream of coconut and pineapple juice, providing a fuller taste and additional ingredients to smooth drinks.

Lastly, if you are looking for a substitute for popular rum extract, you may find coconut rum a beneficial switch-up – just keep in mind that there will be some differences in results from the substitution.

5 – Tequila


Tequila has become one of the world’s most beloved alcoholic beverages, and for a good reason.

It is made from blue agave, which grows across Mexico, and is harvested for distillation into tequila.

The results are a clear spirit with undeniable complexity, spanning a range of flavors, including pepper, pineapple, papaya, caramel, and more.

Depending on where it’s distilled and aged, tequila can be enjoyed neat and on the rocks, but it also makes an excellent accompaniment to margaritas or other cocktails.

For those seeking an added depth of flavor in their baking without alcohol or its extract counterpart, tequila can also be substituted easily for rum extract in recipes – simply pour off two tablespoons per teaspoon of extract that’s required.


In conclusion, rum extract can be replaced in many recipes with a number of unique and interesting ingredients.

From the sweet and mellow taste of vanilla extract to the smoky flavor of bourbon, these five substitutes are sure to add an extra kick to your culinary creations.

No matter which ingredient you choose, make sure you know what you’re getting into before attempting any substitutions, and be sure to adjust the amount of extract you use according to your own taste.

what rum extract

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Rum Extract

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Rum
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Bourbon
  • Coconut Rum
  • Tequila


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Use the proper substitute to cook your recipes.
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