Holiday Baking Essential: Almond Extract

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Make room on the shelf, vanilla! We’re kicking our holiday baking into high gear, and that means almond extract is about to get its time in the spotlight. We love the warm, nutty flavor that a drop of this extract adds to our muffins and cookies. When almond aromas fill the house, we know we’ve got something good going on.

I love the way almond extract add just a touch of marzipan-like flavor to baked goods. It’s not overwhelming or intrusive, but it lingers on the tongue long after the bite is finished. It’s not like eating actual almonds, really — it’s a similar flavor, but somehow more. Warmer, sweeter, and definitely stronger.

You can substitute almond extract one-for-one with vanilla in most recipes, or use them both. A half-teaspoon of extract is enough to add an almond flavor to most recipes. Try adding it to short bread cookies, breakfast scones, pound cake, and biscotti. A drop of almond extract in a batch of Saturday morning waffles is a beautiful thing.

When buying almond extract, I recommend going for a “pure” version rather than an imitation version. Imitation extract smells the same, but doesn’t have quite the same punch, especially once mixed into a batter and baked. This is one of those pantry staples where I think it’s worth buying the real thing despite the extra cost.

I’ve been using this extract (pictured above) from Watkins since the cooler weather and its subsequent baking urge rolled in. It has a really clean almond aroma and flavor that hold up well during baking. Honestly, sometimes I just open the bottle and breath in.

Do you bake with almond extract? Have a favorite recipe to recommend?

Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.