Nothing compares to the sweet and bracing flavor of wonderful peppermint, but what can you do when your peppermint extract has run dry? Don’t panic, these peppermint extract substitutes are here to help!
Cakes, puddings, pies, and more are all made fresher with the taste of bright, herbal, and sweet peppermint extract. This add-in is great for bringing cool and sweet flavors to a wide array of sweets but how can a chef make due when they can’t find any peppermint extract? These peppermint extract substitutes are here to save the day with their fresh flavor!
Uses for Peppermint Extract
Peppermint extract is a powerhouse of cold minty flavor and it has many applications in the culinary world and beyond. This potent flavoring can be used to create the signature holiday flavor in red and white striped mint candies. Peppermint extract is added to chocolate silk pies, minty cookies, and sweet milkshakes for a bracing touch, and that is just scratching the surface of this flavoring’s extensive kitchen applications!
This ingredient is also beloved for its aromatherapy and dietary supplemental properties. Some will even swish this ingredient with a little water as a quick breath freshener.
Nutritional Value of Peppermint Extract
Some find the flavor of peppermint to be soothing when they are experiencing gastrointestinal distress. It is also believed to have an impact on reducing headache symptoms, increasing focus, and maybe even helping boost weight loss. Bear in mind that all of these claims are related to the effects of pure mint and that peppermint extract is not a health supplement.
How to Choose a Peppermint Extract Substitute
A few factors to consider when it comes to choosing the right substitute for peppermint extract are the strength of the flavor, the alcohol content of the substitute, and the type of mint flavor. Keep these factors in mind when choosing the right swap for your recipe.
Some of these substitutes are very strong compared to peppermint extract and will require a light hand. Some of these substitutes are alcohol-based, and some use a different variety of mint flavors other than peppermint.
The 5 Best Peppermint Extract Substitutes
|1||Peppermint Schnapps||Cakes, cookies, other cooked recipes|
|2||Fresh Mint||Cakes, cookies, pies, other cooked recipes, drinks|
|3||Creme de Menthe||Cakes, cookies, other cooked recipes|
|4||Spearmint Extract||Cakes, cookies, pies, other cooked recipes, drinks|
|5||Food-Safe Peppermint Oil||Cakes, cookies, pies, other cooked recipes, drinks|
1. Peppermint Schnapps
Peppermint schnapps is an awesome substitute for peppermint extract with a powerful cooling flavor. This peppermint extract dupe is alcoholic so if that is a concern this replacement may not suit your purposes. Schnapps is an incredibly mint liquor made from grain alcohol. This is powerful stuff, in more ways than one, so use this substitution with caution.
The flavor of peppermint schnapps is compared to melted candy canes. It is sweet and minty with an alcoholic bite at the end. This flavoring is great for cooked peppermint dishes like cookies, cakes, and candies; when heated the alcohol in schnapps boils off leaving only the fresh minty flavor behind. If you are using this swap for cold or uncooked dishes use a light hand and taste how the flavoring is affecting your recipe as you go. Be sure not to serve children or anyone abstaining from alcohol uncooked peppermint schnapps.
2. Fresh Mint
What better way to substitute mint than with mint!? A wonderfully fresh way to substitute peppermint extract is with fresh mint. Fresh mint leaves come in wide varieties but the two most commonly found in grocery stores are peppermint and spearmint. This means that you may be able to find a fresh mint that has virtually the same flavor as the extract you are replacing.
The trick to this swap is to crush the mint to get more flavor out of it. Crushing or muddling the leaves releases their sweet mint flavor so before adding this ingredient be sure to break and rub the leaves a bit. Using fresh mint as a peppermint extract substitute works very well in drinks, baked goods, and pies.
Fresh mint actually has less potency than peppermint extract so it will take a little more of the fresh stuff to create the same cooling flavor. Don’t worry about adding in more because this substitute is safe for all ages and appetites!
3. Creme de Menthe
This vibrant peppermint extract substitute is a bold choice for anyone looking for a colorful replacement. Creme de menthe is a classic bright-green mint-flavored alcohol. Like schnapps, this is made from grain alcohol and its boozy mint flavor is not for the timid. The flavor notes of creme de menthe are that of fresh and mild sweet mint.
Creme de menthe is a great choice as a peppermint extract substitute in baked and cooked dishes, that way its alcohol content is removed making this minty treat safe for all. If opting to use creme de menthe in cold recipes do not serve that dish to the kids or other non-drinkers. If the green color is holding you back from trying this swap, there is a colorless variety of this minty drink available, as well.
4. Spearmint Extract
Spearmint is another member of the mint family and this powerful extract makes an excellent peppermint extract substitute. Spearmint extract is produced through the exact same process as peppermint only using fresh leaves from the spearmint plant. The flavor of spearmint is often described as milder than peppermint and a touch sweeter.
The great thing about spearmint extract is that it is non-alcoholic and safe for anyone with or without cooking. It can be used as a 1:1 substitute for peppermint extract in any recipe. Since the flavor of spearmint may come across more subtly than peppermint, taste your recipes after adding the mint to be sure the flavor is sharp enough.
5. Food-Safe Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is a highly concentrated form of peppermint extract therefore it makes a good substitute for peppermint extract in cooking.
One preliminary note of caution, be sure that you are looking at a pure peppermint oil with no add-ins or other ingredients. These oils are used in aromatherapy and can be mixed with other elements so it is important to be sure you have a clean food-safe version of this oil.
Peppermint oil is an extremely potent extract made from peppermint leaves. This oil has as much minty freshness in two drops as peppermint extract has in an entire teaspoon so it is critical that this swap be used gently. Swap a teaspoon of peppermint extract for two drops of peppermint oil in cakes, cookies, pies, and more.
This swap is safe for everyone cooked or raw but be sure to taste your minty mixture to be sure the ratio is spot on for the perfect bracing bite.
The Best Overall Peppermint Extract Substitute
Every one of these peppermint extract substitutes has something great to offer baked goods and beyond, but only one can take the cake as the best overall peppermint extract swap. That ingredient is spearmint extract, number 4.
This substitute behaves exactly the same as peppermint extract in all recipes and is safe for all ages, hot or cold. Its divinely sweet and lightly fresh flavor may not pack as much punch as peppermint but you can amp up the flavor with an extra ¼ teaspoon or so of the spearmint. Try this peppermint extract substitute in cakes, pies, drinks, and more!