Amaretto vs Almond Extract: What’s The Difference?

amaretto vs almond extract
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amaretto vs almond extract

When it comes down to cooking, the ingredients used can influence the texture, flavor, and aroma of the food. That’s why people are extremely particular about the ingredients they add, and it goes the same for desserts as well. Also, amaretto vs. almond extract is an ever-going debate among dessert makers and pastry chefs. So, with this article, we are sharing the information about both and see how they are used.

Amaretto vs Almond Extract

Almond Extract

To begin with, it is pretty obvious that almond extract is extracted from almond. However, there are artificial almond extracts available as well. The artificial almond extracts are made from benzaldehyde. Benzaldehyde is actually the element in apricot kernels and almonds. It tastes like almond, so that’s why it’s used for making artificial almond extracts.

In addition, the artificial version has water and ethyl alcohol as well. Secondly, almond extract is available in natural and pure forms. The pure almond extract is made from the bitter kernels of cherries, peaches, plums, or almonds. As for the natural almond extract, it is made from Caccia bark. When using in cooking recipes, the almond extract should be added in a smaller amount because it has an intense flavor.

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It wouldn’t be wrong to say that a small amount will go a long way. The almond extract is also available in the non-nut formula, but it will have the banana or vanilla (pretty weird, right?). Almond extract is not suitable for people who have nut allergies. Almond extract is usually used in desserts and baked goods, but it hardly tastes like almond.

As far as the flavor is concerned, it has a sweet yet incredibly strong flavor. It can be added to baking recipes, but it can also be whipped in the fillings and frostings. As for the pitted fruits, it’s served on a complimentary basis. Generally, almond extract is used in peach, apricot, or cherry desserts but in a small amount.

In addition, it is suitable for pastries, pies, candies, and cookies as well. The almond extract is available in the imitation version which has synthetic chemicals and will give off the almond flavor. In the case of savory dishes, the almond extract can be added to meat stews, sweet rice pudding, and curries.


Amaretto is often compared and confused with almond extract. This is because it’s made from apricot and almond pits which leads to the unique almond flavor. However, it will have cherry undertones. The natural amaretto has a rich and delightful flavor and goes fine with cakes, coffee, frostings, and cookies.

Amaretto liqueur can be used for different baking recipes. It has the just-right flavor and will be nutty and smooth. This liquid can be used in the majority of cocktails and desserts. Amaretto can also be used in whipped cream, cakes, tiramisu, and truffles. In particular, tiramisu is an Italian dessert (the traditional one), and amaretto is an important ingredient to add flavor.

The natural amaretto extract is made from plant-based ingredients with pure flavor. It has a sweet flavor and is native to Italian liquor. In case you opt for the chemical or artificial amaretto extract, it is made with flavoring ingredients, propylene glycol, and alcohol. It has a liquid form, and it has a shelf life of around five years. It has to be stored in a dry and cool place.

Things To Consider

Amaretto is known to be the liquor with almond flavor, but it doesn’t have a strong or pure flavor like almond extract. Amaretto will have higher alcohol content. To illustrate, amaretto will have 20% alcohol content while almond extract has 40% alcohol content. However, amaretto will have higher sugar content, so you’ve to consider it while adding it to recipes.

As far as the almond extract is concerned, it has a concentrated flavor as compared to vanilla. When it comes down to substituting amaretto and almond extract with each other, keep in mind that the flavor will be slightly different. As a rule of thumb, you can use around one teaspoon of almond extract to replace one tablespoon of amaretto. The bottom line is that both these ingredients can be used in desserts, but the flavor and taste will be different.

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