The 8 Best Substitutes for Root Beer Extract

If you’re looking for a substitute for root beer extract, you’re in luck!

I have compiled a list of the eight best substitutes for root beer extract that you can use in your recipes.

From syrups to spices, these substitutes will give your recipes a delicious root beer-like flavor without the extract.

Read on to learn more about the best root beer extract substitutes.

What is Root Beer Extract?

Root Beer Extract

Root beer extract is an ingredient used for flavoring in cooking.

It is usually made from the root of the sassafras tree, which imparts a sweet and spicy flavor that can be used to enhance a variety of dishes.

When added to beverages such as teas or sodas, root beer extract gives them a distinct taste reminiscent of traditional root beer.

It can also be used to make breads, cakes, and other desserts with more complex flavors than plain sugar-based recipes.

Root beer extract has become popular among home cooks thanks to its versatility – it’s easy to find at most grocery stores and can be swapped out for vanilla or almond extracts in baking recipes if desired.

In addition, it goes well with both sweet and savory foods; adding just a few drops to salads or sauces will add depth and complexity without overpowering the main ingredients’ flavors.

The 8 Best Substitutes for Root Beer Extract

Root beer extract is a unique flavoring ingredient, but it can be hard to find in stores.

Fortunately, there are several substitutes that can mimic the flavor of root beer extract.

Here are eight great alternatives for anyone looking for an alternative to root beer extract:

1. Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla is a great flavor enhancer and will work well in any recipe that calls for root beer extract.

However, it won’t give the same depth of flavor as root beer extract does.

Vanilla extract has a sweet, warm aroma and taste that will complement many dishes.

It’s an excellent choice for baking recipes such as cakes, muffins, cookies, brownies and even ice cream!

You can also use it to add sweetness to savory dishes like pork chops or beef stew.

When substituting vanilla for root beer extract in a recipe, start with half the amount of vanilla called for in the original recipe and adjust according to your preference.

If you find the flavor too subtle after tasting it during cooking or baking process, add more until desired results are achieved.

2. Brown Sugar Syrup

Brown Sugar Syrup

Brown sugar syrup is a great substitute for root beer extract.

It can be made easily by combining equal parts of dark brown sugar and water in a saucepan.

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The mixture should be heated until the sugar has dissolved, then allowed to cool before use.

Brown sugar syrup can also be infused with other flavors such as cinnamon or vanilla bean for added depth.

When using brown sugar syrup instead of root beer extract, you should adjust the amount used accordingly.

For every tablespoon of root beer extract called for in a recipe, use two tablespoons of brown sugar syrup instead.

This will help to ensure that the flavor does not become too strong or overpowering.

If you are looking for an alternative to root beer extract that still gives your recipes that classic soda flavor, try using brown sugar syrup instead!

With its sweet taste and subtle complexity, it can add something special to your baking without overpowering other ingredients in the recipe.

3. Sarsaparilla Syrup

Sarsaparilla Syrup

Sarsaparilla syrup has similar flavor notes with just a hint of vanilla.

It is made from the roots of the sarsaparilla plant and can be found in most health food stores or online.

When using sarsaparilla syrup to replace root beer extract, you should use 1/2 teaspoon of sarsaparilla syrup for each teaspoon called for in the recipe.

The sweetness level will also need to be adjusted accordingly, as sarsaparilla syrup tends to be slightly sweeter than root beer extract.

Sarsaparilla syrup can also be used in place of other extracts such as anise or licorice if desired.

It adds a unique taste that pairs well with chocolate, coffee, and spice-flavored desserts.

It can also be used in savory recipes like stews and soups to give them an earthy flavor profile.

Using sarsaparilla syrup as a substitute for root beer extract is an excellent way to add complexity and depth of flavor to any dish without sacrificing sweetness levels or texture.

With this versatile ingredient at your disposal, you’ll never have trouble finding interesting ways to enhance your favorite recipes!

4. Allspice


Allspice is a spice made from the dried berries of the pimento tree.

It has a flavor that is reminiscent of root beer and can be used as an alternative to root beer extract in baking.

When using allspice as a substitute, it is important to adjust the amount used.

Allspice comes with more potent flavors than extract, so you should use half the amount called for in a recipe.

For example, if a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of extract, you would use only 1/2 teaspoon of allspice.

It’s important to note that while allspice may make an acceptable substitute for root beer extract in recipes, it will not produce exactly the same results since its flavor profile is slightly different from that of an extract.

To achieve optimal results when using allspice instead of extract, try experimenting with other spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg along with small amounts of sugar or molasses.

Allspice can be used as an excellent substitute for root beer extract when baking desserts or making beverages like hot toddies or eggnog cocktails.

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With careful adjustments and experimentation, one can create delicious treats without having to rely on store-bought extracts!

5. Aniseed

Anise Seed

Aniseed is a popular spice that has an intense licorice-like flavor.

It can be used as a substitute for root beer extract in recipes such as ice cream, cookies, and cakes.

When using aniseed, it is important to use the correct ratio.

Aniseed’s flavor is much more intense than root beer extract, so you should use only half of the amount called for in a recipe.

When purchasing aniseed, make sure to buy high-quality seeds from a reputable source.

Low-quality aniseeds may be stale and have less flavor than fresh ones.

If possible, try to find organic whole seeds instead of pre-ground powder; these will retain their flavor longer when stored properly.

When using aniseed in place of root beer extract, it is important to be aware of its intensity and adjust accordingly depending on your desired flavor profile.

Aniseed can easily overpower other flavors if too much is added so start with just a small amount and taste test before adding more.

Aniseed can be used in many different recipes as a great alternative to root beer extract for those looking for bolder flavors or who cannot find the extract at their local store.

With proper technique and good-quality ingredients, you are sure to create something delicious!

6. Cloves


Cloves are a popular spice that can be used as an alternative to root beer extract.

Clove has a strong, sweet flavor that can mimic the taste of root beer.

It is often used in baking recipes and in combination with other spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg to create unique flavors.

When substituting cloves for root beer extract, it is important to use the correct ratio.

A general rule of thumb is to use 1 teaspoon of ground cloves for every tablespoon of root beer extract called for in a recipe.

You may need to adjust this ratio slightly depending on your taste preference and how strong you want the clove flavor to be.

When using cloves, it is important to buy high-quality whole cloves rather than pre-ground powder.

Whole cloves will have more flavor than pre-ground varieties and will not lose their potency as quickly over time.

It also helps to grind or crush the whole cloves before adding them into your recipe so they release their oils more easily during baking.

Using cloves as a substitute for root beer extract provides an interesting twist when making baked goods or desserts with a hint of spice and sweetness added in.

With careful measuring and technique, you can make delicious treats without having to purchase any special extracts!

7. Licorice Root

Licorice root

Licorice root is a natural alternative to root beer extract and can be used to make homemade root beer.

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Licorice root has a bold flavor that pairs well with other spices, such as clove or cinnamon.

It also has an earthy sweetness that gives the finished product its signature taste.

When using licorice root as an alternative to extract, it should be steeped in hot water for at least 30 minutes before being added to the recipe.

The longer the licorice steeps, the stronger the flavor will be in your final product.

You can adjust this time depending on how strong you want your brew to taste.

It is important to purchase high-quality licorice when making homemade root beer.

Look for organic varieties which are free of additives or preservatives that may affect the flavor of your brew.

Licorice should have a dark brown color and no off-smells or strange textures; if it appears discolored or smells musty, it should not be used in cooking or baking recipes.

Licorice is a great way to add unique depth of flavor and sweetness to any homebrew recipe without having access to extract bottles from stores.

With careful selection and proper steeping times, you can craft delicious homemade creations every time!

8. Wintergreen Extract

Wintergreen Extract

Wintergreen extract can be a great replacement for root beer extract when making homemade soda or ice cream.

Wintergreen has a similar flavor to root beer, but is slightly sweeter and mintier tasting.

It is also less expensive than root beer extract and easier to find in stores.

When substituting wintergreen extract for root beer, it is important to use the correct ratio.

Root beer extract tends to be stronger than wintergreen, so you may need to use double the amount of wintergreen called for in a recipe.

For example, if a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of root beer extract, you would use 2 teaspoons of wintergreen instead.

It is important to make sure that you are using pure wintergreen oil rather than an artificial flavoring or essence made from other chemicals.

Artificial flavors will not give your beverage the same unique taste as real wintergreen oil and may have an unpleasant aftertaste.

Wintergreen oil can also be used as a topping on desserts such as ice cream or cake batter popsicles.

A drop or two of the oil will give these treats a mild yet refreshing minty flavor with notes of sweetness that pairs well with many different types of desserts.

Brown Sugar Syrup

The 8 Best Substitutes for Root Beer Extract

What if you're out of root beer extract and need an alternative? I'm here to help! In this article, I'll be exploring the 8 best substitutes for root beer extract. I'll discuss each one in detail, so you'll know what to expect when making the switch. Whether you want something similar or entirely different, I'm sure you'll find something in this list that will work for your recipe.
Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Course Baking
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 58 kcal


  • Vanilla Extract
  • Brown Sugar Syrup
  • Sarsaparilla Syrup
  • Allspice
  • Aniseed
  • Cloves
  • Licorice Root
  • Wintergreen Extract


  • Pick your favorite substitute from this list.
  • Prepare the rest of your meal.
  • Enjoy in no time!