10 Best Peppermint Extract Substitutes You Can Use to Add Flavor

When it comes to baking, one of the most common ingredients is peppermint extract. This ingredient is used to give baked goods a refreshing flavor. However, sometimes you may not have peppermint extract on hand.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of substitutes that will work just as well! In this article, we will discuss 10 of the best substitutes for peppermint extract.

What is Peppermint Extract?

Peppermint extract is a concentrated form of peppermint oil. It is made by combining peppermint leaves with alcohol. This combination creates a strong flavor that is perfect for baked goods.

However, peppermint extract can be expensive and difficult to find. Luckily, there are plenty of substitutes that will work just as well in your baking.

What is Peppermint Extract Good For?

Peppermint extract is a concentrated form of the oil from the peppermint plant. It has a strong, minty flavor and aroma and is used to add flavor to food and beverages.

Peppermint extract is also used in a variety of products, including cosmetics, soaps, and candles. The main chemical component of peppermint oil is menthol, which gives it its minty smell and taste.

Additionally, peppermint extract is thought to have a number of health benefits. For example, it is sometimes used as a digestive aid or to relieve nausea. Peppermint oil has also been shown to have antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Furthermore, peppermint extract is often used topically to relieve muscle pain or headaches. Some research has suggested that peppermint extract may also be effective in treating certain respiratory conditions, such as asthma. However, more research is needed to confirm these potential benefits.

What is the Difference Between Peppermint Oil and Extract?

The main difference between peppermint oil and extract is their respective levels of concentration. Peppermint oil is much more concentrated than peppermint extract.

As a result, peppermint oil has a stronger flavor and aroma. It is also less expensive than peppermint extract. However, peppermint extract is more versatile since it can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

What Can I Use in Place of Peppermint Extract?

When it comes to baking, peppermint extract is a popular flavor that can be used in a variety of recipes. From cookies and cakes to frostings and fillings, this minty extract adds a refreshing touch to many desserts.

However, peppermint extract can sometimes be difficult to find in stores, and it can be expensive. Fortunately, there are a few substitutes that can be used in its place.

1. Peppermint Oil

As mentioned earlier, peppermint oil is a concentrated form of the oil from the peppermint plant. It has a strong flavor and aroma and can be used as a substitute for peppermint extract.

To use peppermint oil as a substitute, start by adding one drop to your recipe. Then, taste the batter or dough and add more drops as necessary to reach the desired flavor.

Keep in mind that peppermint oil is much more concentrated than extract, so it’s important to use it sparingly. Too much peppermint oil can make your baked goods taste bitter or overpowering.

Additionally, since peppermint oil is not water-soluble, it may not mix evenly into wet ingredients. For this reason, it’s best to add peppermint oil near the end of the recipe.

If you’re using peppermint oil as a substitute for extract in a frosting or filling, be sure to taste it before adding it to your baked goods. This will help ensure that the flavor is not too strong.

2. Peppermint Syrup

Peppermint syrup is another possible substitute for peppermint extract. This type of syrup is often used to flavor coffee and tea.

To use peppermint syrup as a substitute, start by adding one tablespoon (15 ml) to your recipe. Then, add more as necessary to reach the desired flavor.

Like peppermint oil, peppermint syrup is more concentrated than extract. Therefore, it’s important to use it sparingly to avoid overpowering your baked goods.

And just like peppermint oil, peppermint syrup is not water-soluble. For this reason, it’s best to add it near the end of the recipe or mix it into wet ingredients just before using them.

3. Peppermint Candy Canes

Another possible substitute for peppermint extract is peppermint candy canes. This may seem like an odd ingredient, but the flavor of candy canes is very close to that of mint extract.

To use candy canes as a substitute, start by crushing them into a fine powder using a food processor or blender. Then, add one teaspoon (0.25 grams) of the powder to your recipe.

Taste the batter or dough and add more as necessary to reach the desired flavor. Keep in mind that candy canes are very sweet, so you may need to adjust the amount of sugar in your recipe accordingly.

It is important to note that candy canes are also not water-soluble.

4. Peppermint Schnapps

Another possible substitute for peppermint extract is peppermint schnapps. This type of alcohol has a strong mint flavor and can be found in most liquor stores.

Simply add one tablespoon (15 ml) of schnapps to your recipe, then taste and add more as necessary to reach the desired flavor.

Like peppermint oil and syrup, peppermint schnapps is more concentrated than extract. Therefore, it’s important to use it sparingly to avoid overpowering your baked goods.

Additionally, since peppermint schnapps is an alcohol, it will evaporate while baking. For this reason, it’s best to add it near the end of the recipe.

5. Spearmint Extract

Spearmint extract is another possible substitute for peppermint extract. While the two flavors are similar, spearmint is slightly sweeter and not as intense as peppermint.

To use spearmint extract as a substitute, add one teaspoon (0.25 grams) to your recipe. Then, taste the batter or dough and add more as necessary to reach the desired flavor.

Keep in mind that spearmint extract is not as concentrated as peppermint extract. Therefore, you may need to use slightly more to achieve the same flavor.

Spearmint extract is water-soluble, so it can be added at any point during the recipe.

6. Watermint Extract

Watermint extract is another possible substitute for peppermint extract. This type of extract has a milder flavor than both peppermint and spearmint.

To use watermint extract as a substitute, add one teaspoon (0.25 grams) to your recipe at a time, and taste each time to ensure that you are getting the right amount for your desired taste.

Essential oil with mint on wooden table

When substituting peppermint extract with any other ingredient, it’s important to keep in mind that the flavor will be different than what was intended. In some cases, the difference may be subtle while in others it may be more pronounced.

Additionally, it’s important to start with a small amount and add more as necessary.

7. Basil Extract

Basil extract is another possible substitute for peppermint extract. This type of extract has a minty flavor with hints of anise and clove.

When using basil extract to substitute for peppermint extract, add one teaspoon (0.25 grams) to your recipe at a time, and taste each time to ensure that you are getting the right amount for your desired taste.

Basil extract is water-soluble, so it can be added at any point during the recipe.

When adding basil extract to recipes, it is important to keep in mind that it is not as concentrated as peppermint extract. This means that you may need to use slightly more of the basil extract to achieve the same flavor.

However, too much basil extract can result in a bitter taste. Therefore, it is important to find the right balance when using this ingredient. 

8. Creme De Menthe

Looking for a substitute for peppermint extract? Creme de menthe may be the perfect ingredient for you. This unique flavor is made by infusing mint plants in alcohol, and it has a strong, refreshing taste.

While it can be used in place of peppermint extract in many recipes, creme de menthe also has its own distinct flavor that can add a new dimension to your dishes.

When substituting Creme De Menthe for extract, use half as much liqueur as you would extract. For example, if the recipe calls for one teaspoon of peppermint extract, use half a teaspoon of Creme De Menthe. Keep in mind that Creme De Menthe will also add a green tint to your baked goods.

If you’re looking for a way to add a little something extra to your baking or cooking, give creme de menthe a try. You may just find that it’s the perfect ingredient for your next culinary creation.

9. Herbal Mint Tea

If you’re out of peppermint extract and don’t have any of the other substitutes on hand, you can always make your own mint extract with herbal mint tea.

To do this, simply brew a cup of herbal mint tea and allow it to cool. Once it’s cooled, add one teaspoon (0.25 grams) of the tea to your recipe.

Keep in mind that herbal mint tea is not as concentrated as peppermint extract, so you may need to use slightly more to achieve the desired flavor.

Herbal mint tea is water-soluble, so it can be added at any point during the recipe.

Herbal mint tea is a good substitute for peppermint extract in many recipes. The taste of herbal mint tea is similar to that of peppermint extract, but it is less potent. This makes it ideal for use in baked goods, where too much mint flavor can be overpowering.

In addition, herbal mint tea contains less sugar than peppermint extract, making it a healthier option for those watching their sugar intake. So if you’re looking for a minty flavor without the intensity of peppermint extract, try using herbal mint tea instead.

10. Methanol Crystals

Any baker knows that peppermint extract is essential for creating holiday treats like candy canes and mint chocolate chip cookies.

However, peppermint extract can be difficult to find and expensive. Methanol crystals are a good substitute for peppermint extract. They are made from methanol, which is a type of alcohol that is derived from natural gas.

Methanol crystals are clear and have a strong mint flavor. They can be found in the baking aisle of most supermarkets.

When substituting methanol crystals for peppermint extract, use one teaspoon of methanol crystals for every one tablespoon of extract.

Methanol crystals are a versatile ingredient that can be used in any recipe that calls for peppermint extract. So next time you’re in the mood for some holiday baking, don’t forget the methanol crystals.

How Do I Make Peppermint Extract?

Making your own peppermint extract is a relatively simple process that only requires a few ingredients. First, you will need fresh chopped peppermint leaves.

Next, vodka (or grain alcohol) to the jar and screw on the lid tightly. Store the jar in a cool, dark place for four to six weeks, shaking it occasionally.

After four weeks, taste the extract and see if it has the desired strength. Once it is finished, strain the extract through a coffee filter or cheesecloth and funnel it into a clean bottle. Store the extract in the fridge and enjoy in homemade candy, frosting, or cocktails.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does peppermint thin your blood?

Peppermint does not thin your blood. In fact, it has the opposite effect. Peppermint can help to improve circulation and increase blood flow.

Can I put peppermint extract in my water?

Yes, you can put peppermint extract in your water. Just add a few drops to taste. You can also add peppermint extract to sparkling water for a refreshing minty beverage.

Does peppermint extract open airways?

Peppermint extract can open airways and help to relieve congestion. This makes it a good option for those with sinus problems or allergies.

Final Thoughts

Peppermint extract is a versatile ingredient with many potential applications. It can be used as a natural flavoring and scent, and it has been shown to have some health benefits. If you are looking for an alternative to peppermint extract, consider trying out one of the options above. However, it is important to experiment with different alternate ingredients, as not all substitutes will work equally well.