The Best Almond Extract, as Chosen by Our Test Kitchen

The Best Almond Extract, as Chosen by Our Test Kitchen

The Best Almond Extract, as Chosen by Our Test Kitchen

Our pros sampled 10 brands to find the best almond extract. Is it the bottle you have in your pantry?

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The Best Almond Extract

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Searching for the Best Almond Extract

Vanilla extract seems to get all the hype when it comes to baking, but a really good almond extract is what makes so many recipes sing. Almond extract is what gives these Italian rainbow cookies, cheesecake bars and almond braids their personality.

But before you break out the mixer, make sure you’re stocking the best almond extract in your baking cupboard. Your bakes will taste even more amazing when you use the good stuff.

How We Tested Almond Extracts

For this taste test, our Test Kitchen crew gathered up 10 different brands of almond extract. These extracts ranged from bottles you can find at any grocery store to more specialty options.

Each brand was sampled stirred into a bit of fresh whipped cream; the identities of each were kept a secret until scores were tallied. Each extract was scored according to the following:

  • Value: Extracts can be expensive. It’s important that these products deliver value and flavor.
  • Aroma: A good almond extract should smell tempting with notes of sweetness and warmth. Acrid or offputting smells are no-gos.
  • Flavor: The best almond extract should taste strongly of almonds without any lingering aftertaste.

In the end, our team found four options that they consider to be the best you can buy. Here’s a preview, but read on for complete reviews.

365 By Whole Foods Market Organic Almond Extract

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Best Overall

Penzeys Pure Almond Extract

Serious bakers, you’re going to want to get yourself a bottle of Penzeys Pure Almond Extract. This brand was universally praised during our taste test.

The flavor of this extract is warm and inviting and makes you want to get into the kitchen and bake. According to Mark Neufang in our Test Kitchen, “This extract has great almond flavor—and not too much alcohol.” Extracts of all kinds are made with alcohol as a base; only the good ones get that balance between base and flavor just right.

Mark goes on to say, “I really like this one and would use it in any of my baked goods.”

So what bakes should you start with? Our team suggests anything that would let a strongly flavored extract like this shine; think Chinese almond cookies or chocolate-almond pizzelles.

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365 By Whole Foods Market Organic Almond Extract

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Best Organic

365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Almond Extract

Do you prefer to use organic ingredients in your kitchen? Then look for 365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Almond Extract when you’re stocking up on baking staples.

This option, available exclusively at Whole Foods, is wonderfully mellow with a touch of warmth to it. It’s a bit more subtle than other brands in our lineup, but this is not an issue if you ask our pros. Almond extract can easily overpower a recipe.

So measure carefully and enjoy this extract in this Test Kitchen-approved cherry streusel tart.

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Mccormick Pure Almond Extract

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Best Budget-Friendly Extract

McCormick Pure Almond Extract

The price of extracts and flavorings can add up when you’re baking. We’ve got good news for you, though: You can get a really good almond extract at your local grocer for less than $5—McCormick Pure Almond Extract.

And that 2-ounce bottle will last you for a good while; there’s enough inside to make two dozen batches of these reader-favorite almond spritz cookies. That’s some serious bang for your buck!

This flavoring is about so much more than value, though. According to the Test Kitchen’s Catherine Ward, “this one has a bold aroma and great almond flavor.” It definitely will deliver in any recipe that calls for a hint of nutty flavor—including this cranberry almond pound cake.

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Spice Islands Pure Almond Extract

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Best Supporting Flavor

Spice Islands Pure Almond Extract

As Mark noted in this test, “With almond extract, a little goes a long way.” For almond flavor that won’t overpower the other ingredients in your bakes, our Test Kitchen recommends Spice Islands Pure Almond Extract.

According to Mark and our team of testers, Spice Islands’ extract is lovely and subtle. This is the sort of extract our pros recommend you reach for when your recipe calls for almond as more of a supporting player rather than the star. It would work well in these top-rated cherry hand pies, peach tart or cranberry bars.

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Originally Published: September 14, 2023

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