Does Almond Extract Go Bad: Complete Guide

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Last Updated on February 15, 2023

Almond extract is commonly used in cookies and cakes to give them a delicious, deep flavor. Many avid bakers will keep it on hand, as they use it regularly in baking. If you have it in your pantry, you may wonder, does almond extract go bad?

Almond extract gives baked goods a delicious flavor without overpowering the entire dish. It is commonly sold at most grocery stores and you can even make it on your own at home. It is a great ingredient to have in your pantry for making various baked goods.

How Long Does Almond Extract Last?

So you probably are wondering, does almond extract expire? Like most extracts, it does have a long shelf life. However, over time it will lose its flavor.

Typically, the almond extract will last for three to four years long when properly stored. It is capable of lasting this long even if it is opened or unopened. It can last so long since it is made with alcohol.

After three to four years, it will begin to lose its flavor. Though it will likely still be safe to use, it will not give your baked goods that deep flavor. For the best results, be sure to use it within four years.

How to Store it Properly

For almond extract to last as long as possible, you need to properly store it. Store it in a cool, dark area such as a pantry. Avoid keeping any extracts in a warm, humid environment.

In addition, you do not want to keep your extracts in direct sunlight. This will cause them to go bad much quicker than they would when stored in a pantry.

Be certain to keep the lid tightly on your extract when not using it. There is no need to store it in the fridge or freezer.

What is Almond Extract Made Of?

Despite being made of almonds, the almond extract does not have an almond flavor. It has a rich, sweet flavor that pairs nicely with chocolate, vanilla, cherry, and coffee flavors.

Almond extract is made by combining almond oil from bitter almonds with alcohol and water. There is also an imitation version that is made with peach pits or apricot pits. Artificial almond contains an ingredient called benzaldehyde.

Ideally, you want to stick with pure almond extract to get the best flavor for your desserts. This will also last the longest and it is the highest quality option available on the market.

Uses For Almond Extract

Almond extract has many uses for desserts and baked goods. Many people don’t even realize how many recipes out there use it as an ingredient to provide a sweet, rich flavor.

One of the most popular uses for almond extract is making cookies. Many popular Christmas cookies use it such as spritz cookies, snowdrops, almond macaroons, and butter cookies. They provide a delicious flavor that makes for a mouth-watering, sweet cookie.

does almond extract expire

In addition, it is a popular ingredient in cake recipes. It is commonly used for vanilla cakes, pound cakes, almond cakes, and Bundt cakes. In addition, many wedding cakes will also use it as well.

Other desserts such as pastries, cobblers, pies, and much more. It pairs well with many flavors including vanilla, chocolate, coffee, cherry, and more. You can even add it to waffles, ice cream, and pancakes if you like.

When using it in a recipe, a little bit goes a long way. It has a strong flavor, so you don’t want to use too much when you are baking with it, otherwise, it will overpower the entire dessert.

How to Make Your Homemade Version

Though you can buy almond extract at grocery stores, you can also easily make your own. Making your extract is simple to do and can even save money as well.

To make your own homemade almond extract, you will need vodka and unsalted almonds. Simply slice half a cup of raw unsalted almonds into thin slivers. Add the slivered almonds into a small jar or glass with a tight lid, preferably amber in color, and then add eight ounces of vodka.

Amber bottles are ideal as they prevent any light from penetrating the bottle. However, you can also use clear bottles as well. Both plastic and glass bottles are acceptable to use for your extract.

Allow the mixture to sit for at least five to six weeks before use. It needs to sit for at least five or six weeks for the rich flavor to develop. Store it in your pantry in a cool, dark area away from sunlight.

Before every use, make sure to shake your homemade almond extract. The contents will settle over time. If desired, you can also strain your extract to ensure that is fine.

The Basics of Almond Extract: How Long Do Extracts Last?

While cleaning out the kitchen, you may wonder, does almond extract go bad? Fortunately, most extracts, including almonds, have a life of three to four years. This is ideal as you can store them for a while, even if you don’t use them regularly.

For best results, store your almond extract out of the sunlight in a cool, dry, dark area. The best place to store it is in the pantry, as it does not need to be refrigerated. It will do just fine at room temperature as it has alcohol in it.

You can also easily make your own with slivered raw unsalted almonds and vodka. Mix the two in an airtight container and let it stand for five to six weeks to strengthen in flavor. You can then use it in all your recipes, being sure to shake it before every use.

How Long Does Almond Extract Last After Expiration Date?

Almond extract lasts a long time after its expiration date. The almond extract will have a “best by” or “best before” date. This date isn’t an expiry date, it’s simply the time in which the almond extract will work best and be most flavorful. Typically, if stored correctly, the almond extract will last around 3-4 years, despite what the “best by” date is.

Can You Get Sick From Expired Almond Extract?

While eating most expired foods can make you ill, it’s very unlikely that expired almond extract will make you sick. If you perhaps drank the whole bottle (this is most definitely NOT recommended as it can be dangerous, whether expired or not), it may give you some gastro problems, such as nausea and gas – but considering you only usually use a few drops in your baking, this is unlikely to happen.

How Long Does Pure Almond Extract Last?

As long as the pure almond extract has been properly stored, it’ll stay at peak quality for anywhere from 3-4 years. Always ensure the lid of the extract is closed when not using.

How to Tell if Almond Extract Has Gone Bad?

It’s unlikely that almond extract will go bad, but on the off chance it does, it’ll be easy to recognize. If there are any changes to smell or appearance, you should discard it immediately and replace it with a new almond extract. Also, if it’s an old extract, you may not want to use it anyway, even if it seems okay, as it’s very unlikely to be flavorful.

almond extract

Best Almond Extract Brands

There are many almond extracts to choose from, but if you’re looking for some of the best, take a look at our round-up.

Wilton Imitation Almond Extract

Wilton is one of the best baking brands available and it costs around $2.69 for a 2oz bottle. Imitation extract isn’t pure almond extract which is why it’s a more affordable option. It works just the same as pure extract though! This product is certified kosher, but it’s worth mentioning that it may contain the following allergens: milk, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, and soy.

Nielsen Massey Pure Almond Extract

Nielsen-Massey is a supplier of many extracts, pure almond extract being one of them. It comes in three different sizes: 2oz, 4oz, and 18oz. Prices start at around $6.99 for a 2oz bottle. This pure extract is certified kosher, non-GMO, and gluten-free, meaning it’s suitable for a range of dietary lifestyles.

McCormick Pure Almond Extract

McCormick is one of the most accessible brands that you’ll find in many grocery stores. Prices for a 2oz bottle start at around $5, but other sizes are available, and prices may vary. This product is both non-GMO and gluten-free. It’s made from the following ingredients: water, alcohol, and bitter almond oil.

Simply Organic Almond Extract

If you’re looking for an organic option, the almond extract from Simply Organic is the extract to go for! Prices start at around $7.49 for a 4oz bottle. This product is gluten-free, kosher, and of course, organic. This product contains the following ingredients: water, organic oil, organic glycerin, and bitter almond oil.

Conclusion: Does Almond Extract Go Bad?

Do you have any questions on does almond extract goes bad? If so, please ask any questions regarding storing almond extract and using it in different recipes in the comment section below.

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