10 Best Rum Substitutes For Baking & Cooking


Alcohol is not used only as a beverage, but it can also be used in cooking. When you add it while cooking, it brings out an amazing aroma and makes your meal even tastier.

Rum is one of the most common drinks in the world, and it is also used in many sweet and savory dishes. It is a strong liquor that is distilled from sugar cane. The Caribbean is famous for its rum production.

Rum can be white or dark. Not only is it drunk on its own, but it is also mixed into various cocktails, and can be added to pastries or fillings. However, if you don’t like adding alcohol to your food, or simply don’t have it at hand, is there an alternative that will work just as well?

The best substitutes for Rum are Brandy, Gin, Cognac, Tequila, Sherry Liquor, Rum Extract, Apple Juice, Orange Juice, White Grape Juice, and Apple Cider.

Also, below we will tell you what to use instead of rum when you are making Tiramisu, as well as what you can use instead of rum extract.

Rum Substitutes

There are two ways you can substitute rum. You can either use another alcohol that is similar to rum, or you can choose something that contains no alcohol. We have gathered together 10 suggestions, along with some information that will help you choose, and that will help you make your recipes even more mouthwatering!

1. Brandy

This is an alcoholic beverage that is made from distilled wine or fermented fruit mash. Brandy can be a good substitute for rum in many recipes. The taste varies according to which fruit it’s made from, and its age, but generally speaking, it is sweet and has a sense of dried fruit. Brandy fits well in recipes with an exotic taste, including meat and sauces. Use a tablespoon when substituting.

2. Gin

Gin is another alcohol that is not only used to make cocktails – it’s also a good substitute for rum in cooking. Made by the distillation of mixed spirits with juniper berries and added additional extracts, it is considered to be a good substitute, especially in savory dishes like pasta or fish, as well as sweet dishes and desserts.

3. Cognac

Cognac is a type of brandy that has many different flavors (fruity, spicy, or sweet). Usually, it is used to make cocktails, but it can be a good substitute for rum in many recipes. Cognac brings additional richness to sauces and it’s excellent when cooking meat. You can use it in both savory and sweet dishes. Further, cognac can be combined with fruit, olives, and nuts.

food in pan with alcohol

4. Tequila

Tequila is famously made from the blue agave plant which grows near Guadalajara in Mexico. This is another suitable alcoholic replacement for rum in cooking. The taste of tequila can be different, depending on the brand, but usually it has a mild, sweet taste. Tequila goes best with seafood. Substitute equal amounts when cooking.

5. Sherry liquor

This is a fortified wine which is made from Spanish white grapes. Sherry liquor can be used as a replacement, especially if you are making desserts. It provides a gentle touch of delicate acidity and manzanilla, combined with sweetness. By using sherry as a substitute, you’ll add a nutty and sweet flavor to your meal.

Also Check: Pernod Substitutes

Non-Alcoholic Substitutions for Rum:

6. Rum Extract

Rum extract is a logical replacement for rum, and it can be used in any recipe that requires rum. The extract can last for a very long time when stored in a dry place.

There are two types – one is natural and the other one is an imitation of rum. The natural one is made with rum, and therefore has a rich taste that is very similar to actual rum. Because it is concentrated you only need to use it small quantities – adding just a little will immediately bring out the flavors in the dish.

Use rum extract as a substitution for rum in cakes, drinks, and other recipes that require rum. Use 1.5 tablespoons of rum extract for every 2 tablespoons of rum.

7. Apple Juice


Another substitute that works well is apple juice. Sweet and acidic, you can use it to make dressings, dips, or in salads. The flavor can resemble the taste of rum and you can substitute by using ½ cup of apple juice for every 1 tablespoon of rum.

8. Orange Juice

Another juice that will be a good substitute and do the job right is orange juice. It has a very natural and balanced sweetness, combined with acidity. It may also have hints of bitterness, but it’ll be a suitable replacement in many recipes. Use it when making marinades, combine with seasoning and other dipping sauces. Use ½ cup of orange juice for every tablespoon of rum.

9. White Grape Juice

Another healthy and non-alcoholic replacement is white grape juice. It has a very refreshing and sweet taste that can be used in most recipes that require rum, including sweet and savory dishes as well as many beverages. Use ½ cup of white grape juice for every tablespoon of rum.

10. Apple Cider

Another apple product, apple cider is an excellent replacement for rum in cooking. This is an unfiltered apple juice that has a stronger taste than apple juice. You can easily use it in place of rum in most recipes, but make sure you add a suitable amount because it has a stronger taste. It’s best to add just a little at first, and then add more if necessary.

Substitute for Rum in Tiramisu

Rum is used in a delicious and famous dessert – Tiramisu. Dark or white rum can be used with equal success.

However, if you want to avoid using rum or don’t have any, you can always substitute with coffee liquor, brandy, or cognac. Use equal amounts or adapt it according to your own taste – you can always add more if the taste is not strong enough.

Rum Extract Substitute

If you don’t have rum extract within reach, of course you can use rum. Another option that is very subtle is vanilla extract.

Vanilla extract will add a delicate touch to your recipe and bring out a very nice aroma (which will be very similar to rum). Add 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract to begin with, and then if you want a stronger taste and smell simply add a bit more.

Related questions:

Can you substitute whiskey for rum in a recipe?

Yes, you can. It’s probably one of the best choices, as it’s also a strong liquor that is frequently used in cooking. It has a similar sweet taste and is good for baking.

Which rum is best for cooking?

Dark and aged rum is best for cooking. It has a very strong flavor and will bring out the taste of your meal. It works particularly well in stews and with pork.

Is rum sweet?

Yes! Actually, dark rum is usually sweet, but white rum can be dry and have traces of bitterness.

  1. I want to substitute vanilla for the rum in my cake. But the rum requires 1/2 cup. I can’t add that much vanilla! But won’t I need the same amount of liquid?

  2. I am trying to make a rum raisin cake. The recipe requires 1 cup of dark spice rum. I don’t want to use any alcohol in this cake. What substitute can I use? Rum extract is my first thought, but not a cup!

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