The 8 Best Substitutes For Anise Extract

What are the best substitutes for anise extract? The best anise extract replacements are licorice flavoring and similar anise products like anise oil, ground anise seeds, and anise liqueurs (Anisette, Pastis, Ouzo, and Sambuca). You can also use vanilla extract if you don’t like the intense licorice flavor of anise extract. 

Anise extract naturally contains anethole, the compound that gives anise extract its signature licorice flavor. The extract is used as a primary ingredient in many baked goods, cooking, and beverages. Here are the best substitutes to replace anise extract’s sweet licorice flavor. 

The Best Anise Extract Substitutes

Anise Oil

Anise oil and extract can be used interchangeably in recipes with the help of some measurement modifications.

Anise oil is highly concentrated compared to anise extract. While the oil is mostly used to flavor candy, you can substitute it with anise extract to flavor bread, cakes, muffins, cookies, and other baked goods.

Use ¼ teaspoon of anise oil for every teaspoon of anise extract.

Licorice Flavoring

Licorice flavoring and anise extract taste and smell almost identical, but licorice flavoring has a sharper, slightly sour, and more bitter flavor.

Both ingredients contain anethole, the natural flavoring compound that lends the “licorice” aroma.

You can use licorice flavoring and anise extract interchangeably in most recipes, including baked goods and teas.

Replace anise extract with licorice flavoring using a 1:1 ratio.

Anisette Liqueur

Anisette is a sweet, potent Mediterranean liqueur made with anise seeds. This liqueur is generally colorless and boasts a sweet, black licorice flavor.

You can use Anisette as an anise extract replacement to flavor coffee or bake cookies and biscotti.

Use 2 tablespoons anisette liqueur to replace 1 teaspoon anise extract.

Pastis (Pernod)

Pastis is a French, booze-heavy, anise-flavored spirit.

Most commercial pastis is a blend of licorice flavoring or licorice root and a neutral base spirit. However, smaller-production distilleries use anise extract to flavor the spirit.

You can use this alcoholic beverage to spice up your hot chocolate, coffee, or desserts when you run out of anise extract.

Use 2 tablespoons pastis to replace 1 teaspoon anise extract.


Ouzo is Greece’s national spirit. It is a colorless, dry anise-flavored liqueur or aperitif made from grape must. Ouzo has distinct licorice or anise flavors, making it an ideal anise extract substitute.

You can use ouzo to add a distinct anise flavor to your dishes, hot beverages, and baked goods. However, this Greek elixir can contain other spices like cinnamon, fennel, and cardamom.

Use 2 tablespoons ouzo to replace 1 teaspoon anise extract.


Sambuca is an Italian liqueur with distinctive licorice or anise flavors. The liqueur comes in three colors, white, red, and black.

White sambuca is flavored with licorice root, while red sambuca and black sambuca are flavored with star anise and coffee beans. 

You can pair sambuca with veggies with similar refreshing anise flavors and aromas. Alternatively, use sambuca to sweeten sweet dishes and desserts.

Use 2 tablespoons sambuca to replace 1 teaspoon anise extract.

Ground Anise Seeds

You can use ground anise seeds and anise extract interchangeably by adjusting the recipe’s quantities. Anise seeds also offer a sweet, fragrant aroma and intense licorice taste.

You can substitute anise extract with ground anise seeds for baked goods, ground meat, coffee, or hot chocolate, or brew the seeds into a licorice-flavored tea.

Use 2 teaspoons of ground anise seeds for each teaspoon of anise extract.

Vanilla Extract

You can use vanilla extract as an anise extract alternative if you don’t care for the licorice flavor of anise. It is a hassle-free substitute that’s most likely already in your pantry.

Vanilla extract is delicious in warm beverages, sauces, and baked goods like pancakes, muffins, cakes, and waffles. 

Use equal amounts of vanilla extract when substituting anise extract in recipes.