What is substitute for rum in baking?

  • Some cake recipes calls for rum, and there is none available. How to substitute? If possible, it should be non-alcoholic.

    Also, what is its role in baking or cooking?

  • hobodave

    hobodave Correct answer

    10 years ago

    The most accurate substitution would simply be rum extract. It is concentrated rum with a huge kick of flavor, and much less alcohol. A little goes a long way.

    If you're going to stick with a strong liquor my first choice would be a bourbon, it's a similarly "sweet" liquor that tastes good in baking. Another good option would be cachaça.

    If you're avoiding liquor, then you may be able to use vanilla extract. Non-alcoholic varieties are available. According to Ochef you can also use molasses thinned with pineapple juice.

    The rum is used simply for flavor.

    @vwiggins. You are incorrect. Alcohol never totally disappears. For baking, after 1 hour 25% remains. 2.5 hours, 5% remains.

    @chris. Where do you get these figures? Given that ethanol's boiling point is far below most baking temperatures (as well as that of water), I've always understood that it would indeed evaporate during any baking or cooking. My organic chemistry lab experience bears this out.

    @kajaco This myth is dying a hard death. the first link is a plain text explanation and the second is for further reading (including the published papers) http://cooking.cdkitchen.com/AHealthyBite/385.html http://www.google.com/search?aq=0&;oq=alcohol+retention+in&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=alcohol+retention+in+food+preparation

    I would warrant there is more alcohol in apple sauce that has simply been frozen and defrosted than in a cake with 1/2 a teaspoon of rum extract, but I no longer have a lab to test this hypothesis. I'll have to see if any food hackers out there will indulge my experiment.

    @sarge_smith. That first link does NOT give enough info to warrant the conclusion that baking doesn't remove a substantial amount of the alcohol. The range of retention was 4% to 85%, and the only specific method mentioned with results was flaming (~78%). For all that link says, baking may be in the 4% retention range, which is quite good esp. considering the small quantities relative to overall volume. (Don't have time right now to check the Google search results, nor look up the original article.)

    @kajaco agreed that would be why i stuck the second link in there... the first article is just a plain english summary... there are multiple scholastic papers on the other link.

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