By Meredith Burgio

Tiramisu. Truffles. Cheesecake. None of these delectable desserts would be the same without coffee liqueur. However, if coffee liqueur is not readily available in your kitchen cabinets, you can easily make a substitute out of readily-available ingredients. Although these substitutions will not be perfect replicas of coffee liqueur, they will add the necessary strong chocolate and coffee flavors to your desserts.

Slice of cake and drink
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Cake and coffee drink


Espresso shot being made
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Espresso coffee machine in action

Use espresso as a non-alcoholic substitution for coffee liqueur. You can make this substitute with either regular or instant espresso. Brew the espresso strong. Add unsweetened cocoa powder to the espresso, and sweeten it with sugar to taste.

Instant Coffee

Instant Coffee
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Spoon of instant coffee grounds

Make a substitute for 2 tbsp. of coffee liqueur by mixing 1 tsp. of instant coffee with 2 tbsp. of water and 1/2 to 1 tsp. of chocolate extract. If you do not have chocolate extract, use unsweetened cocoa powder and sweeten the mixture to taste with sugar.

Coffee Syrup

Preparation of caramel coffee
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Coffee syrup, caramel, cinnamon and cream

Coffee-flavored syrup can substitute for coffee liqueur. Supermarkets usually carry this syrup. Add unsweetened cocoa powder to the syrup for a true coffee liqueur flavor.

Coffee Extract

Third Wave Artisinal Coffee Roasters Find Niche
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Machine with coffee beans to make extract

Mix non-alcoholic coffee extract and cocoa powder together for a coffee liqueur substitute. Add the cocoa powder slowly until you arrive at the desired taste. Add sugar to sweeten. You can purchase non-alcoholic coffee extract at most supermarkets.