5 Great Coffee Flavored Liqueur Substitutes

Looking to replace the coffee flavored liqueur in your recipe? You’re in luck! 

Whether you’re making a delicious tiramisu or preparing some cocktails on a Friday night, coffee liqueur is a delicious addition to your recipe. But what if you’ve run out? Or if you’re looking for an alcohol-free alternative?

The best substitutes for coffee liqueur are instant coffee, sweetened condensed milk, coffee extract, coffee-liqueur syrup, and chocolate syrup.

There’s a substitution to fit almost any recipe you can find to make. Whether it’s a dessert, flavored coffee, a mocktail, or a cake. There are many options to choose from when making a delicious recipe using a coffee liqueur alternative!

What is coffee liqueur?

Coffee flavored liqueur is a chocolate and coffee-flavored drink usually made with rum. It can also be made by using a vodka base rather than rum. Since it is made using a lot of sugar, it is usually a sweet drink. 

The most well-known brand is Kahlua, but there are many different kinds available. Some like to make their own coffee liqueur at home. No matter what brand, it is a drink that combines two favorites: coffee and liqueur!

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What is coffee liqueur used for?

This liqueur is used for many cocktails like

And more! 

It’s also used in a few desserts such as tiramisu, souffle, and cheesecake. Some people even prefer to drink it by itself. 

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Whatever you are using it for, there’s a way to substitute it with these options.

1. Instant Coffee

You can use instant coffee instead of coffee liqueur.  Instant coffee is a fast and easy product that many people already have in their pantries.  Simply add water and stir and you’ve got coffee! It’s a great substitute if you’re in a pinch.

  • Add some water to the instant coffee according to the instructions based on the brand you are using.
  • Add some chocolate extract to get the classic chocolate flavor. Use 1 teaspoon for every ½ teaspoon of instant coffee.
  • If you don’t have any chocolate extract laying around, try cocoa powder!
  • If the mixture is too bitter for your purposes, add a teaspoon of sugar. Add more as needed.

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2. Coffee Extract

Another great alternative is a coffee extract. Coffee extract is made using a strong concentration of coffee beans and alcohol. It’s used often in baking, desserts, and drinks.

Add a small amount of this to your drink or dessert for that rich coffee-liqueur taste without the liqueur itself! Since it’s so concentrated, you don’t need much. 

Feel free to stir in some sugar or cocoa powder for the sweet, chocolatey taste!

3. Coffee-Liqueur Syrup

Used by baristas and mixologists, coffee liqueur syrup is a wonderful substitute. It’s a syrup made to taste just like the alcoholic coffee liqueur but is completely alcohol free!

This is a great choice for making 

  • Cocktails
  • Coffees
  • Teas
  • Desserts

Add it to some cold brew coffee for a great iced mocktail!

4. Sweetened Condensed Milk

When making a dessert that calls for coffee liqueur, sweetened condensed milk can be used as a replacement. This won’t substitute the coffee-chocolate flavor but will keep your dessert alcohol free and delicious.

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Since it is so sweet, try adding less sugar to your recipe. 

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You don’t always need to add chocolate to a recipe when you’re using sweetened condensed milk. It’s already very sweet and adding a sweet chocolate may not be necessary. This would be a good replacement to use in things that are already chocolate flavored, like cake!

5. Chocolate Syrup

If you want a good alternative that provides the rich chocolate flavor while still being alcohol free, use chocolate syrup. This is a good replacement in drinks and desserts. 

Use this replacement to make a family friendly tiramisu. You can also mix it with some instant coffee to add in that coffee flavor! 


There are so many tasty desserts, drinks, and more that you can make with coffee flavored liqueur. Don’t let anything hold you back from trying them out using these substitutes! Using one of these, you’ll be able to make almost anything that calls for coffee flavored liqueur!