How Much Anise Extract Instead of Star Anise?

Last Updated on June 29, 2023 by Lauren Beck

In my culinary explorations, I’ve encountered moments when star anise has gone missing from my spice rack. But fear not, for anise extract can step in and save the day! 

In this article, we’ll unravel the mystery of how much anise extract to use as a substitute for star anise. Get ready to unlock the secrets of flavor and elevate your dishes to new heights!

How Much Anise Extract Instead of Star Anise?

To replace star anise with anise extract, use 1 teaspoon of extract for 1-2 whole star anise pods. 

Adjust to taste, as the potency can vary between brands. Start with less and add more gradually until you achieve the desired level of anise flavor.

What Is the Proper Ratio of Anise Extract to Use as a Replacement for Ground Aniseed?

If your recipe calls for ground aniseed but you only have anise extract on hand, fear not! The general rule of thumb is to use 1 teaspoon of anise extract for every 1 teaspoon of ground aniseed. 

However, remember that anise extract is more concentrated in flavor, so adjust the amount according to your taste preferences. Start with a smaller amount and gradually add more if needed.

What Is Anise Extract?

Anise extract is derived from the seeds of the anise plant, scientifically known as Pimpinella anisum. It is a concentrated form of the distinctive licorice-like flavor that anise is known for. 

Anise extract is commonly used in baking, confectionery, and flavoring beverages like liqueurs and cocktails. 

It adds a sweet and aromatic touch to dishes, infusing them with a delightful anise flavor.

Star Anise Substitute

Star Anise on a Saucer

If you find yourself without star anise, don’t worry! There are several substitutes you can use to replicate its unique flavor. 

Anise extract is one such substitute, as it captures the essence of anise with its concentrated flavor. Other alternatives include:

  • Ground Aniseed: If your recipe calls for a star anise, using ground aniseed can be a suitable replacement. Remember that ground aniseed is less potent in flavor, so you may need to use a slightly larger quantity to achieve the desired taste.
  • Fennel Seeds: Fennel seeds offer a similar licorice-like flavor to star anise. Grind the fennel seeds to a powder and use them as a substitute in equal amounts. Fennel seeds work well in savory dishes and can add a unique touch to your culinary creations.

Does Anise Seed Taste Like Star Anise?

While anise seed and star anise share a similar flavor profile, they are not exactly the same. 

Anise seed, derived from the Pimpinella anisum plant [1], has a slightly milder and sweeter taste than star anise. 

If you’re substituting anise seed for star anise, remember that the flavor may be less intense, so adjust the quantity accordingly.

Can I Use Cloves as a Star Anise Replacement?

Cloves can be used as a substitute for star anise in certain dishes. Cloves have a strong and distinctive flavor, hinting of sweetness and a warm, spicy aroma. 

However, it’s important to note that cloves have a different flavor profile than star anise. 

When using cloves as a substitute, start with a smaller amount and adjust to taste. Cloves work well in dishes like stews, braises, and mulled beverages.


Through my kitchen adventures, I’ve discovered that anise extract can successfully replace star anise when needed. With its concentrated flavor, a teaspoon of anise extract can stand in for 1-2 whole-star anise pods. 

Remember, though, that the strength of the extract can vary, so adjust according to taste. Begin with a smaller amount and gradually add more until you achieve the desired anise flavor in your recipe. 

So fear not if star anise is elusive, as anise extract is here to save the day and infuse your dishes with that distinctive anise essence. Happy cooking!


Lauren Beck
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