When to Use Pure Vanilla Extract or Imitation Vanilla in Desserts

Imitation vanilla is a little more budget friendly than pure extract, but using it can affect the taste of your homemade desserts. We'll let you know what kinds of desserts can be made with imitation vanilla without affecting the taste.

Pure Vanilla Extract vs. Imitation Vanilla

In oven-baked goods, such as cakes and cookies, it's almost impossible to taste the difference between the flavor of items prepared with imitation vanilla or pure vanilla extract. Basically, for baked goods, imitation vanilla will be fine.

In low-heat sweets, such as puddings, pastry creams, and icings, the taste difference is more noticeable. For best results, use pure vanilla extract for these treats and for frozen desserts.

Vanilla Substitutions and Recipes

We have more info on using vanilla substitutes, including vanilla beans, plus delicious vanilla recipes:

Vanilla Substitute

Our Best Vanilla Cakes and Cupcakes

How to Make Vanilla Ice Cream

Best-Ever Vanilla Pudding

How to Make Vanilla Cupcakes

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