Here Are A Few Substitutes For Vanilla Extract
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The warm scent of vanilla extract is a familiar smell and flavour in baked goods. However, in the event that you find yourself with no access to good quality vanilla extract or run out of stock, other flavouring agents make up for the absence, in more ways than one. You could skip a run to the nearest grocery store, thereby saving yourself time and staying on course with your plans to bake something delicious in your kitchen. Here are a few substitutes for vanilla, that you can match in the best way possible to suit what you’re baking.

Maple Syrup

The flavour of maple syrup is closest to that of a beautifully scented, good quality vanilla extract and can be used in the same quantity or more in recipes. You could also replace maple syrup with regular pancake syrup that is commonly available and marginally cheaper than pure maple and decrease the amount of sugar being used, to balance the sweetness.

Almond Extract

Made from almond oil, with the flavour of sweet almonds, the extract works wonders in tea cakes or fillings for pies. However, almond extract has an overpowering flavour, compared to vanilla so using half the amount of what you would, is advisable. Almond extract also provides a nutty flavour to your cakes and cookies which has a mellow aftertaste.


If you manage to get your hands on a vanilla pod, simply soak it in rum or brandy for a few days and use a spoonful to add to whipped cream, frosting or even doughnut glaze, for a boozy kick. You could also use these alcohol varieties devoid of the vanilla flavouring to give your desserts an edge over the usual fare.

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Lemon/Orange Flower Extract

These citrus extracts are perfect for summer trifles and fruit-based desserts and enhance the taste of whatever you add it to. Not only do these extracts provide flavour, they also scent your baking with the sweet-tart smell of citrus. Adding some fresh lemon zest, followed by a touch of lemon juice or orange juice can help accentuate this effect further.

Vanilla Sugar

In the rare occasion that you would have happened to use a vanilla pod in your past baking activities, stick the rind of the pod into a jar of sugar and use that instead of regular sugar for all your baking needs. Although it might not have an imposing vanilla presence, it will surely capture the aroma from the bean and add a whisper of vanilla flavour to your cookies, cakes, frosting and more.