Can I use vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean?  

A Teaspoon of Flavorenlarge
Photo: Beau Gustafson; Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine

About Our Expert

If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

Send Marge your cooking questions

Like Marge on Facebook

Browse Marge Perry's Recipes

Video Tips from Marge

More often than not, vanilla extract may be used in place of vanilla bean. The difference matters most when vanilla is the dominant flavor in your dish or baked good. When that's the case, you might want to opt for the clean, pure flavor (not to mention the appealing little specks) of vanilla bean. Vanilla extract, in comparison, can have a slight edge to the flavor and aroma, a result of the alcohol used to make it.

When using extract in place of vanilla bean in a recipe, use 1 teaspoon for every one inch of vanilla bean. Be sure to replace vanilla bean with vanilla extract and not vanilla flavoring or imitation vanilla, which are both a far cry from real vanilla.

For more ways to use vanilla, see 7 Ways with Vanilla.

Marge Perry
Oct, 2011
1
advertisement
  1. Enter at least one ingredient