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Substitute Actual Vodka For Storebought Vanilla Extract

If you’re like many people, you’ve probably bought a jar of vanilla extract at a local store. You might also have seen that it’s around $6 or so. However what if I told you there is a way to use vanilla extract in your baked goods without spending an arm and leg?

An easy way to save time and money is to substitute real vodka for the store-bought vanilla extract! Not only will it give your baked goods some extra oomph, but it’ll also cut out any unnecessary artificial ingredients from your recipe! And who knows, maybe this can even be one of those “analogous” things that nudges our society forward towards healthier living (like drinking vodka instead of soda). πŸ™‚

So you see, this post doesn’t just cover how to substitute vanilla extract for vodka. It also covers how to substitute real vanilla powder for extract! If you’re wanting a DIY recipe, you’ll want to scroll down to the end of this article. However if you want an easy recipe with some basic substitutions, read on…

BASIC VANILLA SUBSTITUTIONS:

To Substitute Vanilla Powder for Extract :

You’re going to need about 1/4 cup of real vanilla powder. You can find vanilla powder at most health food stores and supermarkets (in the spice aisle). It’s normally described as “pure vanilla”.

To Substitute Vanilla Extract for Vodka :

3 oz vodka, 2 cups of sugar and 1 tablespoon with vanilla pod (this assumes you don’t buy vanilla extract!)

PREPARATION:

Before you begin, make sure that your vodka has been well-chilled. Otherwise, the alcohol will evaporate off at a greater rate than the other ingredients and your mixture will end up too runny. Also make sure that your vanilla bean has been removed from its pod. Otherwise the mixture will turn bitter. This is actually very easy to do – I just stuck mine in the freezer until I was ready to use it.

Once chilled, combine all ingredients in a small glass container and refrigerate overnight. This allows the mixture to really extract all of the flavor out of the vanilla bean.

HOW TO USE:

Substituting this vanilla in any recipe which calls for vanilla extract is as easy as substituting! Find a recipe you’d like, substitute the vodka for store-bought extract and then substitute the vodka + real beans for store-bought powder!

See also  Pure Vanilla Extract

In case you don’t want to start from scratch, I’ve also found this great recipe for homemade vanilla frosting .

Note – some may not be satisfied with the taste of real vanilla beans. The only way to really know what’s best for you is to try it and see if you like it.

RECIPE FOR VANILLA FROSTING:

This recipe is used to substitute vanilla extract for vodka, but can also be used as a base vanilla frosting. In other words, the ingredients are very similar to those listed below, but there are two main adjustments – you will use real vanilla extract and it will be combined with confectioner’s sugar instead of powdered sugar. I’ve included both my version and a store-bought frosting recipe below as an example.

To Substitute Real Vanilla Extract for Vodka:

1 cup of granulated sugar

2 tablespoons of real vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 275. Place a small mixing bowl in the freezer. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Gently mix by hand until well-combined and no clumps remain.

To Replace 1/4 Cup of Vodka With Real Vanilla Powder:

You’re going to need about 1/4 cup of vanilla powder (I’ve seen it at Whole Foods and health food stores). You can find vanilla powder at most health food stores and supermarkets (in the spice aisle). It’s normally described as “pure vanilla”.

To Replace 1/4 Cup of Vodka With Real Vanilla Extract:

3 oz vodka, 2 cups of sugar and 1 tablespoon with vanilla pod (this assumes you don’t buy vanilla extract!)

Preheat oven to 275. Place a small mixing bowl in the freezer. Place granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Combine alcohol and pod in a large mixing bowl. Gently mix by hand until well-combined and no clumps remain. In the medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients with a fork or whisk until well-combined, adding more sugar if necessary for some sweetness.

To Substitute 1/4 Cup of Vodka With 1/4 Cup Real Vanilla Powder:

You’re going to need about 1/4 cup of vanilla powder (I’ve seen it at Whole Foods and health food stores). You can find vanilla powder at most health food stores and supermarkets (in the spice aisle). It’s normally described as “pure vanilla”.

To Substitute 1/4 Cup of Vodka With 1/4 Cup Real Vanilla Extract:

3 oz vodka, 2 cups of sugar and 1 tablespoon with vanilla pod (this assumes you don’t buy vanilla extract!)

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Combine all ingredients in a small glass container. Refrigerate overnight.

To Replace 1/2 Cup of Vodka With 1/2 Cup Real Vanilla Powder:

You’re going to need about 1/2 cup of vanilla powder (I’ve seen it at Whole Foods and health food stores). You can find vanilla powder at most health food stores and supermarkets (in the spice aisle). It’s normally described as “pure vanilla”.

Preheat oven to 275. Place a small mixing bowl in the freezer. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Gently mix by hand until well-combined and no clumps remain.

To Replace 1/2 Cup of Vodka With 1/2 Cup Real Vanilla Extract:

3 oz vodka, 2 cups of sugar and 1 tablespoon with vanilla pod (this assumes you don’t buy vanilla extract!)

Combine all ingredients in a small glass container. Refrigerate overnight.

Flickr photo by Ben. Photo from Ben’s Flickr stream .

Please note – I am not claiming the original recipe for this frosting is mine – I’m simply providing an example of how to substitute real vanilla for vodka or extract.

How Long Does Vanilla Powder Last?

Vanilla powder will last for a very long time as long as you keep it in a cool dry place. However, the vodka that’s used makes the difference in how long vanilla powder will actually last. The more expensive and high-quality the vodka is, the longer vanilla powder and extract together will last. In short – real vanilla lasts longer than imitation vanilla!

Where Can I Buy Real Vanilla?

You can buy real vanilla online at sites like Amazon .com or at health food stores or grocery stores. I would recommend buying only real vanilla powder, as this is the best way to ensure you’re getting pure vanilla extract as well as real vanilla beans!

Can You Freeze Vanilla Powder?

Yes, you can freeze vanilla powder in ziplock freezer bags or in an air-tight container. Storing it with its own oxygen from the air will help prevent the perfume and flavor from dissipating over time. If you add alcohol, keep in mind that it will evaporate over time, so be sure to use vodka or baking alcohol (not rubbing alcohol) when freezing. You can also put it in a plastic bag with an ice-cube tray to form ice cubes for iced coffee drinks and frozen dessert recipes.

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Can you get sick from expired vanilla extract?

It’s very possible to get sick from expired vanilla, especially when using the imitation extract! Real vanilla lasts a long time, so be sure to store in a cool, dark place and use it up within a reasonable period of time. If you try to freeze it, make sure not to let it freeze solid or else it will shatter and separate.

How can you tell if vanilla has gone bad?

The first indication that vanilla is bad will be a strong musty smell. The more potent and stronger the smell, the worse it probably is. Another sign that it’s bad is a watery liquid with a brownish tint at the bottom. This can also give off an awful smell.

How to Stop Bad Vanilla from Sticking to Sides of Bowls?

If you get vanilla extract on your wooden table, there are ways to stop it from sticking, but they are time consuming and messy! You need to put on rubber gloves and rub some dishwashing liquid (not soap) all over the table before trying to do anything else with it.

Can vanilla extract grow mold?

Yes, it is possible for vanilla extract to grow mold. Mold is a sign that the alcohol content has evaporated and dried out. As you probably guessed, the longer it’s left open to the air, the more likely this will happen. Also keep in mind that if you leave an opened bottle of vanilla extract in a hot place, such as direct sunlight or near a radiator or wood stove – this will also cause mold to grow.

Real vanilla is a very time-consuming and labor-intensive food to make. It’s only worth it if you like to create your own dishes and recipes, have a huge sweet tooth, or need to save money on store-bought ingredients. In conclusion, the question of whether you can use real vanilla in frosting depends entirely on whether your recipe calls for imitation or pure vanilla. If you’re making recipes that call for pure vanilla extract, then the answer is yes – it’s possible to use real vanilla in place of imitation vanilla in any recipe where you would normally add imitation vanilla extract.

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