What is the difference between vanilla extract and vanilla flavoring?

In this brief article, we will provide you with the answer to the question: ”What is the difference between vanilla extract and vanilla flavoring?” and discuss some curiosities about vanilla. We will also teach you how to use vanilla beans. 

What is the difference between vanilla extract and vanilla flavoring?

Vanilla extract is created by steeping fava beans in alcoholic liquor. This wide bean is dipped in vodka, brandy, or rum after being cut or crushed. It takes at least six months for the alcohol to extract all of the flavors from this soak.

Vodka is widely used to extract the flavor from vanilla beans since it has a cleaner flavor than gin or rum, which might interfere with the flavor of the vanilla extract you’re manufacturing.

Because it is a natural product, it is the ideal alternative for enhancing the flavor of foods, particularly confectionery. 

Vanilla flavoring, on the other hand, may or may not contain genuine vanilla extract, although they are usually manufactured from vanillin, which is derived in part from vanilla pods. 

The flavor is present, but it is not identical. That is why, despite the enormous demand for the taste of real vanilla, vanilla flavoring is still an excellent alternative. It will still smell and taste fantastic in your cakes and biscuits. 

Curiosities about vanilla


Vanilla is the world’s second most costly spice, behind saffron. The kitchen consumes 80 to 85 percent of its output, with the remainder going to perfumeries. Absolute Vanilla, the most concentrated form of real vanilla (costing $6,000 per kilogram), is the long-lasting base note of several well-known fragrances, such as Chanel No 5.

A large family

Vanilla is a kind of orchid. The orchid family, which has approximately 20,000 species, is the world’s biggest family of flowering plants. There are 150 different types of vanilla orchids, but only two of them, Bourbon and Tahitian, are commercially available. 

It is now mostly farmed on Madagascar and Reunion Island (these two countries together produce three-quarters of the vanilla consumed in the world). India, Indonesia, and China made minor amounts. 

Vanilla Powder

The vanilla powder may be prepared from several ingredients, such as powdered vanilla essence blended with flour and sugar. It may be used to flavor both hot and cold dishes. 

Vanilla market

According to one estimate, 97 percent of vanilla used today is synthetic.  We are so accustomed to fake vanilla flavoring that, in blind experiments, many individuals now prefer it over the real one.

Flavor combinations

Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, lavender, vervain, lemongrass, licorice, mint, and nutmeg pair well with vanilla.

Vanilla uses

Vanilla flavoring is used in a variety of culinary dishes, particularly sweets. Cakes, muffins, brownies, pies, puddings, panna cotta, cookies…the options are endless. It may also be utilized in savory dishes. Its sweet taste goes well with pork, fish, and poultry. 

How to use vanilla beans?

To learn how to use vanilla beans, follow the instructions below:

  • Using a knife, trim the ends of the vanilla bean. The wide bean should next be sliced in half lengthwise.
  • Scrape the wide bean delicately, without using too much effort, with the tip of a knife or even a tiny spoon, to extract its extremely small seeds.
  • These tiny seeds will provide scent to dishes, which is where vanilla beans are most commonly employed.

To consume 100% vanilla bean

After opening the pod and scraping the seeds inside, it is time to use the pod to your advantage and begin extracting.

To extract the taste from the pod, place it in a glass and submerge it in an alcohol solution for several hours. 

The bean may also be used to manufacture vanilla sugar, which is excellent for sweetening, baking cakes, biscuits, creams, and candies, among other things. Furthermore, the beans can be ground into powder.

Other FAQs about Vanilla Extract that you may be interested in.

Can you eat vanilla extract raw?

Where does imitation vanilla come from?

Where do vanilla beans come from?


In this brief article, we provided you with the answer to the question: ”What is the difference between vanilla extract and vanilla flavoring?” and discussed some curiosities about vanilla. We also taught you how to use vanilla beans. 


Kitchen. “Baking Tip: When to Use Flavoring Oils vs. Extracts.” Accessed January 7, 2022. https://www.thekitchn.com/baking-tip-when-to-use-flavori-140218.

Eu como sim. “Absolutamente tudo sobre Baunilha,” April 10, 2013. https://www.eucomosim.com/absolutamente-tudo-sobre-baunilha/.

Oct 5, Roselle Miranda | and 2020. “This Is The Difference Between Vanilla Extract And Vanilla Flavoring.” yummy.ph. Accessed January 7, 2022. https://www.yummy.ph/lessons/baking/vanilla-extract-vs-vanilla-flavoring-in-baking-a00249-20201005.