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Substitute For Vanilla Extract In French Toast

Substitute For Vanilla Extract In French Toast

Are you making French toast but you’re all out of vanilla extract? Or maybe you don’t like vanilla extract and want a different flavor that goes well in French toast?

No matter what French toast recipe you are using, there are a number of substitutes for vanilla extract you can use. And you will learn how to use each of them in this quick article.

French toast is one of my family’s favorite breakfasts and we make it multiple times a month. And over the years I’ve experimented with a lot of flavors in search of the best tasting French toast, and I’ll show you my favorite alternatives for vanilla extract.

So what are the best substitutes for vanilla extract when making French toast?

The top vanilla extract alternatives are almond extract, vanilla bean paste, cashew extract, and walnut extract, and cinnamon.

We will also go over what to do if you don’t have any of these ingredients available. Make sure to read on to learn how to use all the vanilla extract substitutes in your recipe.

Vanilla Extract Alternative when Making French Toast

French toast on plate without toppings on a wooden table

French toast is the perfect base for creating wonderful flavor combinations. You can top French toast in all sorts of great ways, and using the substitutes for vanilla extract below you can create some amazing combinations.

Vanilla extract is called for in many French toast recipes because the flavor goes so well with maple syrup, fruit, powdered sugar, and whipped cream.

So when replacing vanilla extract, we need to use an ingredient that provides a similar flavor, or one that pairs with all the different ways you can prepare French toast.

And each of the options below will do exactly that! Read on to find out how to use each of them to make a tasty batch of French toast for your family.

Related: Milk replacements when making French toast

Almond Extract

bottle of almond extract and bowl of whole almonds on rustic table

If you’ve ever checked out any of my recipes then you know I’m a big fan of almond extract. It provides a wonderful flavor that is earthy and nutty.

And that flavor is perfect for French toast. The earthiness pairs wonderfully with sweet toppings like maple syrup, berries, and whipped cream.

It’s also carried at most larger supermarkets as well as through numerous online retailers. It’s a versatile ingredient that can be used to liven up many types of recipes so you should keep it stocked in your kitchen.

Related: Almond extract alternatives


1 teaspoon of almond extract equals 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Vanilla Bean Paste

plate of French toast and fresh berries

If you want a vanilla extract substitute that offers a similar flavor then vanilla bean paste is the best option.

Made by combining pure vanilla extract with real vanilla bean, the paste will provide your French toast with a wonderful flavor and aroma.

Vanilla bean paste is another versatile ingredient that has earned a permanent place in my kitchen. You can find it at most large grocery stores and specialty stores.

Related: Substitutions for vanilla bean paste


1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste equals 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Cashew Extract

measuring bowl of cashew extract and whole cashews in a bag

Cashew extract is going to produce a flavor similar to what you get with almond extract. Again, the nutty and earthy flavor is perfect for the sweet toppings you’ll be putting on your French toast.

Cashew extract is not always stocked at my local grocery store but it is a great choice if you have it available. The flavor is perfect for making homemade French toast.


1 teaspoon of cashew extract equals 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Walnut Extract

bottle of natural walnut extract and whole walnuts on table

You may see a pattern here! Nut extract are a wonderful substitute for vanilla extract, and walnut extract is another great option for making French toast.

The deep, earthy flavor is a bit stronger than the other ingredients on this list, but it pairs absolutely wonderfully with all those sweet French toast toppers.


2/3 teaspoon of walnut extract equals 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


bowl of cinnamon on dark wood table

You can turn your recipe into a cinnamon French toast one by using cinnamon instead of vanilla extract. This classic flavor is a big crowd pleaser so if you have cinnamon on hand it’s a great option.

Cinnamon has a strong flavor that pairs well with all sorts of French toast toppings. You can start with the ratio below and adjust it according to your taste preference.

Related: Cinnamon substitutes


1 teaspoon of cinnamon equals 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Can you leave vanilla extract out when making French toast

top view of French toast with fruit and powdered sugar

So what do you do if you don’t have vanilla extract or any of the substitutes above?

In that case, it is okay to skip the vanilla extract in your recipe. Because the role of vanilla extract is to impart flavor, you will be missing out on that flavor in your French toast.

But your recipe will still turn out, and the flavor can be carried by the toppings you use instead.

Can you replace vanilla extract with vanilla sugar

You can use vanilla sugar in your French toast, but it will add a significant amount of sweetness. So if your recipe already calls for sugar, simply replace it with vanilla sugar in equal amounts.

Can you use vanilla essence instead of pure vanilla extract

Yes, you can use vanilla essence if you don’t have vanilla extract on hand. The flavor is similar, though pure vanilla extract does have a “better” flavor according to many bakers. Use a 1:1 ratio when subbing vanilla extract with vanilla essence.