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Substitute For Vanilla Extract In Frosting

Substitute For Vanilla Extract In Frosting

Are you making homemade frosting but you’re all out of vanilla extract? Or maybe you are looking for a different type of flavoring to add to your frosting.

No matter why you need a substitute for vanilla extract, you can make your frosting with any of the alternatives below.

Vanilla extract is one of the most popular flavors used in frosting. It can be used to make frosting for everything from cakes and cupcakes to cookies and brownies.

So when you are looking for a replacement, you must use an ingredient that provides a similar flavor as well as one that pairs well with your recipe.

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

The top alternatives you can use for vanilla extract are almond extract, vanilla bean paste, vanilla bean, chocolate extract, coconut extract, and lemon extract.

Each of these will provide a wonderful flavor to your frosting and can be used in all types of recipes. Make sure to read on to learn how to use each of these ingredients in your frosting recipe.

Related Recipe: Cream cheese frosting without powdered sugar

Vanilla Extract Alternatives for Making Frosting

top view of bowl of homemade frosting

There are many great uses for frosting and many different types you can make. And no matter if your making buttercream frosting, whipped, or a traditional frosting recipe, you can use a number of alternative to add a wonderful flavor to your frosting when you’re all out of vanilla extract.

Below you will find replacements that provide a delicious vanilla flavor as well as ingredients for those who are looking for something other than vanilla.

Related Recipe: Buttercream frosting without powdered sugar

Almond Extract

bottles of almond extract and bowl of almonds on wooden table

Almond extract is an excellent substitute for vanilla extract in all types of frosting. The subtle, earthy flavor pairs exceptionally well in sweet desserts.

Almond extract is stocked at most grocery stores so even if you don’t have any on hand, it’s easy to get. And with it’s versatility, you will likely want to use it in future baked goods as well.

Related: Almond extract alternatives


1 teaspoon of almond extract equals 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Vanilla Bean Paste

single cupcake with vanilla frosting closeup

If you are looking for a way to add vanilla flavor to your frosting without using vanilla extract, there is no better option than vanilla bean paste.

It is made by combining pure vanilla extract with crushed vanilla bean, so the flavor is intense. It’s the perfect ingredient for adding vanilla flavor to any type of frosting.

Related: Replacements for vanilla bean paste


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

Vanilla Bean Pod

vanilla bean pods on wood table

Another great way to replace vanilla extract while still getting the delicious flavor of vanilla in your frosting is by using real vanilla bean.

To use vanilla bean in your frosting, scrape the inside of the pod and add the scrapings to your other frosting ingredients and mix together.

Related: Vanilla bean alternatives


1 scraped vanilla bean pod equals 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Chocolate Extract

bottle of chocolate extract

If you want to turn that vanilla frosting recipe into a delicious chocolate frosting without adding actual chocolate or syrup, you can use chocolate extract.

While not stocked at all grocery stores, it can be found at most specialty markets. And replacing vanilla extract with chocolate extract is a simple 1:1 ratio.

Related: Substitutions for chocolate extract


1 teaspoon of chocolate extract equals 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Coconut Extract

closeup of bottle of coconut extract

If you love the flavor of coconut, then this is a great way to replace vanilla extract and produce an interesting flavored frosting.

Coconut pairs with so many sweet desserts, so coconut extract is a versatile option to go with. It works well in frostings paired with chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and so many more.

Related: Coconut extract replacements


1 teaspoon of coconut extract equals 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Lemon Extract

bottle of lemon extract and lemon leaves

You can turn your recipe into lemon frosting simply by using lemon extract instead of vanilla extract. The flavor is wonderful and pairs with many different types of desserts.

The bright, zesty flavor is great for cakes and cupcake and the replacement ratio is a simple 1:1. You could also use lemon juice to add a zest lemon flavor to your frosting if you don’t have the extract on hand. If using lemon juice, go with two tablespoons for each teaspoon of vanilla extract your recipe calls for.

Related: Replacements for lemon extract


1 teaspoon of lemon extract equals 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Can you leave out vanilla extract in frosting

two frosted cupcakes on wooden serving platter

If you are all out of vanilla extract, you can skip it but your frosting will lack in flavor. Vanilla extract’s primary use in any frosting is imparting a wonderful vanilla flavor.

If you don’t have vanilla extract a better idea is to use a substitute. There are a number of ingredients you can use to create a great flavored frosting. Go with almond extract, vanilla bean paste, or another of your favorite extracts.

Bottom Line

Vanilla extract is an important part of making a delicious tasting frosting. But if you don’t have any, or want to use a different flavor, there are a number of great alternatives you can use.

The list above are some of the simplest and tastiest subs you can use, but you can flavor your frosting in many ways. Any extract can be used instead of vanilla extract, so go with your favorite flavor and let use know your favorite alternative so we can give it a try.