Imagine you're at home mixing up Vanilla martinis for a happy hour with the girls, only to realize that you are out of the vanilla extract. What a bummer! After scrounging around, you find some vanilla syrup in the kitchen cabinet. Have you saved the day??
You might remember that you can substitute natural syrups for drinks in various recipes. Still, you’ll soon find out that you can also substitute vanilla syrup with vanilla extract in cocktails, iced teas, baked goods, and more. So yes, you have saved the day! Substitute vanilla syrup as an exact replacement for vanilla extract and go ahead and finish mixing up those vanilla martinis. Happy hour is about to begin!
What Is Vanilla Extract and What Does it Taste Like?
Vanilla extract is a liquid made by soaking vanilla beans in alcohol. The alcohol extracts the flavor from the beans and acts as a preservative, giving the extract a long shelf life.
You’ll find vanilla extract listed as a required ingredient in many recipes, including baked goods, ice cream, custards, and even some cocktails. Vanilla extract is often recommended to add to coffee or tea for a richer flavor. While the exact taste of the vanilla extract depends on the beans used, it typically has a sweet and floral flavor with hints of spice.
What Is Syrup?
Syrup is a sweet liquid from sugar or cornstarch to flavor food and beverages. It is usually made with cane sugar or beet sugar, and the flavorings and colorings vary depending on the type of syrup.
For example, maple syrup is made from the sap of maple trees and has a characteristic amber color and rich flavor. Other popular syrups include fruit syrups, made from fruit juices, whereas chocolate syrup is made from cocoa powder and milk. It’s also important to know the difference between natural sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
In addition to its flavoring agent, you can use the syrup as a topping on pancakes, waffles, and ice cream–but sugar-free, low-calorie syrup options, like those from Skinny Mixes, are typically a much healthier option for all of these uses!
When to Use Vanilla Syrup as a Substitute for Vanilla Extract
Vanilla syrup can be a great alternative to vanilla extract, to sweeten beverages or when used in baking recipes. Some look to honey as an alternative to syrup, but sugar-free syrups offer the sweetness of honey without sugar or calories.
If you are making a mixed drink that requires a small amount of extra sweetness, such as a vanilla martini, you can substitute syrup instead of extract.
When baking, try sugar-free syrup instead of extract when the recipe only calls for a small amount, such as one teaspoon. In addition, if you want to add more sweetness to a recipe without affecting the flavor too much, using syrup instead of extract will help achieve this goal.
Pros and Cons of Using Syrup as a Substitute
It might be surprising to learn that there are some benefits to using syrup instead of vanilla extract that, include:
- Vanilla syrup is less expensive than a vanilla extract because the process and ingredients to create a syrup are more affordable.
- Vanilla syrup is similar in flavor to regular vanilla.
Some disadvantages come along with substituting syrup for vanilla extract. For example, the syrup can make baked goods stickier and thicker because the syrup is a thicker liquid than extract and doesn't dissolve as quickly. As a result, using syrup in place of the extract can make baked goods denser and harder to chew. While a bit of syrup can add sweetness to your food, too much syrup can make your dishes sweeter than desired.
Therefore, it's essential to be careful when substituting syrup for vanilla extract and only use as much as the recipe calls.
It is usually fine to substitute vanilla syrup for vanilla extract in your recipes; however, too much syrup can make your food too sweet. Also, excessive syrup can make baked goods too sticky and thick.
If you want to add more sweetness to a recipe without affecting the flavor too much, using sugar-free Vanilla Syrup from Skinny Mixes is a smart swap – that will allow you to add a touch of sweetness without the guilt!