7 Interesting Substitute for Vanilla Extract


Maple syrup, almond extract, vanilla powder, honey, spices, vanilla ice cream and vanilla milk are some of the interesting substitute for vanilla extract.

What is vanilla extract?

Vanilla extract is a solution that is prepared from vanilla pods, which also consists of a solution of ethanol and water. It is a necessity while preparing several baked goods such as cakes, brownies, cookies, cupcakes and custards, ice creams and puddings. Vanilla extract is a main ingredient for many of the Western desserts.

7 Best Substitutes for Vanilla Extract

substitute for vanilla extract

As vanilla extract is quite essential for your desserts, sometimes you may have run out of it or you may not want to use due to its cost or the alcohol content you may want to consider one of these vanilla extract substitutes.

Maple syrup

Maple syrup is loved ingredient by a lot of people around the world for their pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, etc. It is seen as a natural sweetener and is healthy too.

You can substitute the equal parts of vanilla extract with an equal amount of maple syrup in your dessert. You wouldn’t really be able to tell the difference.


Almond extract

Almond extract is packed with proteins, vitamins and minerals, has good fats and is rich in fiber too. It too is low in carbohydrates and is healthy for you.

Substitute out the vanilla with half the almond extract. Since, almond has a stronger flavor, so less is required. You can also use orange, lemon, or peppermint extracts in place of vanilla extract. You can replace vanilla with equal amounts of the substitute.

Vanilla powder

Vanilla powder is prepared by crushing vanilla beans until it turns out to be like a powder. Substitute the same amount of vanilla extract with vanilla powder.

At Starbucks, you have a wide variety of powders to add to your drinks of which vanilla powder is one. You can add a hint of vanilla powder and a hint of cinnamon to your almond milk cappuccino to your Starbucks drink.


Since time immemorial, honey has been is use for its great taste and also several health benefits.  Honey is a powerful antioxidant, and has good healing properties too.

Owing to its great taste, honey has been in use as a substitute for a lot of things and one such is the vanilla extract.


Important point to be kept in mind while substituting vanilla extract with honey is that honey is also sweet and you would need to lower the amount of sugar in your dessert. Moreover, honey is also sticky so this can kind of impact your dessert to.


Cinnamon is one such spice that can be added to almost anything and gives a massive boost to your taste buds. You can freely add cinnamon to almost anything you bake, to cappuccinos, lattes, sweet potatoes or even yogurt.

Nutmeg and clove are other spices that are quite similar to vanilla  and can be used as a substitute for vanilla extract.

The added benefit of using these spices is that these are quite cheaper when compared to vanilla extract, a little amount is enough to suffice your need and they last longer too.

Vanilla ice cream

This sweet, fluffy white goodness can be used as a substitute for vanilla extract in preparing your milkshakes, floats and other frozen desserts. Vanilla ice cream works well to give you that vanilla essence you require for your dessert. Moreover, vanilla ice creams are very easily available everywhere.

Vanilla milk

Vanilla milk apart from its rich health benefits can be used heartily for your desserts too. You can easily substitute equal parts of vanilla extract with equal parts of vanilla – flavored almond or vanilla – flavored milk.


Vanilla extract can be prepared easily too if you are in need by using vanilla beans and alcohol to extract the essence needed for your dish.

Nutritional facts of vanilla extract (per 100 grams)

Calories 288
Total fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 9 mg
Potassium 148 mg
Total carbohydrate 13 g
Protein 0.1 g
Calcium 1%
Magnesium 3%


Vanilla extract is a must have ingredient for numerous western desserts such as cakes, cupcakes, brownies, ice creams, custards, cookies, and puddings.

You may not want to use vanilla extract for preparing your dishes as it can be a little on the higher cost or due to the alcohol content too. You may sometimes run out of vanilla extract at home and preparing vanilla extract from vanilla beans and alcohol can be quite troublesome too. In such cases, you can substitute vanilla extract with many other possible ingredients, few of which are – maple syrup, pancake syrup, honey, almond extract, vanilla powder, vanilla ice cream, spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla milk and sometimes even brandy or rum can be used if you wish to include alcohol in the dessert.





Hope this article was of help to you! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy, Healthy and Empowered Women and Healthy Babies!!