Choosing the Perfect Vanilla for your Recipes

With more than twelve Vanilla products in our range, we know that choosing a Queen vanilla can be a little daunting at times. Read on as we help you decipher when to choose extract, paste or pods for your recipes!

How many times have you stood in the baking aisle of the supermarket, unsure of which vanilla format to choose for your recipe? Don’t worry – we’ve all been there! Here’s our handy guide to choosing the right vanilla to ensure it does one of two things:

  • Delivers a true, strong vanilla flavour to your baking and desserts
  • Balances and highlights the other flavours in your baking or dessert, chocolate, fruit or spices.


Should I choose Vanilla Extract, Vanilla Bean Paste or Vanilla Pods?

Consistency and intensity are the most important things when considering a vanilla format – extract, paste or pods.

For recipes that include a lot of liquid:

These recipes can easily use vanilla extracts or paste as the small amount of liquid doesn’t change the final result. We love vanilla extract in cakes, cupcakes, pancakes, even smoothies and sauces to give a supporting vanilla flavour, or vanilla bean paste for a strong, distinct vanilla flavour.

For recipes that contain a lot of fat:

Because fat coats the inside of your mouth, a stronger vanilla is often needed to deliver an amazing vanilla flavour. For fudges and cream-based desserts, concentrated vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste are the best for a strong vanilla flavour that lingers beautifully.

For recipes that contain very little water:

A vanilla with less water content, such as vanilla bean paste or concentrated extract is ideal for recipes such as biscuits, meringues, macarons and firmer icings. This will ensure the texture of your final recipe isn’t compromised. Who wants running icing or deflated macarons – not us that’s for sure!


Here’s a summary of the guide:

Queen Organic Vanilla Extract

Made with pure organic vanilla beans using the original Queen recipe for over 100 years, this is a true vanilla extract but the word ‘essence’ is kept on the label, as many loved Australian recipes call for it.

USE: For everyday baking including pancakes, slices, cakes, scones and biscuits.


Queen Natural Vanilla Extract

Made with pure vanilla beans, Queen Natural Vanilla Extract has a sweet, thick consistency. This vanilla is ideal
for use in applications where no heat is used, such as icings, drinks and whipped cream. It works perfectly in classic baking recipes as well.

USE: Great for icings, cakes, slices and chilled desserts.


Queen Concentrated Vanilla Extract

Made from pure vanilla beans, Queen Natural Concentrated Vanilla Extract is thicker in texture and has an intense Vanilla
flavour. Being concentrated, this extract allows you to add pure vanilla flavour without too much liquid in baking and desserts.

USE: Perfect for sponge cakes, meringue, yoghurt and ice cream.


Queen Organic Vanilla Pods

The purest form of vanilla, Queen Organic Vanilla Bean Pods give an intense, natural Vanilla flavour to your recipes. Use whole to infuse creams and poaching liquids or extract the seeds for use in baking and desserts. To extract the seeds, place the bean on a chopping board and slice down the center with a sharp knife, and then scrape out the seeds.

USE: Perfect for poached fruit, creamy desserts, ice cream and custards.


Queen Organic Vanilla Bean Paste

Made with pure organic vanilla beans, Queen Organic Vanilla Bean Paste gives an extra intense vanilla flavour to desserts and baking. One teaspoon of vanilla bean paste is an ideal substitute for a whole vanilla bean and can be used instead of vanilla extract. While stronger than vanilla extract, it is delicious when swapped 1:1 in baking and dessert recipes.

USE: Perfect for any recipe where vanilla bean pods or vanilla extract are called for, but very delicious in desserts, buttercream icing, custard and shortbread.


Queen Madagascan Vanilla Bean Paste

Prized for its rich, creamy flavour and heavenly aroma, Queen Madagascan Vanilla Bean Paste is intense, thick and truly
indulgent. It can be used in the same way as Queen Vanilla Bean Paste and is extra special in dairy-based desserts.

USE: Beautiful in panna cotta, crème brulee, custard, chantilly cream or classic vanilla cupcakes.


Queen Fairtrade Vanilla Extract with Seeds

Queen Fairtrade Vanilla Extract with Seeds is part of our commitment to the ethical sourcing and long term viability of the vanilla industry. This extract gives a classic vanilla flavour ideal for everyday baking and desserts.

USE: Best for cakes, cupcakes, biscuits, slices and icings.


Queen Single Origin Vanilla Extract

Queen Finest Single Origin Vanilla Extract from Madagascar allows you to discover the unique flavour subtleties of this prized vanilla growing region. Rich in flavour, it is truly special in recipes where its flavour profile can shine through.

USE: Heavenly in custards, crème anglaise, whipped cream, ice cream or creamy savoury sauces.


And lastly, a few FAQ’s about Queen Vanilla:


What’s the difference between Essence and Extract?

We’re so glad you asked! It’s a frequently asked question so we made a full blog post about it. Naturally we can only describe the difference between a Queen Vanilla Essence and a Queen Vanilla Extract, but we hope you’re pleasantly surprised and reassured that they’re both natural and deliver intense flavour.

What’s the deal with Imitation Vanilla?

We do also have ‘Imitation Vanilla Essence’ which contains absolutely no natural vanilla. We offer this product as a super budget option but the flavour and aroma is very different to pure, natural vanilla. Many people tell us they love using it to freshen their fridge or add to homemade cleaning sprays.

And for the real vanilla lovers…

Have you tried our single origin vanilla? Our single origin range allow you to discover the subtleties of the great vanilla growing regions in the world. While perfect for all baking applications, the true flavour of these single origin extracts and paste is most enjoyable in recipes where the unique flavour profiles can shine through, such as panna cotta, crème brulee, mousse and even savoury sauces. Read more about what makes single origin vanilla so special.


More information about each Queen Vanilla can be found in the products section of our website, but if this is all the info you need, why not jump on over to our Vanilla recipes collection and start planning your next bake off!

For monthly recipe inspiration delivered straight to your inbox, along with product information, competitions and special offers, be sure to join our Queen Baking Club.

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