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! Our handy guide to choosing the right vanilla ensures you’ve got the right product for two reasons:
- Delivering a true, strong vanilla flavour to your baking and desserts
- Balancing and highlighting 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 extract 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:
As the fat in ingredients 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 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!
All our products have specific characteristics that make them perfect for each recipe you bring to life:
Made in the style of our first vanilla 120 years ago, this is our classic vanilla extract.
USE: Versatile for most recipes, especially in everyday cakes, slices and batter-based recipes, where a small amount of liquid won’t change the final result.
Made with pure vanilla beans, this low alcohol vanilla extract has a sweet, syrupy consistency.
USE: Ideal in no-bake recipes such as icings, drinks and chilled desserts as well as baked goods – cakes, slices and biscuits.
Made with pure vanilla beans, this vanilla has been concentrated to create a thick, syrupy consistency.
USE: Most recipes, especially in recipes where you don’t want to add too much liquid, such as biscuits, meringues, and sponge cakes.
These pure, single origin vanilla bean pods are from Papua New Guinea, a region prized for producing vanilla that has an incredibly aromatic flavour profile with hints of anise and cherry.
USE: Ideal for creamy desserts, infusing custards, syrups and cream.
This vanilla is made with pure vanilla beans with no other flavours added, giving a strong, pure vanilla flavour with attractive vanilla bean seeds.
USE: Ideal in high fat recipes such as cheesecake, custard and whipped cream as well as low liquid or delicate recipes such as meringue, sponges and mousse.
This premium, single origin vanilla bean paste is made with prized Madagascan vanilla beans. It can be used in the same way as our Organic Vanilla Bean Paste.
USE: Ideal high fat, cream recipes that allow the unique profile of this prized vanilla to shine through.
We are committed to the ethical sourcing of vanilla & the long term viability of the vanilla industry. By buying vanilla extract, you are helping to support hundreds of vanilla growers in some of the most remote parts of the world.
USE: This extract gives a classic vanilla flavour to everyday cakes, slices and batter-based recipes as well as the attractive appearance of vanilla bean seeds.
This vanilla extract exhibits the rich, sweet and slightly woody vanilla flavour signature to Madagascar, one of the world’s finest vanilla growing regions.
USE: Great in most recipes, but is best in creamy recipes such as custards, whipped cream or ice cream that allow the prized Madagascan flavour to shine.
To celebrate our 120 year anniversary, we blended this beautiful vanilla extract, inspired by the original Queen Vanilla you’ve grown up with. Heady and fragrant, this vanilla extract combines the spice and floral notes of Tahitian vanilla, together with wood and chocolate from prized Madagascan beans.
USE: Worthy of your very best baking, this extract is ideal in most recipes, but especially in those extra special family favourites where this full bodied vanilla can shine.
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 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.