Which vanilla extract is better, with sugar or without

  • Posted by: Reen
  • November 25, 2013


Reen November 26, 2013
thank you for all the information! I do a lot of baking and buy my vanilla in the biggest size they have so I wanted to make sure I got the best one. @Trena, I think I might try that!
PazzoNico November 25, 2013
Brand names aside, treat this as you would a savory application; stock, butter, etc. Low sodium (or better, none) is always preferred; it allows YOU to control the seasoning of the final dish. Baking/pastry is no different. Sugar is no different than salt; it should be used to season and enhance flavors, not to be the only thing you taste.
Go with no sugar; you be the one who decides how much sugar goes into your dishes.
Trena H. November 25, 2013
Why not make your own? I've been making my own for years. Here's the recipe http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/vanilla-extract-recipe/index.html
ChefOno November 25, 2013

It's all about marketing. Straight vanilla extract isn't exactly tasty on its own, mainly due to the alcohol content. Hence the sugar. Once it's diluted down in actual use, the sugar doesn't matter either way.

ChefJune November 25, 2013
In my baking classes I always have my students compare McCormick's with Nielsen-Massey's Bourbon-Madagascar. The Neilsen-Massey wins every time. for more than 20 years.
hardlikearmour November 25, 2013
CI did tested the extracts diluted in milk (8:1 milk:vanilla)& vanilla pudding plus the top rated versions in yellow cakes, and vanilla cookies. The N-M is also one of their recommended products.
hardlikearmour November 25, 2013
w/o the sugar. Cook's Illustrated ranked the McCormick pure vanilla extract as their top pick a few years back in their taste test.
Reen November 25, 2013
just an added note, I wanted to get a large bottle for baking at BJ' and one i Madagacar vanilla, which has less alcohol content and also has fructose, or McCormick which had a higher alcohol content and no sugar.
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