Natural vanilla bean gives your recipe a richer and more unique flavor, especially if it is the primary flavoring additive. However, they are costly as their production is labor-intensive. There are several equivalents you may use if you do not want to use the vanilla beans, the vanilla extract, or the vanilla beans paste.
Vanilla sugar resembles ordinary sugar just that it is flavored with vanilla. It is easier common to notice fine vanilla beans particles in the sugar. When preparing desserts, you can add 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla sugar to give you the same flavor as a vanilla bean.
Honey serves as an excellent substitute for vanilla extract in your recipe. You should, however, be very careful to minimize the amount of sugar so as not to over-sweeten it. Too much sugar added to the honey may also make your dessert stickier and hence unpleasant.
Bourbon is more common in baking as it enhances the texture and moisture content of the recipe. It is matured in oak giving it a vanilla-like flavor which is suitable for boosting the flavor when baking.
Almond extract has an aromatic flavor similar to that present in vanilla beans making it suitable. It makes more economic sense as it has the same results, but it’s affordable.
Spices are great alternatives as they are cheaper and more durable as compared to vanilla extract. The most common spices that can serve as a replacement for vanilla include cloves and cinnamon.
Maple syrup serves as an excellent alternative for vanilla extract as they have an almost similar taste. The fantastic thing about it is it can be used for a variety of foods including cakes, preparing French toasts, and also waffles to enhance their flavors.
Culinary skills are improved by adding a little creativity. Your recipe does not have to be dull as a result of lacking vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. With the above alternatives, you will do just fine, if not better!