Vanilla cupcakes – Vanilla is one of the most loved flavors in cupcake recipes
Vanilla cupcake recipes are very popular. Vanilla is one of the most loved flavors, and among the most used by bakers for everything from cupcake to frosting, ice cream, cookies, and more. When you purchase vanilla at the store, did you know there are actually different kinds of vanilla? Most people don’t give much thought to the differences in vanilla on the shelves, but there is a big difference between real vanilla and imitation vanilla when it comes to flavor.
The two types of vanilla you will usually see, vanilla essence and vanilla extract, are both forms of vanilla (in some countries). When you look at the bottle, you will see that vanillin is the primary active ingredient in both types of vanilla. Vanillin can be found in other products also, such as coffee, wine, maple syrup, and even olive oil. Real vanillin that is used in vanilla flavoring comes from the vanilla pod or vanilla bean, but there is also an artificial vanillin that is made from wood or coal byproducts.
However, real vanilla beans contain more than just vanillin, although that is the most easily identifiable flavor, which is why real vanilla beans taste so much better than vanilla flavorings. That’s why buying real vanilla is so important if you want to give your food the real vanilla flavor that everyone loves.
Now that you know what makes vanilla so yummy in cupcake recipes, what is the difference between vanilla essence and vanilla extract? Vanilla essence, also called real vanilla, comes from a vanilla bean and is made of vanilla and real sugar along with alcohol to keep it liquid.
Vanilla essence is a very simple product that doesn’t have much in it other than vanilla and sugar. On the other hand, vanilla extract is a mix of vanilla pod extract and caramel (or brown sugar) along with alcohol. In other words, both vanilla essence and vanilla extract contain essentially the same ingredients as long as you purchase them in a pure form, although many bakers feel that vanilla extract gives a stronger flavor.
Vanilla essence is in some countries a chemically produced vanilla flavoring. Terms can vary between countries so read always the label.
The more important difference to look for is this – the difference between real vanilla and imitation vanilla. You will see imitation vanilla essence and imitation vanilla extract, and in both cases, you are purchasing a far lower quality product. Real vanilla has a stronger, sweeter, and more complex flavor because it is made from all natural products. Imitation vanilla will have a bitter and metallic aftertaste in most cases.
While both real and imitation vanilla can give your cupcakes a vanilla flavor, you will find that there are real differences between the two. Both vanilla essence and vanilla extract made from real vanilla will give you that real vanilla flavor, but imitation vanilla flavorings may not give you the taste you are looking for.
Depending on what you will be using vanilla in, there are some recipes that may work well with imitation vanilla, but if you will really taste the vanilla flavor in a cupcake recipe, you will want to stick with vanilla made from real vanilla beans and pods.