You Forgot To Add Vanilla: Now What?

If you forgot to add vanilla to your recipe, rest assured that you aren’t the first to make this mistake, and you won’t be the last. It’s a common kitchen blooper.

You might be wondering if your food should be served at all or if you should start over or make something else. In this article, we’ll give you an idea of what to expect from your vanillaless dish and we’ll also take a look at some vanilla substitutes.

Woman adding vanilla to baking mix after learning what happens if you forgot to add vanilla
She’s on top of her game! Unlike you.

A Taste Change

The taste of your food will change if you forget to add vanilla extract. For example, if you are baking a chocolate cake, a lack of vanilla extract can ruin the whole thing.

This can be a little confusing because most foods still bake just fine without vanilla extract. That said, even though your dish may bake just fine, it’ll likely lack some of its great taste.

The Flavor Change May Be Noticeable

It is interesting that many of us do not notice the taste of vanilla in many of the foods that we consume. What we do notice, however, is the absence of vanilla.

You don’t want to serve food to your guests that doesn’t have vanilla extract when it is needed. If you don’t have vanilla in the kitchen, then you need to come up with an alternative.

Is There an Acceptable Vanilla Substitute?

Before you begin your next baking project, make sure you have everything you need. If you realize that you are out of vanilla extract, you should try to pick some up ASAP.

Assuming that you are unwilling or unable to get vanilla extract at this time, at least consider a substitute. One example of a useful substitute is maple syrup.

Family baking cookies after they forgot to add vanilla
Too bad they forgot the vanilla. One bite of those cookies, and those smiles will be erased.

The sweetness of the maple syrup acts as a pretty good substitute for vanilla extract. You just need to make sure you use it in the same quantities as you would with real vanilla extract. It should blend in just right with the recipe.

Other vanilla extract substitutes include vanilla paste, vanilla powder, vanilla sugar, and honey. The amounts you’ll need to use may vary depending on the recipe, and some substitutes may work better than others in certain recipes.

Can You Leave Vanilla Extract Out Entirely?

You can optionally choose to leave vanilla extract out of your recipe entirely and not even try to replace it with anything. This is not necessarily recommended because it may take away from the quality of the food.

The maple syrup option (described above) is a great way to get around the problem of not having vanilla extract available.

Cookies May Taste a Bit Flat Without Vanilla Extract

One kind of food that you will want to make sure you have vanilla extract for is cookies. There is simply no getting around the fact that cookies will tend to taste flat if you don’t include vanilla extract in your recipe. Thus, you may become quite frustrated with the end result if you don’t use the proper ingredients.

Keep Vanilla Extract on Hand

Purchase vanilla extract in bulk at the store to make sure you never run out. It is reasonably priced and a great thing to keep on hand. If you bake frequently, then you will likely use more of it than you had ever anticipated.

Now find out what happens if you have the opposite problem—when you add too much vanilla!