Real Vanilla- Where To Buy, Or Make?

Decorating By MeMo07 Updated 20 Jun 2008 , 11:36pm by mixinvixen

MeMo07 Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 4:15am
post #1 of 21

Where do you buy your real vanilla at? I'm new at this, and have just been using extracts- but I've read several times that real vanilla is the way to go. Where do you get yours?

Or do you make your own? I read online somewhere that you can make it with some vanilla beans and vodka.

Suggestions?

20 replies
Ironbaker Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 4:15pm
post #3 of 21

There have been a number of discussions on vanilla - types, debates on mexican vanilla, how to make it, etc. Here's a good one to read that will answer some of your questions, there are other links in it to other threads as well.

http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-583550-mexican.html+vanilla

Good luck!

HerBoudoir Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 5:10pm
post #4 of 21

Just as an update to the vanilla thread linked above...the vanilla extract that I started brewing back in April has a wonderful aroma now. I've added a couple scraped vanilla beans that I've used for other things, so there's a total of about 12-15 in there soaking now.

I will let it go for a while longer before I use it, as I don't think it's as strong as extract yet. I'm using a bottle of Neilsen Massey to compare it to (why not shoot high?)

golfgirl1227 Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 2:45am
post #5 of 21

I use Neilsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla. Previously I bought it at King Arthur's but a previous post about it revealed an online source much less expensive than the one I was using. Unfortunately, I don't have the link anymore and need to do some searching to find the post.

icer101 Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 2:59am
post #6 of 21

earlene moore makes her own.... i have not made this.... but her site is earlenescakes.com hth

jessfmaldonado Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 3:07am
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgirl1227

I use Neilsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla. Previously I bought it at King Arthur's but a previous post about it revealed an online source much less expensive than the one I was using. Unfortunately, I don't have the link anymore and need to do some searching to find the post.





Ohhhhhh, I would love to know where you saw that. I have been wanting to try Neilsen Massey Vanilla for a while now, I cant seem to find it online. If you find that link please let me know thanks so much!!!

Kate714 Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 3:07am
post #8 of 21

I buy mine at Costco. A good-sized bottle is like $6-7. (not sure on the ounces)

dbmiller02 Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 3:25am
post #9 of 21

I have a stupid question. If you use real vanilla is it a brown color? The ones that I have seen are brown and I am trying to figure out how you get a white icing when flavoring with brown vanilla.

Thanks

Lady_Phoenix Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 3:25am
post #10 of 21

nielsenmassey dot com slash consumerproducts. has a search to locate online retailers are well as stores close to you that sell their products. hth

golfgirl1227 Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 5:03am
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessfmaldonado

Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgirl1227

I use Neilsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla. Previously I bought it at King Arthur's but a previous post about it revealed an online source much less expensive than the one I was using. Unfortunately, I don't have the link anymore and need to do some searching to find the post.




Ohhhhhh, I would love to know where you saw that. I have been wanting to try Neilsen Massey Vanilla for a while now, I cant seem to find it online. If you find that link please let me know thanks so much!!!




Found it. https://www.surfasonline.com/products/6740.cfm

ETA- here's where I have bought it in the past: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/detail.jsp?select=C78&byCategory=C290&id=1257

Much cheaper as Surfas, and you can buy it by the gallon, which I need to do and have been looking for. I buy NM almond by the gallon from Sysco, but they didn't have the NM vanilla. Makes no sense to me, but whatever!

HerBoudoir Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 1:20pm
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbmiller02

I have a stupid question. If you use real vanilla is it a brown color? The ones that I have seen are brown and I am trying to figure out how you get a white icing when flavoring with brown vanilla.

Thanks





Real vanilla extract is brown - that's what color vanilla beans are. I make my buttercream with all butter and real vanilla and it's a lovely creamy off-white color (butter color varies as well). I prefer to use premium, natural ingredients in my baking, so I wouldn't consider changing my recipe to get it more white.

If you need white-white icing, you can use clear imitation vanilla extract and shortening rather than butter - that will give you a much whiter frosting. Some imitation vanillas are actually decent (although I think shortening in frosting is awful).

leah_s Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 1:55pm
post #13 of 21

I have to ask - why do you even want to buy real vanilla? At 160 degrees the flavnoids evaporate anyaway. In baked goods you will not taste any difference between real or imitatin vanilla.

Now for non-baked goods, like icings or pudding where no heat is applied, then yes you may taste a difference.

With the cost of the real thing, you can safely use it only where it is needed.

MichelleM77 Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 3:46pm
post #14 of 21

I don't know about anyone else, but buying real vanilla at GFS is cheaper than buying imitation at the grocery store, so I'm buying the real thing. I have noticed a definite difference in taste in the sugar cookies that I bake at 360 too.

My BC is already off in color since I actually use butter. Go figure! If they want white-white, then I use fondant or whitener, whichever they want.

leah_s Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 5:40pm
post #15 of 21

What are you paying at GFS? The last time I asked my wholesaler it was $60 a gallon I believe. I buy imitation for $12 gallon.

MichelleM77 Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 5:50pm
post #16 of 21

About $9 for 16 oz.

I'm not set up to do wholesale buying yet, so this is my only option. It would cost about $6 for a little dinky 2 oz bottle of imitation at the grocery store, so you see why I like buying the real thing this way.

If I did my math right, it would cost $72 for a gallon at the GFS price compared to $60 from your wholesaler.

Kate714 Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 10:20pm
post #17 of 21

for the person who posted about whether it is brown...in addition to using clear vanilla or shortening to make your BC whiter, you can use just a touch of purple/violet food coloring to whiten your off-white icing. Just a TOUCH though!! Just a little too much will give it a lavender/gray hue.

jessfmaldonado Posted 19 Jun 2008 , 10:41pm
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgirl1227



Found it. https://www.surfasonline.com/products/6740.cfm

ETA- here's where I have bought it in the past: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/detail.jsp?select=C78&byCategory=C290&id=1257

Much cheaper as Surfas, and you can buy it by the gallon, which I need to do and have been looking for. I buy NM almond by the gallon from Sysco, but they didn't have the NM vanilla. Makes no sense to me, but whatever!




Thank you so much golfgirl, That is exactly what I needed!!! I definitely use pure vanilla all the time!! It really makes a difference in everything!! I only do SMBC so my buttercream definitely needs a pure vanilla, its off white but everyone likes the flavor, and I do fondant cakes anyways. Let me ask a question, does anybody know if I buy the vanilla in a gallon, will it start to go bad or loose flavor after a while??? It seems so much more economical to buy it in a gallon size. Thanks!!

MeMo07 Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 10:57pm
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by leahs

I have to ask - why do you even want to buy real vanilla? At 160 degrees the flavnoids evaporate anyaway. In baked goods you will not taste any difference between real or imitatin vanilla.

Now for non-baked goods, like icings or pudding where no heat is applied, then yes you may taste a difference.

With the cost of the real thing, you can safely use it only where it is needed.





I would like to try it out for my icings.....I've just read so many posts where people talk about how much better the real thing is, that I wanted to try it for myself. icon_smile.gif

PattyT Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 11:17pm
post #20 of 21

I belong to the PBS TV America's Test Kitchen web site. In addition to recipes, they do equipment and taste testing.

They did a vanilla tasting and surpisingly (to me anyway), imitation vanilla extract beat the real vanilla in almost every case.

That said, I buy the real vanilla extract at either the warehouse food clubs.

mixinvixen Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 11:36pm
post #21 of 21

americas test kitchen and their cooks illustrated mags ROCK!!!!!!!!!!

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