Can I Use Regular Brown Vanilla Extract For Buttercream??

Decorating By ForMyHannah Updated 3 Nov 2010 , 1:13pm by cakeythings1961

ForMyHannah Posted 3 Nov 2010 , 12:12pm
post #1 of 9

Hi,
I am making a batch of buttercream to crumb coat, chill, and then again coat my daughter's double layer birthday cake with, before applying fondant overtop. The recipe calls for "clear" vanilla extract, but is it ok if I use regular brown pure vanilla extract? Because my buttercream will not even be seen (it will be under the fondant) just eaten, I wanted to know if I have to buy the clear vanilla extract or if I can use what I have on hand.
Thank you for your help!

8 replies
LindaF144a Posted 3 Nov 2010 , 12:17pm
post #2 of 9

Yes, you can. It is calling for clear because brown vanilla will not give you an all white frosting. If it won't be seen, it is not important.

elliespartycake Posted 3 Nov 2010 , 12:27pm
post #3 of 9

LindaF144 is correct. If you don't need white-white frosting (say for a wedding cake), I'd use the regular "brown" vanilla...tastes sooo much better. It only makes the icing just slightly off white.

Love2BakeCakes Posted 3 Nov 2010 , 12:28pm
post #4 of 9

Yes you can.

NatalieC923 Posted 3 Nov 2010 , 12:40pm
post #5 of 9

Actually I use the regular "brown" vanilla most of the time. Since the clear is more expensive and harder to find (not in my grocery store), I save it for buttercream that needs to be white. Otherwise if I'm going to color the icing or cover it in fondant, I stick with the regular vanilla.

texanlostlover Posted 3 Nov 2010 , 12:41pm
post #6 of 9

I always use brown vanilla, even when it will be seen. In my opinion, the frosting still looks white, at least with my recipe. And I like the taste better than when I've tried using clear vanilla. If you ever try it when the frosting WILL be seen, you could always add some white food coloring if you're not happy with the color.

ForMyHannah Posted 3 Nov 2010 , 12:59pm
post #7 of 9

Perfect! Thanks everyone! And the recipe also calls for "almond extract"...I have imitation almond extract on hand, is that ok? Or does it have to be pure almond extract?

LindaF144a Posted 3 Nov 2010 , 1:06pm
post #8 of 9

Imitation is fine also. Or you can leave it out and add that much more in vanilla. It is all in taste preference. My DD does not like almond, but my DS does. Whatever works for you will be fine.

cakeythings1961 Posted 3 Nov 2010 , 1:13pm
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by texanlostlover

I always use brown vanilla, even when it will be seen. In my opinion, the frosting still looks white, at least with my recipe. And I like the taste better than when I've tried using clear vanilla. If you ever try it when the frosting WILL be seen, you could always add some white food coloring if you're not happy with the color.




Yes, I always use pure vanilla extract, too. In fact, the higher quality the vanilla used, the better the baked goods taste! I've tried some higher-end vanillas that are out-of-this world! And I'm trying my hand at home-made vanilla--vanilla beans in vodka--which will be ready in time for holiday baking.

That clear stuff tastes horrible and has a chemical aftertaste, imho. If you're going to all the trouble of baking a delicious scratch cake, why put chemical-tasting icing on it? Although I understand that some brides are very concerned with the color of their cake, and want pure white.

I think real vanilla gives icing a beautiful, creamy, barely-ivory color. OP, I think you'll be fine using the pure vanilla, and I'm sure your daughter's guests will enjoy the flavor.

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