madicakes Posted 19 Feb 2013 , 5:55pm
post #1 of

I used to always use this in my frosting, and it was divine!  Everyone loved it.  Well, they don't sell it anymore :(  Does anyone have a substitute that is very similar?  I have tried french vanilla creamer, coffee syrup, other french vanilla flavorings, and none of them are even close in taste!

19 replies
AAtKT Posted 19 Feb 2013 , 6:09pm
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LorAnn Oils makes a French Vanilla Flavoring ~ It is in their Flavor Fountain Line ~


You could try that...


Or maybe a mix of that and a good quality vanilla itself would come close...


I never bought the french vanilla from mccormick... 

BCBakey Posted 19 Feb 2013 , 6:27pm
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Try Watkins Vanilla Nut!

daltonam Posted 25 Apr 2013 , 4:51pm
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I don't think Vanilla Nut is close to the same, but I also don't know (but, would you have to worry about anyone with allergies??)


McCormick French Vanilla Blend is all I've ever used too....I bought the last bottle my local small grocery store had last month, looks like I'm wondering the same thing the OP is????  Anyone????


Madicakes did you try any of these or find anything?

Gerle Posted 25 Apr 2013 , 5:48pm
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Has anyone contacted McCormick's to see why they've discontinued, or maybe it's available online?

daltonam Posted 25 Apr 2013 , 5:56pm
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AAs I was trying to do that my computer froze. I'm going to try again later today.

shanter Posted 25 Apr 2013 , 6:57pm
post #7 of

daltonam Posted 25 Apr 2013 , 8:03pm
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AThank you for trying, not available at any links.

laura894 Posted 26 Apr 2013 , 12:33pm
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AI too was using the French Vanilla Blend. I've found if you use Watkins Caramel flavor mixed with Wilton Vanilla that its almost an exact replica of the FVB. The only problem I don't care for is the FVB never altered the color of my buttercream whereas the Caramel flavoring does a little. For a full batch of buttercream I use 2 capfuls of Caramel - 2 Capfuls of Vanilla. Use the clear Wilton Vanilla as the darker vanilla will tint it even more.

laura894 Posted 26 Apr 2013 , 4:46pm

AGerie, I contacted McCormick because we were using about 500 bottles a year & I was told it was too expensive for them to keep on the shelf. They wanted to sell me a bulk supply of it but it was a supply that would've lasted me 5 yrs & would've cost me $13,000 up front

Gerle Posted 26 Apr 2013 , 4:51pm

I know!  It's ridiculous!  I looked at the site and saw their pricing and figured they were nuts!  Who could afford that cost?!?!!  Even a large business would be hard pressed to afford THAT cost!  Too bad some other company doesn't come up with the flavor for a much more reasonable price.  Or maybe some of the home made vanilla makers (I'm one, but not scientifically inclined!) can come up with a recipe for it.

laura894 Posted 26 Apr 2013 , 5:08pm

AI had a company send me a sample of their French Vanilla & it was horrible.

BakingIrene Posted 27 Apr 2013 , 8:31pm

If somebody has the box or bottle of discontinued French Vanilla, please taks pics and post them.


My guess is that this was a blend of Tahitian and Bourbon beans--easy  to do. 


I have been using the LorAnn vanilla EXTRACTS (not oils) and their Tahitian 2x is really good with some Bourbon vanilla added about 1+1. 

laura894 Posted 28 Apr 2013 , 5:58pm

A@bakingirene no, its caramel flavor & vanilla. See my post above. I've found a way to duplicate. I also use LorAnn oils but McCormick's FVB had a special flavor to it that no one else has.

BakingIrene Posted 28 Apr 2013 , 7:26pm

OK so I see that LorAnn has a natural "creamy caramel"  flavour.  Hard to tell how dark it will make your icing, but this seems to be the only "natural" caramel flavour that might imitate the McCormick blend.


I have the LorAnn "creamy" hazelnut and there is no cream in the taste, just a very smooth hazelnut flavour that makes a good addition to ground nuts in batter and dough.


McCormick has gotten rid of other good extracts before, I guess because they don't move enough of them in a year.  I have found LorAnn to be just as good tasting and more cost effective because they are more concentrated.

daltonam Posted 9 May 2013 , 9:40am

ASo glad I finally have something to work with. Thank you do very much! I'm going to give it a try.

daltonam Posted 9 May 2013 , 9:42am


Original message sent by laura894

I had a company send me a sample of their French Vanilla & it was horrible.

Which company?

jackie j Posted 17 Sep 2013 , 8:44pm

I have used french vanilla in my cakes for many- many years.  McCormick discontinued it as well as Tones brand.  I have tried to "doctor" up flavorings to get it it to taste the same.  In my white cakes, normally I would add about 2 1/2tsp of french vanilla to 2 cake mixes.  I have found that about 2 1/4 tsp of pure vanilla with 1 1/2 tsp clear vanilla  to 3 mixes tastes similar.  Sometimes I might add a bit more clear vanilla to taste.  I have had to add an extra mix thanks to Pillsbury shortening the amount in their boxes.  This does taste similar, but the problem I have found is that after a few day, you can smell a strong smell of the stronger vanilla.  Normally the french vanilla cake could last a week and still taste amazing and be moist.  My new way has to be eaten within a couple days. I really wish McCormick and Tones would bring it back!  I don't know how they didn't sell it enough.  I alone would buy about 20 bottles monthly!  

MBacon Posted 9 May 2014 , 9:58am

Stumbled across this on a google search trying to find out about this awesome flavor has anyone else had any better matches yet? i personally used it in my cheesecakes that i would make for fam//friend gatherings (that and i just love cheesecake) wish there was more notice before it vanished would of stocked up

BlueBerryBaker Posted 2 Dec 2014 , 12:41am


So glad I saved this bottle!  I still have about 1 TBS of it left.  With that being said, I set out to create a duplicate.  The one duplicate recipe that was posted by Laura is not as close as the one I came up with. And, since I happen to still have some of the "original" my recipe is spot on!  I had to make 3 different batches and the last "blend" was perfect!  So glad I perfected it!   My recipe smells even better than McCormicks.   Enjoy!


McCormick French Vanilla Blend - An original copycat recipe by Angie Schaeffer


2 1/4 tsp Wilton's imitation clear vanilla extract 

1/4 tsp Watkins imitation caramel flavor

1/4 tsp real vanilla extract (I make mine homemade using a bottle of vodka and about 10 whole vanilla beans - let steep for 2 months)

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