imitation clear vanilla extract

Decorating By cookoo4cakes Updated 14 Dec 2013 , 4:15am by JWinslow

cookoo4cakes Posted 12 Dec 2013 , 3:31am
post #1 of 19

AThis can totally be filed under the "stupid question" file I know, but I'm so inexperienced I thought I'd ask anyway.

I just opened up a jar of wilton's imitation clear vanilla extract. Smelled it and I almost dropped the whole thing on the floor. Is it supposed to smell (and taste!) like rubbing alcohol?

I can't find an expiration date anywhere.


18 replies
Jenny BakesAlot Posted 12 Dec 2013 , 4:55am
post #2 of 19

I wouldn't use it.  

cookoo4cakes Posted 12 Dec 2013 , 6:43am
post #3 of 19

AI threw both bottles away! It was one of the worst things I've ever smelled. Expecting to smell something sweet, and smelling alcohol. It was awful!


Annabakescakes Posted 12 Dec 2013 , 8:26am
post #4 of 19

Vanilla isn't sweet, you have to add it to something that is sweet. It is just a flavor. That is fake vanilla, but even real vanilla isn't sweet.

kblickster Posted 12 Dec 2013 , 12:54pm
post #5 of 19

Do you have a bottle of pure vanilla extract? Open it, smell and taste. Compare.

howsweet Posted 12 Dec 2013 , 3:52pm
post #6 of 19

AI don't know what's in imitation vanilla, but there is alcohol in my regular vanilla and it doesn't smell good at all to sniff the bottle.

cookoo4cakes Posted 12 Dec 2013 , 7:56pm
post #7 of 19

AAnnabakescakes, should clear vanilla have a super strong alcohol scent?

cookoo4cakes Posted 12 Dec 2013 , 7:57pm
post #8 of 19

AI'm not sure if something is wrong with it or if I haven't noticed it before. Thx

MBalaska Posted 12 Dec 2013 , 8:48pm
post #9 of 19

OK, had to take out the two bottles and compare.  Expensive real vanilla extract smells strong of alcohol and vanilla.  Artificial vanilla had almost no smell at all- very faint odor that smells slightly plasticy & sweet.

( it's hard to describe scents, & I have an ancient sniffer.)

Annabakescakes Posted 12 Dec 2013 , 9:03pm
post #10 of 19

I have Wilton Clear vanilla here and it smells like almost-vanilla and rubbing alcohol. Pew.

JWinslow Posted 13 Dec 2013 , 12:39am
post #11 of 19

The only time I've used the Wilton vanilla is when I made their practice icing.  It just smells strange.

AnnieCahill Posted 13 Dec 2013 , 1:34am
post #12 of 19

AYeah I can't stand the stuff myself.

cookoo4cakes Posted 13 Dec 2013 , 4:09pm
post #13 of 19

AThx everyone! I'm glad it's not just the one I opened up. I was about to run out and buy a whole new jar!!

Carrie789 Posted 13 Dec 2013 , 6:17pm
post #14 of 19

Wilton's clear vanilla gives an odd taste to cakes. No one would likely notice, but when compared, it is obvious. I learned this years ago when I made six practice cakes before my daughter's wedding. Walmart now carries Watkins brand vanillas. They are cheaper than Wilton and MUCH better. I use Watkins clear imitation vanilla whenever I need to use clear. It's really good.

MBalaska Posted 13 Dec 2013 , 10:19pm
post #15 of 19

there is a down side to using just the smell out of the bottle to choose ingredients.  One of the most delightful Scandanavian cookies I've made uses 'Baking Ammonia' as an ingredient.  Smells like hell going in the batter, smells up the kitchen when it's baking.  But once it's all cooked out.......heaven pure heaven.

AnnieCahill Posted 13 Dec 2013 , 10:28pm
post #16 of 19

AYes baking ammonia rules. Watkins also rules (real, not clear or double strength). Dare I say that I like Watkins better than Nielsen Massey? Also I've used Spice Island's vanilla and liked that a lot as well. I never buy clear vanilla and I use a ton of real in my buttercream (2-3 tablespoons). I've never had a problem getting good colors or someone complaining that my cakes aren't white enough.

AnnieCahill Posted 14 Dec 2013 , 3:09am
post #18 of 19

AThe "butter flavor" is heinous. I used it once when I first started decorating and never again.

JWinslow Posted 14 Dec 2013 , 4:15am
post #19 of 19

Agreed!  Once again, the only time I used the Wilton butter flavor is with the practice icing.  This was years ago when I took a class.  Flavors have really changed over the years.  So many nice choices now.

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