Vanilla Extract in Coffee: Benefits, Does It Go Bad? How-to Guide

Vanilla Extract in Coffee

You’re preparing for your next cup of coffee making sure you have all of the necessary supplies on hand. A half-opened bottle of vanilla extract has been languishing in the cabinet for who knows how long. 

Table of Contents

Is it possible to combine vanilla with coffee?

Yes, coffee and vanilla appear to be a combination made in heaven. The rich, buttery, and nearly sweet flavor of genuine vanilla beans enhances and smoothes over the earthy, strong, and somewhat bitter components of coffee. It’s no surprise that the two are frequently seen hiding in the same cup of Joe.

Why add vanilla extract to your coffee?

By doing so, your brewed cup of coffee will not only smell like vanilla essence, but it will also taste like it.

However, a few drops of this creamy liquid may be used to flavor and sweeten coffee without the hassles of sugar and half and half.

It can also improve your mental performance and attitude, as well as relieve stomach pains, joint pain, and stress.

Vanilla extract, rather than sugar, will give you a very comparable flavor to this drink. A typical serving of vanilla syrup is 20 grams of sugar per 2 teaspoons. When you skip that and go for the extract, you save a lot of sugar on a regular basis, especially because the daily recommended sugar consumption for women is just 6 teaspoons — 25 grams or 100 calories — per day and 9 teaspoons — 36 grams or 150 calories — per day (per the American Heart Association). Try adding vanilla extract the next time you need a little sweetness in your coffee.

Here are Vanilla Health Benefits:

  • Vanilla is good for your heart; studies have shown that it can lower cholesterol levels. Lower cholesterol helps to prevent artery inflammation and blood clots, which is critical for those at high risk of heart attacks and strokes.
  • It has healing powers – Vanilla is high in antioxidants, which can help prevent cell and tissue deterioration and boost natural regeneration in the body. It also serves to boost your immune system and reduce stress on the body, making it much easier to recover from injury or illness due to its antibacterial nature.
  • It’s fantastic for your hair — If you have split ends or hair loss, vanilla essential oil can help to strengthen your hair and increase blood flow to the scalp, boosting hair development.
  • It can aid with anxiety–the powerful perfume of vanilla is believed to have a direct affect on the nerves, causing calm and relieving tension, especially when used as part of an aromatherapy treatment.
  • It can help to reduce acne – Vanilla’s antibacterial properties can help to fight breakouts and, if used regularly, reduce scars and brighten the complexion.
  • It promotes healthy digestion — Drinking vanilla herbal tea has long been a popular natural therapy that rapidly calms gut inflammation and aids in the treatment of various digestive issues such as cramps, stomach discomfort, and diarrhoea.
  • Yes, it can assist to alleviate respiratory issues. When you have a cough, cold, or respiratory infection, using vanilla extract mixed with a little warm water can help to coat the throat and provide an anaesthetic effect, while the antibacterial properties help to reduce inflammation and irritation. It can aid weight loss – vanilla can support your weight loss goals due to its natural appetite-suppressing qualities, and because the extract of this plant can also help lower cholesterol, it can assist your body in lowering cholesterol.

What happens when vanilla extract is added to coffee?

Adding vanilla extract to your coffee can give it a new scent and taste. If you like black coffee, a drop or two of the extract may improve your experience significantly.

If you’re going to add milk or other creamers (such as almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk), you should be careful how much extract you use since it might make your coffee harsh. When it comes to flavor, vanilla is rather bitter, and using a lot of it might ruin your palate for life.

What amount of vanilla extract should I use in my coffee?

To make a pot of your favorite coffee, add a couple tablespoons of Pure Vanilla Extract and sweeten to taste.

Is it possible to use vanilla extract in coffee?

Yes, using vanilla extract to your coffee is a healthier option than vanilla syrup because the extract contains little to no sugar. The vanilla extract gives a deep vanilla taste to the coffee rather than sweetening it.

Begin with a drop or half-tablespoon per cup of coffee, and avoid using big amounts of vanilla extract in your coffee because it can generate an overpowering alcohol flavor.

Some people prefer to add vanilla extract to the ground coffee before brewing to try to evaporate some of the alcohol, but this may wind up breaking down some of the vanillins and not evaporating much of the alcohol. If you are concerned about the presence of alcohol, you should use a non-alcohol vanilla extract.

Remember that vanilla extract is relatively bitter in tiny amounts, so if you want to sweeten your coffee without using vanilla syrup, vanilla extract is not the way to go. Natural sweeteners can be used instead.

I wouldn’t advocate adding vanilla essence to coffee; instead, I’d stick to the syrup or produce my own extract at home.

How do you put vanilla in your coffee?

Use 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract per cup of coffee to give your coffee a robust vanilla flavor. The scent and overall flavor will appeal to you. If you want your coffee beans to taste like vanilla, scrape a vanilla pod into them and let them overnight.

Is it possible to add vanilla extract to coffee creamer?

You certainly can. All you have to do is choose your favorite coffee creamer (almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, or even condensed milk), add homemade vanilla extract or store-bought vanilla extract, add several vanilla pods (to taste), and whisk until the vanilla flavor is infused with the creamer.

After you’ve finished, you should be able to use this homemade coffee creamer for at least 5 to 8 days without incident. Adding this will result in a wonderful cup of flavored coffee that will offer you a breath of fresh air.

Now that we know how good vanilla is for you and how to add it to your coffee. let’s go deeper in understanding vanilla and the different types, does it even go bad, and how to make vanilla extract from vanilla beans.

Vanilla’s origin

Vanilla is derived from a tropical orchid that is mostly grown in Central America, the South Pacific, and Africa. Madagascar accounts for more than 80% of all vanilla production.

Vanilla orchid grows on a vine, and each vine need a tree to thrive. The vine normally flowers after 2-3 years, and the flower only blooms for one day. Vanilla blossom is manually pollinated on the day it blossoms. So you probably see why pure vanilla is so expensive.

Each bloom produces one pod, which matures in 7-9 months. Following that, the beans go through many curing procedures, which can take up to a year.

The vanilla beans are washed and soaked in an alcohol and water solution throughout the extraction procedure. Flavors are extracted from the seeds and infused into the alcohol.

Consider the nutritional value of vanilla extract per 100 g:

Total Fat0,1 %
Sodium9 mg
Total Carbohydrate (sugar)13 g
Protein0,1 g
Phosphorus0,9 mg

Vanilla extract is mostly composed of water (65%), alcohol (33%), and carbohydrates (2%). Because it is intended to be used as a spice, 1 tsp or a few drops should enough.

What Exactly Is Vanilla Extract?

Vanilla bean pods are the origins of the world’s most popular spice.

It’s reasonable to assume that vanilla extract is a must-have in the kitchen of every baker. For good cause, this ingredient, which was first introduced in Indonesia in 1874, has claimed its throne as one of the most popular and versatile flavorings in the world.

Tropical vanilla orchids are used to make natural vanilla extract. The vanilla beans are macerated or percolated in a water-and-ethyl-alcohol solution. Sugar, caramel color, or corn syrup may also be present in certain extracts.

If you dip your finger into the extract for a short tasting, you’ll discover that it has a harsh and disagreeable flavor. However, when mixed with other ingredients, it produces a mild flowery, balmy flavor with a pleasant scent that complements any sweet delight.

It’s difficult to go wrong with vanilla essence in any dessert recipe. However, the extract’s many applications go far beyond baking. Vanilla extract is well worth its salt for enhancing savory foods, salad dressings, and flavoring hot and soothing drinks.

What Is the Source of Vanilla Flavoring?

Vanilla orchids are used to produce vanilla flavour. These vanilla blossoms are cultivated in many parts of the world, and each species of orchid generates a vanilla bean with its own distinct properties. The four most regularly used vanilla beans are listed below:

  • Madagascar Vanilla Beans – The most popular variety of bean in the world, Madagascar vanilla beans, also known as Bourbon vanilla beans, have a rich, creamy flavor.
  • Mexican Vanilla Beans – Mexican vanilla beans are among the greatest in the world, with a rich, smokey vanilla taste with a hint of spice.
  • Tahitian Vanilla Beans – Tahitian vanilla beans offer a distinct flowery flavor with cherry and licorice undertones. Tahitian vanilla beans are nearly double the size of regular vanilla beans, making them one of the most costly forms of vanilla.
  • Ugandan Vanilla Beans – Ugandan vanilla beans are less well-known, but they possess a high concentration of natural vanillin, giving them a strong flavor and perfume.

Vanilla Product Types

Many dishes would be incomplete without the addition of vanilla flavour. If you’ve ever questioned which sort of vanilla product to use, go no further than our advice below:

Vanilla Beans or Pod

Vanilla beans are the most expensive type of vanilla flavor, hence many bakers choose for less expensive extracts or flavorings. Splurging on real vanilla beans may take your sweets to the next level by providing depth of flavor as well as beautiful specks of brown from the vanilla seeds. Most vanilla lovers understand that the presence of vanilla bean seeds in a product signifies a higher level of quality. When you want to make a show-stopping dessert for a particular occasion, use vanilla beans.

To utilize a vanilla bean, cut the pod’s ends off and split it lengthwise to expose millions of tiny brown seeds overflowing with vanilla flavor. Scrape out the seeds and incorporate them into ice cream, custards, or light-colored buttercreams to highlight the brown seeds. Keep in mind that high temperatures can damage all of the rich tastes of vanilla bean seeds, so use this rare ingredient only in raw or softly simmered dishes.

  • Small, dark brown seeds and pulp in the form of a vanilla bean
  • Vanilla Bean Taste – A rich, deep vanilla flavor.
  • Best Vanilla Bean Applications – Artisan-quality delicacies, delicate things cooked on low heat, handmade vanilla extract
  • Vanilla Bean Substitutes – In place of 1 vanilla bean, use 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract or 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste.

Vanilla Bean Paste

Vanilla bean paste is prepared from scraped vanilla bean seeds floating in a thick extract. Vanilla paste has the most intense taste, second only to the actual vanilla bean. It also has the same aesthetic impact as vanilla beans, with specks of brown seeds visible throughout your batters or custards.

The benefits of vanilla bean paste include a strong taste and the presence of genuine seeds, yet it does not require the same preparation as the bean. It’s less expensive than vanilla beans and more intense than vanilla extract, making it a good compromise between the two. Vanilla bean paste also has less liquid than vanilla extracts, so it will not dilute your recipes.

  • Vanilla Bean Paste – Thick, jelly-like paste with brown seed specks
  • Flavor of Vanilla Bean Paste – A rich, creamy vanilla flavor.
  • Vanilla Bean Paste is best used in puddings, custards, ice cream, light-colored desserts, and frostings.
  • Substitutes for Vanilla Bean Paste – For every 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste, use 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean.

Pure Vanilla Extract

Pure vanilla extract is created by soaking powdered vanilla beans in an alcohol and water solution. To be branded “pure,” the product must contain 13.35 percent vanilla bean solids and 35% alcohol. To improve the flavor of low-quality vanilla beans, some vanilla extract products incorporate sugar or corn syrup. For a higher quality product that will become more sophisticated with age, go for pure vanilla extract that comprises only vanilla bean, alcohol, and water.

Vanilla extract is beneficial in high-volume baking applications since it is less expensive than vanilla beans or vanilla paste. Its thin liquid form may also be more uniformly incorporated with cookie dough and cake mixes to create consistent taste. Vanilla extract is the obvious option for creating dark-colored sweets like brownies. Because the vanilla bean seeds will not be visible in these items, it is not necessary to splurge on beans or paste.

  • Form of pure vanilla extract – a thin, dark liquid
  • Flavor of Pure Vanilla Extract – A smooth, mellow vanilla flavor.
  • Cookies, brownies, cakes, muffins, frostings, and sauces are some of the best ways to use pure vanilla extract.
  • Substitutes for pure vanilla extract: 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean for every 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Vanilla Imitation

Synthetic vanillin, one of the taste components that gives genuine vanilla its flavor, is used to make imitation vanilla. Artificial vanilla lacks the rich, nuanced tastes of natural vanilla since it only includes one flavor ingredient. However, there are certain advantages to using fake vanilla in the kitchen.

Vanilla beans, paste, and extracts offer more taste depth than fake vanilla, although many of those flavor characteristics fade at high baking temperatures. As a result, some bakers use artificial vanilla for cookies and cakes. After baking, a strong vanilla taste emerges that is difficult to discern from the genuine thing.

  • Vanilla Imitation Form – Thin liquid that might be brown or transparent.
  • Vanilla Taste Imitation – Slightly bitter out of the bottle, with a strong one-note vanilla flavor in baked products.
  • Imitation Vanilla’s Best Uses – Cookies and cakes
  • Substitutes for Counterfeit Vanilla – Use 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract for every 2 teaspoons of imitation vanilla.

Vanilla Powder

Vanilla powder is formed from pulverized vanilla beans that have been dried. The pure form of vanilla powder should be light brown to dark brown in color and include no fillers. If the vanilla powder is white, it contains sugar or maltodextrin and has a variety of applications. Look for pure vanilla powder if you want a rich, concentrated vanilla flavor.

Because vanilla powder does not contain any liquids, it can be used to buttercreams or batters without diluting the recipe. It also has a strong taste that does not deteriorate or burn away at high heats. What is the disadvantage of vanilla powder? It costs the same as vanilla beans.

  • Vanilla Powder – This is a dry, dark powder.
  • Vanilla Powder Taste – A deep and nuanced vanilla flavor.
  • Vanilla powder is best used in desserts that require a balanced ratio of liquid and dry components, baked products cooked at high temperatures, and dry mixes.
  • Substitutes for vanilla powder – 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder equals 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon vanilla paste, or a 2″ piece of vanilla bean.

Vanilla Syrup

Vanilla syrup is a sweet, viscous liquid comprised of sugar, water, and vanilla extract. To add a hint of vanilla flavor to beverages and sweets, use vanilla flavored syrup. The majority of vanilla syrups come in big bottles with a pump dispenser, making it simple to add syrup to coffee drinks and cocktails.

Although it is not suitable for baking, vanilla syrup is ideal for cocktails, smoothies, and specialty coffee beverages. The sweet syrup is readily dissolved in liquids and may be blended with other syrups to create unique taste combinations.

  • Vanilla Syrup – A thick, syrupy liquid.
  • Vanilla Syrup Taste – Sweet vanilla flavor with a sugary base.
  • Smoothies, cocktails, coffee beverages, flavored sodas, and egg creams are some of the best ways to use vanilla syrup.
  • Vanilla Syrup Substitutes – To create your own vanilla syrup, use 3 tablespoons vanilla extract with 1 cup simple syrup.

What Is the Difference Between Vanilla Extract and Imitation?

It is quite simple to distinguish pure vanilla extract from fake vanilla extract. Labels may be read in the baking sector. The word “Pure” will always appear on the label of the genuine article. Another thing to look for is the price, since pure extract is still rather expensive.

Procedure and Flavor

The primary distinction between extract and its imitation is the method through which both goods are manufactured. Vanilla beans are used to make a brown-colored pure extract. The brown hue is caused by essential oils. The pure extract contains hundreds of flavor components that contribute to its rich flavor; vanillin is one of the most important and fundamental ones.

Imitation contains just one important taste ingredient, vanillin, and none of the other chemicals that distinguish pure extract from imitation. As a result, taste mimicry isn’t all that rich. Because vanillin is a synthetic chemical created in a laboratory, fake vanilla tastes inferior to the genuine thing.


Vanilla beans are pricey because their plants are fussy and difficult to grow; hence, the real thing is expensive. For everyday baking, not everyone can afford the genuine thing. As a result, fake vanilla extract containing the synthetic ingredient vanillin is widely utilized.

The major difference is the price, so if you buy an extract for less than $5, it’s a fake because the real thing costs a lot more.

What Characteristics Define Pure Vanilla Extract?

In the United States, vanilla extract is subject to a Standard of Identity. A gallon of Pure Vanilla Extract must include 13.35 percent vanilla bean extractives (10 ounces moisture-free solids), 35 percent alcohol, and the rest distilled water.

Sugar, corn syrup, caramel color, and any other additions that pure vanilla may include are not mentioned in the Standard of Identity.

Some firms list one or more of these additives on their labels, but the majority do not — despite the fact that their pure vanilla contains it. The same holds true for alcohol. The most usually used alcohol in vanilla is grain alcohol, however sugarcane alcohol is also utilized. Sugar or corn syrup are frequently used to conceal the harsh notes of alcohol or to improve the smell and taste of the extract if the quality of the beans used was poor.

If you have a gluten or sugar intolerance, verify with the firm whose vanilla you purchased. Rain’s Choice vanilla is created from sugar cane alcohol and does not contain any added sweeteners or chemicals. As a consequence, our vanilla extract is devoid of gluten, sugar, and genetically modified organisms.

What Is the Composition of Imitation Vanilla?

Imitation vanilla is manufactured in a laboratory from synthetic vanillin. If the product is transparent, it is made entirely of synthetic vanillin. It has been colored with caramel color (which also contains sugar) or other dyes if it is caramel color. It is safe to buy fake vanilla at supermarkets in the United States.

Only around 1% of the vanilla extracts or essences marketed in Mexico, the Caribbean, and the rest of the Americas are pure vanilla extract or taste. They are manufactured from synthetic vanillin, and some contain 2% alcohol as a preservative.

They often include sugar and other substances, some of which may be carcinogenic in the United States. Many nations in the Americas have no labeling regulations, and those that do have them do not enforce them.

This information should help you make an informed decision on which liquid vanilla is best for you.

Is vanilla extract bad for you?

If you use tiny amounts of vanilla in your dish, it is entirely safe. However, if you disregard the directions and add a few more drops of the extract, you will experience some negative effects.

If you rush and attempt to do things your way, you may unintentionally spill a few drops of vanilla extract on your skin. If this occurs, be aware that it may cause skin swelling (inflammation) or irritation when it comes into touch with your skin. Sleep disorders (insomnia) and headaches are two other health concerns.

Furthermore, if you are nursing or pregnant and want to make vanilla extract at home, we wish to discourage you! However, if taken orally in food proportions, it is entirely safe. Avoid taking large doses of medications if you take them, and consult your doctor before incorporating vanilla into your diet.

Is imitation vanilla bad for you?

Along with its benefits, imitation vanilla has certain drawbacks. It is usually used to impart rich taste to baked goods. It has a little amount of fat and a significant number of calories, but it is not harmful to your health. So you may relax since 31 calories will not cause you to gain weight.

Do pure vanilla extract go bad?

Pure vanilla extract has an extremely long shelf life.

It will keep for at least ten years if stored in a dark, out-of-the-way spot away from direct sunlight.

Because of the presence of alcohol, pure vanilla extract lasts significantly longer than vanilla beans alone.

While it’s rare that your vanilla extract has gone bad, it might lose its flavor and color with time. Vanilla extract that is less than ten years old is likely to maintain its full taste.

However, if stored properly, vanilla extract older than 10 years will be safe to ingest. The main drawback is that the flavor may be weaker than in a fresh bottle of extract.

This is great news because pure vanilla extract is fairly pricey.

The most common cause of vanilla extract spoilage is incorrect storage. If your vanilla extract has been exposed to direct sunlight or temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit for a lengthy period of time, it may have gone bad.

Storing vanilla extract without a cover can also result in quick deterioration or spoiling.

Do imitation vanilla extract go bad?

The shelf life of imitation vanilla extract is comparable to that of pure vanilla extract. When stored in a cold, dark environment away from direct sunlight, it has a shelf life of 5 to 10 years.

Imitation vanilla extract will lose taste and color with time, and incorrect storage can hasten this process.

When stored in the cupboard with the cap on, artificial vanilla extract will keep its taste for many years.

Even after 5 to 10 years, fake vanilla extract is likely safe to use and will just have a milder flavor.

Is it possible for Mexican or Madagascar vanilla extract to spoil?

These vanilla extracts also have a lengthy shelf life of up to ten years. Madagascar and Mexican vanilla extracts are unlikely to deteriorate if stored correctly.

These varieties of extract, like pure and imitation vanilla extract, can lose taste with time.

The easiest method to keep your vanilla extract from losing taste or going bad is to keep it in a cold, dark place with the lid on.

A Look at the Shelf Life of Vanilla Extract

Here’s how long pure and imitation vanilla extract will last if stored properly and effectively. Please bear in mind that in the event of imitation, you can get away with it for a few more months after this period has passed, but the initial potency may not be there.

Type of Vanilla ExtractShelf Life
Pure5 – 10 years
Artificial2 – 4 years
Mexican2 – 4 years
Homemade (pure)5 – 10 years

How long can homemade vanilla extract be stored?

Because it is pure vanilla extract, homemade vanilla extract will last the same amount of time as pure vanilla extract if created with the necessary amount of pure alcohol.

Pure vanilla extract, whether manufactured or purchased, should last 5–10 years, depending on storage circumstances.

How long does vanilla extract last in room temperature?

Store pure and imitation vanilla extract outdoors to extend its shelf life.

Outside, pure vanilla extract will last eternally. It will not spoil if kept in a cold, dark area and in an airtight container. You may either retain the extract in the container it came in from the shop or decant it into one of your own. If you must use your own, make sure to choose a dark glass container. The dark tint will inhibit light from reaching the extract.

Imitation vanilla extract has a limited shelf life. Although it will not spoil, use it by the best by date to get the most out of it. To keep the imitation vanilla extract fresh, store it in an airtight container, just like true vanilla extract.

How long does vanilla extract keep in the refrigerator?

The taste strength of genuine and fake vanilla extract is affected by cold temperatures.

Vanilla extract should never be kept in the refrigerator. The extract will turn hazy due to the chilly air. If the extract is hazy, sediment may form on the bottom of the container. The extract degrades due to the chilly air.

The taste of vanilla extract is diminished when it is kept in the refrigerator. When vanilla extract is chilled, many people find that it smells considerably stronger like alcohol. At this time, it is preferable to toss the vanilla extract and replace it. Vanilla extract is a key flavoring in baked products, and using an extract that does not smell right may have an effect on the dish.

How long can vanilla extract be stored in the freezer?

The flavor of genuine and fake vanilla extract will change when exposed to cold temperatures.

Vanilla extract should never be kept in the freezer. Pure and fake vanilla extract should be stored in a cold, dark area, just as the refrigerator. Unlike many other things in our kitchen, freezing vanilla extract does not prolong its shelf life. Freezing vanilla extract has the opposite effect.

In the freezer, both pure and fake vanilla extract lose their effectiveness. Furthermore, because vanilla extract includes alcohol, it is unlikely to freeze in the first place. If you put vanilla extract in the freezer, it will turn hazy. It would eventually lose its potency, and we would no longer wish to utilize it.

When stored outdoors, pure and imitation vanilla extract have the longest shelf life. To prevent shortening the shelf life of your vanilla extract, never store it in the refrigerator or freezer.

Can i keep vanilla extract in the refrigerator?

In a nutshell, no. Vanilla extract does not deteriorate in the same way as bacon does, nor does it expire as rapidly as yogurt. Refrigerating or freezing your bottle of vanilla extract would be utterly futile in terms of safety and preservation.

Because this product has a high concentration of alcohol, which does not freeze at cold temperatures, storing it in the refrigerator is ineffective for long-term preservation.

Furthermore, low temperatures might cause the extract to become hazy and, as a result, affect its quality in the long term. Even if you want to preserve the vanilla extract for a decade, it should be kept in a dark, cold, and dry cupboard as a shelf-stable item.

Is it necessary to keep vanilla extract refrigerated?

Vanilla extract should not be kept in the refrigerator.

It wouldn’t hurt your vanilla, but most baking ingredients should be used at room temperature. It will save you time in the long run if you keep it in a closet or pantry.

It is not required to keep vanilla extract in the refrigerator for safety reasons. Bacterial growth is practically difficult in or on the extract.

However, you should keep it in a cool spot, such as a cupboard or pantry. Over time, consistent heat will deteriorate the quality.

How to determine whether vanilla extract is bad

Vanilla extract does not spoil soon. However, if it’s an imitation, you may need these ways to determine if the vanilla extract on your shelf has gone bad.

Sniff it out

When it comes to spoiling, your nose may alert you instantly. Is your vanilla extract still as tasty as it used to be? If so, it may still be valuable. If not, and if the bottle has an unpleasant odor, you should throw it away.

Examine the cap’s underside

If in doubt, look at the underside of the bottle cap you’ve been using to store your vanilla extract. If you see any buildup, the extract may not be of the highest quality.

In addition, keep an eye out for mold growth. Though vanilla extract is not particularly prone to molds, molds may occasionally surprise you due to its alcohol basis.

Examine the potency

If the scent of the extract is great, but the baked items lack the same intense taste and aroma, your vanilla extract may have lost its potency.

Go ahead and use the bland vanilla extract if you don’t mind. However, if you aren’t willing to sacrifice on flavor, we recommend purchasing a new bottle or making your own!

Examine for impurities

Do you notice any contaminants in the extract? Perhaps a slice of food? If you come across such goods, discarding away the extract may be the best option.

If there are no symptoms of deterioration or a change in scent or flavor, you may simply remove the impurity and utilize it in your recipe.

Now that you know how to tell the difference between a jar of good vanilla extract and one that has gone bad, let’s talk about how to preserve the extract to make it last longer.

Is it possible to become sick from expired vanilla extract?

No, it’s quite unlikely that you’ll become ill from expired vanilla essence. The bottle’s expiration date is more of a suggested “use by” date.

The manufacturer is not convinced that the flavor and scent of the vanilla extract will be as good after this date, but it is still safe to use.

What’s the deal with your hazy vanilla extract?

Cloudy vanilla extract indicates that it was inadequately preserved. Evaporation will occur as a result of direct sunshine or excessive heat, resulting in a foggy appearance in your vanilla extract.

However, cloudiness does not indicate that your vanilla extract has gone bad. It is still safe to use if it smells and tastes well.

If the flavor and scent have degraded, it is still safe to eat but will not contribute the flavor required for most recipes.

To keep your vanilla extract from becoming clouded, keep it in a dark, cold place.

What’s the deal with the black flecks in your vanilla extract?

There are two possibilities for black flecks in vanilla extract. They are either vanilla bean fragments or vanilla pods. However, it might also be specks placed by the manufacturer to give the appearance of a higher quality product.

There is also the possibility that it has been polluted by an entirely alien thing. This is more likely if your vanilla extract was not securely sealed when it was kept.

While black specks aren’t always a cause for concern, if you have any doubts about how your vanilla extract was stored, it’s best to be safe than sorry and avoid using it.

What is the source of the vanilla extract’s alcoholic odor?

Pure vanilla extract is expected to smell like alcohol. In actuality, it is made with ethanol, and the alcohol concentration must be at least 35% of the liquid content of pure vanilla extract.

In a new bottle of vanilla extract, the odor of alcohol might be very intense. Some alcohol will evaporate with time, reducing the scent.

So the presence of the odor of alcohol is not cause for alarm and does not imply that your vanilla extract has gone bad.

Is it possible to utilize expired extract?

According to the storage recommendations of numerous flavoring makers, extracts have a shelf life of 6 months to 1 year. Pure vanilla extract, on the other hand, may remain indefinitely and even improve with age if stored in a cold, dark area and well packed.

Is it okay to use expired imitation vanilla?

Expired vanilla imitation isn’t the best, but it’ll do if you can’t afford a fresh bottle. Just be sure to add more than normal because it won’t be as powerful as a fresh extract.

Is it possible for mold to develop on vanilla extract?

Mold appears as a result of a lack of drying and a decrease in vanillin levels. If your vanilla becomes moldy, stop using it since the scent will most likely have grown and will destroy all of your preparations. However, be cautious not to mix up mold and cold traces!

How to Store Vanilla Extract

Both genuine vanilla extract and counterfeit vanilla extract are stored in the same way.

Keep it in a cool, dark area away from heat sources (light might harm it). The best solutions are the pantry or a kitchen cabinet away from the oven.

The extract should not be refrigerated or frozen since low temperatures might harm it.

If you purchased the extract in a plastic container, you may decant it into a glass bottle or jar if you want. When not in use, ensure sure the extract is properly sealed, as is customary with liquids.

Can you freeze vanilla extract?

In other words, freezing vanilla extract is pointless. Do you keep your booze frozen? Isn’t that correct? Similarly, there is no need to freeze vanilla extract.

The extract’s alcohol basis ensures that your vanilla extract stays fresh and edible for a long time, even when stored at room temperature. Furthermore, freezing or even refrigerating vanilla extract for an extended period of time is known to damage its quality.

So there’s no need to go to the trouble of freezing your vanilla extract when you can simply enjoy its optimum quality and taste for years even when stored at room temperature.

How to make vanilla extract

Have a bunch of vanilla beans with expiration dates in the next several months?

Consider creating vanilla extract to use up your vanilla beans while also extending their lives.

  • Make a slit through the center of the vanilla beans to reveal the seeds. You don’t have to entirely disassemble the bean.
  • Fill a container or jar halfway with 6 vanilla beans. If your vanilla beans are too large, chop them into smaller pieces.
  • 1 cup vodka should be poured over the beans. If necessary, add a little more – until your vanilla beans are completely soaked, they will get sticky.
  • Seal the container and shake it vigorously.

Keep the jar at room temperature and give it a good shake once a week. If you’re in a hurry, utilize the vanilla within 8 weeks. Otherwise, let a year for the flavors to mature.

You should anticipate your handmade vanilla extract to last at least two years longer!

So, how long does vanilla extract last?

Vanilla extract may be kept in a cool, dry location indefinitely. When stored away from heat, vanilla extract will not deteriorate, but its flavor will decrease with time.

For many years, your vanilla extract will be safe to use and tasty. The key to extending the life of your vanilla extract is to keep it away from direct sunlight in a cool, dry place, such as your pantry.


Fortunately, vanilla extract lasts so long that it saves you and your pocketbook from having to buy it on a regular basis. Pure vanilla extract can be kept in a cold, dry area for up to ten years. Artificial vanilla extract, on the other hand, has a shelf life of 2-5 years.

Check for impurities in the vanilla extract, though, in case any pollutants made their way into the container. However, the high alcohol level of vanilla extract should prevent this from happening.