Coffee Adviser is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Vanilla Syrup vs Vanilla Extract – Which Should You Choose?

Vanilla syrup vs vanilla extract: this showdown is never out of date since many people still mistake between the two.

The world’s favorite flavor is vanilla, as you may already know. People of different ages and genders fall in love with this distinct and peculiar sweet taste. You can find this mesmerizing flavor in a wide range of foods and beverages, from cupcakes to cookies, ice cream to cappuccino.

Nevertheless, you may sometimes encounter someone using their names interchangeably. These two incredible tastes may get them confused! Imagine you wish to put this most-loved flavor into your dinner meal, but you have no idea how to differentiate them. That would be a problem! 

We are here to help! Continue reading, and you will select the proper one for your meal or beverage the next time.

Vanilla Syrup vs Vanilla Extract: What Are The Differences?

Vanilla Sirup

This is a sweet substance produced from refined sugar, pure water, and a small amount of vanilla essence. With some salt and brown sugar, some popular syrups on the market have a richer flavor.

Afterward, this syrup is prepared by boiling water with sugar and salt until it becomes completely clear. When the liquid has chilled to the right temperature, a few tablespoons of vanilla extract will be added to create the last, delightful product.

It is also an afterthought compared to the extract. Some are designed to be drizzled over pastries or frozen foods to offer that final touch of sweet taste to tie the whole flavor together.

Vanilla Extract

On the other hand, this product is more like an addition to a combination of dishes than a sort of garnish. You can use this ingredient as a substance to make a solution. Vanillin, the predominant flavor presented in the same ingredient beans, is combined with water and ethanol to produce the final product.

Nowadays, vanillin is a synthetic substance. As per recent research, vanilla beans and alcohol make up approximately 110 grams of vanilla bean extract per liter.

Quick Breakdown

The unity of these two products is a significant deciding aspect. The syrup possesses a considerably thicker texture, and its flavor is likewise much sweeter. On the other hand, the latter one is lighter and more fluid, with a significantly bitter taste.

The syrup contains a small amount of the extract to give it the flavor required in the final product. Meanwhile, the extract appears to be a perfect additive to make wonderful flavoring for other recipes.

When adding a vanilla flavor garnish to your dishes, use the syrup. If a mixture in your recipe requires a little flavoring, the extract is the way to go.

Vanilla Extract Substitutes

Our tastes are different and unique. If you are looking for a method to have the sweet taste of this incredible taste without using the title product, there is one solution for you: try other substitutes.

Almond Extract

The first substitute on this list is almond extract. Due to its strong flavor, you should only use fifty percent of the amount used for the title product. For example, if your cooking recipe requires a teaspoon, you should use half a teaspoon of almond.

The Almond version is also a wonderful substitute for sweets, particularly those with caramel and hazelnut flavors. One more time, be cautious with the amount you use for your dish because too much almond taste might harm your body.

Vanilla Essence

The pure extract has origin from the nut pods of the same ingredient classic plant. Meanwhile, the essence is synthetic chemicals to attain incredible flavor and liquid consistency.

This substitute is essentially the polar opposite of the other alternatives. The flavor in it is much lighter. So, it would be best if you put more of the essence to produce the best taste for your dish.

In order to create the same taste as the original, you will have to use twice as much of the substitute essence. 

Fiori Di Sicilia

Among the substitutes you can find on the market, Fiori di Sicilia contains vanilla, floral, orange, and lemon essences. Although it does not have a pure flavor, it can still be a great additive to the quality of your food without affecting the overall flavor.

You will have to cut down on the amount of the Fiori di Sicilia than other listed replacements on the list. Half of a tablespoon will suffice for your recipe compared to one full tablespoon of an ordinary one.

Maple Syrup

What easier method to compensate for the sweetness than maple syrup – the delicious syrup loved by billions of people worldwide? This is without a doubt one of the greatest alternatives available.

Unlike the almond version, you can replace the title product with the same quantity of maple syrup. It is unnecessary to make any adjustments or measurements. All you have to do is put the exact amount of maple syrup you want for your recipe.

Interestingly enough, maple extract can also be used as a substitute. However, if you decide to use it instead of maple syrup, you should take the same instructions as almonds above. If your dish calls for a teaspoon, use only half a teaspoon of maple.

Vanilla Powder

This product comes as another ideal stand-in. It is because the powder is made from roasted and crushed vanilla beans. When using this flavorful powder, you should only use about half as much as you would for the extract.  

You can also purchase these wonderful beans in paste form (available a lot in the market). If you do not want to deal with math, try using the paste form, which can produce the same result in equal proportions. You may be surprised at its taste!

Vanilla Beans

Not many people know that these beans could be a wonderful alternative to vanilla extract, though it will be difficult to achieve. You must split the bean vertically and take out the inner seeds. You can totally use both the seeds and pulp of it if needed.

A single vanilla bean instead of one tablespoon of the extract will be a good idea if you utilize that combination. But if you just want to use only the bean, you can soak the seeds and pulp together with its pod. Again, half of the amount will be adequate enough to replace. 

How To Create Your Own Extract At Home?

The process to create your homemade extract is quite straightforward. You will have to prepare vanilla beans, unflavored vodka, and a dark bottle with a strong lid. 

The beans require at least four weeks of soaking in vodka to obtain the flavors fully. One thing you should remember: the longer time, the stronger the taste.

To have a rich extract, 4-6 beans will need eight ounces of vodka. Remember to soak the beans completely in the liquor. You should use the grade B beans for producing the desired outcome as they contain less moisture than the grade A ones. 


  • Cut each pod on one side along its length.
  • Fill an 8-ounce bottle halfway with cut pods. Cut any protruding pieces of the pods and place them in the bottle.
  • Fill the bottle with vodka. Remember to submerge the pods completely in the vodka. Cover tightly with the lid and shake the bottle.
  • Keep the bottle out of sunlight and heat. Shake the bottle after every two days. The product will be perfect for usage after 3-4 weeks.

A bottle of vanilla extract will be an ideal gift for your family and friends. You can also use it to make homemade creamer, yogurt, ice cream, and syrup. It will surely serve you with the best taste, even with the pickiest people. 

Avoid storing your product in bottles with a cork stopper since the extract could escape from the loose seal. The ideal choice should be dark glass bottles with either a screw lid or a swing top.


You now must understand the differences between vanilla syrup vs vanilla extract. To conclude, the syrup contains water, sugar, and vanilla extract, while the latter is the purest form of vanilla. This syrup uses a small amount of the extract to produce an incredible flavor and scent. 

Due to the richness of sugar, it usually tastes sweet. Additionally, the extract contains a high concentration of alcohol, resulting in a harsh and bitter taste.

Choosing which product for your recipes is not a problem anymore. Pick the right one for your dish and create the most delicious meals for your family and friends!

Leave a Comment