Do Brownies Need Vanilla Extract?


Rich, chocolate squares of ooey gooey goodness, brownies are many people’s favorite dessert. Pair it with a bowl of vanilla ice cream and you are living the dream. 

Brownies are simple and easy to make but many of the recipes call for vanilla extract. If you are wondering if you have to have this in your recipe let me tell you first of all that it is a personal preference to add it in and second that the ingredient is not absolutely necessary to making the brownies. 

Your brownies can still be good without adding in any vanilla.

Amazing Orange Buttercream Frosting...
Amazing Orange Buttercream Frosting With Orange Extract
Brownies don’t have to have vanilla extract in them but it does add to the flavor of the desert. Unless vanilla is a main ingredient in the recipe you are using, the vanilla extract is an optional add in that you can leave out or put in based on your own personal preference.

Vanilla extract is added to the recipe to give the desert a bit more flavor. Skipping over this ingredient can be done and your brownies will still be delicious. 

Some people prefer to make their brownies without the vanilla while some think it tastes better with it added in. 

The normal ingredients for a brownie are butter, sugar, cocoa powder, eggs, flour, baking powder and salt. Vanilla extract is added in to make the flavor of the brownies stronger. 

At the end of the day, you can put whatever you want into your brownie batter. 

Brownies are one of those desserts that remind you of home. Their mouth-watering fudgy center is so yummy making them one of the most well-known and widely made desserts. 

Being simple and easy to make, brownies are perfect for any occasion. Whether the event is a picnic or a fancy dinner party, brownies do not disappoint. 

To see the most popular baking gadgets currently available just click here. 

What Can You Use In Brownies If You Don’t Have Vanilla? 

You are making some brownies when you reach the step in the recipe that calls for vanilla extract. Opening your pantry you realize you are completely out.

You would just leave it out but you like the flavor it gives to the brownies. Is there something else you can add in instead of the vanilla?

If you don’t have any vanilla extract to use in your brownie recipe, you don’t have to worry. You can use Maple syrup, almond extract, instant coffee, espresso powder or even citrus zest as replacements. 

If you do not have any vanilla extract in your cupboards to add into your brownie recipe, there are some substitutes. Maple syrup, almond extract, instant coffee, espresso powder or a citrus zest can all be substituted into your brownie recipe if you are out of vanilla. 

Some other options to make your brownies taste better without adding in any vanilla extract are: vanilla almond milk, vanilla powder, honey, spices such as cinnamon, chocolate and even vanilla ice cream.

All of these can be added in for that extra pop of vanilla flavor in the chocolaty squares.

It isn’t necessary to put the vanilla extract in your brownies for them to be good but if you like that flavor then this can be something that makes them even better. Using these other ingredients will make the taste different and won’t be exactly the same as using vanilla in the recipe. 

However, if you are in a pinch and need a close second, these are all great options for your yummy brownies. And who knows? Maybe you will find something you like even more. 

What Makes Brownies Fudgy? 

Are you a chewy brownie kind of person? These are well structured brownies with the perfect blend of fudge and cakiness with deep flavor. 

Or maybe you prefer cakey brownies. The lighter and airier texture of the dessert with just enough chocolate to satisfy your taste buds.

But what is it that makes brownies be more on the fudgy side? 

A more fudgy brownie has a higher fat to flour ratio than a more cakey brownie. If you want to make a brownie more fudgy just add more butter and chocolate.

There is a reason behind the ratio of ingredients in making a brownie. Too much flour and it will be more cakey, too much butter and it will be melting away. 

There are three types of this sweet chocolate treat. Fudgy, chewy, and cakey. Everyone has their own opinion on which is better, but let’s look into what makes a fudgy brownie different.

Fudgy brownies are for serious chocolate lovers. They are rich and moist and gooey in the middle. In making a fudgy brownie you normally start with butter and a combination of bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate melted together and also cocoa powder. 

A whole egg and sometimes even an extra egg is added for more gooeyness.

Is It Okay To Make Cookies Without Vanilla Extract? 

Baking cookies is one of your specialties. But, when you are adding in the ingredients you remember you forgot to pick up some vanilla extract. If this happens just remember that you don’t have to have the vanilla. 

Just like making the brownies, it is ok to make cookies without adding in the vanilla extract. 

Vanilla extract is not necessary for any baking recipe including cookies. It does add flavor though so leaving it out will change the taste of the dessert (whether it’s cookies or brownies). 

Leaving out the vanilla will not change the texture of the cookies at all.  Vanilla extract makes the cookies have a richer and stronger flavor as it enhances all the other flavors in the recipe. 

Normally if you do not add it in, the cookies can taste pretty plain and bland. If you are used to the vanilla flavoring then you will know that it is missing from your scrumptiously sweet dessert.

As mentioned earlier in the article there are some substitutes you can use in making desserts and vanilla extract has many. If you do not like vanilla in your cookies then leaving it out is just fine.

If you do choose to make your cookies without the vanilla they will still taste good. The wonderful thing about baking is that you can add whatever you like into your recipes and make them your own.

Final Thoughts 

Yummy chocolate brownies are a favorite dessert among people everywhere. If you follow a recipe to make brownies it will normally include vanilla extract. 

If you do not like vanilla extract added to your recipe, then you can absolutely just leave it out. The dessert will still be good. 

If you do like vanilla extract in your brownies then adding it in will make them stronger and richer in flavor.

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

Recent Posts