Baking with lavender is all the rage these days. So many delicious desserts that were unheard of before are now becoming popular, all thanks to lavender extract. If you are aiming to make a lavender-forward dessert, lavender extract is an essential element.
So what is the best lavender extract for baking? Lavender extract should be strong without being overpowering so that you are able to notice it in your baked good without it being overwhelming. Additionally, it is ideally all-natural, ensuring that you are cooking with only the healthiest, purest ingredients.
We’ve taken to answering some important questions related to using lavender extract for baking, including going into detail about the differences between lavender extract and lavender essence.
A Guide To Baking With Lavender Extract
Lavender extract can be used to make a wide variety of baked goods. It has become especially popular in recent years, and it is not uncommon to see it in a variety of dessert recipes, ranging from cookies to cakes to cupcakes and more.
Lavender pairs especially well with citruses such as lemons, so consider making lemon lavender cookies, lavender lemon poppyseed muffins, or lavender lemon bars.
It is also delicious with just about any type of berry. Pair with blackberries for a blackberry lavender cake, whip up a blueberry lavender pie or add to a delicious and fragrant strawberry rhubarb galette.
Believe it or not, lavender also adds a delicious touch to chocolate desserts. Use lavender to add floral notes to a classic chocolate cake, or get fancy and make a chocolate lavender pecan pie.
If chocolate isn’t your thing, consider trying a honey lavender spice cake or even lavender crème Brulee.
Fortunately, baking with lavender extract is incredibly easy. A little bit goes a long way, as it is an extremely concentrated substance.
To add a floral touch to any baked good, simply mix about half a teaspoon of lavender extract into the liquid components of your recipe, at the same time that you would add vanilla or almond extract.
It is also possible to use lavender extract to flavor an icing or frosting when topping off cakes and cookies. Just be sure to be careful with how much you use.
The 3 Best Lavender Extracts For Baking
We’ve rounded up the best lavender extract options on the market to help you find the right one for your delicious dessert.
|1.||Angel Bake Pure Lavender Extract||Alcohol, water, lavender oil|
|2.||Silver Cloud Flavors Pure Lavender Extract||Ethyl alcohol, water, lavender oil|
|3.||Amoretti Violet Lavender Extract||Lavender oil, natural flavor (no alcohol)|
1. Angel Bake Pure Lavender Extract
This no sugar added, non-GMO lavender extract is the perfect all-natural addition to any recipe.
It has a very clean, yet potent, flavor, so a little bit will go a long way. Though it is a bit on the pricier side, you are certainly paying for quality.
Lavender extract is a baking ingredient that you should consider splurging on. As it is used in relatively few recipes, it will last you a while, especially when using a potent product like Angel Bake’s lavender extract.
Therefore, you shouldn’t worry about paying a few extra dollars to invest in a quality product like this one.
2. Silver Cloud Flavors Pure Lavender Extract
Silver Cloud Flavors makes another all-natural, clean-tasting lavender extract that is worth the investment.
It is another incredibly strong product that will last you a long time due to the fact that you only have to use about half a teaspoon per recipe when using it for baking purposes.
It has an extremely aromatic smell and taste, so you will certainly be able to note it in whatever food or drink you add it to.
Aside from using it for baking, you could even use it to enhance beverages such as lemonade or clear liquor cocktails.
3. Amoretti Violet Lavender Extract
This highly concentrated lavender extract is the most expensive of the three options, but keep in mind that you are still getting an extremely high-quality product.
Amoretti offers a natural lavender extract with no alcohol, no chemicals, and no artificial colors.
Again, this product is extremely concentrated, so you will only need to use a very small amount at a time, about half a teaspoon.
If used sparingly, the 2-ounce bottle will last you up to 25 uses, so it’s an investment that you won’t regret making.
Lavender Extract Vs Lavender Oil – What’s The Difference?
You may be wondering, how exactly is lavender extract different from lavender essential oil? In fact, they are significantly different, both in the manner in which they are produced and the manner in which they can be used.
How Is Lavender Oil Extracted?
Lavender essential oil is produced by extracting the natural oils from the lavender. This can be done using a number of methods.
The first method is through steaming, in which steam passes through large masses of lavender, pulling out the essential oil. The essential oil is then separated from the steam and decanted.
Lavender essential oil can also be produced using certain solvents. In this process, the flowers are steeped in hexane or alcohol, allowing the aromatic essence to be released. Afterward, the chemical solvent is evaporated out.
Can You Bake With Lavender Essential Oil?
As you can see, lavender extract and lavender essential oil are produced using very different methods. They also have significantly different uses. While lavender extract is ideal for baking, lavender essential oil is not recommended for human consumption.
Lavender essential oil, like all essential oils, can be very dangerous if ingested, especially if you are not trained on the subject.
Essential oils aren’t regulated as consistently as other food must be, so they can result in serious health problems if used incorrectly.
In short: When baking, stick to lavender extract, and save the lavender essential oil for your diffuser.
What is a good substitute for lavender extract?
Consider using rosewater if you can’t find lavender extract. Though it creates a different flavor, it still has a floral aroma that will add a unique touch to your baked goods.
Rosewater is still a somewhat difficult ingredient to find.
If you have no other choice, you can add vanilla or almond extract to your recipe in place of lavender extract, which is much more common ingredients that you can find and practically any grocery store.
What else can you do with lavender extract?
Aside from baked goods, lavender extract can be used in a multitude of recipes. Believe it or not, you can even use lavender in savory dishes.
Add floral notes to a roast chicken prepared with olive oil and thyme or use to flavor pork tenderloin and pair with a sweet, fruity chutney. You could even add to roasted potatoes seasoned with herbes de Provence.
As you already know, lavender pairs especially well with sweet foods. Use it to add a unique twist to honey or jam, and add to homemade vanilla ice cream to add delicious floral notes to a classic flavor.
Finally, lavender is an excellent addition to a variety of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Add lavender extract to lemonade or iced tea, or mix the two to make a virgin lavender Arnold Palmer.
When it comes to cocktails, lavender is best paired with clear liquors, such as vodka or gin. Add delicious lavender notes to your Martini, Vodka Collins, or Bee’s Knees. You can even pair with rum to make a unique floral mojito.
Can you make lavender extract at home?
How lavender extract is made: Lavender extract can be made by infusing clear alcohol, usually vodka, with lavender flowers. By letting the flowers soak in the liquid for an extended period of time, their flavor fully infuses throughout the liquid.
It is also possible to use a combination of food-grade liquid glycerin and water in place of alcohol.
Though it is a long process, you can make lavender extract at home.
You will just need two ingredients: vodka and lavender flowers.
To make lavender extract at home, place the lavender flowers in a glass jar, and cover them in vodka. Shake a bit, then cover and let sit in a cool, dark place for as little as 2 and up to 6 weeks. The longer you let your lavender infuse into the vodka, the stronger the lavender flavor your extract will have.
After 2-6 weeks, strain the liquid through cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer, ensuring that no lavender particles remain in the extract.
If you need lavender extract right now, consider trying out one of the high-quality products listed above!