Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

asked July 20th 2012

What exactly does ‘not bake stable’ mean?

It says this on my vanilla extract…


Hi Doodlecake

Vanilla extract is made in different ways. Pure extract is made by infusing the vanilla bean pod in water and alcohol and it comes in different strengths.  ‘Not bake stable’ just means if you put it in cake mix the flavour will be lost. It will retain flavour in things like frostings, butter cream or even custard. There are about 150 different varieties of vanilla bean and choosing extracts can be mind boggling. Luckily we can just go to the supermarket and still get a reasonably good grade.


Hi miwl, didn’t  know this, thanks!



Hi J

It depends really on the strength of the vanilla extract, (it comes in different strengths, not domestic use though, much too expensive). I think strength is determined by the amount of alcohol the bean is steeped in. I don’t think vanilla extract smells or tastes the way it used to, I use  vanilla bean powder which is much stronger and far more economical. I get it at the cake decorating company in Nottingham. Word of warning however, it is very strong, experimenting with amounts is essential, too much will ruin your cakes, frosting and fillings.  x


Oh dear, my last cake was plain vanilla and I also forgot to add the vanilla to the syrup! Must have tasted like cardboard!!

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