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Nov 26, 2013 12:15 AM

If changing vanilla frosting to chocolate do I remove vanilla extract?

Hey I am hoping to get some help please.

I will be making the frosting recipe below, but converting to chocolate instead: (no oj in frosting, i will use water instead) scroll down to directions, step 6

I already know I can add 1/4 cup cocoa, I am simply curious if I need to remove the vanilla extract? I will also like to know if I can add in chocolate extract and what amount?
To give you some background info I am making this cupcake recipe below which the frosting will sit on top of :
There will already be 1tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp chocolate extract in the cupcakes, I am curious how much more chocolate xtract I can add to the frosting and if I need to remove/reduce the vanilla?

Thank you guys very much!

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  1. I wouldn't remove the vanilla extract. Many chocolate frosting recipes call for it, and I often add a dash even if they don't. It won't detract from the chocolate flavor, and will only add to it.

    I am not familiar with chocolate extract. I wouldn't think you would need it if you're using good quality cocoa in a decent enough amount.

    4 Replies
    1. re: nothingswrong

      Ok thanks! Would you recommend reducing the vanilla amount at all?

      1. re: curiousaboutcafos

        Chocolate and vanilla are two peas in a pod. Peanut butter and jelly. A fat kid and cake. Dentures and glue.

        But if you want to switch it up you could put almond extract, orange zest, instant coffee, cinnamon, etc.

          1. re: curiousaboutcafos

            No, I wouldn't change the amount of vanilla.

            If you use almond, orange, coffee extract, etc. you may want to reduce slightly, as they are a bit more powerful than vanilla.

    2. Coffee would make a great sub for the oj instead of water. Keep the vanilla!

      2 Replies
      1. re: tacosandbeer

        my mom's default mocha frosting uses old coffee for the liquid and I believe vanilla. (and she's a baker not a cook)

        vanilla won't change things much, just add a flinge on the flavor a bit.

        my only edit to hers would be to consider the coffee and the quality of the vanilla. but that's the snot in me.

        1. re: hill food

          That's so funny - my mom always gives me a hard time for making some fresh Texas Pecan coffee for my brownies, when there's "perfectly good coffee in the pot from this morning"!! (Her boyfriend won't even drink her coffee, and he's a long-haul truck driver who will drink almost anything!)

      2. Leave the vanilla extract but skip the chocolate extract.

        6 Replies
        1. re: sandylc

          I've never used "chocolate extract" before..... Sounds bizzare.

            1. re: Ttrockwood

              I've never heard of it either but surprisingly Nielsen Massey does it:


              1. re: chowser


                like others above, i usually add coffee or espresso to boost chocolate flavor.

                1. re: chowser

                  Well, I learned something new today. Not sure I'd bother with it. I think I'd prefer to just increase the amount of chocolate/cocoa I was using.

                  By all means keep the vanilla! It's essential to all baked goods if you ask me. Chocolate and orange are a pretty popular combination. They even sell orange shaped chocolates with an orange flavor - it's pretty good stuff (I was given one as a gift and was skeptical but ended up really liking it). I use orange in my Nanaimo bars and everyone loves them...

                2. re: Ttrockwood

                  organic chocolate extract from frontier/simply organic


                  i mean just thinking about it if there is vanilla extract added and one has in their possession a chocolate extract it would seem like there shouldn't be a problem adding the chocolate extract.

                  i will need to experiment!

              2. hey thank you guys very much for all of the help.
                i'm still questioning whether i can use the chocolate extract, it seems like a lot of you haven't had experience with it therefore i am just curious if i really *could* use it . .


                5 Replies
                1. re: curiousaboutcafos

                  I haven't used chocolate extract, but have seen it in recipes. My guess is that using it won't hurt this recipe, but probably won't make a noticeable difference either. And yes, definitely keep the vanilla! It's not there to specifically add a vanilla flavor, but because alcohol helps convey flavor. Good luck--

                  1. re: curiousaboutcafos

                    I have some chocolate extract, but unfortunately it's not a high quality one. I saw it, it was cheap, I was curious :)
                    That said, I first heard of it through David Lebovitz' blog:


                    1. re: Ama658

                      So what does it taste like? I've never seen it and frankly would be worried it might taste funky. Artificial maybe?

                      Good quality cocoa powders are so potent that I've never had anything I baked with them turn out "not chocolatey enough." If anything, I struggle with things being too rich.

                      1. re: nothingswrong

                        My thoughts exactly.....i've also never tried it but when there is also "real" chocolate in the recipe i don't see the need for it either

                        1. re: nothingswrong

                          I searched my pantry and found a bottle of the chocolate stuff. The smell reminded me of cheap diet chocolate topping--the nasty stuff. I tasted it in a glass of water and also straight. Not pleasant, but I probably picked the bottle up on sale for a dollar. I'd be interested in tasting a quality chocolate flavor if I found it...
                          On a more positive note, the coffee flavoring I also rediscovered on the same shelf was ok. Not sure what I'd use it for instead of just strong coffee, but I like to try new/weird things :)

                    2. you know, chocolate and orange is a good combination. the italians do a lot of that.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: alkapal

                        I just made a similar comment. Maybe I should have read through first...