Last Updated on September 22, 2022
If you are feeling like experimenting with some new flavors, why not give cherry extract for baking a try? It is incredibly delicious and easy to make!
Cherry flavor is a lot more versatile than you may think. It can be used for both savory and sweet dishes and is extremely refreshing. It also naturally elevates the other flavors in the dish and has many amazing nutritional characteristics too. So, read on to learn everything you need to know about this amazing product!
What Is Cherry Extract For Baking?
Believe it or not, you do get cherry extract, not just cherry essence. If you don’t know what the difference is, we will also be covering that in the article. But bottom line, the extract version of a flavor is almost always more difficult to find.
Cherry extract is made by soaking the cherry fruit inside alcohol. During this process, the flavor is extracted from the juicy flesh and completely overpowers the alcohol’s natural flavor. In fairness though, the type of alcohol used is usually pretty flavorless.
Once the product is made and sold, you can expect extremely prominent flavors and aromas. This is exactly the reason so many people, ourselves included, are obsessed with cherry extract! You don’t need a ton to give your baked goodie an extremely cherry-like flavor.
Uses for cherry extract for baking
Cherry extract for baking specifically has a ton of uses. And before you ask, yes, there are extracts out there that aren’t safe for consumption. Always make sure that the product you buy specifically states that it is safe for consumption!
Now, this flavor is very versatile. Cherry pairs well with other fruits like apricots, citrus, nectarines, peaches, plums, and pomegranates. It also naturally goes well with other sweet fruity berries, like raspberry and strawberries.
Furthermore, you can pair it with flavors like almond, black pepper, cinnamon, sage, and vanilla. And, as you probably have tasted firsthand, cherry is a wonderful flavor that goes with chocolate and caramel.
So, when looking at what exactly to use cherry extract for, the answer is anything. As long as the flavor profiles pair well together, it will make a good addition.
You can use cherry extract for baked goods like cupcakes, cakes, muffins, bars, and pancakes. You can also use it to enhance the flavors in berry sauces, or make delicious fruity frostings and glazes. And, it is also an excellent option for making candy and other sweet treats.
You can also use cherry extract in drinks. Yes, even though it is technically meant for baking, it is safe to be consumed as is.
Can cherry extract for baking go bad?
Technically, cherry extract for baking does eventually go bad, but not for a very long time. Because the extract is made from alcohol, the shelf life is so long that you will likely use it before it spoils.
However, we always recommend not using anything that has gone past the recommended use-by date. There is a legal reason manufacturers have to add those dates, so rather stick to them.
Cherry Extract Vs Cherry Essence Vs Concentrate (Flavoring)
So, the question on most people’s minds – what is the difference between cherry extract for baking, cherry essence, and cherry concentrate?
As we have mentioned, the cherry extract is made by soaking the ingredient in alcohol. This produces a very strong pure flavor.
Cherry essence on the other hand is also known as an artificial cherry extract. It is a much more diluted flavoring ingredient. This essence is made using a combination of alcohol, water, and some other additives like emulsifiers and flavor enhancers.
Now, cherry concentrate, also known as cherry flavoring, is also completely different from the above-mentioned two. Cherry concentrate will be more flavorful than an essence, but less than an extract. The concentrate is made by steeping the ingredient in oil, which is then mixed with an emulsifier to create a uniform liquid.
In terms of which are best, we always recommend using extracts first. If you can’t find it, your next best flavor option will be a concentrate, and finally an essence.
Can You Make Cherry Extract For Baking At Home?
It is possible to make cherry extract at home, but personally, we don’t recommend it. The process is so time-consuming, labor-intensive, and often more expensive than just making your own.
The only time we recommend doing it is if you are planning on using quite a lot of extract or if you cannot get your hand on any at a reasonable price.
How to make cherry extract for baking at home
There are two ways you can easily make cherry extract for baking at home. To start, pit the cherries and cut them in half. Make sure they are fresh and unbruised.
Then, soak the cherries in a sterile mason jar filled with vodka. Don’t use flavored vodka and make sure to pack the cherries in there tightly. Give the mixture a shake and leave it in a cool dark place (sealed) for 2 weeks. Every day, give the jar a shake to ensure the flavors mix properly.
After 2 weeks, remove and discard the cherries and strain the remaining liquid through a fine-mesh sieve. Store the cherry extract back inside a sterile jar and keep it in a cool dry place or the fridge.
If you want to remove the alcohol part of the process, simply boil the mixture for a couple of minutes before cooling and bottling it. We cannot guarantee that all of the alcohol will evaporate, but most of it will.
Wrapping Things Up – Everything You Need To Know About Cherry Extract For Baking
Cherry extract is an underrated flavor that we hope can gain some traction in the baking community. Hopefully, now that you know how to make your own at home, you will incorporate it a lot more into your baking life.
If you know of anyone who loves cherry flavors, make sure to share this informative article with them too!
What can you use cherry extract for?
Cherry extract for baking (or any type that is safe for cooking and consumption) can be used in virtually any dish. You can make cherry-flavored cupcakes, ice cream, custard, frosting, salad dressings, marinades, and loads more. We also like making cherry-flavored cookies and health bars.
What is in cherry flavoring?
Cherry flavoring is not the same as cherry extract. The flavoring, also called concentrate, is made by soaking or steeping cherries in oil. The oil is then combined with an emulsifier to blend the two liquids together. Cherry extract on the other hand only contains cherry flavor and alcohol - no other additives.
How do you extract cherry flavor?
Cherry flavor is extracted by soaking pitted and halved cherries in alcohol for up to two weeks. This time allows the cherry flavors to be extracted and flavor the alcohol, usually vodka.
How do you make black cherry flavor?
To make black cherry flavor (or any type of cherry flavor) simply pit and half the cherries. Then, place them inside a sterile mason jar. Give the cherries a shake and store them in a cool dark place for 2 weeks. Shake the mixture every day to blend the flavors. Finally, remove the cherries and strain the liquid. Then, bottle it again and store it for later use.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.