Lavender extract is super easy to make and great for adding a subtle floral touch to recipes. Developed for baking, this easy homemade extract will give cakes and cookies the best lavender flavor.
You can use this extract for:
- Ice creams,
- Cakes and frostings; and a lot more!
It also makes a beautiful gift. Store it in a pretty airtight container or bottle, tie around it some dried lavender, and there you have it: a fancy and inexpensive present.
If you’re trying to improve the flavors of a recipe with this extract, just be careful: you need to know how much to add, or it can be overpowering. For baked goods, start with half a teaspoon of lavender extract.
It’s simple to make a lavender extract you can use in the kitchen. Like in my Earl Grey extract, you’ll need a hard liquor with a neutral flavor, and the ingredient that will be responsible for the flavor. In this case, lavender.
About the ingredients:
For the alcohol, I like to use vodka. It has a neutral flavor that won’t affect the extract. Also, when making extracts, I usually go for the cheapest vodka. Rum and bourbon are also options here. They are not as neutral as vodka, but I’ve made extracts with both and it worked just as fine.
Note: want to make it alcohol-free? Substitute the alcohol with three parts food-grade liquid glycerin and one part water, stirring both ingredients together until well combined.
Regarding the lavender, make sure you’re using one suitable for cooking. That means a lavender that was not treated with sprays or chemicals. If you’re buying the whole flower instead of dried lavender for cooking, make sure it’s ‘organic’.
Pay extra attention to that if you’re using this ingredient fresh. Some lavender types are more aromatic and heat-friendly (they don’t get as bitter when exposed to heat), and so, better for cooking. I found these types work well and don’t leave a medicine taste in your recipes: munstead, lady, hicote, and folgate.
How to make it
You’ll need: lavender (dried or fresh), vodka (or the neutral alcohol of your choice - make sure it’s at least 40% alcohol) and a glass jar with a lid.
If using fresh lavender, double the amount asked for in the recipe card.
In the clean glass bottle or jar, add lavender flowers and top it with vodka. Close the lid and give a good shake. It will have this beautiful violet color in the first day.
Place the jar away from sunlight. Leave it ripping for 3 weeks. Shake it every other day during the extraction process.
After 3 weeks, the extract will be medium brown. Strain the liquid and discard the lavender flowers. You can also use a coffee filter for that, to have an extra clear extract.
This recipe makes a cup of lavender extract (about 8 oz/236 ml).
Questions you’re asking
Use it like you would use vanilla extract. Mix about half a teaspoon with the wet ingredients, in place of the usual vanilla extract. Just be careful not to add too much, as lavender can be overpowering.
You can use lavender extract in sweet and savory recipes. My favorite suggestions are adding a few drops to flavor beverages like lemonades, substituting vanilla extract for half a teaspoon of lavender extract for baking goods, and using for making ice cream.
Using a bottle or jar of amber glass will make sure the flavors in the extract last for longer. So if you’re using an amber jar or bottle, you can display this extract on the counter, for example.
But don’t worry, if you’re not using it, just make sure you’re storing the extract in a dark place, and it should be fine.
Here is a list of flavors that complement lavender:
- Lemon or Lime;
- Berries like raspberries and strawberries; and
Lavender is used both in savory and sweet dishes. It is more commonly found in dessert recipes, though.
- 3 tablespoon dried lavender
- 1 cup vodka
- In a clean glass bottle or jar, add lavender flowers and top it with vodka. Close the lid and give a good shake.
- Place the jar away from sunlight. Leave it ripping for 3 weeks. Shake it every other day during the extraction process.
- After 3 weeks, strain the liquid and discard the lavender flowers.