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Baking Flavors & Extracts 101

In some recipes, using a flavor extract or flavor is easier and yields a tastier, more uniform result than adding the actual ingredient itself. For example, almond flavor might be preferable to using chopped almonds in some breads, cakes or cookies. Whether you’re a novice or experienced baker, use the guide below to inform you as to when and how to incorporate the nuances of extracts and flavors in your recipes.


An extract is a concentrated solution that contains the complex, alcohol-soluble volatile oils, resins and other compounds – all the flavors – that are found in the physical herb, spice, fruit or nut being extracted. The extract solution used to pull these essences from the plant material is usually ethyl alcohol that’s been distilled from fermented corn. (Note: The alcohol used in Frontier Co-op extracts does not contain GMO ingredients or GMO-suspect ingredients, and Frontier Co-op now offers Non-GMO Project Verified Vanilla Extract.

Extracts can be extremely concentrated and powerful. The FDA designates that in order to be called an extract, the solution must contain at least 35 percent alcohol by volume and, as an example, the vanilla extractives must amount to at least 13.35 percent of the volume of a vanilla extract.

Frontier Co-op Extracts

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Almond Extract

Almond extract’s flavor has a sweet, nutty essence. It’s well-suited for baking, especially in pastries like croissants, turnovers and cookies. Comes in a water or dairy soluble water, alcohol and glycerin base.

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Chocolate Extract

Sweet chocolate extract enhances chocolate milkshakes, puddings, cheesecakes and whipped cream. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons to 2 cups whipped cream for a chocolaty dessert topping. Comes in a water or dairy soluble agave syrup, alcohol and water base.

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Vanilla Extract

Vanilla is by far the most popular baking extract. It adds a distinct yet subtle flavor to almost any recipe. Vanilla extract comes from vanilla beans that have been steeped in alcohol. It’s widely used to flavor desserts, especially baked goods and ice cream. Many chefs have discovered it to be an interesting ingredient to use in savory dishes as well. Comes in water or dairy soluble water and alcohol base.

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Indonesia Vanilla Extract

Indonesian vanilla beans are processed in such a way that their intense flavor holds up to cooking well. Use the extract in baked goods and hot cocoa. Comes in a water or dairy soluble water and alcohol base.

Frontier Co-op Flavors

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Almond Flavor

Almond flavor won’t evaporate as quickly as almond extract when heated. Add it to your favorite cookie, frosting and meringue recipes. For a special treat, add 1/2 teaspoon almond flavor to waffle, pancake or French toast batter. Also, try a dash in coffee, hot chocolate and milkshakes. Comes in a water or dairy soluble water and glycerin base.

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Cinnamon Flavor

Cinnamon flavor is used when the powder would interfere with the moisture or clarity in recipes. To use, simply mix a few drops into cookie, cake, waffle or pancake batter. You can also make a non-edible kitchen aromatic by adding cinnamon flavor to a quart of simmering water, along with cloves and cinnamon sticks. Comes in an oil soluble sunflower seed oil base.

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Coconut Flavor

Coconut flavor adds a tropical flair to frostings, pancake batter, syrups, cookies and candy. Also try a dash in your favorite milkshakes and smoothies. Comes in an oil soluble sunflower seed oil base.

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Lemon Flavor

Lemon flavor adds stronger lemon flavor than lemon juice. Use it in cakes, cookies, candy, bars, puddings, sauces, ice creams and sorbets, muffins, icings and frostings. Try a dash in hot or cold tea. Comes in an oil soluble canola oil base.

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Maple Flavor

Add maple flavor to fudge, brownie, taffy and frosting recipes. Try a dash or two in baked beans, barbecue sauce, soups, cookies and pies, hot cereal, muffins and breads. It’s delicious with all types of squash, and makes an easy flavor upgrade for butter, too. Comes in a water soluble glycerin and water base.

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Mint Flavor

Mint is a versatile flavor. Think outside the chocolate box and add it by the dash to icings and coffee, as well as cake, pudding, and cookie recipes. Hot or cold teas perk up instantly with a bit of mint flavor. Comes in an oil soluble sunflower seed oil base.

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Peppermint Flavor

This flavor is a best friend to chocolate, holiday baking and sinful drinks. Use in cupcakes, scones, brownies, frosting and homemade ice cream. Add to milkshakes, puddings and hot chocolate. Comes in an oil soluble sunflower seed oil base.

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Raspberry Flavor

For a tasty raspberry treat, add raspberry flavor to chocolate sauces and puddings, whipped cream and icings. Or add a few drops to vinaigrettes for a berry zest. For raspberry iced tea, add 1/2 teaspoon per pint of tea. Comes in a water soluble glycerin and water base.

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Strawberry Flavor

Add berry-fresh flavor to smoothies and dressings for fruit salads. Also enhances frostings, whipped cream and angel food cakes. Comes in a water soluble glycerin and water base.

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Vanilla Flavor

This vanilla flavor is derived from real vanilla beans with little to no alcohol. It’s a concentrated vanilla flavor, extra-rich and creamy, making it especially useful for baking. Comes in a water soluble glycerin and water base.