My daughter got confused and added 2 cups of vanilla instead of 2 spoons in a cake recipe.

We were done mixing the ingredients, but we want to salvage the cake. What can we do?

  • 4
    Woah! Around here that's like $25 of vanilla! You'll have to make a lot of cake! I'd make 30 batches of cupcakes and make my daughter sell them to pay me back. – Sobachatina Apr 19 '17 at 22:20
  • 3
    I'm sorry but how was this even possible? Most vanilla containers aren't that big... they're generally 2-4 oz... you'd need 4-8 bottles of them to make two cups. Yes, I know there are larger sizes but... how did this even happen? – Catija Apr 19 '17 at 23:03
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    Yes, that mistake makes me think - are we talking about vanilla extract here? Did she maybe put in 2 cups of vanilla syrup, or vanilla yogurt, or some other vanilla flavored product that is typically used in large quantities? – rumtscho Apr 19 '17 at 23:17
  • Which would change the complexion of the question completely... – Journeyman Geek Apr 19 '17 at 23:18
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    I've definitely bought 16oz bottles of vanilla, and I could totally see an eager kid just measuring two cups out of one of those, as silly as it sounds to us. And even if it was syrup instead of extract, it's still something like 48x (assuming teaspoons) the desired amount, so the same general advice probably applies. – Cascabel Apr 19 '17 at 23:20

I don't think you can salvage that cake. That's just way too much vanilla, and you can't take it out.

You could take out enough to have two (tea?)spoons of vanilla, though, and use that in a new cake. For example, if the total volume is now 6 cups, and 2 cups of it is vanilla, you'd need 6 teaspoons of it to get 2 teaspoons of vanilla. You could then make the cake over again, and use that instead of the vanilla you'd have added. (Yeah, you'll get a little extra of the rest, but it's a small amount, it should be fine.)

To try to save the rest... all I can think of is freezing it to try to preserve it, so you can use portions of it to replace vanilla similarly in future cakes. With that much vanilla, I don't know if it'll actually freeze solid - it's mostly alcohol. So I might try putting it in an ice cube tray, in case it does freeze solid (so you put the cubes in a bag and still get individual portions) and then if it stays soft, you can always put it in a single container to scoop out of. Vanilla is pretty volatile, though, so use an airtight bag/container and don't expect it to last forever.

If it's vanilla syrup, the same generally applies: you have way too much, and you can't separate it. If you go the freezing route to try to save it, syrup also doesn't freeze very solid, thanks to the sugar, so same potential issue there.

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