Easy Christmas Spice Extract for Holiday Baking

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Today, I’m excited to share with you a fantastic recipe for Christmas extract for baking. This time of year, our kitchens become the heart of the home, buzzing with the magic of holiday baking. Imagine infusing your cakes, and desserts with the essence of the holidays. That’s exactly what this Christmas extract for baking is all about.

Made with simple, natural ingredients like orange peel, vanilla beans, and classic holiday spices, this extract is your secret weapon for bringing that unmistakable holiday cheer to all your baked goods. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting out, you’ll find this recipe to be a game-changer for your festive treats. So, let’s get started and fill your home with the sweet, comforting aromas of Christmas!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • All-Natural: Made with simple ingredients, free from added sugars.
  • Versatile: Enhances a variety of holiday treats, from cookies to cakes.
  • Long-Lasting: A little goes a long way, and it stays fresh for ages.
  • Easy to Make: Simple steps with a homemade touch.
  • Festive Flavor: Brings the essence of Christmas to every bite.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Heads up: For exact measurements, see the recipe card below.

Creating this festive Christmas extract for baking is so easy with just a handful of aromatic ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Organic Orange Peel: Adds a fresh, citrusy aroma, enhancing the overall flavor.
  • Vanilla Beans: Imparts a subtle sweetness and a classic, rich aroma.
  • Whole Cloves: Contribute a deep, warm spiciness, perfect for the holiday season.
  • Allspice: Offers a complex blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove flavors.
  • Cardamom Pods: Bring a sweet, floral note that complements the other spices.
  • Cinnamon Sticks: Provide a quintessentially Christmas scent and taste.
  • Vodka: Acts as the base, extracting and preserving all the spice flavors.
Can I use a different type of alcohol instead of vodka?

Absolutely! While vodka is great for its neutral flavor, you can easily switch it up with rum for a sweeter note, bourbon for a rich, oaky depth, or even whiskey for a smoky twist. Each alcohol brings its own unique character to the extract.

What if I don’t have one of the listed spices, or want to try different ones?

No problem! This recipe is quite flexible. Missing allspice? Add a bit more cinnamon or cloves. Want to experiment? Try adding star anise for a licorice hint, or nutmeg for a warm, nutty flavor. Feel free to play around with the spices to suit your taste.

How To Make Christmas Extract for Baking

Prepare the Ingredients. Zest the orange peel using a vegetable peeler, avoiding the white pith as it may add a bitter aftertaste. Split the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Break the cinnamon sticks into smaller pieces.

Ingredients for spiced extract made at home.

Assemble in Jar(s). Place the orange zest, vanilla beans (and seeds), cloves, allspice, cardamom, and cinnamon pieces into your jar(s).

Add the Alcohol. Pour in the vodka (or your choice of rum, whiskey, or bourbon) over the spices, ensuring they are fully submerged. Seal the jars and gently shake to combine the ingredients.

Decorative gift jars filled with holiday spices and vodka.

Infuse and Store. Let the jars sit in a cool, dark place for at least 2 weeks, with an optimal infusing time of 4-6 weeks. Shake the jars occasionally. You can replenish the alcohol and spices as needed over time.

Christmas Spice Extract for Holiday Baking

Tips for Best Christmas Extract for Baking

  • Patience Pays Off: The minimum infusion time is 2 weeks, but the longer you wait, the better it gets. In fact, it will be even better the next Christmas!
  • Quality Matters: Use organic orange peel to avoid any pesticides in your extract. The quality of the spices and alcohol you use will significantly impact the final flavor. Also make sure you’re using proper Ceylon cinnamon, not cassia.
  • Avoid Bitterness: Be careful to include only the orange zest and not the white pith, as the pith can make the extract bitter.
  • Enhance Flavors with Toasting: For an extra burst of flavor, try toasting the cloves, allspice, and cinnamon sticks in a dry pan over medium heat until they become aromatic. This quick step can deepen the flavors, giving your Christmas Spice Extract a richer, more robust profile. Just be sure to watch them closely to prevent burning, as this can lead to bitterness.
  • Replenish and Reuse: Don’t throw away your extract once it starts running low. Simply add more alcohol and a few fresh spices to keep it flavorful.

Storage Instructions

Where should I store this Christmas Spice Extract for baking?

Store it in a cool, dark place like a pantry. This helps to maintain the quality and flavor of the extract over time.

How long can I keep the extract?

The extract lasts quite a while, often improving in flavor over time. It can even be better when used the next Christmas! Just make sure it’s stored properly.

How to Use Christmas Extract for Baking

Much like homemade vanilla extract, this Christmas Spice Extract for Baking can be used in many different ways:

  • In Holiday Baking: Add a teaspoon or two to your cookie, cake, or pie recipes for a festive flavor boost. It’s especially great in gingerbread or spice cake.
  • Enhance Hot Beverages: Stir a little into your hot chocolate, coffee, or tea to bring a touch of Christmas cheer to your favorite warm drinks.
  • Creative Cocktails: Experiment with this extract in your holiday cocktails. It pairs wonderfully with eggnog, mulled wine, or even a Christmas-themed martini.
  • Breakfast Treats: A dash in your keto pancake or waffle batter can transform an ordinary breakfast into a holiday special.
  • Dessert Toppings: Mix it into whipped cream or frosting for a unique twist on your dessert toppings, adding a subtle yet distinctive holiday flavor.

Tools for Christmas Extract for Baking

  • Jars for Storage and Infusion: You’ll need either one large jar (around 600 ml) to make a big batch or two smaller jars (each 300 ml) for dividing the extract. The choice depends on how you plan to use or gift the extract.
  • Small Jars as Gifts: If you’re considering this extract as a thoughtful homemade gift, several small jars can be a charming option. They’re perfect for sharing the festive spirit with friends and family.
Christmas Spice Extract for Holiday Baking

Christmas Spice Extract for Baking

5 star from 1 vote
Get ready to add a dash of holiday magic to your baking with this Christmas Spice Extract! It's a simple mix of orange zest, vanilla, and classic warm spices, all steeped in your choice of alcohol. Whether you're whipping up festive cookies or spicing up your hot drinks, this extract brings the essence of Christmas to every recipe. Plus, it's a fantastic homemade gift idea.
Servings2.5 cups
Prep Time10 minutes
Infusing Time14 days
Total Time14 days 10 minutes
Print Pin Rate

Ingredients
 
 

  • peel of 1 small organic orange (outer layer only)
  • 3 to 6 vanilla beans
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 6 whole allspice
  • 6 whole cardamom pods
  • 3 cinnamon sticks (Ceylon cinnamon, not cassia)
  • 20 fl oz vodka

Instructions

  • Use a vegetable peeler to zest the outer layer of an organic orange. Try to avoid the white pith as it would make the extract bitter.
  • Split the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.
  • Add the orange zest, vanilla beans and seeds, cloves, allspice, cardamom pods, and cinnamon sticks to your jar(s).
  • Pour your choice of alcohol (vodka, rum, whiskey, or bourbon) over the spices, ensuring they are fully submerged. Seal the jar(s) and gently shake to combine the ingredients.

Nutrition

Calories: 35kcalNet Carbs: 0.3gCarbohydrates: 0.5gMagnesium: 1mgPotassium: 5mgFiber: 0.2g

Notes

  • Serving Size: 1 tablespoon (15 ml) for the purpose of nutrition facts, although it depends on the use and may be much less.
  • Flavor Boost: For more flavor, toast the cloves, allspice and cinnamon on a hot dry pan for a minute before adding to the jar.
  • Alcohol Choice: Vodka is great for its neutral flavor, although you can use rum for a sweeter note, bourbon for a rich, oaky depth, or even whiskey for a smoky twist.
  • Be Patient: Let it infuse for art least 2 weeks, or more. The longer you wait, the better it gets.
  • Storage: Store it in a cool, dark place like a pantry. The extract lasts quite a while, often improving in flavor over time.

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