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How to Use Peppermint Extract

Person cooking with peppermint extract and substituting it for vanilla extract.

If Jack Frost had a favorite flavor, it would surely be peppermint. A few drops of our peppermint extract add a touch of the holidays to all your favorite desserts. We’ve been playing around with peppermint in our test kitchen lately and wanted to share our notes. Be sure to pick up your peppermint extract before the holidays are over, it will be gone before all the snow has melted! If you have a favorite recipe for peppermint extract, email us at, or leave us a comment below.

Substituting Peppermint Extract for Vanilla Extract

Substituting vanilla extract for peppermint extract in baking and pastry cream.

Next time you're baking something sweet, try using peppermint extract instead of vanilla extract for a minty twist. Peppermint extract is a stronger flavor than other baking flavorings like vanilla extract or almond extract, so start small by substituting half or a quarter amount of the extract called for in the recipe. Sugar cookies become candy cane delights when you add peppermint extract, and chocolate brownies transform into grasshopper brownie bites.


Winterize Your Hot Cocoa

Hot cocoa made with peppermint extract and whipped cream and candy canes.

Peppermint hot cocoa is what every elf at the north pole keeps in their thermos. All you have to do is tip a quarter teaspoon of peppermint extract into two cups of regular hot cocoa. Even better, add a shot of espresso to the mug of peppermint cocoa for a candy cane mocha that rivals any corner coffee shop.


Festive Frosting

Frosting being made in a mixer with sugar, butter, and peppermint extract

Just like cakes and cookies, any basic frosting recipe can be modified with a few drops of peppermint extract. This way, you can bake your favorite chocolate cake recipe and winterize it with peppermint frosting and some crushed candy canes or festive sprinkles.

Make Ice Cream Even Colder

Ice cream made with peppermint extract and crushed up candy canes.

Churn some cheer with candy cane ice cream. Sure you can buy peppermint ice cream at the store, but it will never be as rich as this ice cream recipe. Serve a scoop of this with a slice of your favorite chocolate cake or drizzle it with hot fudge. You could also get your favorite store-bought ice cream, like chocolate, and make it minty with a few drops of extract mixed in.


Minty Marshmallows

Marshmallows made with vanilla and peppermint extract.

If you really want to double your joy with a hot cocoa, make peppermint marshmallows. You can follow our recipe for maple marshmallows, but use mint extract instead of maple extract. (Remember to cut back, though!) This peppermint marshmallow recipe can also be used as a layer in a holiday dessert. While the marshmallows are still viscous, spread them as a layer in your next ice box or pudding pie.





Maureen on December 21th, 2020

These sound wonderful

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