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What is Butter Extract?

  I am making my mom a Red Velvet Cake from scratch for Mother's Day. It requires butter extract but I don't have that. Are there any substitutions for butter extract?

  First of all, no one says butter extract anymore, because it's like totally fraudulent. The government requires an extract to include at least a few molecules of the original thing, and butter extract never had anything in common with butter.

Imitation Butter Flavor, now, that's a different thing. Imitation Butter Flavor is a mixture of water, propylene glycol, artificial flavor, and FD&C yellow 5. Who wouldn’t want those ingredients in their Mother's Day cake? Considering all the red food coloring you'll be mixing into the batter, though, are a few more artificial ingredients going to matter?

We would not try to find a substitute for Imitation Butter Flavor. You can substitute vanilla, but we would probably just find a different recipe. Hey! Here's one — a Red Velvet Cake recipe that uses actual butter, not Imitation Butter Flavor (and also not vegetable shortening, which we find to be a fair bit more troubling than butter).

 

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