Vanilla vs French Vanilla: Difference and Comparison

Every meal is incomplete without sweets. Desserts complete the meal, and the taste of desserts is a favorite of taste buds.

Desserts can be of a large variety, depending on the availability in the region, and many desserts are seasonal too.

Ice Creams are seasonal, but people love to have ice cream in any season. Predominantly ice cream is the dessert for summer. All age groups admire the richness and the creamy texture of ice cream.

Countries have different dessert types, climates, and people’s tastes.

Ice creams have different varieties per customers’ demands, such as popsicles, bars, pints, ice cream rolls, etc. One of the most basic flavors in ice cream is vanilla which can be customized more in different things.

Besides ice cream, vanilla is a flavor used in several other things. For example, vanilla essence is used in cakes or pastries.

Key Takeaways

  1. Vanilla flavoring originates from vanilla beans and is a popular ingredient in various sweet foods and beverages.
  2. French vanilla is a term used to describe a richer, creamier variation of vanilla, associated with ice cream or custard made with egg yolks.
  3. Both vanilla and French vanilla are derived from the same source, but French vanilla has a distinct flavor and texture due to the addition of egg yolks.

Vanilla vs. French Vanilla

Vanilla extract is the most commonly used vanilla flavoring, with a sweet, rich, and creamy flavor. French vanilla is a vanilla flavoring with a custard-like flavor and aroma. It contains egg yolks and is used in ice cream, coffee, and other desserts.

Vanilla vs French vanilla

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Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison VanillaFrench Vanilla
Colour of ice creamWhite Yellow
Use of egg yolkNot  usedUsed
Type of baseIce cream basedCustard based
Heating processNot usedUsed
Vanilla flecksAddedStrained

What is Vanilla? 

The fruit of orchids in the genus Vanilla, also known as the Vanilla bean, is predominantly Vanilla.

Vanilla essence is produced by soaking Vanilla beans in alcohol to extract vanilla flavor, which is used in several things, for example, cakes, cookies, etc.

Vanilla Bean varieties are named after where they are grown, for example, Madagascar, Tahiti, and Mexico. However, this is not the case with French vanilla. Vanilla is used for ice cream, which is paler and white.

The vanilla ice cream contains a base of cream, sugar, vanilla essence, salt, and milk. All ingredients are mixed, and with the help of some professional stabilizers, ice cream is prepared for commercial sale.

Vanilla ice cream Is the most basic flavor, which is also used in manufacturing other flavored ice creams, for example, rocky road or fruit punch.

Sometimes  Vanilla dots are added to the ice cream, and these ice creams do not require any heat process.

Vanilla is ice cream-based ice cream, and it is a common flavor that is available in most parts of the world. It is also used as a fragrance mixed with fruity floral sense to make a different fragrance.

Basic vanilla ice cream can have different ingredients like sugar, sometimes sugar-free as sensors are used, or instead of cream and full-fat milk, low-fat milk is used to create a healthy version of basic vanilla ice cream. 

There are numerous branches available across the world which manufacture vanilla ice cream with basic ingredients without the authentic recipe of the ice cream. The creaminess might differ from brand to brand. 


What is French Vanilla?

French vanilla is a flavor in ice cream different from regular vanilla. Although French vanilla ice cream is also made from Vanilla Beans, from which regular vanilla ice cream is prepared, the difference lies in other ingredients.

French vanilla ice cream contains egg yolk in the bass, which the regular vanilla ice cream does not contain. The use of egg yolk makes the  French vanilla ice cream somewhat yellowish.

Other ingredients in French vanilla ice cream are; cream,  milk,  sugar, salt, and egg yolks. Vanilla flecks are strained from ice cream.

Egg yolks are used to provide the cream as the base. Therefore, French vanilla ice cream is more creamy in texture than regular vanilla ice cream.

French vanilla is confused that Vanilla beans produced in France, but it is not like French vanilla ice cream is given the name due to the eggs in it.

French vanilla ice cream is a custard-based ice cream that requires heating in the process of preparation of ice cream. French vanilla is both a taste and a scent that transcends vanilla ice cream.

French vanilla ice cream is preferred over regular vanilla ice cream due to its rich and creamy base texture.

The ingredients can be customized. For example, instead of sugar, sugar-free essence could be used, or instead of full-fat milk or cream, low-fat milk or cream could be used, but it will deteriorate the texture of the French vanilla ice cream.

french vanilla

Main Differences Between Vanilla and French Vanilla

  1. Vanilla ice cream is white, whereas French vanilla ice cream is yellow.
  2. French vanilla ice cream contains egg yolk; on the other hand, vanilla ice cream does not contain egg yolk.
  3. Vanilla ice cream is an ice cream-based ice cream. On the contrary, French vanilla ice cream is custard-based ice cream.
  4. In vanilla ice cream, vanilla flecks are incorporated into the ingredients, whereas in French vanilla ice cream, vanilla flecks are strained.
  5. In vanilla ice cream heating process is not required; on the other hand, in French vanilla ice cream heating process is required.
Difference Between Vanilla and French Vanilla

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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14 thoughts on “Vanilla vs French Vanilla: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I’ve always preferred French vanilla. Now I understand why it tastes distinct from regular vanilla ice cream. Great post!

    1. I agree that some details seem unclear. I believe there is a variety of ways to make the base of French vanilla ice cream.

    1. Eggs add richness to the base, creating a smoother ice cream. This may be a reason why the ‘French’ is used.

  2. I’m surprised to learn about the use of egg yolks in French vanilla ice cream. I’ve always wondered why it’s creamier!

  3. Avatar of Damien Collins
    Damien Collins

    This post is less factual and more opinionated. It would be enhanced with more clear evidence and sources.

  4. I have always loved vanilla desserts, but now I am skeptical about what I called vanilla ice cream, is it actually French vanilla I like?

    1. Yes, many people are unsure of the difference. But the use of egg yolks in French vanilla may explain why you like it better.

  5. This is very informative. I didn’t know the difference between vanilla and French vanilla. I’ll have to taste both to see what I like best.

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