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Bitters in Baking

Bitters are liquid spice. While they are most commonly used by bartenders in cocktails, they are a great addition to any baker's spice arsenal. There are three main ways to use bitters when baking. Below we outline each style.

1

Bitters & Flavor Extracts

When a recipe calls for a flavor extract such as vanilla or almond extract, you can easily substitute bitters in a 1:1 ratio to provide more complexity and a robust flavor profile. Below are some examples of this technique.

Vanilla Extract

Cherry Bark Vanilla
Root Beer

Almond Extract

Cherry Bark Vanilla

Maple Extract

Cherry Bark Vanilla
Root Beer

Ginger Extract

Jamaican No. 1
Jamaican No. 2

Anise Extract

Cherry Bark Vanilla
Jamaican No. 1

CITRUS EXTRACT (LEMON ORANGE)

Orange
Jamaican No. 2

Coffee EXTRACT

Chipotle Cacao


2

Bitters & Ground Spices

When a recipe calls for a ground spice like cinnamon, cardamom, or cloves, you can easily substitute cocktail bitters in a 1:1 ratio. This method provides a more nuanced flavor, instead of a singularly focused intense flavor. Below are some bitters varieties and spices that work well in this context.

Cinnamon

Blackstrap
Bolivar
Cherry Bark Vanilla

Nutmeg

Blackstrap

Allspice

Jamaican No. 1
Jamaican No. 2

Cardamom

Blackstrap
Orange

Star Anise

Jamaican No. 1
Cherry Bark Vanilla

Dried Ginger

Jamaican No. 1
Jamaican No. 2

Clove

Jamaican No. 1
Jamaican No. 2


3

Bitters as Added Flavor

Another way to use cocktail bitters in baking is to riff on classics like a bartender might do when mixing cocktails. Simply add bitters to a tried and true recipe to accentuate, enhance, or contrast existing flavors. When using 1-2 tsp of bitters, you should not have to adjust the recipe in any way. Below are some ideas for adding bitters to your favorite baked goods.

Blackstrap

Snickerdoodles
Gingerbread
Old Fashioned Molasses Cake
Cookie Cream Pies
Carrot Cake

Bolivar

Mixed Berry Scones
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Banana Bread
Blueberry Muffins
Coffee Cake

Cherry Bark Vanilla

Biscotti
Gingerbread
Buttercream Frosting
Baklava
Tsoureki

Chipotle Cacao

Chocolate Mousse
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Chocolate Cookie

Jamaican No. 1

Spiced Apple Muffins
Black Pepper Pound Cake
Apple Crisp
Spiced Strawberry Shortcake
Bundt Cake

Jamaican No. 2

Lemon Bars
Chai Flavored Cakes
Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake
Bruleed Grapefruit Rhubarb Pie
Blueberry Pie

Orange

Orange Crinkle Cookies
Pound Cake
Choco Orange Brownies
Orange Cranberry Bread Pudding
Poppy Seed Muffin

Root Beer

Panna Cotta
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
Almond Croissants
Pizzelles
Angel Food Cake

Trinity

Fruitcake
Bourbon Soaked Cake
Candied Nuts
Bourbon Banana Bread
Cheesecake


If you are not sure where to start with baking & bitters, try Bittercube Cherry Bark Vanilla or Jamaican No 1 Bitters, our two most popular bitters for bakers.