Real versus Imitation Vanilla Extract

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Jack Bishop is the Executive Editor of Cook's Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen, which recently did an extensive taste test between imitation and pure vanilla extract.  McCormick's Pure Vanilla Extract was declared the winner.

Vanilla Cake
2 1/2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
3/4 cup milk

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
1 cup butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
16 ozs confectioners' sugar
2 Tablespoons milk

1.  Preheat oven to 350°F.  For the cake, mix flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl; set aside.
2.  Beat butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds or until softened.  Add granulated sugar and vanilla; beat until light and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally.  Add eggs, beat on medium-low speed until blended.  Alternately beat in flour mixture and milk just until mixed.  Pour into greased and floured 13x9-inch baking pan.
3.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely on wire rack.
4.  For the frosting, beat butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla; mix well.  Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, beating well after each addition and frequently scraping sides and bottom of bowl.  Add milk; beat well.  Frost top of cooled cake with frosting.

Music break: Fathead by Lee Morgan