Which vinegar is best for baking

The Best Vinegar for Baking: Unveiling the Perfect Kitchen Companion

Which vinegar is best for baking
Updated on
June 23, 2023
Gareth Busby
Gareth Busby

In the realm of baking, the right ingredients can make all the difference, and vinegar is no exception. Vinegar is a versatile substance that adds a unique tang and enhances the texture of baked goods. With numerous types of vinegar available, it’s helpful to know which one is best suited for your baking adventures.

In this article, we will delve into the world of vinegar and explore the qualities that make a particular vinegar excel in baking. So, grab your apron, preheat your oven, and let’s discover which vinegar is best for baking your next masterpiece.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar, derived from fermented apple juice, is a popular choice for baking due to its mild, slightly fruity flavour. Like all vinegar, its acidity helps to activate baking powder and soda, leading to a better rise in baked goods.

The natural sweetness of apple cider vinegar complements desserts like cakes, muffins, and pie crusts. Additionally, apple cider vinegar can be used as a substitute for eggs in vegan baking, contributing to a moist texture.

Using organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar is important to harness its full potential and health benefits.

Champagne Vinegar

Champage vinegar

Champagne vinegar, made from the fermentation of champagne or sparkling wine, adds a touch of elegance to your baking creations. Its light and delicate flavour make it an ideal choice for more refined desserts, such as macarons, meringues, and fruit-based pastries.

Champagne vinegar pairs well with citrus flavours and complements recipes that require a subtle tang. Its acidity helps to balance sweetness and contributes to achieving a tender crumb and crispy crust.

Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar, originating from Italy, is known for its rich, complex taste and deep brown colour.

balsamic vinegar

While commonly associated with savoury dishes, it can also be a delightful addition to sweet treats. Balsamic vinegar’s sweet and tart flavour complements desserts like strawberry shortcakes, chocolate cakes, and vanilla ice cream.

Due to its distinct flavour, balsamic vinegar is best used in moderation or combined with other vinegar types or sweet ingredients. Look for aged balsamic vinegar with a thick consistency to ensure the best results.

Malt Vinegar

Malt vinegar, made from fermented malted barley, brings a unique and robust flavour to baking. While commonly used as a condiment for fish and chips, malt vinegar can also add depth and complexity to certain baked goods.

As written in my using vinegar as a dough improver article, vinegar improves the rise and other features of bread. Malt vinegar can impart a slightly tangy and malty taste, enhancing the overall taste profile of bread and cookies and savoury pastries. 

It pairs exceptionally well with recipes that include chocolate, oats, or dark, rich flavours. However, due to its distinct flavour, it is recommended to use malt vinegar in recipes that specifically call for it, as it may overpower delicate sweet flavours.

White Vinegar

White vinegar, also known as distilled vinegar, is a staple in many kitchens and has various applications, including baking.

It is a clear and colourless liquid with a sharp, sour taste often used in recipes that require a clean and neutral flavour profile. White vinegar is perfect for delicate pastries, scones, and biscuits.

When using white vinegar for baking, ensure it is labelled as food-grade, as some cleaning bottles of vinegar may contain additives.


Choosing the right vinegar can elevate your baking endeavours, enhancing flavours, textures, and overall quality. While apple cider vinegar shines in a range of desserts, white vinegar provides neutrality and leavening properties. Champagne vinegar adds sophistication to delicate pastries, balsamic vinegar imparts a unique twist to sweet creations, and malt vinegar brings a robust flavour to certain baked goods. 

Ultimately, the best vinegar for baking depends on the desired taste profile and specific recipe. Experimentation is key to finding the perfect vinegar to take your baked goods to new heights. So, venture into your kitchen confidently and let the magic of vinegar unfold in your baking adventures!

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Gareth Busby

Hi, I’m Gareth Busby, a baking coach, head baker and bread-baking fanatic! My aim is to use science, techniques and 15 years of baking experience to help you become a better baker.

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