Recipe Building and layering flavors

Hey guys! Wrote this awhile back, just now getting around to sharing it with some of the groups and forums. For those of you still in your early stages of mixing, I hope this helps to see some of the process that goes in to building your recipes!

Flavor Layering or Building a Better Apple Pie

I’d like to take a little time to talk about flavor layering, and how it can help us achieve a better final product.

Essentially, the process is all about using multiple flavor concentrates (often from different vendors) that each have a piece to add to a final profile. This is a common practice in the food and beverage industry. Today we’ll be working with apples. What I want to build is an apple mix to be used in an apple pie. Obviously any one apple flavoring could do but I want a nice blend of different apples for a more rounded apple finish to my pie.Before we talk about the actual recipe there are some basic notes to cover the process.

Being successful in layering your flavors requires a little bit of footwork first. I’d suggest taking some time to get to know each concentrate on it’s own. Make some single flavor tester batches (I do just 5ml samples) I sometimes make a few and just carry them around for the day and take notes as I go to save time. But you need to know the strengths of each flavor, what it will add to your final product, and what percentages it will do best at. Using too much of any one of your layers could result in an unbalanced final product.

This process can apply to any flavor or flavor combination. It’s good to remember, also, that sometimes to get a perfect series of layering you sometimes have to reach for a flavor that compliments your main profile without it being the same type of flavor. For instance pear, lemon, and quince flavorings can all have a nice added effect to apple flavors so we’ll be touching on those as we build. When working with other profiles seek out those complimentary notes to help you boost your flavors. On to the apple.

For our Apple Pie we want a combination of rich and bright apple flavors to really get the feeling of a mixed apple filling. After doing my single flavor tests I’ve settled on three apple flavors and a few small additives. For today’s recipe I’ve chosen CAP Double Apple to be the main body of the apple. It’s a sweet, robust apple mix that has hints of red and green apple and a little bit of “peel” in it as well. Second we’ll be adding Fuji for some realism and an excellent brightness to add to the mix. And lastly I’ll be adding INW Two Apples. INW Two Apples is interesting because I find there to be light hints of tobacco and savory components, though they aren’t invasive so I think they’ll add a nice finishing touch to our apple mixture.

CAP Double Apple is delicious but not incredibly strong. We want a strong background for our other apples to accentuate the main flavor. I’ll start with CAP Double Apple at 3%. The notes I want from this are the mixed apple tones. FA Fuji is fairly flexible in terms of usage, but it’s a fair bit more potent than CAP Double Apple so we’ll put it in at 1.5%. This should give us a brighter and juicier apple mix to include in our apple pie.To finalize our apple portion we’re going to add a very small amount of INW Two Apples. The Two Apples will contribute to overall sweetness and the savory back notes in this should add some depth of flavor over all to the apple mixture. This stuff is pretty potent, so as an additive here we want to keep it extra low. We’ll start it conservatively at .25%.

Next we’re going to add a little lemon to boost our Apple notes and to brighten everything a little in preparation for some heavy bakery flavors when we start to build our pies. The goal of the lemon is less to add the taste and more to make the apple stand out more against the heavy bakery flavors in our pie. I’m a big fan of FA Lemon Sicily for this purpose and we’ll start pretty low with this as well, since we don’t want it to stand out.We’ll be adding just .25% of this to brighten up our apple mix.

So far, our recipe looks like this:
CAP Double Apple: 3%
FA Fuji: 1.5%
INW Two Apples: .25%
FA Lemon Sicily .25%

This should complete the apple portion of the recipe. I’ve mixed this on it’s own in a seperate bottle to test it out first before I start adding our pie flavors. The apple flavors are bright, juicy, and sweet. The lemon doesn’t stand out much at this percentage, and I expect it to all but dissapear once I’ve got this apple mix in with my pie.To make the beginnings of our pie we’ll need to start on the crust itself… FA Apple Pie, INW Biscuit, and TFA Graham Cracker Clear will give us an excellent start to our pie crust. These three together give an excellent pie crust to which you can add nearly any fruit or filling. We’re going to develop them further with some additives once we’ve built our base.FA Apple Pie is almost all crust and barely any apple flavor. But the crust itself is incredible. We’ll start this at 2% as we’ll want our bakery flavors to support our apple flavors and not overpower them. Next we’ll add a little INW Biscuit to help flesh out the bready parts of the crust. Starting low, we’ll only need .5%. For a little Graham Cracker bite we’ll add TFA Graham Cracker (Clear) at 1.5%. This should add the crisp crust texture to the buttery and rich base we’ve started. Now we’re getting alot closer to our finished Pie. As this recipe stands it’s pretty solid and will probably taste decent. But I want to make a few more small additions to really make everything come together, and to elevate our relatively simple pie recipe, into something more substantial.

So now our recipe looks like this:
CAP Double Apple: 3%
FA Fuji: 1.5%
INW Two Apples: .25%
FA Lemon Sicily .25%
FA Apple Pie 2%
INW Biscuit .5%
TFA GC (Clear) 1.5%

This looks pretty good on it’s own and is pretty similar to an Apple Pie recipe I used for quite awhile. But I want to add some more depth. Whenever I think of Apple pie the first things I think about, after Apple and crust, are brown sugar, cinnamon and a caramel topping. So for these qualities we’re going to look at TFA Brown Sugar, CAP Cinnamon Danish Swirl, and FA Caramel. TFA Brown Sugar is an excellent sweet additive that can also give a somewhat caramelized flavor to fruits. We’ll add this in at 1% to really bring our lovely apple layers together with our pie layers. Next up, I chose CAP Cinnamon Danish Swirl both for it’s cinnamon notes, but also for the bakery notes that will add some buttery sweet depth to our pie. The cinnamon can be a bit strong, and we don’t want much of this taking over our pie crust. We’ll add it in at .5%. Lastly, I want a lovely Caramel finish. Any straight caramel would probably work here, but I’ve chosen FA Caramel because I find it to be the closest to a Caramel syrup. I’m going to test this first at 1.5%These final additives are what will take our simple Apple Pie into a rich and robust Apple Pie with some additional depth.

In closing, I present to you with:


2% Apple Pie (FA)
0.5% Biscuit (INAWERA)
1% Brown Sugar (TPA)
1.5% Caramel (FA)
0.5% Cinnamon Danish Swirl (CAP)
3% Double Apple (CAP)
1.5% Fuji Apple (FA)
1.5% Graham Cracker (Clear) (TPA)
0.25% Lemon Sicily (FA)
0.25% Two Apples (INAWERA)


Layering is where it’s at. I thought about starting this thread, but I know there are so many individual ideas about this topic it could go waaayyy left. Thanks for having the balls. Like you I worked on a Mama’s Apple Pie myself. From the look of the two you probably can see why I say there will be a difference between the 2.

My thoughts on flavor choice and how they play in the mix.

Mama’s Apple Pie (Gmix) :’s%20Apple%20Pie%20(Gmix)

2.5% Apple Pie (FA) (a slight apple note, but a excellent crust)

1% Green Apple (MF) (A very good apple flavor, but not as strong as I hoped)

0.8% Liquid Amber (FA) (this cooks the apple for a pie type apple)

1% Marshmallow (FA) (adds fluff and sweetness)

0.75% Pound Cake (Flavorah) (lightens the stiffness of the crust and a little butter flavor, vanilla and sweetness)

0.1% Rich Cinnamon (Flavorah) (if you have it you get it… best bakery cinnamon period)

Flavor total: 6.15%
Remember to rate it at:


Made 9-5-16
Tested 09-18-16

I’m loving this crust combo… Apple Pie FA and Pound Cake FLV pairs very well to make the perfect crust IMO. I first used this combo in my Peach Cobbler recipe and it was good there also. The cinnamon note is subtle and the apple note is on the light side, as I didn’t want a overbearing apple flavor… just my preference. I’m fairly certain the MF Green Apple can be subbed for Fuji Apple FA @ 1.5-2.5% depending on how strong you want the apple note to be. The Liquid Amber really cooks the apple with the sweetness/fluffiness from the marshmallow adding a pie filling feel to the mix.

This is a basic Apple Pie recipe, but it’s very tasty. If you want to hype it up a bit, try adding a little Vanilla and Cream or Ice Cream (your choice) will add an extra flavor layer if it’s desired. I would advise to keep the %s low as not to overpower and mute the pie notes.

Oh yeah… A little butter wouldn’t hurt as the the butter from the Pound Cake is very lite.

(Undiluted) Rich Cinnamon FLV - 1 drop per 30 mls

Steep 2 wks.


Apple Pie is always one of those things that is interpreted differently by different folks. I used Liquid Amber in a few versions of apple pie, and it definitely does it’s job but I prefer brown sugar in this mix over the liquid amber to add that richness I’m looking for in an apple pie. I don’t have any FLV or MF to speak of, but your recipe does look pretty nice. I don’t have any tangible collection of MF yet due to finances being what they are. For the purpose of this post, I really wanted to show folks the process behind building a recipe from the ground up. It doesn’t have to be as complicated as this at all, it can be much simpler. I contribute a lot on facebook groups, but I wanted to start sharing here as well. I hope it’s helpful for some of our newer mixers just getting started.


I feel you there HK. I also tried Brown Sugar in my earlier Apple Pie mixes and it does work great with apple and bakeries. I just didn’t get a cooked apple vibe from from it. I think my flavor choice adds richness and sweetness without the BS (brown sugar), so I left it out. Like in my written notes, this is a basic apple pie and IMO it’s spot on with room to make it your own. I’m also working on a couple hyped up versions using some of the flavors from my notes.


All I can say is thank you both so much for stepping up, and sharing these insights! I’ve been on a quest for about 4 months now to try it do an apple turnover, and all of the information above is bringing me miles closer than what progress I’ve made alone!

I have most of the flavors for @HocusKrokus’ recipe, and will be dabbling with what I have on hand until the next time that I have funds enough to spare for the next flavor order!

Unfortunately however, I don’t yet have FA Fuji. =/
I do have FA Apple Pie, TFA Apple Pie, and Cap Apple Pie v2. Would any of these be a close substitute in your opinion, or would I be better off just boosting the Ina Two Apples, or the FA Apple Pie, or some combination thereof?

Thank you both for such awesome input and great writeups!

PS: I can’t effing believe I have all of the flavors barring two for a ten flavor recipe!! =D
That’s definitely a first for me!! Lol
(Sadly I’ll have to figure something else out for the brown sugar, or just omit it for the time being)


TFA Apple Pie would likely shoe in here fairly well in place of Fuji. It may have the added benefit of also adding a bit more sweetness to make up (at least a little) for the lack of brown sugar. I have the CAP Apple Pie as well, but I haven’t tesed it very thoroughly yet. Best of luck!


Much appreciated!! Will definitely give that a whirl!


I saw the Apple Pies and thought I’d put up one of my Apple Pie Recipes up that I’m working on. Also @Pro_Vapes, I know this may be better suited in the new recipes thread but since I’m still working on it, I thought I’d post it here for some critique/suggestion/thoughts,

Besides what flavors are obvious I will only make note on the less common flavors I am using here in Apple Pie.

Blueberry Cinnamon Crumble CAP- Using this for crust support and the Blueberry here is doing double duty supporting fruit of the pie.

Brandy FA- Using this to support and richen the Apple flavor.

Custard FA- Using this mainly for the imparting some tart with the Lemon note in FA’s Custard, the creamy note is just a little extra bonus.

Irish Cream- Using this instead of Caramel for depth to compliment the blend, it also helps push Brown Sugar TFA further.

Kettle Corn TFA-This gem of a flavor here is doing four things here. Sweetening, adding to crust, pushing the caramel note even further with the other flavors caramel notes and adding complexity.

Walnut FA-Using this mainly for a buttery effect but it also somehow adds a bit more to the crust.

I’m not quite yet finished with this yet but it’s getting there. Welcoming anyones ideas/thoughts.


Looks pretty nice! It’s not often I see Kettle Corn being used, so bonus points for a newer approach. I actually don’t have it, or the Irish Cream (I have an aversion to it’s flavor myself) but based on your notes it looks like you’re headed in the right direction. Good work!


Nice post, taste is always subjective of course, but apple pie to me is always a stewed apple flavour and my goto concentrate for that is Inawera Bahraini Gold I think it has a really sweet stewed/baked apple taste for me. Mixed @ 2% with 0.5% Apple Fuji it is my favourite apple pie filling from concentrate.

I also like lemon sicily and think it can work really well with Apple flavours as well, especially if I want a fresh crisp apple flavour.

Not keen on CDS (CAP) so may substitute Flavorah Rich cinnamon if I can get the right % for it, in your mix… But looking forward to mixing up your recipe in the near future


I definitely have a preference for my apple pie at home to be on what some would consider the slightly undercooked side regarding the apple filling. I’ve been meaning to pick up that Bahrain gold though, maybe I will next round. I imagine FLV Rich could be used fairly sparingly in this, maybe just 1-2 drops undiluted per 30ml.


Thanks for all the great input so far! It’s nice to see the different ideas all in here. I hope it will be of some use to new mixers in the future, looking to learn more about the process of building layers into a recipe.


Similar to @HocusKrokus method I wanted to build a good Apple Pie before building a enhanced pie.

JMO… Once the AP perfected, give it a taste and add enhancements if you want.

JMO… if the pie isn’t perfect it’ll be harder to tweak the base if you have other enhancers in the mix. At least that’s how it was for me in the past.

This is just a method I use and by no means am I saying there’s anything wrong with your recipe.

The bottomline is DIY >>> Do-it-yourself.


I understand what you are saying @Pro_Vapes, I meant to emphasize more, (sorry, sleep depravation). With this recipe I am sharing my selections of flavorings where normally they are not used. I’d like to get peoples input on misfit flavors to help find spots in recipes that trick useless or not often used flavors into being useful. On the other side of it, share flavor ideas that make a flavor that is not used or rarely used that has an excellent use or muti-purpose application. I dunno it’s just a thought. Also, I didn’t mention earlier but the BB Crumble I am using in that AP is better used that way than actual BB Crumble or anything BB in my experience with it.

Still though, this topic may be for another active thread but wanted to share my Apple Pie project to this thread.


@Beaufort_Batches I’m seeing Walnut (FA) in your recipes. That sounds like a great layerer …adding to list


Since the headline is including layering flavors i thought this might be something to look at.


I’ve been researching and dabbling with layering and have a question that may seem odd, but it comes from my cooking background…
When layering flavors in a sauce, you start with one component, then another, and another, in a fairly specific order.

Bear with me here :slight_smile:

Take a bechemel; butter and flour first to make a roux, then layer in the milk or cream, then salt and pepper… Take that to the next step and slowly add in some cheese to get a Mornay sauce.

You can’t just throw all of those ingredients in and expect them to work it out on their own. But it seems that you can with e-liquid recipes. So, my question is:

Is there any concept that mirrors this when you add your layers to your mix? I was thinking about this cheesecake I’m about to make, and might it be clever to put in the crust layer flavors in, give a good long swirl, then the pie filling flavors, swirl it up, fruit layer, swirl that up, and then the whipped cream?

I was also thinking of fine-tuning and tweaking each layer on their own (I just learned about this concept recently), and once they all sing, make a one-shot concentrate of each and add them in whenever I want to whip up a batch… I’d have a ready-made pie crust, a banana cream whipped topping, a fruit combo, etc, that I could use for other ideas.

Sorry so long-winded! I’m really just trying to form these thoughts and thought I’d ask what you all thought about the thoughts while I was at it. Thanks!


This has been tossed around before (buried in other threads I can’t recall though)… But the gist of it was if you combine all the ingredients at the same time (in the same bottle) they’re going to homogenize into the VG at the same rate.

The general consensus was, if you really want to play with the idea you’ve referenced above, then do so in separate bottles (one for crust, then one for filling, then topping, etc), and possibly expand further on that with different steep rates (and coordinate those ‘sub-mixes’ accordingly).

  • EG:

  • Your filling takes the longest (assume a Custard) so 4 weeks for that.

  • Your cream topping takes 3 weeks to hit potential, so start that at the beginning of week 2…

  • Your pie crust only takes a week to come together, so start that at the beginning of week 4.

When the month has passed, mix the needed amounts of each together into it’s own bottle, and shake like hell. Then vape!!

the idea was so that you’d receive little “flavor busts” with different accents being highlighted in each pull.

Haven’t heard much back on it all, but the theory seems quite sound in my opinion!


I was thinking it might go like that, just didn’t get as far as the steep time deal. Thanks! Maybe someone who has tried this will chime in, possibly/probably not, but I’ll leave it there for now. I’m still in the early days of figuring out basic mixing, so maybe next year!


@Sprkslfly this was the topic you were probably thinging about. It really stuck in my mind. I tinker with recipes by adding different steeped jucies together or make adds to a steeped juice. The results can be misleading as in the above bechemel sauce analogy. Example: you add another Strawberry to a steeped Unicorn Milk and it’s awesome, so you make a v2 …the result is not consistent. My theory is that steeping is a more complex reaction. If you do it in multiple parts you can get different results because the reaction is not duplicated when it’s all mixed at once. This snowcone/sweetener topic has stuck with me…and i wonder if there are Commercial e-juice manufacturers who mix juice like Taco B3ll makes menu items :wink: (using steeped bases)