Homemade Vanilla Sugar

Vanilla sugar can be found in high-end gourmet and spice stores. Have you ever wondered how to make vanilla sugar? You can have delicious vanilla flavor in a unique form that is perfect for coffee, baking, and much more with one easy recipe.

a jar of homemade vanilla sugar

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Vanilla sugar is a luxury item you can make at home. It is easy to make flavored sugar from scratch. Often this type of sugar is expensive and is only available in higher-end spice shops.

This recipe does take some time to make. But that is simply sitting time and all you have to do is shake the container each day. It takes a couple of weeks for the vanilla flavor to infuse into the sugar.

Homemade Vanilla Sugar Tastes Just as Good as Store-Bought

When you make your own flavored sugar, you won’t need to find it in a store or online. When you learn how to make vanilla sugar you can have an abundant supply of this much sought-after sugar.

Ingredients

Here’s what you need:

  • Granulated white sugar
  • Vanilla bean pod
granulated sugar and vanilla beans

How to Choose the Best Vanilla Beans

There are many reputable places to buy vanilla beans online. If you buy them from a store there are a couple of steps you can take to make sure that you get the freshest ones available. Here are places where I have purchased vanilla beans.

When you pick up the bean you should make sure they are pliable. Avoid ones that do not flex because they have lost the essentials oils you need.

The beans should be fat, shiny, and maybe even have some white residue on them. The residue is vanillin and it’s a wonderful indicator of the good flavor inside the beans.

Different Types of Vanilla Beans

Who knew there were so many types. There are three basic types of vanilla beans and they each offer a unique flavor. There is also a difference in price. Madagascar is the flavor that we are most familiar with, these are the most abundant beans. The three types are Tahitian, Madagascar vanilla (bourbon vanilla), or Mexican vanilla.

Type of beanFlavor profilePrice
Tahitian Fragrant and floral, only a small amount are produced each year. These are prized by chefs. $$$
MadagascarRich, creamy, it is the most familiar flavor of vanilla.$
MexicanBold, dark, with a hint of smoke $

Grades of Vanilla Beans

Vanilla beans are not inexpensive, so there is a classification system to help you know exactly what you are purchasing. Now if you are making vanilla sugar, the less expensive ones are perfect. Grade A are ones pastry chefs, and fancy culinary institutions may prize.

Vanilla beans are not inexpensive, so there is a classification system to help you know exactly what you are purchasing. Now if you are making vanilla sugar, the less expensive ones are perfect. Grade A are ones pastry chefs, and fancy culinary institutions may prize.

  • Grade A – are large and plump. They should be free of cracks. They will be very pliable. Grade A vanilla beans cost more than grade B.
  • Grade B – These are known as extract quality in the industry. These may not be beautiful, they won’t always be plump and full of seeds, but between the pod and the seeds within the pod, you will have just what you need to make vanilla sugar, or homemade vanilla extract.

I personally like to use Madagascar vanilla beans or Mexican vanilla beans to make vanilla sugar. I live very close to Mexico, so for me, these are easy to find. If I can I prefer to buy the grade B bean.

How to Make Vanilla Sugar

  1. Place sugar into an airtight container.
  2. Bruise vanilla pods by bending and twisting the vanilla bean with your hands.
  3. Open the vanilla bean with a knife by splitting down the middle.
  4. Scrape out some of the vanilla seeds by running the back of the knife down the inside of the vanilla bean pod.
    a cut open vanilla bean pod and vanilla seeds on a knife
  5. Place the vanilla bean pod and the seeds into the container with the sugar.
  6. Stir thoroughly.
  7. Place the lid onto the container and shake.
  8. Shake the container every day for a couple of weeks.
overhead view of a jar of homemade vanilla sugar and blueberry muffins

Two alternate ways of making vanilla sugar

If you are not up for buying the vanilla beans you may want to try one of these two different ways to prepare vanilla sugar to see if this is something you want to invest in. Both of these two vanilla sugar alternates will have a wonderful vanilla flavor, and one of these methods is even made with vanilla extract.

  • Vanilla sugar can be made with 1 cup of granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract. Mix together, this will make a very moist sugar, layout on a paper towel or on a baking sheet to let dry, and then break up the sugar.
  • I have also used 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste with 1 cup of granulated sugar, mix well. This also works amazingly well as a substitute.

What should you do with your vanilla sugar when it is done?

You should grab some pretty jars, or even a small mason jar and place your vanilla sugar in the jars. Add on a pretty bow and give a couple of these jars out to friends and family.

For the vanilla sugar you keep, be sure to try it in your coffee, your favorite baking recipe, hot cocoa, or in your favorite ice cream recipe. One thing is for certain you are going to love all of the rich vanilla flavors.

Ways to Use Vanilla Sugar

CopyKat Tip: One tablespoon of finished vanilla sugar has the flavor of 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

You can make delicious vanilla sugar at home, and enjoy it in oh so many different ways.

homemade vanilla sugar and blueberry muffins

More DIY Recipes

Be sure to check out more of my DIY recipes and the best dessert recipes here on CopyKat.com!

a jar of homemade vanilla sugar

Homemade Vanilla Sugar

Learn how to make vanilla sugar with this easy recipe and video.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vanilla sugar
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 64
Calories: 24kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean pod

Instructions

  • Place sugar into an airtight container.
  • Bruise each vanilla pod by bending and twisting the vanilla pod with your hands.
  • Open the vanilla bean with a knife by splitting it down the middle.
  • Scrape out some of the vanilla seeds by running the back of the knife down the inside of the vanilla bean pod. Cut the pod into smaller pieces.
  • Place the vanilla bean pod pieces and seeds into the container with the sugar. Stir thoroughly.
  • Place the lid onto the container and shake.
  • Shake the container every day for a couple of weeks.
  • The vanilla sugar is done when the sugar isn't white anymore. It will be a lovely off white color with lots of specs of vanilla beans throughout.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 24kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 0mg | Sugar: 6g | Iron: 0mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Rebecca wSchaeffer

    5 stars
    Could I use powdered vanilla instead of vanilla beans? It is ground vanilla beans only, nothing else. It was costly but worth the investment.

  2. SilverRain

    I did this for a Girl Scout badge about 40 yrs ago. I put two Vanilla beans, scraped from the pods, into a quart jar of white sugar. My Mom & I would make it on Labor Day & let it sit [turning it end-over
    once a day]. Then we opened it on Winter Solstice to use in warm milk every night until spring; mmm. Thanks for reminding me of this. …..oh, we also put the empty pods into the honey jar to use in iced-tea during the summer. b/b)O(

  3. Fran

    5 stars
    One of the luxuries in my kitchen is a product called Truffle & Salt. It’s a salt product we sell a Williams-Sonoma. It is a small bottle, but you only use a pinch. It’s got small bits of shaved black truffle in it and when you open the jar you are transported to an oak tree in France or Italy with either a snorting pig or a dog sniffing out the prized fungi next to you. The small bottle is $28, but as an employee it’s one of the things I revel in my discount for. As a matter of fact, I need to make dinner and think a bowl of pasta and some roasted asparagus with Truffle & Salt is the answer! 🙂

    Thanks for the inspiration.

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