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Vanilla Sugar

Vanilla sugar isn’t just for sprinkling. I stir it into angel food cake batter, cookie dough, rice pudding and fruit sauces, too. —Jackie Termont, Ruther Glen, Virginia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 5 min. + standing
  • Makes
    2 cups


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean


  • Place sugar in an airtight container. Split vanilla bean lengthwise. Using the tip of a sharp knife, scrape seeds from the center into sugar; add bean. Seal container and shake until blended. Let stand, covered, at least 1 week. Use as regular granulated sugar, discarding bean as it loses its flavor.

Vanilla Sugar Tips

What is vanilla sugar?

As the name suggest, vanilla-scented sugar is simply granulated sugar infused with vanilla beans. It’s an ingredient widely-available for purchase throughout Europe, especially Germany and Poland. It’s used in a lot of baked goods, with cakes and cookies using the most. In the US, finding it in a retail shop is a little more difficult; it’s usually available only at fancy kitchen shops or online. But there is no need to purchase it when you can easily make it in large quantities to have on hand.

How long can I store vanilla sugar?

What’s nice about homemade vanilla sugar is it can sit in your pantry almost indefinitely. Over time, the vanilla pod will dry out and it won’t add any additional flavor at that point. You can remove it if you wish, however, it’s not going to harm the sugar if you leave it in the jar.

What do you do with vanilla sugar?

While stirring into tea or coffee may be your first thought, there are numerous ways to incorporate vanilla sugar into many of your baked goods. Look for recipes where the vanilla flavor can really come through; this means you’ll probably want to avoid chocolate recipes as it will cover up the delicate flavor of the sugar. Some recipes that will allow the vanilla sugar to shine are:

Is vanilla powder and vanilla sugar the same?

While they sound similar, they are 2 different products. Vanilla powder, in its purest form, is ground dehydrated vanilla beans. It’s a great substitute for vanilla extract and has a very powerful vanilla flavor. Be careful to check the ingredient list if you purchase this product. Many vanilla powders are mixed with sugar and are intended for tea or coffee, not baking.

Can I use vanilla extract instead of vanilla sugar?

Vanilla sugar will give your baked goods a delicate, subtle vanilla flavor but it’s not going to be intense. If you want to bump up the vanilla, go ahead and add a little vanilla extract.

Where can I get vanilla beans?

Vanilla for baking comes in many forms nowadays and what was once difficult to find, vanilla beans are becoming more available in many grocery stores. Prices will vary depending on the growing year and location so shop around. Research contributed by James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor, Culinary
Nutrition Facts
1 teaspoon: 16 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 0 sodium, 4g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

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