Homemade Vanilla Sugar

Homemade Vanilla Sugar // My Cooking Spot

When you’re baking, running out of vanilla extract is the worst. It’s such a key flavor component — what could you do? You could frantically scramble for your phone and Google possible substitutions. You could make a run to the store leaving behind partially-made batter and a preheated oven. Or, you could have a back-up plan.

Homemade Vanilla Sugar // My Cooking Spot

This homemade vanilla sugar is an awesome substitution in baking. In fact, many European cookie recipes call for vanilla sugar in instead of vanilla extract. My mom showed me the trick of vanilla sugar a while back, and it has changed the way I bake. I sometimes throw in a teaspoon or two of vanilla sugar as part of what my recipe requires, either because I failed to replenish my vanilla or because I just feel like mixing it up.

Homemade Vanilla Sugar // My Cooking Spot

Vanilla sugar has tons of uses, and not just in baking. You could add it to a creme brûlée, an apple pie or even barbecue sauce. Stir it into coffee, tea or cocktails for an exotic flavor. Sprinkle it over fresh fruit or mix it into homemade ice cream. Bottle it to give as a hostess gift, as a party favor or as something special for an aspiring chef. The possibilities for vanilla sugar seem endless.

Making vanilla sugar requires just two ingredients: Madagascar vanilla beans and white granulated sugar. It’s a cinch to make. I love the speckled look of the tiny vanilla beans against the sparkling white sugar. When you open the jar, the scent of the sweet and fragrant vanilla beans take over your nose (in a good way). The flavor will intensify over time, so I recommend letting them rest a while before opening the jars.

Homemade Vanilla Sugar // My Cooking Spot

Homemade Vanilla Sugar

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 cup

Homemade Vanilla Sugar

A simple yet exotic ingredient to add to your pantry


  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 Madagascar vanilla bean


  1. Add sugar to a medium bowl. Using a sharp paring knife on a cutting board, slice the vanilla bean down the length of the bean. Use the knife to scrape the tiny vanilla seeds into the sugar. Use your fingers or a fork to distribute the seeds among the sugar.
  2. Transfer the sugar to a jar or bottle. Halve the vanilla pods crosswise and submerge them in the sugar for extra flavor. Always store in an airtight container.


Use a 1:1 ratio for cups of sugar to one vanilla bean.


Homemade Vanilla Sugar // My Cooking Spot

The following two tabs change content below.
Susannah is an Instagram-obsessed graphic designer and cat lady based in Charlotte, N.C. When she's not designing or taking a zillion photos, she blogs about food, design and travel at Feast + West. It's kind-of like a road trip — a casual drive through the backroads with lots of on-a-whim stops to take photos, peruse lovely shops and eat excellent food. Traveling inspires Susannah the most in her design work and in the kitchen, and she loves to recreate recipes at home.

Latest posts by Susannah (see all)

Add Your Comment