Kitchen Basics: Vanilla Sugar

Use one of these three methods to make one of the easiest kitchen basics: vanilla sugar. From time to time, you will come across a cookie recipe calling for vanilla sugar. Don’t run out to buy it! You can easily make it at home.

I’ve seen vanilla sugar in many European and German cookie recipes. Many people use it to sprinkle on cookies, cakes and doughnuts. It’s great when used for a portion of the sugar in glazes and frostings, too.

There are a few different ways to make vanilla sugar. For immediate use, scrape the vanilla bean into one or two cups of sugar. The sugar and bean are then blended in the food processor until the sugar is powdery and the vanilla is thoroughly spread throughout the sugar. This results in lovely little specks of vanilla in the sugar.

Another method, requiring much more time, is to put two pounds of sugar into a canister or other airtight container, scrape the vanilla bean contents into the sugar, then push the remaining parts of the bean down into the sugar. Seal the container and let sit for several weeks, stirring every few days. Leave the bean in the sugar to store indefinitely. The vanilla flavor will grow stronger over time.

Another (less time consuming) method is to place the two to four cups of sugar into an airtight container, add the scrapings from the vanilla bean, then add the remaining bean. After one to two weeks of stirring the sugar every day, the vanilla flavor should be infused.

You can also combine methods: blend up some of the vanilla bean scrapings with a few cups of sugar, then add that to a larger sugar amount in an airtight container. Add the remaining bean pieces. Experiment and see what is easiest for you!

If you’ve made some vanilla sugar and would like to try it out in a recipe, have a look at my Vanilla Crescent Kipferl Cookies (Vanillekipferl).

 

Print Recipe
Kitchen Basics: Vanilla Sugar
Three methods for making vanilla sugar, used in cookie recipes or to sprinkle on cookies, cakes or donuts.
Course Dessert
Cuisine German
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Method #1
Method #2
Method #3
Course Dessert
Cuisine German
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Method #1
Method #2
Method #3
Instructions
Method #1
  1. Add 2 cups of granulated sugar to your food processor or blender.
  2. Carefully cut the vanilla bean down the center with a sharp knife. Open the vanilla bean and use the back of the knife blade to scrape the bean contents into the food processor.
  3. Pulse or blend until the sugar is powdery and the vanilla bean is spread throughout the sugar.
  4. Store in an airtight container with the remaining pieces of vanilla bean peel pushed into the sugar. Using this method, the vanilla sugar can be used immediately.
Method #2
  1. Pour two pounds of sugar into a canister or airtight container.
  2. Scrape the contents of a vanilla bean into the sugar container and stir in. Push the remaining pieces of the vanilla bean into the sugar.
  3. Let sit for several weeks, stirring every few days. Can use after a couple of weeks, but the vanilla flavor will grow stronger the longer the sugar sits.
Method #3
  1. Pour 2 to 4 cups of sugar into a canister or airtight container.
  2. Scrape the contents of the vanilla bean into the sugar. Push the remaining vanilla bean pieces down into the sugar.
  3. Let sit for 1 to 2 weeks, stirring daily.
Recipe Notes

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