Make Vanilla Sugar with Leftover Vanilla Beans

Make Vanilla Sugar with Leftover Vanilla Beans

If you’ve got leftover vanilla beans — say, from making macarons — don’t throw the empty pods away. Did you know you can throw empty, scraped vanilla bean shells into a container with sugar to make vanilla sugar? You’d be surprised at how much flavor and fragrance those would-be disposable beans still have left to give!

Make Vanilla Sugar with Leftover Vanilla Beans

Not sure what to make with vanilla beans? You can use a vanilla bean in place of any recipe that calls for vanilla. One vanilla bean equals roughly 2-3 teaspoons of vanilla extract, although if a recipe called for 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, I personally would go ahead and use the whole bean! If you’ve never used a whole vanilla bean before, here’s a step-by-step photo tutorial from my Halloween macaron post on how to scrape a vanilla bean.

You could add the seeds from a vanilla bean to this 2-ingredient ice cream for a beautiful Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Or use it your favorite buttercream frosting recipe. (Mine’s here, down at the bottom.) I absolutely adore the pure little flecks of vanilla bean that show up!

What about adding it to pancakes for Vanilla Bean Pancakes? And topping it with this Vanilla Bean Butter?? A thousand times yes.

Make Vanilla Sugar with Leftover Vanilla Beans

A good ratio for your vanilla sugar is roughly 2 cups of sugar per vanilla bean. But I don’t really measure, I just throw my beans into the container above whenever I’m done with them. Store in an airtight container and after about a week, your sugar will be infused with delicious vanilla flavor.

Now with your brand-new vanilla sugar, you can use it anywhere you’d normally use sugar for a little extra vanilla essence. Pancakes, waffles, cookies, biscuits, cupcakes, muffins… The possibilities are totally up to you! What would you make with vanilla sugar?

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! I’ll be here on Black Friday with a fun giveaway. See you then!

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28 Responses
  1. Lisa

    Hi there! I subscribe to your blog through google reader. I didn’t know if you were aware or not, but for the past two days, all of your posts have been reposting themselves. Today I had more than 2 full pages of duplicate posts, they just kept going and going :) I know it is always hard to interpret someone’s intentions and feelings in a post, so I really hope this doesn’t come off sounding rude. I just wanted to make sure you knew that there might be a glitch somewhere. I am a newer follower and I really enjoy reading your blog :) lisa

  2. angela@spinachtiger

    Amanda such a simple thing is such a great idea. Sometimes I hesitate to use a vanilla bean because I don’t need whole thing, but vanilla sugar is fantastic. I could smell it right now and it puts me in mood for sugar cookies.

  3. Diana @ a girl, a dog & an oven

    This is a great idea! I love using vanilla beans – I think you get the best flavor that way – but they’re so expensive and I always feel bad throwing away the pods. Next time I’m going to start doing this!

  4. Robin S

    Amanda, I thought I’d mention that, while the recipes on other blogs that you link to are really yummy sounding, YOUR food photography is usually so much better! It goes to show that food photography is more than just being able to focus a camera. It’s all about the composition, lighting, white balance and more. Your photography was instrumental in my deciding to get a DSLR and I don’t even have a blog!

  5. Nicole P

    I would probably make snickerdoodles. I am curious though, if you use vanilla sugar in a recipe that also calls for vanilla do you still use the vanilla or leave it out bc it’s in your sugar?

  6. Mareen

    I always make my own vanilla sugar. It is so much better than the store bought stuff, rigth?! I have one airtight container and throw in a vanilla bean pot whenever I scraped it out and refill it with suger when it is almost empty. Every once in a while I sort out the old vanilla beans when they are dried out. Perfect!

  7. Ryan

    In baking my Breads hummmm and in My Coffee this morning that would have been really Tasty Thanks ! Happy Thanksgiving Amanda , Kevin, Howie and Miley.

  8. TidyMom

    lol great minds………..I have a post written about the same thing, haven’t posted yet! lol

    Nothing better than baking with a little vanilla sugar!!

    Happy Thanksgiving Amanda!

  9. Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray

    So excited to try this when I use up my vanilla beans this week! It’ll be great to have some extra-special sugar around for the holidays. :)

  10. meg

    Here in Belgium, vanilla sugar is dirt cheap (while vanilla essence costs an arm and a leg – don’t even think about the beans!!) and I use it all the time! (FYI – it is sooo good in a homemade iced coffee – really adds that extra sumthin’!! :p)

  11. JenM

    I’m planning on making vanilla sugar for a dry hot chocolate mix. I love the addition of vanilla but as it’s a dry mix it’s the only way I can include the vanilla flavour.

  12. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

    I love how easy this is. Just throw the bean in with the sugar and it’s infused in a week? I am soooo doing this. Thanks for the hot tip! I LOVE vanilla!!!

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Meet Kevin & Amanda

Kevin and Amanda

We love to travel and to eat! Here we share our favorite quick and easy recipes, plus travel tips and guides for our favorite places around the world. If you have any questions about what camera I use or how I edit my photos, check out my photography tutorials.


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