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How to Make Vanilla Sugar

how to make vanilla sugarI love to make homemade gifts whenever I can.  I think that when someone gives you something that they made with their own hands, it is telling you the the giver loves you and wants you to feel special.  I recently made these little jars of vanilla sugar for a few people that I thought might need a treat.  This would be a perfect gift for your child’s teacher or for the coffee and tea drinkers in your life.  Vanilla sugar can be used in place of regular sugar when baking.  It just adds even more fragrant vanilla flavor.

This project could not be any easier to make, it took me 10 minutes from start to finish.  Vanilla beans can be expensive, they come from orchids and are very labor intensive.  I like to buy mine in bulk from  These beans are very high quality and very reasonably priced.  A good vanilla bean should smell like vanilla and be soft and pliable.  To make a large quantity of vanilla sugar, just remember that the ratio of sugar to beans is 1:1.  Sometimes, I like to add even more vanilla than that and use 2:1.

how to make vanilla sugar

You need:

Mason jars with a tight fitting top
1 vanilla bean
1 cup of sugar
food processor

how to make vanilla sugar

Use a knife or kitchen shears and cut the bean into small pieces.

how to make vanilla sugar

Put the vanilla bean pieces into the food processor with the sugar.  Let the machine run for about a minute or until you cannot see large chunks of vanilla bean.

how to make vanilla sugar

Pour the sugar through a strainer to get the large chunks of bean out.

how to make vanilla sugar

Put the vanilla sugar into the Mason jars.

how to make vanilla sugar

To package as a gift, cut out two hearts from card stock.  I cut mine freehand.  Punch small holes in the hearts.  Label a gift tag and thread some kitchen twine through the holes.  Tie to secure.

how to make vanilla sugar

Don’t you wish that you had some vanilla sugar for your coffee right about now?

how to make vanilla sugar

About Bree

Bree is the founder and writer of, a recipe site that shares her love of cooking, baking, and entertaining with others. launched in February of 2010 as a way to merge Bree’s love of photography with her love of food, and share both with friends and family. Currently, Bree lives in the suburbs of Washington DC with her husband and 3 children.

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  • Jennyboo1601

    wat if you dont have a food processor? what else can you use

    • thecreativemama

      You can just split some beans and press them into the sugar. It will not have as strong of a vanilla flavor, but it works. Let it sit for a few days and you can keep adding beans and more sugar to it.

  • Combs Keri

    i have done this with sugar made from coconuts. its awesome.

  • Guest

    My parents had an exchange student a few years ago who was from a country where they use vanilla sugar in LOTS of recipes. She said they just bury the vanilla beans in the sugar for a couple of weeks and the flavor infuses right into the sugar. And they reuse the beans!

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  • Alison

    Would it work to use powdered sugar instead?

    • Anonymous

      I am not sure, I think that it works best with granulated.

  • Bree Grossman Hester

    It lasts for quite awhile. It might clump up a little, but you can just use a fork to break it up.

  • Jennifer

    How long does this sugar stay good? Does it lose it’s flavor rather quickly or can it be stored for long periods of time?

  • Andi

    I am so glad I found this site and the wonderfully awesome Vanilla Sugar recipe share. It is beyond yummy. I made it for my mother and a friend (and definitely for myself), both of them loved it. I’ve bought so many little jars of vanilla beans that I think I’m going to check out Amazon for a bulk buy or head to the big market about 35mins away that sells all sorts of food items from all over the world.

    Thanks so much for sharing a simple yet fantastic gift and treat.

  • claire

    Looks amazing!

    thanks for sharing!

  • Bree

    thank you for the kind words Victoria. We are so happy that you like coming here as much as we do.

  • nikki

    I made this yesterday and it is SO yummy. I mixed it with cinnamon and put some on my toast this morning. I’m going to have to invest in more vanilla beans I think!

  • Victoria

    I simply love this website. I love the wide range of topics and the creative-diy ideas. This would’ve made a nice teacher gift…next Christmas! And I would love this for my coffee as well. Thank you for sharing :)

  • Christine

    Yummy!! I am going to try. Thanks

  • Tiffany Yule

    Yummy– I do wish I had this for my coffee right now. I suppose if I want to continue in my cooking adventures it is time to get a food processor. My kitchen is just so very little, but without one you just can’t do as much!

  • Bree

    Nicole, you need to process it for almost a full minute. You can slice the bean in half and scrape it before you put it in the mini prep. That may help grind it. A vanilla salt sounds amazing.

    Thank you Cara and Alison, anyone would love to receive this gift.

  • Alison

    Can’t wait to try this…what a lovely gift idea.

  • Nicole (I have trouble with forward motion)

    I tried this over the holidays in my mini prep, which I don’t think was powerful enough to grind up the bean. Maybe it will do the job in the full size food processor? I was trying to recreate a wonderful vanilla SALT that I had purchased at the local market.

  • Cara

    Oh, I love this! I think I will make this for my MIL for valentine’s day.