A common ingredient that you might come across during your baking journey is ‘vanilla sugar’. Some recipes merely list this off, without explaining what it really is.
Many people haven’t heard of vanilla sugar before, and when they come across it in recipes, feel absolutely stumped as to what they’re supposed to purchase.
If this sounds like something you’ve been struggling with, then don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place.
Below, we’ve compiled this handy guide that will tell you everything you need to know about this popular baking ingredient, including how to make it yourself.
To find out more, simply keep reading below, as we take a closer look at the subject together.
What Exactly Is Vanilla Sugar?
Now, why don’t we just jump straight into the topic and hand, and answer the titular question? What exactly is vanilla sugar? Well, vanilla sugar is essentially sugar that has been infused with vanilla.
That’s right, it’s really that simple! You can purchase vanilla sugar online, or in certain grocery stores, but in truth, it’s actually super simple to make yourself.
Vanilla sugar is used ubiquitously within baked goods, but it can also be used for sweetening tea or coffee. It’s usually made using whole vanilla pots, but sometimes extract is used too.
Vanilla sugar is most popular in European countries, and you can purchase small, single serve packets of the ingredient.
How To Make Vanilla Sugar
Now that we’ve taken a closer look at what vanilla sugar really is, we can move on to discuss how you can make it yourself.
The process is incredibly simple, and we’ll be taking you through each of the different steps, and illustrating them below.
The first point that we’d like to illustrate is that if you want your sugar to be as flavorful and as aromatic as possible, then we’d recommend that you use whole vanilla pods, as this is the best way to achieve this.
Although these can be a bit pricey, we would say that it’s definitely worth it, as you’ll get the most out of your sugar.
Methods To Make Vanilla Sugar
Now, there are a few different ways to make vanilla sugar, which we’ll take a closer look at below.
Use The Vanilla Bean
The first method that we’re going to be taking a closer look at is using the vanilla bean from the pod.
You will need to scrape out the vanilla beans from the pods, and then transfer one vanilla bean into one cup of sugar.
We found that this was the best ratio if you wanted a flavorful, but mild vanilla bean taste to your sugar.
Don’t be afraid to switch things up however, and if you want a stronger vanilla taste, you can add in some more beans accordingly.
Use The Entire Pod
The next method you can utilize in order to make vanilla sugar is to use the entire pod. Instead of like the previous method, where you’re just using the vanilla bean, you will be using the seeds too.
Bear in mind that this provides an incredibly strong vanilla based flavor, which makes it a popular method if you’re intending on using your vanilla sugar for baking, where you really want to be able to taste it.
In order to use this method, you’re going to need to use one vanilla bean pod, all open with the seeds loosened from the surface, as well as 2 cups of sugar.
You will need to leave this for approximately three days for the flavors to fully emerge.
Use Vanilla Extract
The last method we’re going to use in order to create vanilla sugar, is to simply use some vanilla extract. This is by far the easiest way to create vanilla sugar, as well as the easiest.
In order to do this, all you have to do is add two tablespoons of vanilla extract to one cup of sugar.
Wait approximately 2 days for the flavors to thoroughly mix and combine.
How Do I Store My Vanilla Sugar?
Now that we’ve covered how to make your vanilla sugar, we can move on to discuss the storage.
Storing your vanilla sugar is very easy, and all you’ll need is an airtight container, such as a mason jar in order to place it inside.
Once you’re done making it, you can then go ahead and store it at room temperature, either in the cupboard or on the countertop.
It can begin to clump up over time, so we’d recommend that you give it some intermittent shakes every couple of weeks.
Your vanilla sugar should last for approximately two years, perhaps even longer if stored correctly. Make sure that the jar is always sealed.
To sum up, vanilla sugar is essentially sugar that has been infused with vanilla. You can purchase this at the grocery store, or you can simply make it yourself.
In order to make your vanilla sugar, you can either use the beans, or the whole pod. You can also simply use a few tablespoons of vanilla extract, and mix it in with the sugar.
Store your vanilla sugar for a few days to allow the flavors to mingle properly.