Homemade Vanilla Powder is pure, unadulterated vanilla bean made by grinding dried vanilla beans. Made from 100% vanilla beans, ground vanilla powder is stronger and more potent than vanilla extract and gives a rich, robust vanilla flavor that won't evaporate during baking or add a boozy bite. Simple to make with no waste. Perfect for using in baked goods, custards, pastry cream, and coffee.
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Why you’ll love this Homemade Vanilla Powder
- Pure Vanilla flavor
- Super easy to make
- No waste – uses the whole pod
- No boozy taste
- Maintains its flavor even in high heat
- No synthetic or chemical additives
- More economical to make at home
What is Vanilla Bean Powder?
Vanilla powder and vanilla bean powder are terms often used interchangeably. There are two types of Vanilla Powder.
The purest form is ground vanilla beans, also called ground vanilla bean powder. The whole bean, pod and caviar, are dried and ground into a fine powder. Because alcohol is not used as a carrier, you won’t lose flavor during baking or cooking. It’s used in baking and desserts.
Another form you will find has sugar added, also called vanilla sugar. It’s used in place of sugar or to sprinkle on top of drinks and desserts. Commercial vanilla powder is often made with synthetic vanilla.
Vanilla powder for baking is a great alternative to vanilla extract when it comes to baked goods that can't handle additional liquid, or when using high-heat methods. When using in custards and creams, it won’t add a boozy bite.
What Does It Taste Like?
Pure vanilla powder made from vanilla beans has an intense sweet, rich, vanilla flavor and aroma.
Vanilla powder made with sugar has a sweeter, milder flavor because it’s diluted with sugar.
Vanilla Powder vs Vanilla Extract
Cook’s Illustrated tested vanilla powder and vanilla bean paste to see how they compared to vanilla extract and whole vanilla beans. The testers were unanimous in their preference for vanilla powder over vanilla extract in baked goods. In custards or pastry creams, vanilla paste was a very close second to the whole vanilla bean. It gives a robust vanilla flavor without the boozy bite that vanilla extract can give. Vanilla powder and vanilla paste are also perfect for people who don’t use alcohol for allergy, religious, or other reasons.
Whole vanilla beans are a luxury in the kitchen and the lovely flavor they give to custards, ice creams, and baked goods can’t be matched with extract. They are, however, very pricey and an extra step in a recipe. The amount of vanilla beans you can scrape from a pod seems so tiny compared to the cost. And when I scrape them out, I get so annoyed if I see any clinging to the cutting board or my fingers. Then there’s the pod. The pod has tons of flavor! Yes, you can stick it in a jar of sugar and wait a while for vanilla sugar. But what if you could easily use the whole pod, with no waste, and it’s just as easy to use as grabbing a bottle of extract. That’s where vanilla powder and vanilla paste comes in.
Since extracts use alcohol as carriers for the aroma, flavor is lost during the baking process as the alcohol evaporates. Vanilla powder maintains its flavor and aroma under the high heat of the oven. It's good to use when you want pure vanilla flavor without the added liquid or alcohol.
How to make Vanilla Powder
Homemade Vanilla Bean Powder is easy to make and far less expensive that buying it pre-made. The first step is drying out the beans. There are several ways of doing this:
*Leave them out on the counter for several weeks.
*Bake in a 150 degree F oven for about and hour.
*Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 5 minutes.
*Microwave the beans for about 20-30 seconds. They should puff up and become crisp.
I personally prefer to bake the vanilla beans in a 150 degree F oven. It's not so hot that the beans will easily burn, and it seems to be the quickest natural way of drying them.
I don't recommend baking them in a 350 degree oven as they burn very quickly and higher heat may affect their flavor.
Bake vanilla beans in a 150 degree F oven on a parchment lined baking sheet for about an hour to an hour and a half. You want them to get nice and dried out but not burnt. They will still be pliable when you take them out of the oven, but will become brittle as they cool. It's necessary for the beans to become brittle for a finely ground powder.
After they cool, cut them up into smaller pieces and grind them up in a coffee or spice grinder.
How to make Vanilla Powder with sugar
To make a vanilla powder for coffee with sugar (think Starbucks Vanilla Bean powder) for sprinkling on top of coffee, lattes, or desserts, combine the ground vanilla bean powder from 2 vanilla beans with 1 cup of powdered sugar. Whisk it together or pulse it in the grinder or food processor until thoroughly combined.
How to use
Use in baked goods: It can be substituted in any recipe that calls for vanilla extract. Because it’s more intense, use ½ teaspoon ground vanilla bean powder for every 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Use in custards, puddings, ice cream, pastry cream: It adds intense vanilla flavor that doesn’t evaporate when cooking and doesn’t add a boozy taste.
Add to coffees, teas, and lattes: Just a sprinkle, stirred in with your sweetener, adds pure vanilla flavor with no boozy taste. Vanilla Powder made with sugar is a great option here.
How to store
Vanilla Powder can be stored in an airtight container for several months.
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Made from 100% vanilla beans, ground vanilla powder is stronger and more potent than vanilla extract and gives a rich, robust vanilla flavor. Simple to make with no waste. Perfect for using in baked goods, custards, pastry cream, and coffee.
- Bake vanilla beans in a 150 degree F oven on a parchment lined baking sheet for about an hour to an hour and a half. You want them to get nice and dried out but not burnt. They will still be pliable when you take them out of the oven, but will become brittle as they cool. It's necessary for the beans to become brittle for a finely ground powder. After they cool, cut them up into smaller pieces and grind them up in a coffee or spice grinder.
Use ½ teaspoon vanilla powder for every 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
You can also dry the beans by:
*Leaving vanilla beans out on the counter for several weeks.
*Baking the vanilla beans in a 350 degree F oven for about 5-8 minutes. This is my least preferred method as they burn easily and the flavor may change with the high heat.
*Microwaving the vanilla beans for about 20-30 seconds. They should puff up and become crisp.
- Cook Time: 60
- Category: spices and seasonings
- Method: oven
- Cuisine: American