How to substitute vanilla sugar for vanilla extract

Written by michael belcher Google
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How to substitute vanilla sugar for vanilla extract
Vanilla bean pieces may be found In some varieties of vanilla sugar. (Full House Images/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Vanilla sugar is a speciality granulated or confectioners' sugar popular in Europe. It consists of regular or icing sugar infused with crushed or chopped vanilla beans and can replace either sugar, vanilla extract, or both in a recipe. While vanilla sugar can vary in flavour if made at home, most off-the-shelf vanilla sugar has a standardised vanilla flavour and intensity.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Set of small measuring spoons

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  1. 1

    Read the recipe all the way through. Reading the entire recipe will help with understanding how the original vanilla extract would have been used. Most baking recipes call for the addition of the sugar and vanilla extract at the same step, so the substitution of vanilla sugar for extract should not cause problems.

  2. 2

    Convert the recipe's vanilla extract amount to a comparable vanilla sugar amount. 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract is equivalent in vanilla taste to 1 tbsp of vanilla sugar. If a recipe calls for 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract, plan to add instead 2 tbsp of vanilla sugar.

  3. 3

    Measure the vanilla sugar. Using the measuring spoons, set aside the needed amount of vanilla sugar to be used in the recipe.

    How to substitute vanilla sugar for vanilla extract
    A set of small measuring spoons is helpful for adding small amounts to a recipe. (vintage measuring spoons image by Scott Williams from
  4. 4

    Add the vanilla sugar to the recipe. Add the vanilla sugar when the recipe calls for the vanilla extract. Although it can be used as a sugar replacement, if replacing vanilla extract the vanilla sugar should be treated just like the extract, and should be added when the recipe calls for it, not with any other sugar.

Tips and warnings

  • By substituting vanilla sugar for vanilla extract extra sugar is added to the recipe. This can cause the final product to be sweeter than originally intended. To lessen the sweetness of the recipe subtract from the granulated sugar the amount of vanilla sugar added; if 1/2 tbsp of vanilla sugar is added to the recipe subtract 1/2 tbsp of granulated sugar.

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