Home-made vanilla sugar and vanilla extract

Home-made vanilla sugar and vanilla extract

Both vanilla sugar and vanilla extract are my favorite ingredients for making desserts. I add them to almost every dessert or cake. Times when we used to bake with artificial flavored vanilla sugar are gone. Now, it’s the time for home-made vanilla sugar. 🙂

I was desperately dreaming about vanilla extract over 10 years ago. It was impossible to find a real vanilla extract in our stores at that times. So my sister used to bring me different brands and types of extracts from the West and I’ve always tested which one is the best. Fortunately, these “dark” times are gone and it is no longer a problem to buy a good vanilla beans from Madagascar, India and Mexico.

To make vanilla sugar, use bigger vanilla beans. Choose the type of sugar according to your preferences. To make a vanilla extract, use drier vanilla beans, good vodka and dark glass bottle. These three “ingredients” are essential for an amazing home extract. If you want to make an experiment, you can use white rum or brandy instead of vodka.

Vanilla sugar and extract are not only great for baking, they can be great as edible gifts. Christmas is coming, so let’s make some vanilla sugar and extract!

Vanilla sugar
Use drier vanilla beans when preparing vanilla extract.

Vanilla sugar


Preparation: 10 minutes

  • 1 vanilla bean á 4 g
  • 200 g sugar
  • glass jar


Wash and dry vanilla beans. Put a sugar in a bowl. For every 200 g of sugar use 1 big vanilla bean. I usually make vanilla sugar in a 0.7 l glass jar, which fits about 600 g of sugar and 3–4 vanilla beans.

Cut each vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds using the dull side of the knife. Add seeds to the sugar and mix well until incorporated with sugar. Cut the empty vanilla pods into small pieces.

Place vanilla sugar into a clean glass jar and add empty vanilla pods. Close the jar, note the date of production and store it in a dry place.

Vanilla sugar will be ready in 2 weeks. Shake it from time to time. You can use the vanilla sugar right away, but if you wait for at least 2 weeks you’ll notice the difference.

Vanilla beans cut into halves
Cut each vanilla bean lenghtwise and scrape out the seeds. Cut the empty vanilla pods into half.
Glass jar with vanilla sugar
Mix together sugar and vanilla seeds and place it into glass jar. Add empty vanilla pods.

Vanilla extract


Preparation: 15 minutes

  • 100 ml vodka
  • 10 g vanilla beans
  • dark glass bottle


You will need a clean dark glass bottle and funnel. Wash and dry vanilla beans. For every 100 ml of alcohol use 10 g of vanilla beans. Cut the beans lengthwise and scrape out the seeds using the dull side of a knife.

Put the vanilla seeds and empty vanilla beans into a prepared bottle, pour over alcohol, and shake well. Note the date of making the vanilla extract and put the bottle in a cool dark place (not in the refrigerator).

The patience will be rewarded with the wonderful vanilla extract after 6 months. You just need to shake it from time to time. Shake it every day during the first week and about 2–3 times weeks later. One month later shake the extract once a week. Don’t worry, if you forget to shake it few times, but try to do it as regularly as possible.

You can also watch the development of aroma and flavor that has changed since the first day. From the pure alcohol smell to a lovely vanilla aroma. The color also changes into a beautiful vanilla-brown. After half a year, strain the extract and pour it into a clean bottle, ideally dark glass one.

Store in a dark and cool place. Use whenever you want. 🙂

Enjoy lovely vanilla times, my friends!

Vanilla extract in a bottle
Store the vanilla extract in a dark glass bottle and don’t forget to shake it from time to time.

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