4 Great Substitutes For Vanilla Bean

May 27, 2021 | Cooking Tips

The vanilla bean is a very special flavoring that elevates your desserts or even stews. It comes with a big price so we’ve come up with a list of 4 simple substitutes to make it easier on your pockets.

Vanilla is the world’s favorite flavor. It is used in almost every cuisine whether it is for sweet or savory food.

Vanilla originated in Mexico and it was spread all throughout Europe until it reached the rest of the world. This special pod is very special and quite pricey because of the amount of labor that is put into it. It requires so much labor than man companies have created and sold extracts of it to make it more accessible to everyone. Everybody looks for the vanilla flavor because it is a great balancing ingredient most especially in baking.

Vanilla beans come from a pod. After the pod is harvested from the orchid, it is blanched then dried under the sun. It is in that process that the vanilla flavor comes out. The cultivation of this pod is very tedious because you need actual human hands to cross-pollinate the vanilla orchid to produce more of it.

The most special dessert items have the little remnants of the vanilla bean in them. It’s a special and luxurious ingredient that automatically increases the value of your dish.

In an event that you run out of vanilla bean, there are other substitutes for it.

Here’s a list of good substitutes for vanilla bean.

Vanilla Extract

1. Vanilla Extract

The closest and most common substitute for vanilla bean is vanilla extract. Vanilla extract is made by steeping the vanilla pods in water and alcohol. Some companies add sugar into the extract to make it sweet and it’s basically a filler.
Vanilla extract is commonly used by home bakers and it used in making baked goods, sauces, and filling.

Vanilla Powder

2. Vanilla Powder

Another form of vanilla is vanilla powder. The vanilla beans are dried and pulverized, therefore prolonging their shelf life. Vanilla powder is often used as a substitute for vanilla beans and extract for recipes that are sensitive to alcohol content. The lack of alcohol in vanilla powder allows for custards and cream to form without breaking, with the flavor of vanilla.

Vanilla Sugar

3. Vanilla Sugar

Another possible alternative for vanilla bean is vanilla sugar. It is basically vanilla-flavored sugar that is quite common in grocery stores. They’re not only great for baking but they’re also good to have in beverages.

Vanilla sugar could be used half and half with normal sugar instead of adding the vanilla bean. The flavor comes out and it is faint.

Vanilin Sugar

4. Vanillin Sugar

Vanillin sugar is like vanilla sugar but the flavor is made from artificial vanillin. Its flavor is a mixture of essential oils that contain slight vanilla flavoring. Vanillin sugar is slightly bitter compared to vanilla sugar and it is best to use in dough and batter that need vanilla flavoring.


Hey there! I'm Isabel. I love cooking, dogs, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good flavorful food, to share with family and friends.



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