7+ Excellent Vanilla Bean Substitutes

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Vanilla beans are one of those items that can radically change a recipe with just a touch. Because of its intensity, it is ideal for sweets, cakes, ice cream, savory stews, and meat meals.

The majority of these vanilla beans originated in Tahiti and Mexico. This plant, like wine, coffee, and chocolate, has distinct properties, and each region has its own manner of using it. The many species of these substances originate from the various climates in which they thrive.

Vanilla beans exemplify the rich, deep, flowery taste that we associate with vanilla. So what if you and the shop run out of vanilla beans just as you’re about to make that cake?

There are a few vanilla bean replacements that can work in a pinch.

Best Vanilla Beans Substitutes

These vanilla bean alternatives may not have the precise flowery, sweet taste profile with woody overtones as vanilla beans, but they are fantastic. We’ll start with the safe bets and work our way down to the surprises:

1. Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract is the first thing that springs to mind when seeking for a replacement that would provide the precise vanilla taste. It’s a solution created by soaking vanilla beans (pods) in a water-alcohol combination. Vanilla extract is usually always accessible at the shop, and it is used in many recipes.

If you don’t want to purchase a bottle, you may produce your own vanilla extract. To achieve a distinctive taste, soak roughly six vanilla beans in one cup of vodka. Use one tablespoon or a teaspoon of extract in lieu of one vanilla bean when replacing extract in your recipe. The use of these vanilla bean alternatives is dependent on the recipe and strength of vanilla desired.

2. Vanilla Powder

Let’s speak about vanilla powder, which is another popular vanilla bean replacement. If you find these in their natural state, good news: you’re using vanilla beans. In other terms, vanilla powder is made from vanilla beans and is often used in French and Mexican cuisine.

Since it has the same taste as vanilla powder, it is great for custards, dessert dishes, and puddings. It’s devoid of alcohol and has a pleasant, smooth texture. Check the label of any vanilla powder you purchase for sweeteners, since some manufacturers include one. In place of one vanilla bean, use two tablespoons vanilla powder.

3. Vanilla Paste

Vanilla paste is a syrup-like combination of vanilla powder and extracts with flecks of vanilla bean and a stunning intensity. Producers blend vanilla plant seeds with binders such as inverted sugar or corn syrup. They are also popular in a variety of cuisine across the world.

It’s simpler to use than vanilla beans since you don’t have to remove it from the pod. Vanilla pastes are vanilla bean replacements that have a strong taste character and are ideal for vanilla-centric recipes. For instance, vanilla paste would be more suited to a vanilla cake than chocolate biscuits. When replacing, it is preferable to follow the guidelines and equivalencies per jar of vanilla paste purchased.

4. Vanilla Sugar

This vanilla bean replacement is identical to conventional granulated sugar. These are the product of professionally infusing white sugar with vanilla taste, and they will include black drainage of vanilla beans. Vanilla sugar is a common component in several countries, including Italy, Austria, and Hungary.

In sweet dessert dishes, one to two tablespoons of vanilla sugar will serve for one vanilla bean. But, because of the vanilla sugar, you need lower the quantity of ordinary sugar in the recipe. These are ideal for meals that would normally call for vanilla beans.

5. Vanillin Sugar

Vanillin sugar is one of the numerous less common replacements for vanilla beans. Many people are unaware that vanillin is one of 250 chemical compounds that make up the vanilla flavor. Nowadays, guaiacol, a petrochemical, accounts for around 85% of vanillin manufacturing.

The production procedure for vanillin sugar is identical to that of vanilla sugar, but that is where the similarities stop. Nonetheless, it is a decent substitute since the finished product tastes similar to vanilla beans. In one batch of batter or dough, one to two tablespoons of vanillin sugar may be used in place of vanilla beans.

6. Maple Syrup, Almond Extract, and Honey

If you can’t locate anything with vanilla in it, use almond extract, honey, or maple syrup instead. Whereas almonds originated in the Middle East, honey began in Africa, and maple syrup originated in North America. Regardless of their origins, they all have a pleasing flavor that makes them popular components in meals.

Maple syrup and almond extract have the same nutty taste as vanilla beans and may be used as vanilla bean replacements. The almond extract has a texture similar to vanilla extract and may be used in the same proportions. In contrast to vanilla beans, maple syrup has a stickiness with less sweetness.

7. Alcoholic beverages: Brandy, Vanilla Liqueur, Bourbon, Rum

I’m sure you never imagined that alcoholic drinks may be used in place of vanilla beans. They are particularly suitable for persons who have no reservations about eating alcohol as a food component. Nobody knows where these drinks came from, although they originally emerged in China.

These drinks are also suitable if you wish to enjoy the vanilla flavor without the caramelly flavor of the beans or extracts. For your recipe, replace one vanilla bean with two tablespoons of spirits. You’d be astonished at what these drinks can do to your food.


These are 7 vanilla bean replacements to look for if you can’t find vanilla beans.

The majority of vanilla bean replacements are less expensive, simpler to locate, and more handy. The greatest thing is that these variations are mostly made of vanilla, so you won’t lose out on the distinct flavor.

There are several alternatives to choose from, so you should have no trouble finding one that meets your preferences. The range of textures and taste intensities leaves the ultimate decision up to you, so give it a try.


What’s a good substitute for vanilla bean?

If a recipe asks for vanilla beans, a teaspoon of vanilla paste or vanilla extract might work well as a replacement. In lieu of a teaspoon of extract, you may use the seeds of half a vanilla bean.

What can I use instead of vanilla bean gel?

To use instead of vanilla bean paste in a recipe:
Use the same quantity of vanilla extract as before.
Use the same quantity of vanilla extract.
1 entire vanilla bean equals 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or 2 inches of bean for every teaspoon)
Jan 25, 2022

Does vanilla bean make a difference?

3 vanilla beans, around 2″ Since vanilla beans have a stronger flavor than extract, you don’t need as much. For example, if your recipe asks for one teaspoon vanilla extract, you may substitute one teaspoon vanilla extract.

Is there a difference between vanilla bean and vanilla extract?

In the end, vanilla extract is the same as a vanilla bean plus a few additional elements. The major reason vanilla extract is a more prevalent component is because it is less expensive. Whole vanilla beans are more expensive, however extract is less expensive and offered in bigger quantities.

Can you substitute extract for vanilla bean?

When substituting vanilla extract for vanilla bean in a recipe, use 1 teaspoon for every inch of vanilla bean. Be careful you use vanilla extract instead of vanilla flavoring or fake vanilla, which are both far from authentic.

How much vanilla extract equals one vanilla bean?

1 vanilla pod provides 3 tablespoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.

How much vanilla paste equals one vanilla bean?

Nielsen-Massey also claims that 1 spoonful of paste equals 1 vanilla pod.

Are Costco vanilla beans Grade A or B?

A: They are Organic Grade A.

Is it worth buying vanilla beans?

To cut to the chase: Yes, real vanilla beans are pricey. That was well worth it. Like, one-of-the-most-exotic-flavors-on-the-planet-worth-it-to-reaffirm-your-faith-in-the-majesty-of-creation. Genuine vanilla has the sweetness of honeysuckle, the pungency of black pepper, and the fragrant and seductive qualities of the most musky melon.

How many times can I reuse vanilla beans to make extract?

It is entirely up to you when to discard the old beans and begin over. I use them 2-4 times, depending on the quality of the beans, how long the extract has been sitting, and how well I’ve kept the beans immersed at all times.

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