Substitute for Vanilla Bean

Substitute for Vanilla Bean
Substitute for Vanilla Bean

Vanilla is a flavoring spice. The labor and meticulous pollination processes involved in making vanilla seeds make the flavor become very expensive. The ready vanilla flavor is used in various recipes, including baking cakes, making sweet candy, and preparing ice creams. Also, they can be used in coffees. Usually, the flavor leaves a unique aroma that makes people visualize the meal.

So, be it the pricing, or an experimental expedition from your end, you can get some interesting alternatives in vanilla sugar, vanilla powder, vanillin sugar, and vanilla extract. Vanilla extract comes close to being powerful enough to substitute vanilla beans; it, however, falls a little short on various angles. The rest are close alternatives, and when used incorrect measurements, they can be impressive choices.

1. Vanilla sugar

This is granulated sugar with vanilla additives. It is imported and comes with dark grains in the white ordinary sugar crystals. The dark grains are vanilla additives. Using small amounts of this sugar guarantees almost the same if not the exact strong vanilla beans aroma. However, you should note that exceeded amounts of sugar are not healthy for you. Therefore you should prioritize lesser amounts.

2. Vanilla extract

Vanilla extract is a dark solution made by dipping vanilla beans in a solution made from diluted alcohol. The liquid is quite concentrated with vanilla aroma. Therefore, small amounts are able to give you a superior smell and taste characteristic of one bean of vanilla,

This extract is often used for baking purposes. You can add 5ml of the solution or a few drops in your baking recipes.

3. Vanilla powder

When pulverizing vanilla beans are dried and crushed, they make a perfect vanilla extract powder. This powder can be sweetened further or be used as it is processed. The vanilla powder can substitute the beans in baking desserts and making custards. Here, you should use two teaspoonfuls of vanilla powder in place of one vanilla bean.

4. Vanillin sugar

Here, synthetic vanillin is processed to produce vanillin sugar. It is white in color and bitter to taste. It is basically an extract of plants and oils that contain vanilla flavor. It is an essential product of parts such as lignin. Measure one or two teaspoons of vanillin sugar for a bean of vanilla in baking.

5. Almond extract

This may not be the perfect alternative for vanilla bean, but it does have a role in substituting it in your baking recipes. Almond extracts introduce foreign nutty flavors and robust aromas which are far from close to the vanilla aroma.

The bottom line

Vanilla beans are the best bet for a powerful and original vanilla aroma and flavor. However, due to their price, it is a long shot for you. That is why; you need alternatives. Substitutes you can count on to give you something close to vanilla beans. The ones highlighted above are the close bets you can get in the market. Also, you can make them from home by following simple market procedures. Maybe vanillin sugar can be a little completed, but you can manage with the rest.

Summary Table

Substitute Flavor Profile Texture Best Used In Source
Vanilla Sugar Sweet, aromatic Granulated Baking, beverages Grocery stores
Vanilla Extract Sweet, aromatic Liquid Baking, desserts Grocery stores
Vanilla Powder Sweet, aromatic Powder Baking, dry mixes Grocery stores
Vanillin Sugar Sweet, aromatic Granulated Baking, beverages Grocery stores
Almond Extract Nutty, sweet Liquid Baking, desserts Grocery stores


What is 1 vanilla bean equivalent to?

One vanilla bean roughly equals about 1 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. However, the flavor and aroma of a vanilla bean are more intense and complex than vanilla extract.

What is the closest thing to vanilla bean?

The closest substitute for the vanilla bean is pure vanilla extract. While it won’t provide the same depth of flavor and aroma, it is the most common recipe alternative.

Can you replace vanilla bean with vanilla extract?

Yes, you can replace vanilla bean with vanilla extract in most recipes. However, remember that the flavor might be slightly different, and you might need to adjust the quantity to taste.

How much vanilla extract is equal to a vanilla bean?

As a general guideline, you can substitute 1 vanilla bean with 1 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Start with a smaller amount and adjust to taste, as the intensity of vanilla flavor can vary between beans and extracts.


Yuki Tanaka

Written by Yuki Tanaka

I'm from Utashinai and I love tasty food and nice words. I also write blogs, take pictures of food, and create recipes. Cooking and baking are my favorite things to do!

Substitute for wheat Germ

Substitute for wheat Germ

Substitute for Swiss Chard

Substitute for Swiss Chard