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Bake with Flavor: 5 Best Vanilla Sugar Substitutes

Do you love the taste of vanilla but hate the price of vanilla extract?

If so, you’ll be happy to know there’s a simple and inexpensive way to make your own vanilla sugar.

Vanilla sugar can be used in any recipe that calls for sugar, from cookies and cakes to coffee and tea.

Not only does it add a delicious flavor to baked goods, but it also imparts a beautiful aroma.

Best of all, it’s easy to make at home with just a few ingredients.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to cook and use vanilla sugar and the five best substitutes for vanilla sugar.

What is Vanilla Sugar?

what is vanilla sugar

Vanilla sugar is a type of sugar that is flavored with vanilla.

It can be used in place of regular sugar in many recipes and can also be used to top desserts or add flavor to coffee or tea.

Vanilla sugar is made by infusing sugar with vanilla extract or vanilla bean powder.

It is then left to sit for several hours or days to develop the flavor.

When using vanilla sugar, it is important to keep in mind that it is more potent than regular sugar.

As a result, you may need to use less of it to achieve the desired flavor.

Additionally, the vanilla sugar can vary in quality depending on the type of vanilla extract or bean powder that is used.

If you want to ensure a high-quality product, look for a brand that uses real vanilla extract or beans.

Finally, be sure to store your vanilla sugar in an airtight container so that it will keep its flavor for months.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Vanilla Sugar

For anyone who loves baking, vanilla’s warm, sweet flavor is hard to beat.

But sometimes, you might find yourself without any vanilla sugar on hand.

Here are five of the best substitutes for vanilla sugar:

1 – Vanilla Powder

vanilla powder

Who doesn’t love the taste of vanilla? It’s classic, versatile, and always delicious.

However, the vanilla sugar can be expensive, and it can be hard to find in stores.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution: vanilla powder.

Made from ground-up vanilla beans, this flavor-packed powder can be used as a substitute for vanilla sugar in any recipe.

Just add a teaspoon or two to your favorite baked goods for an extra boost of flavor.

You can also use it to rim glasses for cocktails or sprinkle it on top of coffee or hot chocolate.

Best of all, vanilla powder is inexpensive and easy to find online or at gourmet shops.

So next time your recipe calls for vanilla sugar, reach for the powder instead.

2 – Vanilla Extract

vanilla extract

Vanilla extract is a concentrated solution of vanilla beans in alcohol.

It is used to add flavor to desserts and other dishes.

Vanilla sugar is a product made from granulated sugar infused with vanilla beans.

It can be used as a substitute for vanilla extract in some recipes.

However, it should be noted that vanilla sugar does not have the same concentration of flavor as vanilla extract.

As a result, it may not provide the same level of flavor to a dish.

In addition, the vanilla sugar can also be more expensive than vanilla extract.

For these reasons, vanilla extract is generally the better option when looking to add flavor to a dish.

3 – Vanilla Syrup

vanilla syrup

Vanilla syrup is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different ways.

If you’ve ever run out of vanilla sugar or simply don’t have any on hand, you can use the vanilla syrup as a substitute.

Simply add one teaspoon of vanilla syrup for every cup of sugar called for in the recipe.

The syrup will dissolve just like sugar and impart a delicious vanilla flavor to your baked goods.

You can also use it to sweeten coffee or tea or drizzle it over pancakes or waffles.

So don’t be afraid to experiment and see what you come up with.

4 – Maple Syrup

maple syrup

There are few things more delicious than the taste of maple syrup.

Whether it’s drizzled on pancakes or used to flavor ice cream, this sweet amber-colored syrup is a favorite among Canadians and Americans alike.

But did you know that maple syrup can also be used as a substitute for vanilla sugar? So the next time you’re in the mood for something sweet, reach for the maple syrup instead of the sugar bowl.

You’ll be glad you did.

Simply add a few drops of maple extract to granulated sugar, and you’ll have a sweet treat perfect for baking or topping off your morning coffee.

5 – Regular Sugar

regular sugar

Sugar is a staple in many kitchens, but it can be difficult to know which type to use for different purposes.

For baking, for example, granulated sugar is often the best choice because it dissolves easily and provides a consistent level of sweetness.

However, simple syrup or turbinado sugar may be a better option when making cocktails or coffee drinks.

And when it comes to sweetening fruit or yogurt, honey or agave nectar are often preferable.

But what about when a recipe calls for vanilla sugar? Can regular sugar be used as a substitute?

Fortunately, the answer is yes.

While vanilla sugar does have a slightly different flavor profile due to the addition of vanilla beans, it can be used interchangeably with regular sugar in most recipes.

The only time you might want to use the vanilla sugar instead of regular sugar is if the flavor of vanilla is particularly important to the dish you’re making.

Otherwise, feel free to use whatever type of sugar you have.

Your desserts will still taste just as sweet.


In the end, it all comes down to personal preference.

Some might like the more intense flavor of vanilla sugar, while others might prefer the more subtle sweetness of brown sugar.

Whatever your preference, there’s sure to be a substitute that will work for you.

Depending on what you’re using it for, any of these substitutes should work just as well as vanilla sugar.

So there you have it, the five best substitutes for vanilla sugar.

Do you have a favorite that didn’t make a list? Let us know in the comments below.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Vanilla Sugar

Recipe by Andrew Gray Course: Substitutes


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  • Vanilla Powder

  • Vanilla Extract

  • Vanilla Syrup

  • Maple Syrup

  • Regular Sugar


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.

Recipe Video

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