Vanilla powder, also known as vanilla bean powder or ground vanilla, is a versatile ingredient that can add intense vanilla flavor to baked goods, desserts, and beverages. Made from dried, ground vanilla beans, vanilla powder provides a sweet, aromatic vanilla taste without any added liquid or alcohol.
Compared to store-bought vanilla extract, homemade vanilla powder offers a purer, more concentrated flavor that won't evaporate or dull when subjected to high heat during cooking and baking.
The ingredients and equipment needed are very minimal:
- Baking sheet
- Spice or coffee grinder
Homemade Vanilla Powder Recipe
- Vanilla beans
Step 1: Dry the Vanilla Beans
- Drying out the vanilla beans properly is crucial for being able to grind them into a fine powder.
- There are a few methods you can use:- Air dry: Leave beans out at room temperature for 1-2 weeks until dried and brittle.- Oven dry: Arrange beans in single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 170°F for 60-90 minutes.- Microwave: Microwave beans in 30 second intervals until puffed up and crisp.
- Baking in the oven at a low temperature usually works best to evenly dry beans. They'll still be pliable at first but will harden as they cool.
Step 2: Grind the Vanilla Beans into Powder
- Once completely dried and cooled, the brittle vanilla beans are ready to be ground. Use a spice grinder, small food processor, coffee grinder, or high-powered blender to grind them into a fine powder.
- You may need to grind in batches to get an ultra-fine texture. Sift through a fine mesh strainer after grinding to remove any large pieces, then repeat grinding if needed.
Step 3: Store the Vanilla Powder
- Transfer finished vanilla powder into an airtight container. Store in a cool, dark place like the pantry where it will stay fresh for 1-2 years.
- And that's all there is to it! With just 3 easy steps, these homemade v
When selecting vanilla beans, choose plump, oily, and flexible beans that have a strong vanilla aroma. Grade A beans offer the highest quality in terms of flavor and moisture content. Though grade B beans can also be used if you want to save money.
How to Use Vanilla Powder
The uses for homemade vanilla powder are endless. Here are some of the most popular ways to use it:
Baking & Cooking: Vanilla powder can be used as a 1:1 substitute for vanilla extract in cakes, cookies, custards, pies and more. Since the flavor is more concentrated, start with half the amount of vanilla powder as extract called for in a recipe.
The powder maintains its robust flavor even subjected to high heat, unlike extract where alcohol evaporates. The tiny vanilla bean flecks also give a beautiful speckled appearance.
Frostings & Fillings: Add vanilla powder to elevate buttercreams, ganaches, pastry creams, glazes, and fruit fillings. The pure flavor pairs perfectly with chocolate and fruit desserts.
Beverages: Stir a pinch of vanilla powder into coffee, tea, hot chocolate, milkshakes or smoothies. The grounds infuse drinks with extra vanilla aroma without any bitterness.
Toppings: Mix with sugar or salt for a flavored topping to sprinkle on cakes, cookies or fresh fruit. Or coat the edges of glassware to rim cocktails.
Vanilla Powder vs. Vanilla Sugar
Vanilla powder differs from vanilla sugar, another popular vanilla product. While both provide convenience and intense flavor, there are some key differences:
|Made only from ground vanilla beans
|Mix of sugar and vanilla bean seeds or pods
|Intense, pure vanilla flavor
|Sweeter, more diluted flavor
|Adds vanilla flavor without sweetness
|Provides both sweetness and flavor
|Does not clump; free-flowing powder
|Tendency to clump due to moisture
So vanilla powder offers more concentrated vanilla taste, while vanilla sugar has a sweeter profile. Vanilla sugar must also be stored more carefully to prevent clumping.
Benefits & Tips
Using homemade vanilla powder means you get all the health perks associated with raw vanilla beans:
- Antioxidants: Vanilla contains antioxidants including vanillin, vanillic acid, and vanillyl alcohol which can help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body.
- Anti-inflammatory: The antioxidants and phenolic compounds in vanilla demonstrate anti-inflammatory activities which may reduce inflammation.
- Lower cholesterol: Early research shows vanillin may help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
So by enjoying natural vanilla powder, you can reap protective health benefits in addition to delicious flavor!
Follow these helpful tips for best results when making and using your homemade vanilla powder:
- Choose grade A vanilla beans for maximum flavor and quality
- Fully dry beans before grinding for a fine, smooth powder
- Use a 2-step method with a spice grinder followed by coffee grinder for ultra-fine powder
- Store the powder in an airtight container in a cool, dark place
- Start by using half the amount of vanilla powder as vanilla extract called for in recipes
- Add to both sweet and savory dishes to enhance flavor
Is homemade vanilla powder better than store-bought?
Yes! Homemade vanilla powder contains only pure vanilla beans with no additives. It offers superior flavor and aroma compared to lower quality commercial versions.
How long does homemade vanilla powder last?
Properly stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark area, vanilla powder lasts 1-2 years without losing flavor or aroma.
What's the best way to dry vanilla beans?
Baking vanilla beans in the oven at 170°F for 60-90 minutes evenly dries beans for proper grinding with less risk of burning.
Can I reuse vanilla beans after making vanilla extract?
Yes, you can remove and dry used extract beans to grind into vanilla powder. However, the powder may have less intense flavor since some was already extracted.
Is it necessary to grind into a super fine powder?
Not necessarily. A slightly coarse powder with small flecks of bean is fine for most uses like baking. But super fine powder incorporates better into drinks, frostings, etc.
Making DIY vanilla powder is an easy, affordable way to have intense, all-natural vanilla flavor handy whenever you want to add that special touch.
Compared to store-bought powder or vanilla extract, grinding your own beans offers superior flavor and aroma that bakes, cooks, and tastes beautifully.
With just vanilla beans from the store, an oven, and spice grinder, you can whip up batches of this versatile vanilla powder to use for years.
- Alphafoodie: This post provides a zero waste recipe for making vanilla powder from 100% vanilla pods. It includes instructions for drying the pods and grinding them into a fine powder, as well as various uses for the vanilla powder in recipes such as custards, sauces, and baked goods.
- Foodtasia: This article offers a recipe for homemade vanilla powder made from 100% vanilla beans. It explains the difference between vanilla powder and vanilla extract, provides instructions for making vanilla powder with or without sugar, and suggests various uses for the powder in baking, custards, and beverages.
- In the Kitch: This tutorial demonstrates how to make vanilla powder at home using only vanilla beans and a coffee grinder. It also lists various ways to use vanilla powder in recipes, such as substituting it for vanilla extract, mixing it into buttercreams and frostings, and adding it to coffee, tea, and hot beverages.
- Living Healthy With Chocolate: This resource provides a recipe for making pure vanilla extract and vanilla powder at home using real vanilla beans. It emphasizes the quality and purity of the ingredients and offers tips for making vanilla extract as well. The article also mentions the author's use of vanilla in her dessert recipes.
- YouTube: This video tutorial on YouTube demonstrates how to make vanilla extract and vanilla powder at home. It provides a visual guide to the process of making both vanilla extract and powder, making it easier to follow along with the instructions.