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How to use Vanilla Bean Powder

Slofoodgroup Team May 16, 2022

Using Vanilla Bean Powder

If you are just hearing about vanilla bean powder for the first time, prepare to have your culinary world changed forever! Vanilla bean powder is simply whole vanilla beans ground into powdered form—or at least it should be. If you happen to see anything else in your ground vanilla bean powder, we highly recommend finding a better, more pure product. There really isn’t any reason for any ground vanilla bean powders to contain filler ingredients such as maltodextrin.

Tips for Using Ground Vanilla Beans in Recipes

Powdered vanilla bean is a quick-and-easy way to add loads of flavor, aroma, and visual appeal to your recipes. It can replace vanilla extract, whole beans, or vanilla bean paste and may even intensify the vanilla experience. For the best results and deepest flavor, we recommend first “blooming” your vanilla powder by steeping it in one of the other liquids your recipe calls for prior to adding it to the recipe. 

Replacing Vanilla Paste, Extract, or Whole Beans with Vanilla Powder

If you are hoping to use your vanilla powder as a replacement for another vanilla product, you are probably curious about ratios. For extract and paste, you should be able to get away with 1-1 replacement ratio—though, powder contains a much more concentrated vanilla flavor than either extract or paste, so you could probably get away with using a little less. Whole beans are a little different, but for an average-sized gourmet bean, we recommend using about 2 teaspoons of powder.

Ideas for Using Vanilla Bean Powder

So now that you know how to bloom vanilla powder and replacement quantities, it’s time to decide what you are going to use it in. As we mentioned, it is wonderful for adding a deep vanilla flavor and aroma to any recipe. Plus, it contributes those wonderful little black specks that seem to shout, “try me, I’m a delightful vanilla indulgence at its finest”! Here are some of our favorite uses for fine-ground vanilla beans:

  • Steep it in cream and use it to create Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, of course!
  • Add it to your ground coffee for an extra flavorful cup of Joe.
  • Mix it in with egg whites for a delightfully speckled meringue.
  • Make DIY Vanilla Scented Candles and give them as gifts (it's so easy)!
  • Try this Vanilla and Black Pepper Crusted Cod.
  • Use it to make savory cream sauces for topping seafood, chicken, pork, or pasta!
  • Add a bit to your risotto for a secret ingredient that will astound those enjoying the meal you have prepared. 
  • Use it in icing for cakes and cookies; you’ll love the way those black flecks add a bit of visual contrast!
  • Mix it into your pancake or waffle batter and top them with whipped cream with even more vanilla powder added for a vanilla breakfast flavor explosion first thing in the morning!
  • Make Maple Orange Vanilla Cream Popsicles by using a blender to mix together ½ cup yogurt, ½ cup whipping cream, 1 cup orange juice, ¼ cup pure maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla powder. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze overnight. You are going to love these!