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Vanilla Paste Substitutes

Slofoodgroup Team mars 14, 2024

Vanilla paste is a fantastic ingredient, adding those rich, sultry vanilla tones to desserts, baked goods, beverages—even savory snacks and entrées—without altering the textural properties. It is adored by chefs for its flavor intensity and is typically chosen when vanilla is meant to be a stand-out ingredient, rather than subtly enhancing other flavors. For anyone who isn’t a seasoned baker, though, vanilla paste might not be an ingredient that is readily available in the baking arsenal.

Your Guide to Finding Substitutions for Vanilla Paste

So, what happens if you come across a recipe that you want to make right away but don’t have vanilla paste on hand? Several substitutes can impart the same sweet and fragrant essence—that can help you achieve the same results in many instances. Think of this as your guide to finding vanilla paste substitutions for your recipes.

Whole Vanilla Beans and/or Pre-Scraped Vanilla Seeds

If you find yourself without vanilla paste, the next best thing is going to be the main ingredient in said paste—vanilla beans and seeds of course. Whether you have whole, gourmet vanilla beans primed for scraping the rich vanilla caviar (seeds) or you purchased vanilla seeds to take the work out of it, if it is an intense vanilla flavor you are after, these options will be your best bet. If you have whole beans: Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds using the back of a knife. This technique yields vanilla seeds, replicating the texture and visual appeal of vanilla paste. Both whole vanilla beans and pre-scraped seeds work well in custards, ice creams, and creamy sauces, offering an intense and aromatic flavor. Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting vanilla seeds for vanilla paste in recipes. The vanilla caviar is an excellent choice for showcasing tiny black specks in dishes, such as in vanilla-infused puddings or ice creams.

Pure Vanilla Extract

Pure vanilla extract is simply made of vanilla beans that have been steeped in alcohol for many months, and sometimes a bit of sweetener to bring out the many full breadth of vanilla flavor in the beans. It is an excellent substitute for vanilla paste, when vanilla is meant to enhance other flavors, rather than becoming the star of the show. Use an equal amount of pure vanilla extract in place of vanilla paste, whether in baking or cooking, or if you do want a deeper vanilla flavor, try doubling it. Just keep in mind that the liquid consistency may alter the texture of your dish, so adjust the liquid content accordingly.

Vanilla Powder

Vanilla powder, made by grinding dried vanilla beans, is another great choice for adding deep vanilla flavor to a dish when vanilla paste isn’t available. Because it is dehydrated, the vanilla flavor is quite concentrated, so you may want to use about half of the amount of powder that the recipe calls for in paste. This ingredient is best used as a substitute in dry mixes, like cake or cookie batter, but if you want to match the consistency, try adding equal parts powder and simple syrup and substituting equal amounts of the mixture for the paste in the recipe.

Vanilla Sugar

Vanilla sugar is a dual-purpose substitute that adds sweetness along with vanilla flavor. Though, vanilla both paste and extract often tends to have sweeteners added to help enhance the vanilla flavor, vanilla sugar has a much higher sugar-to-vanilla ratio. That being the case, you’ll want to be careful when using vanilla sugar as a paste substitute. But, if you like things a bit more on the sweet side, feel free to utilize this ingredient. Vanilla sugar is perfect in coffee, tea, or baked goods.

This article provides several options for replacing vanilla paste in recipes when you are in a bind, but vanilla paste is typically included in recipes for a reason. It adds a sort of unmatched depth and elegance to dishes. If you have the chance, try experimenting with vanilla paste, pure vanilla extract, whole vanilla beans, vanilla seeds, vanilla sugar, and vanilla powder to determine which vanilla ingredients are best for you. Find them all in our online vanilla shop.