Vanilla essence and vanilla sugar

Two blogs I love are Attainable sustainability and Frugal Kiwi both recently had posts on how to make your own vanilla essence – I had NO idea it was so simple and cheap! Boy do the companies who sell vanilla essence making a creaming! Vanilla essence is great for baking with and adding to cream.

essence_vanilla_nzTo make vanilla essence:

2-3 Vanilla beans (I found some cheap organic ones on Trade me)
250ml vodka (Frugal Kiwi uses Rum instead)
Glass container of some type (I used a Stevies maple syrup jar as they are so pretty)

Split the vanilla beans, scrap out the goo inside put the goo and bean into the glass jar and add vodka! Put the jar in a dark place and shake every few days. In 6 weeks time it’ll be really to be used. Viola!
As you use the essence just add more vodka or beans as you please.
I made one for us, one for my mum, one for my sister-in-law and a few to be given as gifts.

To make vanilla sugar: add a vanilla pod to your sugar jar and now you have vanilla sugar!
Crazy how easy this all is!!!  Enjoy…


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7 thoughts on “Vanilla essence and vanilla sugar

  1. June 12, 2011 at 6:02 am

    Glad you are having a go. Sometimes it is amazing how easy things are to make on your own, isn’t it?!

  2. June 12, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Sure was easy thanks to your blog and help.

  3. June 12, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Yay! I’m glad you tried it. So, so easy and yes – what a grocery store scam, eh? Not to mention that the vanilla I can bring home from the store comes in plastic.

  4. Ondaderthad
    June 13, 2011 at 1:59 am

    The commercial strength is using at least 5 beans per cup (250ml) of vodka.
    Do not split the beans to avoid the cloudy sediment at the bottom of the bottle. It may take a bit longer to extract the flavour but you get a much clearer liquid.
    Apart for cooking uses you can mix it with Coke for that different drink.

    1. August 17, 2013 at 9:58 am

      Fantastic thanks. I think I’ll add more beans next time. Mx

  5. November 1, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    I love the idea and will be making Christmas gifts for my daughters this year. But I wasn’t sure what essence was, so I googled it! This is what says: “The difference between vanilla essence and vanilla extract is that vanilla extract is a natural product while vanilla essence is a synthetic. Extract is derived from soaking vanilla pods in a mixture of water and ethyl alcohol which take up the flavour of vanilla while essence is produced from chemicals. Essence is generally cheaper than extract.”