How to Make Vanilla Bean Powder

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How to Make Vanilla Bean Powder

Don’t toss your vanilla beans, after you’ve used them to make a few batches of vanilla extract. The spent pods can be used to make vanilla bean powder.

This gourmet ingredient makes use of every part of the bean, so there’s absolutely no waste. And as much as vanilla costs these days, that’s a very good thing.

What is Vanilla Bean Powder?

Vanilla bean powder is just ground up vanilla beans. Plain and simple. While many recipes only make use of vanilla seeds, vanilla powder makes use of both the pods and the seeds. This allows you to pull every drop of flavor and fragrance from your beans.

If you’re after intense vanilla flavor in a recipe, this is the way to achieve it. Vanilla bean powder is twice as potent as vanilla extract. And it doesn’t bake off, like extract.

Add it to vanilla ice cream or buttercream frosting, to get those signature vanilla flecks.

Vanilla bean powder is alcohol-free, so it’s a great alternative to vanilla extract, if you can’t – or don’t want to – consume alcohol.

Vanilla Bean Powder Recipe

Vanilla bean powder is typically made from fresh vanilla beans, but I like to use my beans to make a few batches of vanilla extract, before I grind them into vanilla powder. It’s just my way of squeezing more value out of each bean.

One bean yields approximately 1/2 teaspoon of powder. Once you know that, it’s easy to scale this recipe to your needs.


Tip:Save money by using grade B vanilla beans. They’ll work perfectly in this recipe.

What You Do:

Vanilla Beans After They Were Used to Make Extract

Dry out your vanilla beans.

If you’re using vanilla beans that you used to make vanilla extract, the alcohol should have dried them out. Just let them air-dry for a few days, after you pull them out of the extract.

If you’re using fresh vanilla beans, place them on a baking sheet, and bake them at the lowest oven temp for one hour. Allow them to cool. Then, test to see if they feel dry and brittle. The drier your beans are, the more finely you’ll be able to grind them.

Grinding Vanilla Beans in a Coffee/Spice Grinder

Use a coffee/spice grinder to grind up your vanilla beans. Pulse them, until they reach the consistency of a fine powder.

Tip: Take a minute to clean your spice grinder, before you begin, so your vanilla doesn’t pick up any coffee or spice flavors. Here’s a quick way to do it.

Homemade Vanilla Bean Powder

Store your homemade vanilla bean powder in an air-tight container. For the best flavor, use within two to three years.

How to Use Vanilla Bean Powder

Add your vanilla bean powder to baked goods, frosting, ice cream or coffee. A little goes a long way, so just a sprinkle will do.

Use 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla powder in place of one teaspoon of vanilla extract, or one vanilla bean.

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How to Make Vanilla Bean Powder

How to Make Vanilla Bean Powder

Here’s how to make your own vanilla bean powder for a fraction of what it sells for.

  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: Varies


  • Vanilla beans


Place the vanilla beans on a baking sheet, and bake for one hour on the lowest oven temp. Let cool; then, test to make sure beans feel dry and brittle to the touch.

Grind in a coffee/spice grinder, until they reach a fine powder.

Store in an air-tight container. Use within two to three years, for the best flavor.


  • Save money by using grade B vanilla beans.
  • Like to make your own vanilla extract? Grind the beans into vanilla powder, when you’re done.
  • Use 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder in place of one teaspoon vanilla extract, or one vanilla bean.
  • Each bean should yield around 1/2 tsp of powder.

Keywords: how to make vanilla bean powder, how to make vanilla powder

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