If you don't want to wait a year for homemade vanilla extract to mature, make homemade vanilla bean paste!
It only takes about 5 minutes to make and can be used in place of vanilla extract in just about everything!
You only need some whole beans along with a few other ingredients to whip up vanilla paste and it's so economical to make!
I used to spend $15-$16 dollars on a VERY small jar of vanilla bean paste and now I can make 4 times the amount for the same price! If you enjoy making your own vanilla extract, give this a try and I bet you'll be hooked like I am.
Some recipes for homemade vanilla bean paste can be quite time-consuming, but I happened to stumble across a recipe by Alex Green that simply blended up the ingredients and it was done!
I was amazed and ran to make it right away. I did make a few changes to the recipes and skipped the scale in favor of cups and ounce measurements, but I give 100% credit to Mr. Green for a terrific recipe!
Suggested Kitchen Tools for Vanilla Paste
- High-Speed Blender with a Blender Cup
- Glass Jar with an Airtight Lid
- Sharp scissors or Knife
Ingredients & Substitutions
Whole Vanilla Beans
I use Madagascar vanilla beans in this recipe, but any whole vanilla beans will work just fine as long as they are grade A.
Because the entire bean is blended in this recipe it's important that the vanilla beans are moist and plump and grade B tends to be a little drier and may not blend as well.
It's not that they can't be used, but the results may be different. I have also read that different vanilla bean varieties can affect the texture of the vanilla paste, but I have only used Madagascar beans so I haven't experienced this personally.
I have read that some people use their whole beans to make extract and then turn the beans into paste, but I'm not sure if it would have a strong vanilla flavor since the extract extracted most of the flavor compounds found in the whole vanilla pod.
Sugar and Corn Syrup
I use a combination of granulated white sugar and corn syrup in this recipe and both are important and I don't recommend substitution either one.
The granulated sugar is used to balance the flavors and thickens the paste.
The light corn syrup is to prevent it from crystallizing. You can make your own invert sugar and replace it for the corn syrup if don't want to use the store-bought variety.
Artificial sweeteners do not gel like sugar does, so you may need to use a thickening agent like guar gum or xanthan gum if you want to use artificial sugar. I have not tried this recipe with artificial sweeteners so I am not sure how the vanilla paste would turn out, please let me know if you try it!
You can use Rum or Vodka or any clear liquor in this recipe. If you use darker alcohol your vanilla paste will have a different flavor profile, but will still work just fine.
I have not made this recipe without alcohol so I am not sure how it would turn out. I have seen other recipes that use glycerine syrup instead of alcohol so I encourage you to do some additional research if you want to make vanilla paste without alcohol.
There is a little water in this recipe and it can be omitted if desired. If you don't use the water, the volume of paste will be about 12 ounces, but the paste will be thicker.
You can mix a little xanthan gum or other natural thickeners in with the sugar for a thicker paste. This would be beneficial if you wanted to increase the water to ¼ cup, but still wanted a thick paste. The increase in water will increase your yield to a full 16 ounces.
Tips for DIY Vanilla Paste
- Use a mason jar or another glass jar with a tight-fitting lid for storage
- Store away from direct sunlight
- Keep the jar of paste in a dry place
- Let the vanilla paste sit for 2 weeks to a couple of months for the best flavor
- Use fresh vanilla beans, if they are dry and brittle consider hydrating them before blending
- Use a high-speed blender for the best results.
How to Make The Recipe
This is a simple process for making your own vanilla bean paste, but there are a few things that are important before you get started.
If you don't have a blender cup for your high-speed blender, you will want to double the recipe. A blender pitcher is larger and the quantity of ingredients makes a difference in the outcome. If you have too few ingredients in a large blender pitcher, it will not blend smoothly enough.
If you don't have a blender, try cutting the vanilla bean into really small pieces and use a spice grinder to grind it with some of the sugar. Then you can probably use a food processor to blend the remaining ingredients. However, a food processor probably won't get the paste as smooth if the vanilla pods are not finely ground first. You may also loose the look of the vanilla caviar (those brown/black specks that are visible in vanilla paste.
Combine the Ingredients
Put the sugar, water, vodka, and corn syrup into the blender cup.
Using sharp scissors or a sharp knife, cut the whole vanilla bean pods into pieces about 3" in length. Cut them smaller if your blender isn't that high powered.
Place them into the blender cup and secure the lid.
The vanilla bean caviar is not what gives the intense vanilla flavor, it's the pod!
Place the blender cup on the blender base and select the highest speed you have. On the Ninja Foodi Blender, I use the extract function and run it twice for a total of 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
When the second cycle is complete, open the lid and you should have a smooth liquid. Pour the vanilla bean paste into your storage containers and let it sit overnight to thicken. You can use it right away in anything that will be cooked, but in uncooked applications like whipped cream or yogurt it's best to wait 2 weeks for the alcohol flavor to mellow.
Here is what the paste looks like immediately and then just one day later. It really thickens up nicely!
Vanilla Bean Paste can be used in place of vanilla extract in a 1:1 ratio.
Store your vanilla paste at room temperature in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight. It will stay good for up to one year.
Stir the pate before using and wipe the lid of the jar with a damp paper towel after each use to prevent the lid from sticking.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can buy vanilla beans on (affiliate link)Amazon, but they tend to be a bit more expensive.
You can also buy them from the IndriVanilla website or join their group on Facebook where they offer group orders at a discount: Indri's Vanilla Bean Group
Grade A vanilla beans are bigger in both length and width. They are plump beans with a higher moisture content than Grade B. This makes them perfect for making vanilla bean paste.
Grade B vanilla beans are shorter and have a lower moisture content. They are good for making extract.
Use in place of imitation or pure vanilla extract in any recipe in a 1:1 substitution. What I love about using paste in place of the extract is you get the intense vanilla flavor of pure extract with vanilla bean flecks.
This looks so beautiful in whipped cream, homemade yogurt, vanilla ice cream, and vanilla cake.
Recipes using Vanilla Bean Paste
Here are a few of my recipes where I use my homemade vanilla bean paste or it can be used in place of vanilla extract.
Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe
- High Speed Blender
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 ounces vodka about ⅔ cup
- 3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 2 ounces whole vanilla bean Grade A preferred
- Combine the sugar, vodka, corn syrup, and water in the cup of a high speed blender. If you only have a pitcher for your blender, you will want to double all of the ingredients.1 cup granulated sugar, 6 ounces vodka, 3 Tablespoons light corn syrup, 2 Tablespoons water
- Cut the vanilla beans into pieces that are about 2-3" in length and add to the blender cup.2 ounces whole vanilla bean
- Blend on the highest speed for about 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth. I use the extract function on the Ninja Foodi Blender.
- Pour into storage containers with a lid and store at room temperature for up to 1 year.
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
She published her first cookbook in the Fall of 2018 and is very interested in writing several more.
Louise is also the creator of an online Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooking Course with over 100 instructional step-by-step videos. People absolutely rave about the course and all the value they have received from it.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can. Get more Information about Louise & contact information
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