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What Is Vanilla Bean Paste, Could It Be Better Than Vanilla Extract?

What Is Vanilla Bean Paste, Could It Be Better Than Vanilla Extract?

What Is Vanilla Bean Paste, Could It Be Better Than Vanilla Extract?

Have you ever heard of Vanilla Bean Paste? If so, have you given this godly goodness a try in your baking? If you haven’t heard of this wonderful stuff then this is the time to hear about it! You might be thinking… What is vanilla bean paste? How do I vanilla bean paste? Where do I buy vanilla bean paste? Well I am going to give you the full lowdown here to answer all of your questions!

What is Vanilla Bean Paste?

Vanilla bean paste comes in a jar and is made from the scrapping of vanilla beans mixed with a sugary water syrup and thickener. It has this luxurious, thick, syrup consistency that is truly heavenly. It’s basically the same thing as vanilla extract or vanilla beans, but mixed together so you get the great flavoring from the vanilla extract and the little flakes of vanilla bean. Best of both worlds! I like vanilla bean paste a lot because it doesn’t thin out your batters like vanilla extract can sometimes do. The vanilla bean paste gives your baking a deeper and richer vanilla taste than the vanilla extract. Also, we always eat with our eyes before our stomachs, and seeing those flakes of vanilla bean really appeal to our eyes that we are about to enjoy something truly vanilla-y and yummy!

How Do I Use Vanilla Bean Paste?

Vanilla bean paste is used the exact same way as vanilla extract and can be Vanilla Bean Pastesubstituted in any recipe that calls for vanilla extract. No conversion necessary! So if your recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, then you would use 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste. If your recipe calls for a vanilla bean pod then you would simply add 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste. Pretty simple, right? So any recipes that calls for vanilla extract, you can replace it with vanilla bean paste! I would definitely recommend using it more in recipes like sugar or shortbread cookies, vanilla ice cream, or vanilla cakes so the bean flakes can really be accentuated. Recently, I’ve been using vanilla bean paste in all of my baking because I truly am obsessed with the flavor, but it’s most beneficial in those recipes where you can actually see the vanilla beans (like a brownie wouldn’t be the best choice for this because you won’t be able to see those amazing little flakes, but you’ll still get the amazing flavor!).

Where Do I Buy Vanilla Bean Paste?

Vanilla bean paste is now widely popular and available on the market, but you may not be able to find it in your local grocery store (I can’t find it in mine at least). It is a bit more expensive than vanilla bean extract, but if you are only using it in recipes where it can really be used most efficiently, then this stuff is going to last you forever. I bake all the time and I don’t seem to run through it very quickly. I buy mine online at Amazon just because it’s the easiest way for me to get it, but you can find it at William Sonoma or other grocery stores. I’ve tried several different brands, but it doesn’t really matter as far as flavoring. I like to use Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Bean Paste, which runs for $17.39 for 4 oz. If you’re like me and using a lot of vanilla bean these day, I would recommend getting the Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Bean Paste in the 32 oz size running at $81.97. Several vanilla pastes that I have seen come in Madagascar Bourbon vanilla flavoring. I have tried both types and both are very delicious. I am more of a purist and like my vanilla to be purely vanilla flavored, but if you like to add a little extra something in there, definitely give this a try. It provides the same great vanilla flavor with a hint of bourbon to it.

So next time you are thinking about baking up a mean batch of sugar cookies, consider using vanilla bean paste! I use is in almost all of my recipes now because I am in love with the flavor it gives. It gives my baked goods such a deeper vanilla flavor that I really feel adds to every baking recipes I make. I found a really interesting chart from Nielsen-Massey about the different types of vanilla they sell, so check it out here if you are more curious about different vanillas. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!

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11 thoughts on “What Is Vanilla Bean Paste, Could It Be Better Than Vanilla Extract?”

  • I really love vanilla but I’ve never heard vanilla bean paste before! I think I am gonna give it a try although I find it expensive! I am curious about enjoying something truly vanilla-y and yummy!
    Best wishes,
    Rebecca!

    • Yes it definitely has a little bit of a cost to it! I was curious to see what the actually cost difference would be between vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste and surprisingly its fairly similar! I would recommend definitely in the beginning only using it with recipes that will actually show through and then you can determine if its right for you 🙂

  • Hi Bailey,

    I haven’t baked many cookies but DAM! Madagascar bourbon flavoured vanilla paste sounds so good I think I could bath in it. Vanilla bean paste in general sounds like it would add more oomf to whatever you were baking. I do have a friend that does a lot of baking so I shall be recommending she read this.

    Cool article, thanks for posting.

    Cheers,
    Adam.

  • Love Love Love vanilla! Whenever a recipe calls for vanilla I always add just a bit more that stated because I love the flavor (but not too much so it doesn’t overpower everything else). I have not tried vanilla bean paste to be honest. The price is a little steep but you’ve convinced me to try. I have to see if it’s worth it or not. Looking forward to that batch of cookies using vanilla bean paste!

  • Love Love Love vanilla! Whenever a recipe calls for vanilla I always add just a bit more that stated because I love the flavor (but not too much so it doesn’t overpower everything else). I have not tried vanilla bean paste to be honest. The price is a little steep but you’ve convinced me to try. I have to see if it’s worth it or not. Looking forward to that batch of cookings using vanilla bean paste!

    • I’m glad you share my love for vanilla! I always end up added more vanilla than the recipe calls for just because its so good! I think you’ll really love the flavor of the paste. The price is definitely a little steep but that little jar will last you longer than you think!

  • I love to bake too and always wondered about vanilla bean paste. Thought it was for baking a certain kind of way, but now that I can substitute it with extract, that opens up my world! Lol. Anyway, you said it was mixed with a sugary syrup. Are there natural thickeners in some products that don’t contain more sugar?

    • Thanks for your comment Linda! It’s definitely a great substitute for vanilla extract with the lovely extra taste of vanilla. I looked up the ingredients because I was curious too! This is what my brand has: Sugar, Water, Vanilla Extract, Vanilla Beans, Gum Tragacanth (a natural thickener). I’m also experimenting with making my own vanilla bean paste! I think I still have some a few tries before I have it the way I want it, so I will give an update to this post once its perfect. 🙂

  • Wow I love everything that has vanilla, like yogurts, cookies, ice cream. I had no idea it could be so tasty and you left feeling like experimenting. I will definitely try it.
    Thank you so much

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