Super Simple 3 Ingredient Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (2024)

ByRachaelUpdated

Jump to Recipe

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my full disclosure.

Nothing else quite adds as much vanilla flavor to recipes as vanilla bean paste. However, the store-bought stuff is so expensive! In this homemade vanilla bean paste recipe, you’ll be able to flavor your cakes and puddings for way less!

Super Simple 3 Ingredient Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (1)

If you love vanilla flavor, don’t miss my homemade vanilla extract and vanilla maple syrup for the best pancakes. Use this recipe in my vanilla muffins and many more!

*Although I initially called this recipe a 2-ingredient paste, I do recommend adding a third ingredient: vanilla extract. It will give the paste an even richer vanilla aroma which really elevates your bakes!

Growing up, I’d never even heard of vanilla bean paste! I was introduced to this ingredient by my mother-in-law, who uses it in her amazing homemade vanilla ice cream.

I finally bought some for myself, but was shocked at the sticker price. My bottle was $15 for a jar! Plus, it had dyes and natural thickeners to give it an extra thick texture.

I decided to play around with making my own vanilla bean paste recipe using simple ingredients like fresh vanilla beans and agave nectar. After several recipe tests, this was my favorite one!

What is vanilla bean paste?

Vanilla bean paste is essentially a thickened syrup with a strong scent and flavor of vanilla beans. They are made with a variety of ingredients, but many include corn syrup or a sugar syrup, natural flavors, vanilla extract, and caramel coloring.

Vanilla bean paste adds a more concentrated vanilla flavor than regular extract and tastes more like fresh vanilla pods. It’s used by serious bakers who want a strong vanilla flavor and vanilla bean flecks in their recipes.

Pure vanilla bean paste gets really expensive, especially when you opt for organic! Fortunately, it’s way easier (and cheaper) when you make homemade vanilla paste.

Equipment

  • Small bowl (I used a wide mouth half pint mason jar, but a 1 cup pyrex container would be perfect, too).
  • Immersion blender
  • Skinny spatula
  • Kitchen scale

Ingredients for Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe

  • Organic vanilla bean seeds – Grab the best quality vanilla beans you can afford! Look for plump, soft vanilla beans instead of dried extract-grade beans. Madagascar beans have a more traditional vanilla flavor, but Tahitian vanilla beans are more subtle with a floral flavor.
  • Agave nectar – This is the base of the recipe. You need a thick syrup to suspend all those vanilla bean flecks and absorb the flavor compounds. I tried maple syrup and found light agave nectar to work the best.
  • Pure vanilla extract – The alcohol will extract the oils and scent from the vanilla beans and add them directly to your DIY vanilla bean paste. You just need a little bit!
Super Simple 3 Ingredient Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (2)
Super Simple 3 Ingredient Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (3)

How to Make Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe

  1. Weigh out 0.5 oz of vanilla beans or add approximately 5 whole beans to a bowl. Cut them into small pieces for easy blending.
  2. Cover the beans with 4 oz (half a cup) of agave nectar and vanilla extract. If dry, allow the beans to soak overnight. Otherwise, blend immediately.
  3. Position the immersion blender into the small bowl and blend the mixture until smooth.
  4. Store in a sealed glass jar in the fridge. Stir before using as the flecks will rise to the top.

How to Store Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste

Keep your homemade vanilla bean paste in a small mason jar either at room temperature or in your refrigerator. I anticipate it will last approximately 6 months or longer.

Tips & Variations

  • Switch up syrups – This recipe is flexible, and it’s easy to use a different syrup. Try corn syrup, maple syrup, or even a light-colored honey.
  • Stir before using – Most vanilla bean paste recipes include thickeners like xanthan gum to keep the vanilla bean flecks suspended in the syrup. Since this recipe does not include a thickener, you may need to stir it before using.
  • Try the food processor – If you don’t have an immersion blender, the food processor, spice grinder, or regular blender should work. Just keep them running until the whole beans break down all the way. If they don’t you can always run the mixture through a strainer, but you will lose some vanilla bean.
  • Use leftover extract beans – If you make your own vanilla extract, take advantage of those softened beans and turn them into vanilla bean paste! This is a great way to use up old beans.
  • Thin it out with a little extract – If your vanilla bean paste is so thick it’s hard to manage, add a little extra extract to thin it out.
Super Simple 3 Ingredient Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (4)

What’s the difference between vanilla bean paste and homemade vanilla bean paste?

I did a side-by-side comparison of this expensive vanilla paste I bought online versus my quick homemade recipe. Ready for the run down?

CriteriaStoreboughtHomemade
TasteBitter, artificialSweet, strong vanilla flavor
TextureVery thick, high viscosityVery thick
TasteStrong vanilla flavor; somewhat artificialStrong vanilla flavor; tastes very fresh
Price$15 for 4 oz ($3.75 per oz)$1.11 for agave nectar; $4.50 for beans – $5.61 ($1.40 per oz)
Quality of IngredientsIncludes natural flavors and coloringNo thickeners, preservatives, dyes, or colors; only organic ingredients

How to Use Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste

Most bakers use vanilla bean paste in place of vanilla extract because it adds such an intense flavor. Replace liquid vanilla extract with the same amount of vanilla paste:

  • 1 teaspoon of extract: 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste

If you need to replace an entire vanilla bean, use 1 tablespoon of paste.

How to Scale This Recipe

If you want to make more or less of this vanilla bean paste recipe, follow this basic proportion:

  • 1 oz of beans
  • 8 oz agave nectar
  • 2 TBS vanilla extract

This could be .25 oz beans to 2 oz syrup and 1 TBS extract or 2 oz beans to 8 oz syrup and 4 TBS vanilla extract.

Vanilla Bean Paste Uses

The options are truly endless! You can use this page to add vanilla flavor to a variety of recipes, including:

  • Vanilla muffins
  • Vanilla hot chocolate
  • Creme brulee
  • Vanilla pudding
  • Vanilla yogurt
  • Vanilla overnight oats
  • Vanilla sugar cookies
  • Vanilla Bavarian cream
  • Creme anglaise
  • Homemade ice cream

FAQS

How many vanilla beans should I add to vanilla bean paste?

Well, there aren’t a lot of resources on this topic, but there is guidance about the ratio of beans to alcohol for homemade vanilla extract.

Since you use the same amount of vanilla bean paste as vanilla extract for flavor, it stands to reason that you could use the same measurements for your vanilla beans and syrup.

How to adapt this recipe

  • 0.5 ounces of vanilla beans per 4 oz of syrup
  • 1 ounce of beans to 8 oz of syrup (1 cup)
  • 2 ounces of beans to 16 oz of syrup
  • 4 ounces of beans to 32 oz of syrup (quart)

One ounce of vanilla beans is typically 6-8 beans, so you will need approximately that many beans per cup of syrup. The vanilla beans I used were smaller, so I needed 5 of them to reach the weight.

Since we’re blending the beans, including the pods, this may even be more concentrated than regular vanilla bean paste.

Should I add vanilla extract to my homemade vanilla bean paste?

I initially said no to this question, but after trying and making this recipe several times, I do prefer to add it. The extract has two purposes: to add a strong vanilla aroma and to give the paste the right consistency. With just agave nectar and vanilla beans, it gets really thick, especially if you store it in the fridge!

Plus, most store-bought vanilla bean pastes use vanilla extract to really add a strong scent and flavor. We can take a page out of their book and make our own rich, luxurious organic vanilla bean paste for so much less!

If you’re really dead-set on using just two ingredients, try it. If it doesn’t feel vanilla-y enough for you, stir in some extract and see what I mean.

Can I eat vanilla bean pod?

Yes! You can eat the pod as well as the flakes inside the vanilla bean. Because the whole vanilla pod is edible, I like to blend the entire bean in this recipe for homemade vanilla bean paste.

What can I do with vanilla beans?

There are so many options! Real vanilla bean is a fun ingredient to add to your favorite recipes for a variety of reasons. You can make…

  • Homemade vanilla sugar with white sugar
  • Make your own vanilla extract
  • Whip up a batch of vanilla honey
  • Infuse a bottle of vanilla maple syrup
  • Make your own vanilla simple syrup
  • Make vanilla bean paste
  • Make a batch of vanilla sugar scrub
  • Make some vanilla sugar syrup
  • Dry & grind up vanilla bean powder

Three-Ingredient Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe

This super simple vanilla bean paste recipe is just as good as the storebought stuff but costs way less! Use it to add delicious vanilla flavor to cakes, cookies, puddings, and more.

5 from 2 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 3 minutes mins

Cook Time 2 minutes mins

Total Time 5 minutes mins

Course Baking, Breakfast, Dessert

Cuisine American, british, French

Servings 12 servings

Calories 35 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • .5 oz vanilla beans, 3-5 beans
  • 4 oz light agave nectar
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Weigh out 0.5 oz of vanilla beans or add approximately 5 whole beans to a bowl. Cut them into small pieces for easy blending.

  • Cover the beans with 4 oz (half a cup) of agave nectar and vanilla extract. If dry, allow the beans to soak overnight. Otherwise, blend immediately.

  • Position the immersion blender into the small bowl and blend the mixture until smooth.

  • Store in a sealed glass jar in the fridge. Stir before using as the flecks will rise to the top.

Notes

The vanilla extract is technically optional, but after making this homemade vanilla bean paste several times, I prefer the texture and scent you get when you add it. The extract has a strong vanilla aroma that makes this paste work more like the paste you buy from the store.

Yield: This recipe makes approximately 4 fluid ounces. The nutritional facts are based on a 1 teaspoon serving.

Store in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Use as a 1:1 replacement for vanilla extract (1 tsp extract = 1 tsp paste).

Switch up syrups – This recipe is flexible and it’s easy to use a different syrup. Try corn syrup, maple syrup, or even a light-colored honey.

Stir before using – Most vanilla bean paste recipes include thickeners like xanthan gum to keep the vanilla bean flecks suspended in the syrup. Since this recipe does not include a thickener, you may need to stir it before using.

Try the food processor – If you don’t have an immersion blender, the food processor, spice grinder, or regular blender should work. Just keep them running until the whole beans break down all the way.

Use leftover extract beans – If you make your own vanilla extract, take advantage of those softened beans and turn them into vanilla bean paste!

Nutrition

Serving: 2tspCalories: 35kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 0.01gFat: 0.2gSodium: 0.5mgPotassium: 2mgFiber: 0.02gSugar: 7gVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 0.2mgIron: 0.01mg

Keyword vanilla, vanilla bean, vanilla bean paste

Did you try this recipe?Be sure to leave a star rating!

Super Simple 3 Ingredient Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (6)
Super Simple 3 Ingredient Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (2024)

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Ms. Lucile Johns

Last Updated:

Views: 6275

Rating: 4 / 5 (61 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ms. Lucile Johns

Birthday: 1999-11-16

Address: Suite 237 56046 Walsh Coves, West Enid, VT 46557

Phone: +59115435987187

Job: Education Supervisor

Hobby: Genealogy, Stone skipping, Skydiving, Nordic skating, Couponing, Coloring, Gardening

Introduction: My name is Ms. Lucile Johns, I am a successful, friendly, friendly, homely, adventurous, handsome, delightful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.