6 In Candy & Chocolates/ Germany

How to Make Vanilla Sugar

Have you ever seen a recipe that called for vanilla sugar? It’s a German kitchen staple. Well, probably a European kitchen staple, because I’ve seen it all over Europe. You can use vanilla sugar in cookies, pies, cakes, whipped cream, yogurt, Quark, creme fraiche…you name it! It’s also delicious sprinkled over fresh fruit.

Easy German Vanilla Sugar

In Germany, I always bought little packets of Dr. Oetker vanilla sugar to use in place of vanilla extract (which I could never find). The packet below is from the Netherlands but it’s the same as what I used to buy in Germany.

Easy German Vanilla Sugar

I’d often bring a few packets of vanilla sugar home to the US, too. But these days I just make it at home! It’s cheaper and you know exactly what’s in it. I keep my vanilla sugar in a little cute little tin that I got from World Market that makes it easy to scoop and sprinkle.

How to Make Homemade Vanilla Sugar

Measure out 1/4 cup sugar.

Easy German Vanilla Sugar

Add 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. Use the best vanilla extract you can afford.

Easy German Vanilla Sugar

And then stir well. It will be a little clumpy.

Easy German Vanilla Sugar

Spread the vanilla sugar onto a piece of parchment paper to dry for 20-30 minutes.

Easy German Vanilla Sugar

The vanilla sugar will be crunchy and clumpy when it’s dry. Use a fork to break up the clumps. You can also pulse it in a food processor a few times.

Easy German Vanilla Sugar

This is the super easy way to make vanilla sugar. You’ll notice that the vanilla extract turns the sugar a bit brown, but since I mostly use this in baking, that doesn’t matter to me. In the photo below, my homemade vanilla sugar is on the right and the Dr. Oetker version is on the left.

Easy German Vanilla Sugar

You can also make vanilla sugar using a vanilla bean (definitely going to try that soon to see if it tastes any different) but if you don’t have any laying around or don’t want to spend extra money to buy vanilla beans, use vanilla extract!


It's so easy to make this European Homemade Vanilla Sugar!
Homemade German Vanilla Sugar

Delicious in cookies, cakes, pies, whipped cream and sprinkled on fresh fruit - and more! 

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  1. Mix vanilla extract and sugar together.

  2. Spread vanilla sugar onto a piece of parchment paper to dry. 

  3. Once it's dry, break up clumps with a fork or pulse a few times in a food processor. 

  4. Store in an air tight container.

Click here to see more delicious German dessert recipes!

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