Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (2024)

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Vanilla bean paste is a thick, almost jelly-like paste that is full of the tiny vanilla flecks called vanilla caviar used in cakes, icings, ice cream and other desserts that call for an intense vanilla flavor.

Vanilla paste is made with whole beans and can be used in place of pure vanilla extract.

Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (1)

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Jump to:
  • What is Vanilla Bean paste?
  • Where do you buy vanilla beans in bulk?
  • What do you need to make homemade vanilla bean paste?
  • How to make homemade vanilla bean paste
  • 📖 Recipe
  • 👩🏻‍🍳 Sarah Mock
  • Comments

What is Vanilla Bean paste?

Vanilla bean paste is expensive to purchase because of the number of vanilla beans it takes to make the paste. A little goes a long way in a recipe but the price point is often a barrier to keeping vanilla paste on your pantry shelf.

I am going to show you how I make vanilla bean paste for a fraction of the cost of store-bought vanilla bean paste while maintaining that intense vanilla bean flavor that is so desirable.

Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (2)

Vanilla extract is the vanilla-infused brown liquid made with vodka, rum or other 80 proof alcohol. If you are making your own vanilla extract it can take as little as 8 weeks or for a more true, concentrated flavor 6 months. If you have a sous vide circulator you can make vanilla extract faster with the science of sous vide vanilla extract.

But true vanilla lovers know the value of vanilla paste. Vanilla paste is made from not only the split vanilla bean but the tiny flecks of vanilla called vanilla caviar as well as the pod of the vanilla bean. Vanilla paste is thicker, has a more intense, concentrated vanilla flavor than vanilla extract, and is full of the vanilla bean flecks that are indicative of full profile vanilla desserts.

Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (3)

Substitute for vanilla bean paste

If you are out of vanilla bean paste you can use in place of vanilla extract, in equal parts. 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste equals 1 teaspoon extract. But know that vanilla bean past has a more complex flavor profile than vanilla extract.

Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (4)

Where do you buy vanilla beans in bulk?

Vanilla beans are very pricey when you purchase them in the grocery store. Be prepared to pay $10-$20 PER BEAN when you are looking to purchase them at the grocery store. Get a few extra beans and make vanilla bean powder. Just like Starbucks!

But with so many things, there is power of pooling resources and buying in bulk. I found a Facebook group that is a co-op that and the organizer for buying responsibly sourced vanilla beans. The group is Vanilla Bean Co-Op. There are questions to answer before you are allowed into the group.

Read through all the files, all the instructions and learn before you put in an order. You are able to purchase fresh vanilla beans by the ounce, not by the each. Keep in mind different beans from different regions of the world will have different flavor notes, length, width and moisture content. The admins of the group will tell you all about each bean before you purchase them.

To make my recipe of vanilla bean paste you are going to need 4 ounces of vanilla beans. But order as many as you want. This recipe can easily be scaled up.

Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (5)

What do you need to make homemade vanilla bean paste?

  • Vanilla beans
  • Rum - at least 80 proof
  • Sugar - white granular sugar
  • Water -
  • Corn Syrup - this helps prevent crystallization
  • Lemon juice - fresh
  • Xanthan gum -
Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (6)

How to make homemade vanilla bean paste

  1. Start making vanilla bean paste by infusing the rum with split beans. Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (7)
  2. Split each vanilla bean in half, exposing the vanilla caviar in the middle. Place the rum and vanilla beans together in a large, freezer zip-top bag. Force the air out, close the bag and allow to sit at least seven days. I have done 30 days.... because I forgot about it.
    Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (8)
  3. Pour the liquid off the vanilla beans and into a heavy saucepan or small pot.
    Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (9)
  4. Using a sharp knife, scrape the insides of the vanilla beans into the pan, then add empty pods into the pot, too (they contain a natural thickening agent!)
  5. Add the sugar, water, corn syrup, and lemon juice. Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (10)
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly with a silicone or rubber spatula.
  7. Boil 5 minutes, string constantly. It will be clumpy, don't panic.
  8. Carefully remove the split vanilla pods from the pan and save to make vanilla extract or vanilla sugar. Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (11)
  9. Carefully add the vanilla bean liquid into a blender or food processor, scraping down the sides of the pan. Be sure there is ample space for blending.
  10. Turn the blender on its lowest speed with the lid on.
  11. Slowly increase the speed until the paste mixture forms waves or a vortex in the blender.
  12. Carefully remove the lid while the machine is running, or take out the top stopper of the blender lid. Tap/dust the xanthan gum over the swirling mixture.
  13. Add the xanthan gum in ¼ tsp. increments, dusting the xanthan gum over the surface of the moving liquid. Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (12)
  14. Don't add the whole ¼ tsp. at a time or it will clump. Slowly trickle or tap the spoon to make it snow over the mixture as it swirls.
  15. Turn the blender off periodically and check the consistency. If the caviar rises to the surface, you need more xanthan gum.
  16. Once it stops floating to the top, you don't need to add any more. I used ¾ tsp.
  17. Using a jar funnel, pour your vanilla paste into a quart-sized jar. Shake occasionally as it cools to suspend the caviar in the paste.

What do you do with the leftover vanilla beans?

Once you are done making vanilla bean past do not toss the leftover vanilla beans. There is still life and flavor in the beans. Cover them with vodka and let them sit for 2-6 months in a cool dark place. You will make vanilla extract! Or you can use them to to make vanilla powder sugarHomemade Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (13)

What type of rum is best for vanilla bean paste?

As long as you are using rum that is at least 80 proof you will have vanilla bean paste making success. Spiced rum, white or silver rum, gold rum, or even Caribbean rum will work.Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (14)

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📖 Recipe

Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (15)

Vanilla Bean Paste

Sarah Mock

Vanilla bean pasteis a thick, almost jelly-like paste that is full of the tinyvanilla fleckscalledvanilla caviarused in cakes, icings, ice cream and other desserts that call for anintense vanilla flavor.

4.77 from 17 votes

Note From Sarah

There is more to a recipe than just the recipe card. Frequently Asked Questions within the blog post that you may find helpful. Simply scroll back up to read them!

Prep time for the recipePrep Time 7 days d

Cook time for the recipeCook Time 5 minutes mins

Cool TimeAdditional Time 15 minutes mins

total time to prep and cook the recipe.Total Time 7 days d 20 minutes mins

Course Food Tips

Cuisine French

Makes 16 ounces

Per Serving 21 kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. Vanilla beans
  • 7 oz. rum (divided)
  • 10 oz. sugar
  • 8 oz. water
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons corn syrup (to prevent crystallization)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime or lemon
  • ¾ teaspoons xanthan gum

Instructions

  • Start making vanilla bean paste by infusing the rum with split vanilla beans.

    4 oz. Vanilla beans, 7 oz. rum

  • Split each vanilla bean in half, exposing the vanilla caviar in the middle. Place the rum and vanilla beans together in a large, freezer zip-top bag. Force the air out, close the bag and allow to sit at least seven days. I have done 30 days.... because I forgot about it.

  • Pour the liquid off the vanilla beans and into a heavy saucepan or small pot. Using a sharp knife, scrape the insides of the vanilla beans into the pan, then add empty pods into the pot, too (they contain a natural thickening agent!)

  • Add the sugar, water, corn syrup, and lemon juice.

    10 oz. sugar, 8 oz. water, 1 ½ Tablespoons corn syrup, 1 Tablespoon fresh lime or lemon

  • Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly with a silicone or rubber spatula.

  • Boil 5 minutes, string constantly. It will be clumpy, don't panic.

  • Carefully remove the split vanilla pods from the pan and save to make vanilla extract or vanilla sugar.

  • Carefully add the vanilla bean liquid into a blender. Be sure there is ample space for blending.

  • Turn the blender on its lowest speed with the lid on.

  • Slowly increase the speed until the paste mixture forms waves or a vortex in the blender.

  • Carfully remove the lid while the machine is running, or take out the top stopper of the blender lid. Tap/dust the xanthan gum over the swirling mixture.

    ¾ teaspoons xanthan gum

  • Add the xanthan gum in ¼ tsp. increments, dusting the xanthan gum over the surface of the moving liquid.

  • Don't add the whole ¼ tsp. at a time or it will clump. Slowly trickle or tap the spoon to make it snow over the mixture as it swirls.

  • Turn the blender off periodically and check the consistency. If the caviar rises to the surface, you need more xanthan gum.

  • Once it stops floating to the top, you don't need to add any more. I used ¾ tsp.

  • Using a jar funnel, pour your vanilla paste into a quart-sized jar. Shake occasionally as it cools to suspend the caviar in the paste.

Notes

What do you do with the leftover vanilla beans?

Once you are done making vanilla bean past do not toss the leftover vanilla beans. There is still life and flavor in the beans. Cover them with vodka and let them sit for 2-6 months in a cool dark place. You will make vanilla extract!

What type of rum is best for vanilla bean paste?

As long as you are using rum that is at least 80 proof you will have vanilla bean paste making success. Spiced rum, white or silver rum, gold rum, or even Caribbean rum will work.

Nutrition

Serving: 1teaspoon | Calories: 21kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Sugar: 3g

Nutrition Disclosure

Nutritional facts are estimates and are provided as a courtesy to the reader. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double check against our estimates. Nutritional values are calculated via a third party. Changing ingredients, amounts or cooking technique will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.

Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (16)

👩🏻‍🍳 Sarah Mock

CEO/Owner/Founder/Culinary Blogger

Sarah Mock is a classically trained Chef and graduate of Johnson & Wales University. A culinary blogger for 14 years Sarah helps the home cook prepare her recipes with professional results.

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    About Sarah Mock

    Sarah Mock is a classically trained Chef and graduate of Johnson & Wales University. A culinary blogger for 14 years Sarah helps the home cook prepare her recipes with professional results.

    Reader Interactions

    Comments

      Leave a Reply

    1. Tricia

      I haven’t tried this yet but I bet your kitchen smelled heavenly making this!

      Reply

    2. Amber

      Why is there a need for 80 proof? I accidentally purchased 40 and cannot return do I need to make sure it’s 80?

      Reply

    3. Kristen Teti

      Hello - does this need to be refrigerated after making? Thank you.

      Reply

    4. Jen

      Can you can it?

      Reply

      • Sarah Mock

        I would not.

        Reply

    5. Walt Crompton

      Diane, buy some xanthan gum - you won't regret it. I discovered its utility just a year ago, and it is a great item to have in the kitchen as a thickener that is much less fussy than the alternatives, and can be added cold or hot, acid or base. Typically, you need a surprisingly tiny amount.

      Reply

    6. Erma

      Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (21)
      Hello! I make mine a little differently then you do.
      I do the vanilla extract first.
      Remember to get B rated beans, they are dryer and more flavorful.
      Also, the beans will do 2 rounds of extract before they are just not good enough for extract anymore.
      Now those beans are nice and soft, so they are ready to use in Vanilla Paste.
      Same great flavor, just no waste. Use the whole bean for the paste.
      Also Raw Honey is the way to go with this item, as raw honey NEVER goes bad, so the paste will last forever.
      I mean they found honey in the tombs in Egypt and it was still good!!!
      Also look up Agave Nectar, it is worse for you then sugar.
      Just my thoughts. Hope this helps. This is the process I use for extract then paste. I always have plenty on hand.
      I have never used the actual sugar method, not do I use xantham gum.
      Honey is naturally thick, the pods have a thickener in them, so it comes out great!
      Also honey preserves it self very well, so no need to use a stabilizer or preservative!

      TY for the great recipe, I am saving it along with mine and I will try it to compare them! Have a great day!

      Reply

    7. Tonja F.

      Homemade Vanilla Bean Paste Recipe (22)
      I made your vanilla bean paste recipe today. It turned out just a bit thinner than I had hoped for. It does have a gel like consistency but not quite like jelly. Overall, I am pleased with how it turned out, so thank you very much for posting a great recipe. I was wondering if this vanilla bean paste needs to be refrigerated? Will it mold if left unrefrigerated in the pantry? Thanks again, and I look forward to your reply.

      Reply

    8. Diane Doshier

      What can be used in place of xantham gum? I don't want to buy it for so little needed.

      Reply

      • Sarah Mock

        Diane,
        I wish there was a substitute, but I haven't found one that works the same. If I find an alternative I will be sure to let you know.
        Sarah

        Reply

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