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I’m Lovin’ It: Vanilla Bean Paste


Vanilla Bean Paste- TidyMom

Vanilla, the most popular flavor in the world, is the one ingredient, aside from sugar and flour, that you will find in many sweet recipes, from cookies to frosting to ice cream and cakes.

A few years ago, Bridget turned me on to Vanilla Bean Paste and my baking life has never been the same since!

What is Vanilla Bean Paste?

Unlike Vanilla extract, where a vanilla bean is usually infused with alcohol, Vanilla Bean Paste is made by infusing vanilla beans into a thick, sweet syrup made of sugar and water, and is packed full of vanilla bean seeds. Since the vanilla beans are actually scraped into the paste, you get the beautiful little vanilla bean flecks in whatever you’re baking along with the warm seductive vanilla flavor! As a result, you get a much fuller, richer and more intense hit of vanilla.

Vanilla Fun Fact: Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing vanilla to the United States in the late 1700s. While serving as Ambassador to King Louis XVI of France, he became familiar with vanilla beans, and brought 200 vanilla beans back with him when he returned to the United States.

Where to buy and when to use it

Any time I really want the vanilla to shine in a recipe, I go for the Vanilla Bean Paste.  I usually pick it up at Williams-Sonoma, but you can find it online as well. For $11, it’s way cheaper and easier than buying and scraping vanilla beans. You can add it to to coffee, whipped cream, butter cookies, ice cream, marshmallows, sconesbuttercream…….really any recipe that calls for vanilla, and  can be used in place of vanilla extract 1:1. 

I usually save my vanilla bean paste for recipes where you will see the flecks of vanilla, like frosting, butter cookies, pound cake or Italian ice.  But for recipes like brownies or lemon cupcakes where you wouldn’t see the flecks, I use homemade vanilla extract (will share how to make soon).

Do you bake with Vanilla Bean Paste?

 Take a peek at what else I have in my pantry on pinterest.

TidyMom I'm Lovin' ItI’m Lovin’…….Vanilla Bean Paste

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Cheryl Sousan

A self-proclaimed neat freak, Cheryl chronicles her journey through homemaking on her blog, TidyMom.net, where she shares recipes, tutorials, crafting and her ever-growing love for photography. This St. Louis mom juggles her passion for life, her daughters and her tiger-loving husband, all while her obsession with tidiness cleans up the trail blazed behind her. Google+

48 Responses to “I’m Lovin’ It: Vanilla Bean Paste”

  1. Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things} posted on April 5, 2012 at 9:59 am (#)

    Ooh, I love vanilla bean paste!
    Thank you so much for hosting the party! :)
    Happy Easter!
    Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}

  2. Eileen posted on April 5, 2012 at 10:10 am (#)

    Never tried the paste but love Madagascar Vanilla extract to the moon!

  3. Darlene Cox posted on April 5, 2012 at 10:12 am (#)

    I only use McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract! This has the most pure vanilla flavor – I trust their products they have been the leading company in almost all of my baking and cooking flavors!!!

  4. Sue @ Cakeballs, cookies and more posted on April 5, 2012 at 10:37 am (#)

    I love vanilla bean paste! I have a blog post ready to share about it too:) I think that for the cost is is a great way to fancy things up. Yummy!

  5. Brenda @ SweetSimpleStuff posted on April 5, 2012 at 11:08 am (#)

    I too, am a vanilla bean paste lover! The inventor of the paste deserves a major award (in my opinion). Thank you for hosting!

  6. keri @ shaken together posted on April 5, 2012 at 11:29 am (#)

    I have never heard of vanilla bean paste … I must live under a baking rock!! I am super excited to try it out – thanks for sharing it!!

  7. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar posted on April 5, 2012 at 11:31 am (#)

    These needs to appear in my pantry. Love it!

  8. Sarah @ Alderberry Hill posted on April 5, 2012 at 12:16 pm (#)

    Thanks for hosting…Happy Easter!

  9. Debbie Hein posted on April 5, 2012 at 12:29 pm (#)

    I just this very minute recieved my first bottle of vanilla bean paste. I ordered it from Amazon and I can’t wait to try it. I have read so many great blogs about using it, I had to give it a try.
    Where does everyone buy theirs?

  10. NanaBread (Jeanne) posted on April 5, 2012 at 3:02 pm (#)

    Love it? More like obsessed with it. I’m on my 5th or 6th bottle now. It is my new BFF for any recipe where you want the vanilla flavor to shine through. The creme brulee I made on my blog (#44 above) is a great example. I love Niellsen Massey Vanilla Bean Paste!

  11. Jamie | My Baking Addiction posted on April 5, 2012 at 3:37 pm (#)

    I adore Vanilla Bean paste, but I usually order online. I’ll definitely have check out this brand in WS though!

  12. Mai Nguyen posted on April 5, 2012 at 5:50 pm (#)

    i recently purchased some vanilla bean paste and i love it!!

  13. ter@waaoms posted on April 5, 2012 at 5:55 pm (#)

    I never even heard of vanilla bean paste. Interesting!

  14. susan posted on April 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm (#)

    vanilla bean paste is so yummy! i love your historiacal tip, Cheryl. Thanks for educating!

  15. Diane {Created by Diane} posted on April 5, 2012 at 7:36 pm (#)

    I love vanilla bean paste!

  16. Ami w/AliLilly posted on April 5, 2012 at 8:08 pm (#)

    I’ve never used the paste before but I would love to try it out. It really seems like it would enhance your food.

  17. LeAnna posted on April 5, 2012 at 8:15 pm (#)

    I LOVE this brand of vanilla bean paste. I make my own vanilla extract, but use this vanilla bean paste in our homemade yogurt, freezer pies and such. If you, or any of your readers happen to be near a Ross (Yes, the “dress for less” clothing store – not sure if they are nationwide, or regional…) I have found this brand of vanilla bean paste (and others) with the specialty food items there for around $5, on many occasions! Usually, I buy 3 or 4 at a time when I find them that cheap!

  18. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust posted on April 5, 2012 at 8:21 pm (#)

    I love vanilla bean paste, but I don’t use it often. It smells so good! Thanks for hosting!

  19. Kristen posted on April 5, 2012 at 8:45 pm (#)

    Vanilla bean paste is one of my absolute favorite ingredients. I use it in everything! Mmmm!

  20. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles posted on April 5, 2012 at 9:15 pm (#)

    That has always intrigued me, but I’ve never tried it. Now that I know both you and Bridget like it, I’ll def have to check it out!

  21. Jenn posted on April 5, 2012 at 10:04 pm (#)

    Thanks so much for hosting Cheryl! I’ve never even heard of vanilla bean paste but it sound interesting! Wishing you a wonderful Easter weekend.
    Jenn :)

  22. taryn@designdininganddiapers.com posted on April 5, 2012 at 10:22 pm (#)

    Thanks so much for hosting! Hope you have a great weekend and Happy Easter!

  23. Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] posted on April 5, 2012 at 10:33 pm (#)

    I love the flavor of vanilla. Thanks for posting about vanilla paste and for the history lesson. Loved it!

  24. Paula posted on April 5, 2012 at 10:37 pm (#)

    I can’t bake without this stuff and buy it in the 32 oz. size! If I don’t use the paste, I buy vanilla beans and scrape the pods right into my batter. Love it and love the look it gives to your baked goods (except as you say darker baked goods) but I use it in them anyway. I’ve also used in white bread and homemade pancakes!

  25. Lucy Lean posted on April 5, 2012 at 11:11 pm (#)

    Love Vanilla Bean Paste – i find the flavor is more pure and love the flecks – much more handy than scraping pods too!

  26. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen posted on April 6, 2012 at 2:16 am (#)

    Love the stuff, such a nice clean flavor.

  27. bridget {bake at 350} posted on April 6, 2012 at 8:10 am (#)

    I LOVE it…and now I can’t live without it!!! I always have a stash in my cabinet! It does make everything look so fancy!

  28. Jeanette posted on April 6, 2012 at 8:56 am (#)

    I just picked up some vanilla bean paste at Home Goods of all places and I love the vanilla bean specks in it.

  29. Rachelle posted on April 6, 2012 at 10:31 am (#)

    I didn’t know you could buy Vanilla Bean Paste. That’s awesome, I’ll have to give it a try! And thank you for hosting!

  30. Back for Seconds posted on April 6, 2012 at 10:40 am (#)

    Mmmm vanilla bean paste :)
    Thanks for the awesome party!! I just started my blog this week and I am thrilled to get to link up here on your beautiful blog! I am a new follower.

  31. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts posted on April 6, 2012 at 12:25 pm (#)

    I have been seeing the paste around the blog world, but have not tried it yet. I need to get my hands on some!

  32. Mackenzie posted on April 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm (#)

    Thanks for sharing! My friend told me that this paste a few years ago and I couldn’t remember where I could find it… now I know! :) I just linked up a Homemade Strawberry Vanilla Bean Freezer Jam that would be great to make with that paste. I actually thought about it as I made it! :) Thanks for sharing!

  33. Tickled Red posted on April 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm (#)

    I have never tried Vanilla Bean paste! You have my wheels a spinning now 😀

  34. Robin posted on April 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm (#)

    Hi! Love your website! I literally just bought the same vanilla bean paste pictured a few days ago. I used it for a vanilla cake and it was awesome! Well worth it. :)

  35. Sue {munchkin munchies} posted on April 7, 2012 at 8:29 pm (#)

    I NEED some vanilla bean paste~NOW!

  36. Brian @ A Thought For Food posted on April 7, 2012 at 11:16 pm (#)

    Fascinating! I did a lot of research on Jefferson when I was working on a short documentary for a museum but never came up with that fact about him introducing vanilla into the US. How interesting!

  37. Maneesha posted on April 10, 2012 at 10:18 am (#)

    After reading your post I had to go and pick some of this up. It is great. Added it to the macroons I made. Turned out wonderful.


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