Vanilla paste versus vanilla extract

Joined Jun 11, 2013
A number of years ago I got turned on to vanilla paste as a more flavorful substitute for vanilla extract. It also works well as a substitute for vanilla beans. I live in a remote area and vanilla beans are . . . well, just not around.

I probably use more vanilla paste making ice cream than anything else. While making ice cream the other day I started wondering if there were any situations where I should NOT substitute vanilla paste for vanilla extract. This may be more baking related, but since I was making ice cream I decided to place my question here.

I would appreciate any insight from chefs and cooks that understand the use of vanilla extract, vanilla paste, vanilla beans, etc. and what the limitations and guidelines are for substitutions.



Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Vanilla extract is just a "affordable" bean. Of course you can't use whole bean for cakes so you use extract or paste. But between extract and paste I would go for paste.
Joined Feb 4, 2005
I'm no expert but i begun using vanilla paste since pure extract prices gone crazy. I have also bought beans off Amazon to make my own extracts, $25 of beans and $10 vodka makes over $100 of extract. The sugars i buy are very expensive Whey Low is the brand and have several Foodsaver containers hold them with vanilla beans at bottom flavoring the sugar. Great part is just keep adding sugar when it gets low and week later ready to go again. I read when extract is gone just dry out pods and grind into vanilla powd, guess whole bean is useable no waste
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Joined Feb 18, 2007
I buy a vanilla paste from Sapna Foods in Atlanta; it's basically pulverized whole beans and I add extract to make it liquid. It's not cheap by any means, but a little goes a long way and one 16 oz jar lasts about 10 months in our bakery (we also use extract. Before prices skyrocketed, we used double fold. Now we use single fold and add a few beans to the gallon jug. And, a gallon jug of single fold goes for about $225. The double fold was close to $400/gallon, which is just too much, even for me who is more than willing to pay for good ingredients.)
Joined Sep 5, 2020
I have always used extract. It looks like I am missing out on something. Off to the shops I go, well, Amazon probably.
Joined Jun 11, 2013
I have always used extract. It looks like I am missing out on something. Off to the shops I go, well, Amazon probably.
I learned about vanilla paste in a class. The chef instructor introduced it as an ingredient and suggested we all taste it and passed a jar around and everyone grabbed a spoon. We were definitely skeptical. For anyone (like me) who has tasted vanilla extract, it took some persuading. I was hooked after that.
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