From Beans to Bliss: Make Your Own Vanilla Paste

Want to take your baking from good to magical? The secret might be in vanilla paste! Unlike extract, paste is a thick, rich blend of the entire vanilla bean, including the gorgeous flecks we associate with French vanilla ice cream. It's a baker's best friend as it offers the deep vanilla flavor without the hassle of having to scrape out the inside of the pods. 

Five Reasons to Make Vanilla Paste:

💰 Exceptional Value: Store-bought vanilla paste costs about $5 per ounce, but you can make it at home for 1/3 of the price!

🙌 Simple to Make: Grind everything up in your blender! No cooking involved.

👩‍🍳 Rich Flavor: Since you use the whole vanilla pod, paste has a more complex vanilla flavor. The dark color and rich vanilla caviar adds fun texture to your creations. Substitute vanilla paste 1:1 in any recipe that calls for extract. 

⏲️ No Wait: Unlike vanilla extract that must sit for months, vanilla paste can be used immediately.

🌍 Eco-Friendly: By choosing vanilla splits or cuts to make paste, you're reducing food waste and supporting responsible sourcing.

Vanilla Paste Tutorial

Makes approximately one pint of vanilla paste.

Tip: You will need a high-powered blender to create the best texture. 


  • 47-gram pack of vanilla splits or cuts
  • 3 ounces (1/3 cup) water
  • 7 ounces (1 cup) sugar
  • 6 ounces (3/4 cup) 80-proof alcohol
  • 1 ounce (2 Tbsp) light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum or guar gum

Step 1: Add all ingredients except for xanthan gum to your blender and mix on high for 2-3 minutes. The mixture will turn dark in color; it should have the texture of fine sand. Do not be surprised if the mixture gets warm in the blender; this is normal.

Step 2: Turn blender to low and add xanthan gum. Blend for an additional 30-seconds to incorporate. 

Step 3: Transfer to an airtight jar. It will thicken as it sits! Store at room temperature indefinitely. You can use immediately, but the flavor will intensify after a month. 

Ingredient Discussion Notes:

  • Yes, sugar is necessary for paste! If you are looking for a sugar-free option, make vanilla extract. :)

  • To make alcohol-free, substitute food-grade vegetable glycerin. 

  • No, you don't have to use corn syrup! But corn syrup prevents sugar crystallization in your vanilla paste. As a substitute, you can make homemade invert sugar with a candy thermometer and some citric acid. 

  • We've added mini packs of xanthan gum to the shop! It acts as an emulsifier and will keep your vanilla caviar suspended in the paste. If you omit this ingredient, simply mix up your paste each time you use it. 

What are Vanilla Splits and Cuts?

  • Vanilla splits and cuts are pods of vanilla that have split on the vine. Since they are no longer whole, they cannot be sold as gourmet beans.

  • Due to their lack of moisture, they have high levels of vanillin. This is the flavor compound responsible for that vanilla taste.

  • Usually splits go straight to commercial buyers for use in extract and beverages.

  • Gneiss Spice is excited to offer splits direct to the home consumer, giving you a more affordable and sustainable way to make extract.

Learn best by video? Watch our TikTok Tutorial!

10 Ways to use Vanilla Paste

Enhance your morning coffee or tea.
Mix into yogurt or oatmeal for a gourmet breakfast.
Upgrade homemade ice creams and sorbets.
Bake into cookies, cakes, and pastries for added depth of flavor.
Stir into frosting or cream fillings for layered cakes.
Use in marinades or glazes for sweet and savory dishes.
Add to smoothies and milkshakes.
Flavor homemade syrups for cocktails or sodas.
Enrich bread puddings and custards.
Boost the taste of homemade jams and preserves.