Vanilla Sugar Recipe

Many ingredients in Arefi’s various recipes are homemade, sometimes even the sugar, which in this case contains natural vanilla beans for added flavor.

From "Sweeter Off the Vine"
June 2016

Yield: Yields 4 cups (800g)

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Using natural and simple ingredients, Yossy Arefi presents a collection of easy, heirloom-quality recipes for pies, tarts, ice creams, and other treats in her book Sweeter Off the Vine. She cherishes the fruit of every season and celebrates what’s fresh and vibrant any time of year, enhancing fruit’s enticing sweetness with bold flavors like rose and orange flower water inspired by her Iranian heritage. With snacks for all seasons, sweets to suit every taste, and visually-stunning photography in Arefi’s signature, earthy style, Sweeter Off the Vine is sure to delight throughout the whole year.

This simple vanilla sugar can be substituted for granulated sugar in any recipe that might benefit from a bit of additional vanilla flavor. As you use the vanilla-infused sugar, top off the jar with fresh sugar and the pods of spent vanilla beans. Spent vanilla beans are vanilla beans that have been used one time (to make ice cream, for example) but that still have a lot of vanilla flavor and are perfect for this use.


• 4 cups (800g) sugar
• 2 vanilla beans
• Two 1-pint (480ml) jars or one 1-quart (1L) jar


1. Use the tip of a knife to slice each vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.

2. Combine the vanilla seeds and sugar in a bowl and use your fingertips to work the vanilla seeds evenly into the sugar.

3. Divide the scented sugar into the jars, along with the vanilla bean pods. Use the sugar immediately or store in a cool, dark place until ready to use.

Find more recipes by Yossy Arefi:

Cornmeal and Ricotta Cake with Cranberries Recipe
The Simplest Strawberry Tart Recipe
All-Butter Pie Crust Recipe

Reprinted with permission from Sweeter Off the Vine, by Yossy Arefi, copyright © 2016, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2016 by Yossy Arefi