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The Mystery of Cooking with Vanilla POWDER

The Mystery of Cooking with Vanilla POWDER

I often choose to use vanilla powder in my baking, such as in my Amazing Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies (an excellent choice for Christmas parties, holiday baking, Christmas dinner, cooking in genera, letc.), and as a result am asked what the heck vanilla powder is. This is a very good question. Heck, I really did not know all that much about vanilla in general until many years back when I was researching ways and means to improve my baking flavors with less junk, and at the same time I was purchasing higher quality ingredients. I share many references below to save you time in hunting for all types of vanillas.

Below is a photo of a vanilla plant before the bean is harvested and dried. I took this picture while I was with my family on an amazing trip in French Polynesia where there is an abundance of Tahitian vanilla growing and more than plenty available. This is just one of the ways the families support themselves.

Vanilla Plant

Vanilla powder basically adds more flavor to your baked goods or drinks than most ordinary vanilla extracts.  Your guests will certainly appreciate this aspect of your holiday treats, or anyone that you choose to gift this incredible powder to. The powder is made by grinding fresh vanilla beans at low temperatures and as a result produces a very fine powder with incredible flavor. I also LOVE vanilla paste – Google that word as you may like to learn about that too… 🙂 Hope this helps.

In any recipe of mine where I list vanilla powder as an ingredient, you may substitute vanilla extract. If you can use alcohol-free that is fine. I suggest you add a 1/4 teaspoon more liquid over the recommended powder. I do love the flavor and essence of a good quality extract, no matter what type.

Purchasing products online is terribly easy these days, and sometimes a bit too easy. Please be sure and do your homework, or as I say, “put on your spyglass”, and read between the fine lines. The vanilla powders often have been mixed with powdered sugar or other unnecessary crap, especially for drinks. We do not need to add sweeteners to what nature has supplied us with already. We have only deadened our taste buds resulting in an unfortunate NEED for stronger “sweet”.

Good vanilla beans lend plenty of flavor. If you are buying vanilla for baking, make sure you get pure vanilla powder or paste. Some of these powders are also synthetic extracts (terrible, I know!), so read, read, read when you purchase.

If you have any questions, please email me. I’d love to help you further.

Vanilla Beans: (There are many more.)

  1.… Learn about the types of beans and flavors of each.

3 Vanilla Powders I like: (There are many more.)

  3.… has some corn starch in it.

2 Vanilla Extracts I use: (There are many more.)


From my kitchen to yours,

Tina Turbin

If you have any questions or suggestions just email me at Tina (at)

About Tina Turbin

I'm a cookbook-collecting, recipe-developing paleo junkie, and I live in the kitchen. I'm hooked on farmers' markets, traveling, eating healthy, and hiking until my legs scream at me. There's nothing better than hanging out with family and good friends. I have fun and sleeping is just plain boring. Read more About Tina Turbin.

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