31 Vanilla Recipes That Are Anything But Boring
Perhaps the most humble of all flavorings, vanilla imparts a sweet, yet earthy, richness to just about any food, but is especially indulgent in quick breads, cakes, ice cream, custards, and other homemade desserts. From Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies to Ginger-Vanilla Milk Punch, these recipes all showcase the incredible flavor of pure vanilla. Whether you reach for pure vanilla extract (or make your own), or prefer vanilla paste or fresh pods, this much-loved flavor is sure to shine.
Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée
Steeping a vanilla bean in the milk used to make the custard, and scraping seeds from that bean into the milk, gives this easy brûlée a wonderfully intense vanilla flavor. If you don't have a blow torch, check out our simple stovetop sugar topping.
Vanilla Custard Crumble with Mixed Berries
While the custard is made with a vanilla bean, the crumble topping is a simple mixture of crushed vanilla wafers, butter, egg white and vanilla extract. It's easy to make up both in advance and then add berries or any seasonal fruit.
Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake
Made with cake flour and a dozen egg whites, this moist cake is fragrant with vanilla. That's because the sugar for the cake is infused with the seeds of a whole vanilla bean before being added to the batter.
Vanilla Cream Sauce
Drizzle this easy cream sauce over fresh berries, bread pudding, or any dessert that needs a special finishing touch. It's a slam-dunk over chocolate ice cream, and the fact that it's made with vanilla extract keeps things simple.
Bottomless Vanilla Extract
Homemade extract is something every baker should have. It's more flavorful and generally less expensive than store-bought versions. Cooking speeds up the infusion, but you can omit the process by letting the mixture stand an extra week. Then use it in frostings and baked goods.
This ice will remind you of making ice cream out of snow. While many commercial vanilla desserts are too cloying to let the vanilla flavor shine through, this three-ingredient recipe will show you that vanilla is anything but plain. You can use an equal amount of vanilla paste for the extract; it will create an ice flecked with vanilla seeds.
Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies
Vanilla Cupcakes with Creamy Vanilla Buttercream
Cupcakes of every imaginable flavor are all the rage these days, but it's hard to beat the rich simplicity of vanilla.
Blackberry-Vanilla Vodka Lemonade
Orange and Vanilla Yogurt Pops
These creamy vanilla-orange juice pops are reminiscent of the ones from childhood. Create new memories with your family with our version of Orange and Vanilla Yogurt Pops.
Vanilla Ice Cream
Vanilla Bean Shortbread
Vanilla Bean-Espresso Crème Brûlée
Espresso powder and fresh vanilla bean lend this elegant dessert its rich, deep flavor. The ramekins need at least 8 hours to chill, so if you're entertaining, be sure to make these the day before the event.
Apple Galette with Vanilla Yogurt Drizzle
We save on saturated fat and make the crust more tender by swapping in low-fat yogurt for some of the butter (use standard yogurt, not Greek-style). Make dough ahead and refrigerate or freeze (just remember to thaw completely before rolling). You can sub the scraped seeds from one vanilla bean pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for the vanilla bean paste.
Basic Vanilla Macarons
Snowy White Vanilla Glaze
A simple Snowy White Vanilla Glaze graces the top of our Red Velvet Marble Bundt Cake.
Classic Vanilla Pudding
Vanilla Pots de Crème with Dark Chocolate and Roasted Almonds
Although any good dark chocolate will work in this recipe, Los Angeles chef and restaurant owner Suzanne Goin especially likes Caro chocolate, from Spain. "The flavor is intense--deep and earthy, with notes of cinnamon, clove, and vanilla, which match well with the vanilla in the custard and the almonds on top."
Vanilla and White Chocolate Cocoa
This Vanilla and White Chocolate Hot Chocolate takes a slight veer from traditional hot chocolate by using a base of premium white chocolate and Spice Islands Pure Vanilla Extract.
Ginger-Vanilla Milk Punch
Ginger-Vanilla Milk Punch wakes up your holiday spirit. This crisp winter sipper is full of citrus and zippy ginger.
Make your own fluffy, vanilla, sugary goodness this holiday season. These make a great gift, along with homemade hot chocolate mix. Cut the marshmallows into bigger squares for s'mores during the warmer months. Gelatin can be found on the baking aisle of your local grocery store.
Double-Vanilla Meringue Cookies
Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Frosting
Vanilla-Fig Champagne Sparkler
Welcome the New Year the right way with a Vanilla-Fig Champagne Sparkler. Cheers!
Vanilla Buttermilk Pound Cakes
Tart buttermilk and sweet vanilla mingle flawlessly in this pound cake. You can also prepare these cakes in two (8 x 4–inch) loaf pans. Bake at 350° for one hour or until done.
Vanilla Frozen Yogurt With a Cherry Swirl
Creamy, luscious, perfectly sweet with a touch of tart, this simple frozen yogurt was a clear staff favorite. A combination of half-and-half, plain whole milk yogurt, and a little corn syrup gives the frozen yogurt its super-smooth, almost velvety mouth feel. If you can’t find vanilla bean paste, substitute the scraped seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. We love the swirled effect of the jammy cherry mixture with the creamy frozen yogurt. Space out the dollops of cherry mixture over the yogurt in the loaf pan for defined rosy streaks in every bite.
The secrets to this celestial buttercream, writes Vancouver baker Rosie Daykin in her first book, Butter Baked Goods (Random House, 2013), are "making sure your butter is not too cold, and then whipping it like crazy!" When properly whipped, buttercream is supremely fluffy--almost like whipped cream--and surprisingly un-greasy. "When it's right, it's a breeze to use," adds Daykin. "It's like pushing air around." Also, because her version has a lot less sugar than most buttercream frostings, it won't set your teeth on edge.
Homemade Strawberry Shortcake
These sweet and juicy shortcakes are the perfect strawberry dessert to serve at your next springtime event. Sanding sugar on top of the homemade buttermilk biscuits add a festive touch, and pure vanilla makes the whipped cream extra rich. Scrape the seeds from a vanilla bean pod, or use 1 teaspoon pure (not imitation) vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste.