How to Use a Vanilla Bean

You recently purchased a batch of beautiful Beanilla vanilla beans; they arrive perfectly packaged and safely at your home or business. You unwrap them with giddy anticipation and then you realize… how the heck do I get these things open? The art of cutting open and scraping a vanilla bean is quite simple once you know the steps. By following these simple directions you can quickly and expertly get all of that beautiful vanilla bean caviar out of your beans.

How to Cut Open A Vanilla Bean

Items Needed

  • 1 Vanilla bean
  • 1 Sharp knife
  • 1 Cutting board

Step 1:

Remove the beans from the packaging or vial and place on a plastic or wooden cutting board flat side down and curled tip pointing to the left side of your cutting board.

Vanilla Beans

Step 2:

Find a sharp knife and place the tip of the knife in the center of the bean just below the curled top of the vanilla bean.

How to Cut a Vanilla Bean

Step 3:

Slowly cut into the bean holding the top of the bean down onto the cutting board with your left pointer finger and thumb, trying to only slice through the top of the bean and not puncturing through the bottom. Slice down the center until you reach the end of the bean.

Step 4:

Slightly pull apart the bean then hold the top of the bean down to the board with your left pointer finger and thumb. Turn your knife perpendicular to the bean and run the knife blade side down from the curled top of the bean to the bottom of the bean. Scraping the vanilla bean caviar as you run the knife down the bean.


How to Use A Vanilla Bean

Now that you have successfully scraped your beautifully fragrant vanilla bean, you may be tempted to just throw out the bean pod. Don’t! Place your scraped pod into your sugar jar and be prepared for subtly vanilla scented sugar the next time you open the jar. Use the sugar in any of your baked goods, pastries or simply in your morning cup of joe.

Vanilla Pod for Sugar

Vanilla bean caviar can be successfully incorporate into many desserts with little effort, but if you find that your bean caviar is not incorporating well into your creations here are a few tips. Rub the vanilla bean caviar into the sugar that is required in the recipe, with your fingers or in a mortar and pestle. The coarseness of the sugar will disperse the bean throughout the sugar. You can also make a simple a paste by adding a teaspoon of hot water to the vanilla bean caviar and stirring until a light paste forms. Simply add the vanilla bean sugar or paste when it calls for the sugar or vanilla in your recipe.

We are often asked what is the ratio equivalent of bean to paste or bean to extract, the table below provides the equivalent ratios and conversions for all your baking needs!

Vanilla Bean Conversion Chart

Vanilla Bean Equivalency to:

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Bean Paste

Ground Vanilla Beans

Vanilla Powder

1/4 Whole Vanilla Bean1/4 tbsp1/2 - 3/4 tsp1/2 tbsp1/2 tsp
1/2 Whole Vanilla Bean1/2 tbsp1 tsp - 1 1/2 tsp3/4 tsp1 tsp
1 Whole Vanilla Bean1 tbsp2-3 tsp1 1/2 tsp2 tsp

Now that you know how simple it is to cut, scrape and utilize your vanilla bean in any recipe, the sky is the limit on the beautiful and tasty creations that come from your kitchen. From all of us at Beanilla, Happy Baking!