Vanilla sugar (German: Vanillezucker, Polish: Cukier waniliowy, Hungarian: Vaníliás cukor, Swedish: "Vaniljsocker", Macedonian: "Ванилин шеќер") is a commonly used ingredient of Dutch, German, Polish, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Austrian, Norwegian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, Slovenian, Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian, Turkish and other European desserts.
Vanilla sugar is made of sugar and vanilla beans or sugar mixed with vanilla extract.
Pre-packaged vanilla sugar can be costly and difficult to obtain outside Europe but can be made at home. Sometimes it can be replaced with vanilla extract, where one teaspoon equals one package. However, when it is needed as a topping, vanilla extract is unsuitable.
Vanilla sugar can be prepared at home by combining approximately 2 cups of white sugar with the scraped seeds of one vanilla bean. Alternatively, you can simply add 1 to 2 whole vanilla beans to an airtight jar containing 1 to 2 cups of white sugar; let the mixture age for approximately 2 weeks then use 2 tablespoons in place of one packet of vanilla sugar; continue to replace sugar as it is used and the beans will last indefinitely.
Cheaper vanilla sugar is also available, made only from sugar and vanillin.