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25+ Vanilla Dessert Recipes for Your Sweet Tooth

Indulge in the classic flavor of vanilla with this curated collection of vanilla dessert recipes. From creamy custards to fluffy cakes, these easy-to-follow recipes will guide you through creating heavenly vanilla-infused treats that are perfect for any occasion.

Vanilla dessert recipes that aren't boring

Being described as a vanilla person is not usually a complement. In fact, it implies you’re boring. I’m not really sure why vanilla has obtained this bad rap, but I respectfully disagree!

Vanilla has long been a staple in the world of desserts—usually as the less exciting supporting actor to superstars like chocolate or fruit. It works well with those stars and makes them look (or rather, taste) better.

Today I’m going to show you just how vanilla can be used as the ‘leading’ flavor in some amazingly delicious desserts!

How to add vanilla flavor to desserts

Before I get to my awesome list of vanilla dessert recipes, here are some ways you can get a vanilla flavor in your recipes:

  • Pure vanilla extract, the OG of vanilla flavoring, is the most common way to add vanilla flavor. Make sure your extract says ‘pure’ for a rich vanilla recipe. It may be more expensive, but it is worth every penny.
  • Real vanilla beans will add an extra touch of luxury to your vanilla desserts. Split and scrape the seeds into your recipes for a more intense flavor than extract and the visual appeal of those little specks of vanilla goodness!
  • Vanilla paste combines the best of both worlds. It contains vanilla seeds suspended in an extract, offering both ‘little specks’ visual appeal and rich flavor.
  • Vanilla sugar will add a subtle sweet vanilla flavor to your recipes. You can make it at home by storing vanilla beans in your sugar jar. However, if you are looking for vanilla to be the star, vanilla sugar alone is probably not your best bet.

The list above includes the most common ways to add vanilla flavor to recipes. However, if you think outside the box (or maybe inside the box??), you can add vanilla flavor by making a semi-homemade recipe using a store bought vanilla ingredient.

Vanilla pudding, ice cream, creamer, yogurt, milk, syrup (the ones you add to coffee), protein mix, Nilla Wafers, and Golden Oreos can be used in recipes. Each one has vanilla as the superstar flavor.

When you think about it, why would all of these vanilla products exist if it wasn’t an extraordinary flavor that most people love?

So, the next time you reach for vanilla, remember that you’re not settling for boring; you’re enjoying a classic that has stood the test of time. It is ready to have the starring role in your desserts!

Scroll down for my favorite vanilla dessert recipes, then let me know what you think in the comments.

Vanilla Dessert Recipes

Looking for some delicious sweets? Check out this list of vanilla dessert recipes that use this classic flavor as the star of the show. Warning: there is nothing boring about this list!

Which of these vanilla dessert recipes is your favorite? Let me know in the comments and then check out these other delicious dessert posts:

Indya | The Small Adventurer

Sunday 14th of January 2024

My partner is a HUGE vanilla lover - love that he's so easy to please haha - so this is a great list to save for later! He's dying for me to make him something, but I'm always SO nervous making things for other people. When it comes to vanilla though, I use imitation because there's no alcohol.

I know people say it's not the same, but there's been issues with alcohol in my family in the past and a lot of bakers don't really think about something small like that, but where I live "real" vanilla is actually locked up because people steal it and drink it all just for the alcohol; it's frightening. I don't notice the difference in taste so I'm happy with what I've got! 😊