Homemade Gift Idea: Vanilla Bean Sugar Scrub [Holiday Recipe Exchange]

Kitchen Gifts, Recipe Exchange | 17 comments

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Do you have a favorite vanilla recipe? I hope so, because that is what today’s Holiday Recipe Exchange theme is. While one might typically associate vanilla beans with baking, you can also use vanilla beans for homemade gifting ideas, which is what Jamie and I decided to share today.

My Rosemary Mint Sugar Scrub and All-Natural Moisturizing Kitchen Hand Scrub recipes are pretty popular.

I receive lots of questions wanting to know about variations or other ideas. One such question asked about the feasibility of making a vanilla scented scrub, so I decided to try it out.

vanilla bean sugar scrub

In this recipe for Vanilla Bean Sugar Scrub I first tested out the recipe using actual seeds from inside the beans, but I found that there were beans left all over my hands after washing them. I much preferred the method of using Vanilla Scented Sugar made from leftover vanilla bean pods to make this scrub.

I love to make vanilla scented sugar because it is so tasty and good smelling, plus it’s rather frugal to reuse empty vanilla bean pods for another use. Vanilla Scented Sugar is another great, simple homemade holiday gift to use this holiday season.

I also decided to add a few dried lavender buds because the two scents pair so well together, plus it gives the scrub some extra texture and visual interest. Lavender is so relaxing, and many of us are often stressed out this time of year that I thought it would make for a pleasant gift.

vanilla bean sugar scrub recipe

Join Jamie and me this week in sharing your recipes for your Favorite Vanilla Recipes for a chance to win a great gift basket from Beanilla.

Beanilla has a great selection of beans and other vanilla products. I love to use their beans in many of my recipes, such as: Vanilla Bean Sour Cream Cupcakes, Chocolate Raspberry Vanilla Bean Marshmallows, and Fleur de Sel Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate.

Now, we want to know what your favorite way to use vanilla is, so join in on the fun and link up your recipe for a chance to win!

Go check out Jamie’s delicious Vanilla Sea Salt Recipe. It would be great as a holiday gift, or used to make caramels or hot chocolate. YUM!

Do you have a favorite recipe or homemade gift featuring vanilla?

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Vanilla Bean Sugar Scrub

Print Save Recipe


1 1/2 cups vanilla scented sugar (click here for recipe)
3/4 cup kosher salt
1 cup odorless, colorless oil, such as Fractionated Coconut Oil
1 - 2 tablespoons of dried lavender buds, optional


Make the vanilla sugar ahead of time as instructed in the recipe (see the link for instructions). Combine the sugar and salt in a medium bowl.

Add the oil and stir until moistened. If desired, add the lavender buds and stir to combine. Alternatively, you may add a few drops of an essential oil that pairs well with vanilla for different scent combinations (i.e. vanilla mint, lemon vanilla, etc.).


Adjust the number of vanilla bean pods you use to make the vanilla sugar to vary the strength of the vanilla scent in the scrub.

How To Participate

For a chance to win an Beanilla Gift Basket valued at $150:

  1. Write and post a recipe on your blog featuring VANILLA OR VANILLA BEANS.
  2. Include “Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Beanilla.” in your blog post.
  3. No blog? Just leave your recipe in the comments section.
  4. Add your link to the widget on either GoodLife Eats or My Baking Addiction (we have the same widget code, so only add it on one site).
  5. Submit your post before December. 12, 11:59 PM.
  6. Anyone can participate in the link up, but the prizes will ship to US addresses only.
  7. More detailed info are available here.

Link Up Your Recipes:

Love any of the recipes featured in today’s Holiday Recipe Exchange? If so, be sure to to use the Ziplist Web Recipe Clipper to add your holiday favorites to your online recipe box.

This Week’s Prize:

Beanilla Gift Basket valued at $150

Prizes provided by Beanilla.

Recipe Theme Schedule:

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Allison - December 05, 2011 @ 7:13 am



  • 2
    Anne - December 05, 2011 @ 7:45 am

    I love Beanilla’s vanilla frosting and have used it on cupcakes for my daughter’s bridal shower and a cake for a co-worker’s birthday. Always a hit!

    5 cups powdered sugar
    2 1/2 cups butter, softened
    2 whole vanilla beans
    2 Tbsp. milk

    Slice open vanilla beans (lengthwise) and scrape out, placing seeds in bowl. In a large bowl cream butter and slowly add powdered sugar. Add vanilla beans; pour in milk until smooth and well blended.


  • 3
    Anne - December 05, 2011 @ 7:59 am

    I like to serve this for dessert when I host dinner for friends at my home, especially during the holidays. Credit goes to Martha Stewart’s blog …
    Vanilla Bean Custard
    1 1/4 cups heavy cream
    1 1/4 cups milk
    1 vanilla bean
    6 large egg yolks
    1/2 cup sugar
    Heat oven to 300 degrees and place rack 1/3 above bottom of oven. Fill a small roasting pan with water, approx. 3″ and place in oven to warm.
    Split vanilla bean (lengthwise) and remove seeds. In a medium saucepan, combine cream, milk and vanilla bean, stir and bring to boil.
    Whisk yolks and sugar in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Slowly whisk in hot milk mixture until completely combined. Pour into 4 – 6 oz. custard cups and place in the pan of hot water. Bake on the lower shelf for 30 – 40 minutes (until custard has completely set and no longer runny when lightly touched in the center. Remove plan from oven; remove custard cups from pan and cool on wire rack.
    Can be served warm or chilled.


  • 4
    sherri @ the life of a wife - December 05, 2011 @ 11:06 am

    Oh I love this idea! I made a grapefruit mint sugar scrub last year as gifts and it was a hit! I didn’t think to do a vanilla sugar scrub! That is where some of my beans will be going :)


  • 5
    Shaina - December 05, 2011 @ 11:32 am

    I love the idea of a vanilla-scented scrub. My mother-in-law loves vanilla, and I need to make this for her.


  • 6
    Tracy - December 05, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

    I love this idea and I also love how you decorated your jars! Beautiful!


  • 7
    Julie - December 06, 2011 @ 6:03 am

    absolutely love vanilla – can’t wait to try this! Thanks.


  • 8
    Casey@Good. Food. Stories. - December 06, 2011 @ 6:33 am

    Just thought of this – if you used vanillla beans to scent brown sugar, would you then have a creme brulee scrub?


  • 9
    Rachel - December 06, 2011 @ 8:20 am

    Vanilla bean ice cream is our favorite!!


  • 10
    kate - December 06, 2011 @ 9:13 am

    My favorite is a simple vanilla sugar – I keep a pretty jar of sugar on the counter, and whenever I use vanilla seeds in a recipe I just put the empty pod in the sugar then shake it up every few days. It’s great in everything and vanilla sugar also makes a lovely gift.


  • 11
    Andrew - December 07, 2011 @ 8:54 am

    I’ve never gotten more compliments on holiday homespun gifts than last year when I made homemade vanilla extract. Sure, I had to start back in June, but it was so simple but the finished product was so elegant in amber bottles I used.

    The great part about it? It was so simple to instruct the receivers on how to continue making the vanilla by just adding more vodka to it as it depletes from use.


  • 12
    Kristen M. - December 07, 2011 @ 9:38 pm

    My favorite vanilla recipe is a vanilla steamer. It’s fast and simple yet warm and comforting. Instructions are to warm a mug of milk in the microwave (approximately 90 seconds). Add honey and vanilla extract to taste. (I sometimes add a dash of cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, or cardamom.) Lastly, use a small battery operated wisk (mine is from Ikea) to add a bit of froth at the top. This last step is optional.


  • 13
    Kristina S. - December 11, 2011 @ 10:23 am

    Vanilla Whipped Cream

    I always use this recipe as a topping for almost any dessert. It gives a great twist for regular whipped cream: (I use this recipe from Spice Barn; it also includes a vanilla sugar recipe in it)

    1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup whipping cream

    Vanilla sugar: Scrape seeds from vanilla bean; combine with 1/2 cup sugar. Rub fingertips to distribute evenly. In refrigerator, chill small mixing bowl and beater for electric mixer. When chilled, beat cream with 3 table vanilla sugar until it reachers a soft peak stage. Top with desserts or beverages. (You could always add more or less vanilla sugar to your liking).


  • 14
    Donna B. - December 12, 2011 @ 8:24 pm
  • 15
    Donna B. - December 12, 2011 @ 8:25 pm

    I found this last year – my fav vanilla cake recipe.


  • 16
    Alice - May 08, 2012 @ 5:46 pm

    This recipe is great but I was wondering of you can use vanilla extract instead of the vanilla bean sugar.


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — May 10th, 2012 @ 10:06 AM

      I have not tried that method yet so I cannot speak for how it will or won’t work.

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