Make Colored Vanilla Sugar

The vanilla kick continues! I’ve bottled a batch of homemade vanilla extract and started a new batch, I’ve made vanilla sugar, and I’ve shared how to make vanilla-mocha iced coffee. Today I’ll give you one last use for vanilla sugar…cookie decorating!

I was so happy when I finally (and WHY did it take me so long?) figured out that I could make my own colored sugar rather than buy the stupidly-expensive micro-tubs of colored sugar at the store. Making my own colored sugar takes all of five minutes (even less if I’m not taking pictures to share with you) and I can get custom colors. For example, if you happen to have a niece who happens to like the particular shade of teal that happens to be associated with a certain frozen queen and her younger sister, then making your own custom color of sugar beats paying big bucks for the package with Elsa’s picture on it. And the cookies with homemade colored vanilla sugar will look just as cute and taste even better!

Want to make your own frugal, customized, colored vanilla sugar?

It's easy and frugal to make your own custom colors of vanilla sugar.

It’s easy and frugal to make your own custom colors of vanilla sugar.

You’ll need:

colored vanilla sugar step 1

  • Granulated sugar (I didn’t measure. You may have noticed that about me. Maybe half to ¾ of a cup?) Update: The vanilla sugar recipe is here.
  • A zipper sandwich bag
  • Liquid food coloring (I used this kind, but whatever.)

What to do:

Dump your sugar into the zipper bag.

colored vanilla sugar step 2

Add your desired colors. I used about 6 drops of blue (one drop came out as more of a squirt…) and 2 of green to get my color. You can always add more color but you can’t take it out!

colored vanilla sugar step 3

Squeeze out the excess air and zip the bag closed. Double check that zipper seal!

colored vanilla sugar step 4

Mush, squish, and mix the bag around until the color is evenly distributed. It’s easier with two hands…but pictures.

colored vanilla sugar step 5

This looks kind of cool but it’s not done! Keep mixing if yours looks like this. It’s best to put the camera down, hold the top of the bag tightly with one hand, and mix with the other hand.

colored vanilla sugar step 6

When you have an even color that you like, you’re done! And look how cute those snowflake candies look against the teal! Does this give you any little girl birthday party ideas? Even if you don’t frost and decorate with the colored sugar, a sprinkle of colored vanilla sugar before baking would be a quick way to make basic sugar cookies look and taste extra special.

colored vanilla sugar jar

You can make a rainbow of colored vanilla sugar without blowing the budget and have all of the colors on hand when you’re ready to bake. It’s an easy, frugal alternative to the specialty baking store prices.

Are you inspired to start your own vanilla projects for your kitchen or to give as gifts? Olive Nation is having a vanilla sale through August 3, check here. Save 15% with the code VAN15. Update: You can order vanilla beans to make your own vanilla extract and vanilla sugar at Olive Nation.

(I would have loved to bake and decorate a batch of cookies to show you, but it’s really hot outside this week and I don’t want to heat up the house by turning on the oven. Thanks for understanding!)

What color of sugar did you make? Please share pictures on Facebook at, particularly if you baked cookies!

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This post was shared on the Tips & Tricks #27 Linky Party.

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10 responses to “Make Colored Vanilla Sugar

  1. I should try this. We do buy color sugar, but at the bulk store. There are only a certain number of colors available . The teal looks perfect.


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