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How to Make Gourmet Flavored Sugar

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Learn to make gourmet flavored sugar right in your own kitchen. The process of infusing sugar with flavors like lemon, vanilla and anything you imagine is incredibly easy.
flavored sugar

How to Make Flavored Sugar

Making flavored sugar is so simple to do and the result is a sweetener with amazing flavor and aroma.

By infusing flavors like lemon, orange or vanilla into granulated white sugar, creating a jar of gourmet flavored sugar couldn’t be easier.

In fact, you may even have the ingredients on-hand to whip up a batch of flavor-infused sugar right now.

Of course, flavored sugar is a delightful addition to your favorite coffee and tea. And it’s ideal for rimming drinking glasses.

My favorite is to rim a tall glass of cold brew tea with lemon sugar or mint. And strawberry sugar is a fun way to serve these strawberry passion iced tea drinks.

Plus, these little jars of sugar with flecks of color are perfect for gift-giving.

Methods for Making Flavored Sugar

There are three basic ways to make flavored sugar:

  1. Addition Method
  2. Infusion Method
  3. Combination Method
jars of flavor infused sugar - mint, strawberry, orange and lemon
Flavor-infused sugar makes the perfect gift.

Addition Method

The addition method is as simple as combining a flavor with granulated sugar. In this method, the flavor ingredient is consumed.

For example, you can make cinnamon sugar by combining ground cinnamon with sugar. Or you can make vanilla sugar by mixing vanilla extract and sugar.

Infusion Method

On the other hand, flavor can be infused into sugar. This is accomplished by adding whole pieces of flavor into the sugar that are removed before consuming.

For instance, to make cinnamon sugar using the infusion method, bury large, broken pieces of a cinnamon stick in sugar. Or to make vanilla sugar, add large cut up pieces of vanilla bean.

As you can imagine, the infusion process takes time. I like to give my flavor-infused sugars at least a week to infuse.

Combination Method: Addition & Infusion

Finally, the combination method, as I call it, is the way I typically make flavored sugar.

Basically, the flavor ingredient is chopped up small enough to consume, yet it needs time to infuse.

In the case of vanilla sugar, simply grind up a vanilla bean, pod and all, add it to the sugar, and give it time for the flavor to infuse.

I really prefer this method, since the little flecks of color in the jar are not only pretty but make the flavor of the sugar easy to identify.

orange and lemon sugar infusing in jars
Citrus infused sugars, like lemon and orange, are delicious in tea or sprinkled onto sugar cookies.

Tips for Making Flavor-Infused Sugar

Before I share a few recipes with you, here are a few tips.

Use dry sugar.

To make flavor-infused sugar, be sure to use a loose, dry sugar like granulated white sugar.

Brown sugar is moist, so it’s not ideal.

Avoid sugar clumping.

Sugar will clump when a moist ingredient, like fresh orange zest is added to it.

If you add fresh zest, be sure to break up the clumps periodically.

The easiest way to do this is to spread the orange sugar onto a tray to dry. As clumps form, break them up. When the sugar and zest are completely dry, store the mixture in a jar to infuse.

Otherwise, if you add the freshly combined zest and sugar to a jar before drying, periodically open the jar and break up the clumps with a fork.

The final way to deal with clumps is to avoid them altogether. All you have to do is let the citrus zest dry out before infusing it with the sugar. Depending on the humidity in your home this takes 12-24 hours.

Skip the pith.

Citrus sugar is one of my favorite types of flavor-infused sugar. As you can imagine it’s perfect for iced tea.

And what’s fun is you can make a single flavor or get creative and make a combination like orange, lemon and lime.

However, when zesting citrus, be careful not to zest the pith. Pith is the white flesh underneath the citrus fruit’s rind. Since it’s bitter, be sure and skip it.

I use a Microplane zester/grater that’s really easy to control.

Use a coffee grinder.

I like to chop some flavor ingredients finely so there’s no need to remove them. If you don’t have a food processor, a coffee grinder works great.

In particular, I like to grind freeze dried fruit like strawberries to make strawberry sugar.

Lemon, Orange or Citrus Flavored Sugar

To make a citrus infused sugar simply combine 1 cup of granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon of zest.

If the zest is fresh and moist, be sure to break up clumps of sugar as they occur.

Otherwise, dry out the zest before mixing it with the sugar. This takes about 12 hours. If you’re in a hurry, you can also dry it in the oven at its lowest temperature setting.

Put the flavored sugar in a tightly sealed jar and let the citrus flavors absorb into the sugar for at least a week.

Mint Flavor-infused Sugar

Every summer I grow fresh mint in a container on my patio.

It’s one of those plants that grows abundantly, making it the perfect ingredient for flavored sugar.

You can either “bruise” up some fresh mint leaves to release the oils and infuse whole leaves in the sugar.

Or you can dry the mint, chop it finely and add it to a jar of sugar to infuse.

All you have to do is tie several sprigs of fresh mint together and hang them to dry for a couple days.

When the mint is dry, chop or grind it finely and then combine it with sugar. Let the mint flavor absorb into the sugar for at least a week.

mint flavored sugar
This mint infused sugar smells fabulous! The longer it infuses, the more intense the flavor becomes.

Strawberry Flavored Sugar

Freeze dried fruit has really intense flavor, so I think it’s the perfect way to make strawberry sugar.

Not to mention, when you grind up the freeze dried fruit, it makes a lovely, colorful sugar.

Not only is it delicious to add to iced tea, but it looks pretty on the rim of a glass or sprinkled on sugar cookies or shortbread.

Flavor-infused Sugar Recipes

flavored sugar

How to Make Flavor Infused Sugar

Yield: 1 cup of flavored sugar
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 7 days
Total Time: 7 days 5 minutes

See how easy it is to make flavor-infused sugar with these recipes for lemon, orange, citrus, strawberry, mint and vanilla sugars. Once you see how simple it is to make flavored sugar, get creative and use any flavor ingredient you like.


Lemon Sugar

  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

Orange Citrus Sugar

  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest

Strawberry Sugar

  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup freeze dried strawberries

Mint Infused Sugar

  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground mint leaves

Vanilla Sugar

  • 1 cup Granulated white sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean


To Make Lemon or Orange Flavored Sugar

  1. Zest either a lemon or orange (or combine both). Spread the zest onto a tray and let it dry for about 12 hours.
  2. Mix together zest and sugar in a bowl then pour into an airtight container. Let the flavor infuse into the sugar for at least a week.

To Make Strawberry Sugar

  1. Finely grind freeze dried strawberries, or other type of freeze dried fruit, in a food processor of coffee grinder.
  2. In a bowl, combine the strawberry powder and sugar. Pour the strawberry flavored sugar into an airtight jar and let the sugar absorb the flavor for several days.

To Make Mint Sugar

  1. Tie up several sprigs of fresh mint with string and hang to dry for a couple days.
  2. When the mint is dry, chop or grind it finely and then combine it with sugar. Let the mint flavor absorb into the sugar for at least a week.

To Make Vanilla Sugar

Infusion Method: Chop a vanilla bean into a few large pieces. Split open each vertically to reveal the seeds inside. Put the vanilla bean pieces into the sugar, being sure to cover the beans and let the vanilla flavor infuse for one week or more.

Combination Method: Finely chop an entire vanilla bean, including the pod in a food processor. Stir the vanilla into the sugar and store in an airtight container. Let the vanilla flavor infuse into the sugar for one week or more.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 48 Serving Size: 1 teaspoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 15Carbohydrates: 4gSugar: 4g

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