I would like to make a simple vanilla sauce for my cake. So far, my idea is to cook a sweet cream pudding (using a pudding mix from a bag), and then enrich it with ground vanilla beans. At what stage should I add the vanilla so that it releases the most flavour?

  1. When the milk is hot, but before adding the pudding powder mix?
  2. Once the pudding is prepared, but still hot?
  3. Once the pudding cools down?

In general, under which conditions do vanilla beans release most of their taste? When cooked, when put in a hot liquid, or when put in a cold environment?

2 Answers 2


Traditionally, for almost all of my recipes, the vanilla is added as soon as you remove the pot from the heat. You definitely want the heat to meld the vanilla flavor with the fats, but you don't want to cook it.

I would highly recommend splitting the bean lengthwise and either adding them that way to allow milk access to the flavorful seeds, or simply add the seeds alone. I'd opt for the former, and fish out the husks after the sauce/pudding has cooled.

Or, as you say, use ground vanilla bean as-is and you're all set.

  • If using vanilla pods, add the empty pods straight away to the milk, then the vanilla seeds when removing from heat.
    – algiogia
    Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 14:27

Slice bean in half. Use knife blade to scrape seeds out of bean. Scrape seeds from blade into milk as you are heating. Added bonus: toss scraped vanilla pods into a bowl of sugar to create vanilla sugar. Best flavor release of vanilla into a fat-based mixture is achieved during heating.

  • That means I will be cooking the beans at some stage.. is that okay?
    – srgb
    Commented Sep 24, 2014 at 9:54
  • @Netismine My comment means that you will add the seeds of the vanilla pod to the liquid as it is heating. You could also toss in the bean, but be sure to remove it before your next step.
    – moscafj
    Commented Sep 24, 2014 at 11:43

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