Baking Spice Blends: Orange Vanilla Sugar

  Orange Vanilla Sugar

Originally meant for coffee and tea, this blend is a terrific substitute for sugar in baking.  Use it in your favorite recipes for ice cream, icing, glazes, cookies, cakes, pies, and fruit breads.

Ingredients:  Cane Sugar, Special Pure Orange Extract (alcohol, water, and orange oil), and vanilla extract (water, vanilla, propylene glycol, and caramel color).



My first encounter with ORANGE VANILLA SUGAR was at the Hotel Maria Delordes in Cancun, Mexico.  Apparently, this very old Inn had a long history of serving English Vacationers and had long ago instituted an afternoon High Tea.  After a day of failing to find the ruins of Tulum, we decided to treat ourselves.  To sweeten your tea, ice tea, or coffee, they had a sugar which was flavored with oranges and vanilla beans.  This confection also adorned some of the sweets served with tea, such as their almond and Spanish wedding cookies.


Recipes for our Orange Vanilla Sugar.


  • 6 Clementines, chopped
  • 3/4 cup butter melted
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats     
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

In medium bowl, combine all ingredients but fruit.  Press ½ of this mixture into 8x8 in. microwave-safe baking dish.  Microwave on HIGH for 2 min. Add clementines and crumble remaining mixture on top. Microwave on HIGH 2 to 4 min or until set (check after 2 min).  Let stand 20 min before cutting.


  • 1 tsp Orange Vanilla Sugar
  • 1/3 cup whipped cream or yogurt

Blend thoroughly.  Best when left to sit 1 hour before enjoying.


  Orange Vanilla Sugar Recipes

Photo Credit: Julie Cecchini

Baking Spice Blends: Maple Sugar

 Maple sugar

Maple Sugar is the perfect accent to pancakes, but it is also a great alternative to sweetening things like cakes, muffins, and cookies.  It is also a flavorful substitute for white sugar in coffee,  tea or your favorite recipes.

Ingredients:  Pure Dehydrated Maple Syrup.



Last summer my brother Mark and I took a rafting trip down Quebec’s Rouge River.  It was a 1 night 2 day event, thus we had to carry with us our clothing, camping equipment, and food.  For our morning on the river, the guides prepared pancakes complete with maple syrup.  Rather than lugging bottles of maple syrup around, they had dehydrated syrup from a Canadian Maple Sugar farm.  Thus all they had to do was add boiling water at the campsite.  For anyone wishing to sweeten their coffee or tea, they simply offered the same powder.  So impressed by the taste and luxury of a dried syrup, we set out to find a local sugarhouse to do the same for us.

Recipes for  Maple Sugar.

For quick and easy maple syrup, mix 1 part boiling water to 2 parts mix.  For example: ½ cup boiling water for 1 cup mix.


  • 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled &  chopped
  • 1 tbsp MAPLE SUGAR (or more to your taste)
  • ½ cup Butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Put Squash in boiling water and cook until tender.  Drain and combine with remaining ingredients in a bowl.  Mash as you would potatoes.  Wonderful when served with poultry, pork, or a roast.  This side is also quite nice with vegetarian casseroles.



  • 1 tsp MAPLE SUGAR
  • 1/3 cup whipped cream or yogurt


Blend thoroughly.  Best when left to sit 1 hour before enjoying.


  Maple Sugar Recipes

Photo Credit: Julie Cecchini