How to Make and Use Basil Sugar | Cupcake Project

How to Make and Use Basil Sugar

Basil Sugar


Basil is so frequently used in savory dishes that people often overlook how well it works in desserts.  When sweetened up a bit, basil’s flavor closely resembles mint, but it has less breath-freshening intensity.  I’ve made basil cupcakes in the past by creating basil syrups or infusing oils with basil.  However, now that I’ve discovered basil sugar, it is my new preferred method for flavoring desserts with the herb.

Once you make the basil sugar, simply replace some or all of the sugar in your baked goods with the basil sugar to add a whole new complexity to your desserts.  I can’t wait to share the strawberry basil cupcakes that I made with the basil sugar in this jar!

What You’ll Need To Make Basil Sugar

Cuisinart DLC-2ALP Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor, Spring Pink

Other than fresh basil (I got my basil straight out of my garden) and sugar, the only thing you’ll need is a food processor.  This is the one I use.

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Basil Sugar Recipe

I got the basic basil sugar recipe proportions from Jana’s blog, Cherry Tea Cakes.  However, the instructions below are slightly different from hers.

I love that Cherry Tea Cakes operates as a charity.  Jana donates all of her profits to local food banks.  She says, “Sometimes it’s a little, sometimes it’s a lot but it’s always an adventure.”  If you enjoy this basil sugar, you ultimately have her to thank and you can do so by donating money via PayPal to or by donating to a local food bank.

Basil Sugar

Yield: 1 cup basil sugar

Basil Sugar


  • 1 large handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup sugar


  1. Rinse basil leaves and gently pat dry with a towel.
  2. Pulse basil leaves in a food processor until they are as small as you can get them. Don't worry if there are still some big pieces since you'll process them further in a bit. You should end up with about one packed tablespoon of chopped up basil. Add more basil or remove some if you are too far off.
  3. Place processed basil and sugar in a small bowl and use a spoon to mix well, pressing the basil into the sugar.
  4. Place the basil sugar in the food processor and pulse to fully combine.
  5. If not using within three days, store in the freezer until ready to use.
  6. If basil sugar starts to get clumpy, pulse again in a food processor just before using.


You can follow these same instructions with powdered sugar for use in basil frosting!
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7 Responses to How to Make and Use Basil Sugar

  1. mom929 July 31, 2013 at 7:52 am #

    Neat idea! My basil is growing gangbusters and I’m tired of pesto. Thanks for something I didn’t think about to use it. Can’t wait to try

  2. Nik Snacks (@NikSnacks) July 31, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    Do you think that if you add a few grains of rice to the jar it would be okay to hang out in the pantry for a few day longer?

    • Stef August 4, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

      Probably, but I can’t promise.

  3. Lottie August 1, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    This is such a great idea, I love basil!
    I’m going to make it this weekend, I’ll let you know if I do!
    I think it would be fab sprinkled on top of some strawbs, basil and strawberries are a fab combination!
    Lottie xx


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