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How to Make and Use 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 made strawberry basil cupcakes with the basil sugar in this jar!

Basil Sugar

What You’ll Need To Make Basil Sugar

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. (View on Amazon)

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.

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Basil Sugar
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5 from 1 vote

Basil Sugar

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.
Course Condiments
Cuisine American
Keyword basil sugar
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Calories 48kcal
Author Stef


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


  • Rinse basil leaves and gently pat dry with a towel.
  • 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.
  • Place processed basil and sugar in a small bowl and use a spoon to mix well, pressing the basil into the sugar.
  • Place the basil sugar in the food processor and pulse to fully combine.
  • If not using within three days, store in the freezer until ready to use.
  • 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!
Yield 1 cup


Nutrition Facts
Basil Sugar
Amount Per Serving
Calories 48
% Daily Value*
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Sugar 12g13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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5 comments on “How to Make and Use Basil Sugar”

  1. mom929says:

    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. 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?

  3. Lottiesays:

    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

  4. If I do this for powdered sugar, is it also 1 cup of sugar to 1 handful of leaves or should I use a different ratio?


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