How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract is such a wonderful addition to baked goods and other dishes. I love it so much I make a quart of vanilla extract at a time! Buying it from the store can be costly. My grocery store sells a 2 oz bottle for $5 and it’s nowhere near as good as making it yourself. Plus, it’s really easy. It just takes some time to allow it to extract.


This would make a wonderful gift for any occasion. I gave some of my homemade vanilla extract to family members over the holidays. I used 2 oz. glass amber bottles and added a couple pieces of vanilla beans. This recipe is for a quart but you can very easily cut it in half.



What you’ll need:

  • 4 cups Vodka (40% alcohol)
  • 16 Vanilla beans
  • Quart canning jar

Start by cleaning your jar and lid very well. Then cut all the vanilla beans in half lengthwise exposing the insides. Scissors work really well. If they are too long for the container you can cut them across too.

Here is a vanilla bean cut in half.
Here is a vanilla bean cut in half.

Add all the beans to the jar and cover with 4 cups vodka. Shake well. Allow it to sit for at least 6 weeks in a dark cupboard. The longer the better. You can even go 6 months! When I’m done I prefer to leave the beans in the jar while I am using it. That way the vanilla can grow stronger and I can start using it. You may also strain the beans when your done. Your preference.

For this batch I used Madagascar and Tahitian vanilla beans. I recently used it to make graham crackers and vanilla pudding. The taste was incredible!


What are your favorite vanilla recipe?



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About Angela Vullo

I am a mother to three wonderful children. I love to read and write. I created this blog to share my experience and tips on trying to live a green lifestyle.

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  1. I make my own vanilla every couple of years – it takes that long to go through it! I have found that good quality bourbon makes an even better tasting vanilla than one made with vodka. And I buy good plump grade A vanilla beans from Amazon. It smells so good after several months, and adds incredible flavor to baked goods!

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