Homemade Vanilla Extract


vanilla3I do so much backing anymore that I feel like I go though a bottle of Vanilla Extract every month.  And Pure Vanilla Extract is not cheap.  The other day I came across this post on Homemade Vanilla Extract,  I was so excited  that I hurried and placed my order on Amazon.  Today I started my first batch of Homemade Vanilla Extract!  I can’t wait until it’s ready!  It takes about 6 months to be ready, so I’m starting now for Christmas.  I might even use some of gifts!  One site I read said that it can be ready in about 4 weeks, but the longer you let it set the better it gets!

If you read the ingredients on your bottle of vanilla extract, you’ll see that many brands decided vanilla extract needs to be watered down and have sugar or high fructose corn syrup in it. The only things that should be in it are vanilla beans and alcohol? So why not make your own and save a little while your at it!

The best place I found to order vanilla beans is online at Amazon.  You can get a 1/2 pound of Premium Bourbon-Madagascar Vanilla Beans (Approx. 54 beans) for $20.99 right now with Free Super Saver Shipping!  (Amazon prices change quickly!  The same company sells them in different sizes also.

Once you get your beans, you’ll want to cut them down the middle keeping the ends attached.  See photo below:

bottlesI picked up these great bottles from Amazon when I ordered the beans.  They are perfect for gift giving!


I made some cute labels for my bottles and on the back I wrote this:

This vanilla extract has been steeping for about 6 months.
It contains vodka and high quality bourbon vanilla beans.
When it gets a little low, simply add more unflavored vodka and you’ll never run out of great vanilla extract.

I made tons of cookies using my Homemade Vanilla and for gifts placed them in this cute box with the Vanilla showing out the front.  They were big hits!

Homemade Vanilla Extract
  • Half gallon of Vodka (1.75 liters) – don’t go for the cheapest stuff, it makes a difference.
  • 35-40 Vanilla Beans
  1. Cut vanilla beans in half, without completely separating them. Keep the ends attached, and just keep in mind you really just want to expose the seeds that are inside.
  2. Pour vodka into a jar, so that you have room to add the vanilla beans also. Add the beans to your vodka bottle, close and shake.
  3. Store in a dark place for six months, while shaking the bottle about once a week.  After six months, it is ready to use!

Alternative Amounts:

One Gallon of Vodka calls for 75-80 Vanilla Beans
750 ml of Vodka calls for 10-14 Vanilla Beans
200 ml  of Vodka calls for 4-5 Vanilla Beans


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