Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade Vanilla Extract

I finally made some homemade vanilla extract!!  I had been meaning to make it last year for gifts, but…it never got done.  It’s sooo easy too!

All you need is some vodka and good quality vanilla beans.  I used Smirnoff vodka and Madagascar vanilla beans.  Speaking of vanilla beans, I ordered mine through Vanilla Food Company which is an awesome Canadian site!  From the shipping to the quality of the product, I was impressed!   Not only do they sell vanilla beans, but you can find a wide array of bakeware, packaging, sprinkles, candy making supplies and more!


Here’s the pack I got.  It’s the 1/4 pound pack of Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans, which is about 25 beans.  (The picture is after I opened the pack and used some.)

Now, for the vanilla making process.

  1. I added three cups of vodka to an empty glass jar.
  2. I then took 12 vanilla beans and cut them down the middle lengthwise. (pictured below)  My ratio was 4 beans to one cup of vodka.  You could use only 3 beans to one cup of vodka if you’d like.
  3. Finally, I added the beans to the vodka.  Done!
  4. Let sit in a cool dark place for as little as 1 month.  Shake once a week.
Here's Day 1 of the vanilla making process

Here’s Day 1 of the vanilla making process

As time goes on, the vanilla will keep getting darker and darker.  I think the optimal time to let it sit is about 2 months.  I’m still letting mine “cure” but once I think it’s good enough to use, I’ll be stopping by a dollar store to see if they have any little containers that would be appropriate to put the vanilla in for gifts.  For those of you that would like to make some Vanilla, I made some super simple labels that you’re welcome to download for your enjoyment!  (click on the picture to print the PDF)