How to make homemade vanilla extract
Did you know that you can make the most amazing, 2-ingredient, vanilla extract right at home? It’s quite a bit cheaper than store bought and it makes a fantastic, thoughtful gift!
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! I’m not sure why I waited so long!
All you need is some vodka and good quality vanilla beans. I used cheap vodka and Madagascar vanilla beans. While this only takes minutes to put together, you will need at least 8 weeks for the vanilla beans to work their magic.
If you use a lot of vanilla, learning how to make homemade vanilla extract will save you a bundle in the long run. Homemade vanilla extract also makes for a fantastic gift idea for teachers, neighbors, party hosts, and, well, pretty much anyone!
What you need for homemade vanilla extract:
- Vanilla beans – Grade A or grade B, I buy Madagascar beans. You can find whole vanilla beans at most grocery stores in the spice aisle. If you can’t find them, I recommend purchasing them online. These Madagascar vanilla beans or these Tahitian vanilla beans are both great choices.
- 8 oz Vodka – You can buy a cheap bottle for this recipe, 70 – 90 proof
- Glass jars – 8 oz glass jars like these would be great.
Vanilla beans are expensive, but when 6 – 8 of them make a whole cup worth of delicious vanilla, you’ll quickly see the cost savings of making homemade. Plus, you can actually reuse the vanilla beans by adding more vodka to the bottle!
How to make homemade vanilla extract:
- Using a sharp knife, slit the vanilla beans down the middle lengthwise so the beans are exposed. If the length of the vanilla beans don’t fit into your bottle or jar, cut the vanilla beans into smaller pieces. Place beans into bottle or jar.
- Pour vodka over top using a funnel. Use extra vodka, if needed, so the beans are fully covered. Shake a few times with the lid on.
- Let sit in a cool dark place for as least 8 weeks. The longer it sits, the stronger it gets. Shake once a week.
Also to note:
- As you use your vanilla, you can refill with a little vodka each time. Give it a shake after you refill and give it a shake before each use too.
- If you are gifting the vanilla extract, remove the beans before you give it away. (But only once it has fully aged.) Reuse those beans in a new bottle.
- In recipes, use the same amount of homemade vanilla extract as you would store-bought vanilla.
For those of you that would like to make some Homemade Vanilla extract, I made some super simple labels that you’re welcome to download and print for your bottles or jars! (click on the picture to print the PDF)
If you have extra vanilla beans, you might want to try making some vanilla sugar! Vanilla sugar is a great addition to coffee, tea or baking!