How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract - Easy Prep Ahead Meal Plans

How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract

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Making your own vanilla extract is simple! All you need are vanilla beans, vodka, and a glass jar. Vodka has the most neutral flavor, but you can also use bourbon, rum, or brandy to create unique extracts. You can use any type of vanilla bean, keeping in mind that vanilla beans are produced in several countries and come in different varieties and grades.

Bourbon vanilla has the classic, robust flavor, Tahitian vanilla is subtly fruity and floral, while Mexican vanilla tends to be smooth and spicy. Create a single origin vanilla extract or invent your own blend — it’s up to you!

Why make your own vanilla extract?

Well, first thing, it is easy to make. Also, you’ll never run out of vanilla again and making homemade vanilla extract might even be economical, given that you’ll never run out of it. Another frugal perk of making your own homemade vanilla extract is that you can re-use the beans and make more!When you run out of extract, fill the container back up with more alcohol, set it aside and soon you’ll have another batch of homemade vanilla extract.

The only catch with this is that your second batch might not be as flavorful as the original, but whether this happens depends on several factors (the beans themselves, temperature, bean to alcohol ratio, the alcohol itself, whether you’re used to cooking with watered down vanilla extract in the first place, etc.)

Also, keep in mind that, despite the fact that we typically use vanilla extract only a teaspoon at a time, health-wise, it’s concerning that are unnecessary and potentially harmful additives and sweeteners that are legally allowed to be in in the ingredients in store-bought vanilla extract. Especially when you assumed that “vanilla extract” only contained vanilla. So, with all that being said, set aside 10 minutes of your time and whip up some Homemade Vanilla Extract using this recipe.

Homemade Vanilla Extract
What You Need

Ingredients
5 vanilla beans
1 cup of alcohol such as vodka, bourbon, brandy, or rum

Equipment
Cutting board and knife
Clean jar or bottle

Instructions
Split the vanilla beans: Split each vanilla bean in half lengthwise. If you like, you can leave an inch connected at the end of the bean for an attractive presentation. You can also chop the beans into smaller pieces if necessary to fit in your jar or bottle.

Place the vanilla beans in a jar and cover with alcohol: Place the vanilla beans in a clean jar or bottle and make sure the jar lid is completely shut

Infuse for at 8 to 10 weeks: Store the jar or bottle of vanilla beans in a cool and dark place. Let the vanilla extract infuse longer if you are looking for a stronger flavor.

Watch our video to learn more about How to Make Your Own Vanilla Extract.

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17 Comments
  • January 29, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    I have been wanting to do this with the price of extract through the roof right now!! I am excited to try, thanks for teaching me!

  • January 29, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    What a great tutorial! I need to try this because real vanilla extract has been so crazy expensive lately.

  • January 29, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Why have I never made this?!? I have both of those ingredients!

  • January 29, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    I have always wanted to make this myself. On the to-do list! I am so glad to come across your recipe today. Thanks for sharing <3

  • January 29, 2018 at 11:28 pm

    I can’t wait to try this recipe out! homemade vanilla would make such a great gift.

  • Emily @ Recipes to Nourish
    January 30, 2018 at 3:14 am

    This is so helpful, especially since vanilla extract is so expensive now. I can’t wait to make some!

  • January 30, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    Wow! easier than I thought. Awesome find!

  • January 30, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    I’ve never thought of making it at home, will give it a go! Extract is so expensive right now!

  • January 30, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    I love those photos and the video!! So inspiring. I’ve never done this before, but I’m feeling motivated, especially with the cost of store bought going up so much lately. Thank you!

  • January 31, 2018 at 12:57 am

    I have some homemade vanilla steeping right now with some vanilla beans my sister in law brought back from Tahiti! Homemade is so much better…and what a great gift too!

  • January 31, 2018 at 1:31 am

    Honestly this could not be easier! Love it!

  • January 31, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    I don’t know why I haven’t done this before! Vanilla extract has just become so very expensive lately! And you make it look so easy! ❤️

  • February 4, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    They just stopped selling vanilla at Costco in Japan so will definitely make this recipe! Thank you!!!

  • February 4, 2018 at 11:47 pm

    I’ve always wanted to try homemade vanilla! And where did you get those adorable dropper bottles?

  • February 5, 2018 at 1:28 am

    I love making vanilla extract as a gift for friends! It’s so unique and helpful with the insane cost of vanilla right now!

  • February 5, 2018 at 5:29 am

    Homemade vanilla extract is always a great idea. I have been making mine for years now 🙂