Homemade Vanilla Extract


I finally made homemade vanilla extract! I attempted to make this for gifts for Christmas 2013, but I started the process too late and it wasn’t ready by the time Christmas rolled around. Then, my mom threw it away. Yes, she accidentally threw away the vanilla extract that I spent a month making. I was really upset at the time, but I was also upset because she threw away the lovely mason jars that I had been storing it in. Huge bummer.

So I tried again this year and didn’t let my mom near it. I started it WAY early so it would definitely be done. It was quite a hit at Christmas. I think that everyone really enjoyed it. I have used it to bake in my own kitchen and it definitely turned out really well. I can taste the difference between the homemade vanilla and the store bought vanilla. I made a lot of it and have quite a bit left, so I need to figure out ways to use it more quickly. I also have leftover beans, so if anyone has any suggestions on things I can make using either of those things please let me know! The picture above is the before picture and the picture below is the after picture. The vodka does become a nice brown color.


Homemade Vanilla Extract


Yields – 2 cups

Prep time – 10 minutes

Wait time – 8 weeks


  • 2 cups of vodka (I used grey goose)
  • 20 vanilla beans – I ordered mine online. I bought Madagascar vanilla beans, because those will give you the most traditional vanilla extract flavor
  • 1 large mason jar
  • small jars to put the vanilla in when it is complete


  1. Split each seed down the middle and place into your mason jar.
  2. Pour the vodka into the jar making sure that the vanilla beans are completely submerged in the vodka. You can cut the beans smaller if you need to.
  3. Place in a cool, dark space for 8 weeks. Shake the vanilla about once a week.
  4. After 8 weeks, pour the vanilla out into the small jars that you want to give to people. You can keep soaking the beans as long as they are still completely submerged.




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