How to Make Your Own Vanilla Extract (Because It’s Cheap and Easy)


1.  I go through a lot of vanilla extract.
2.  Storebought vanilla extract is expensive.
1+2 is not a combination I like.  Vanilla extract is not only unbelievably easy to make, but a lot cheaper than storebought vanilla.  Basically, you put a couple of vanilla beans in some vodka, and keep topping it off with more vodka as you use it, and you can use the same beans for a year. That is SERIOUS bang for your buck right there.  I always buy these vanilla beans from Amazon, because they are very reasonable at less than $1/piece, ship for free, and are unbelievably fragrant.  Here’s how to make some:

Take 3 vanilla beans, and split them with a paring knife, stopping about an inch from each edge (so they still stay together):

Place them in a clean jar or bottle, and pour 1 cup of vodka or other desired liqueur into the jar.  Use an alcohol that is at least 80 proof (40% alcohol by volume).

Let the vanilla extract sit for 6-8 weeks, giving it a shake every week or so, and watch as it darkens over time.  That’s the tough part, waiting.  But once it’s matured, all you have to do is keep topping it off with more alcohol when it needs it, and you can keep doing that for a year.

Click here to print the vanilla extract instructions.

Procedure from one of the blogs I read, Joy the Baker.

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5 Responses to How to Make Your Own Vanilla Extract (Because It’s Cheap and Easy)

  1. Thanks for the tip…going to to do this when I get home. I made vanilla sugar and now I can use the my left over beans….Have a nice weekend.

  2. Jennifer Johnston says:

    Ohhhh! I am going out and getting myself some vodka and making this! Knowing how to do this now makes me a very happy kid. :o)

  3. sandra says:

    I use way too much vanilla not to do this. Thanks for sharing.

  4. ShopCookMake says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I just ordered some Vanilla Beans to make my own extract.

  5. I’m so going to try this!

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