Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe | Simple and Easy (2024)

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Homemade Vanilla Extract is the richest and not-so-secret ingredient that makes baked goods smell and taste so delicious. Yes, vanilla extract is the key to the wholesome flavor and aroma found in almost all of our favorite baked products.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

So what if we tell you that it takes just two ingredients to make homemade vanilla extract? Yes, that’s right – vanilla beans and alcohol, that’s all!

Your Vanilla Extract is Just 4 Steps Away

(but, start now as homemade vanilla needs to “age” for approximately 2 month but 3 to 4 months is even better!)

Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe | Simple and Easy (1)

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Step 1: Gather the Ingredients (For 8 ounces of vanilla extract)

3 to 5 Vanilla Beans

As we said, the only ingredients you need are vanilla beans and alcohol.

Vanilla beans are available in the spice aisle of most grocery stores. If you can’t find them there, look for them online. I have found buying vanilla beans in bulk to be the most economical way when making your extract. Vanilla beans can be expensive. I put the range from 3 to 5 bean pods per 8 ounces of vodka so you can add what you can afford.

Three vanilla beans will produce a more commercial grade of vanilla extract whereas five beans per cup of alcohol will give you a professional baker quality.

Vanilla Beans come labeled as Grade A or Grade B; both can be used to make homemade vanilla extract. Grade A beans are more expensive, softer and more pliable and usually used in cooking. Grade B beans are firmer and a little drier and are used in making the extract and they make excellent vanilla extract.

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The 2 types of beans recommended are:

8 oz plain vodka (80 proof alcohol)

For the best vanilla extract, it is suggested to use vodka. You can also use bourbon, brandy, or rum but these will give a flavored extract instead of just pure vanilla.

The best part is that less expensive alcohol also makes divine vanilla extract.

So you can buy cheaper alcohol and spend your money on buying higher quality vanilla beans instead.

Avoid flavored vodkas as they contain artificial ingredients. You don’t want to ruin the purpose of pure vanilla extract.

Glass bottles or jars (Must have screw-on lids. Avoid cork lids.)

2-ounce bottles

4-ounce bottles

8-ounce bottles

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I usedreturn address labels for my vanilla extract bottles. They are simple and easy. I requested that Homemade Vanilla, Organic Vanilla Bean, and 4 ounces be printed on the labels. It worked out nicely!

Step 2: Slit the Beans

Place the vanilla beans on a cutting board and carefully make inch long slits in them. I like to make several slits in each bean to allow the vodka to seep in and to draw out the rich vanilla flavor. Some of the small vanilla bean seeds will work their way out of the bean pods and will dot your homemade vanilla extract.

These seeds inside each bean add a wonderful rustic appeal to your homemade vanilla extract.

Keep the ends of each bean intact so they hold together nicely in the bottles. Place the slices in the jars.

Step 3: Pour the Alcohol

Add 8oz of 80 proof vodka to your vanilla beans in your jar or bottle. Make sure that the vanilla beans are completely covered in vodka. Screw on the cap or lid. Reminder: do not use cork topped bottles.

Step 4: Shake and Wait

The last step is to gentle shake the vanilla beans and alcohol in the bottles or jars. Then wait 8 weeks or longer. The very best vanilla ages for up to a year.

Store the bottles at room temperature away from direct sunlight. Gently shake each bottle every once a week or so.

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And, after two months…….Voila! Your Homemade Vanilla Extract is Ready!

Consider making 2 oz, 4oz and 8oz bottles of Homemade Vanilla Extract for all your gift-giving! Vanilla Extract is a perfect birthday or Christmas gift as well as a very nice house-warming gift!

Quantity of Vanilla Beans and Vodka for larger batches that are perfect for gifts!!

Here are the number of vanilla beans per cups of vodka. These ratios are for a mid-quality between commercial and professional baker. You should be highly pleased with the results!

4 Beans and 8 oz of Vodka

8 Beans and 16oz of Vodka

12 Beans and 24oz of Vodka

16 Beans and 32oz of Vodka

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Why Should You Opt for Homemade Vanilla?

Yes, we know vanilla extract is a readily available product in the market, but we can’t ignore the fact that it is highly costly. With the increasing cost of packaged vanilla extract, isn’t it more feasible to make it at home? It will also save you from substitute products that are being sold under the name of vanilla extracts.

If you find a product that claims to be a natural imitation of vanilla extract, don’t be fooled as it will have artificial flavors and colors. Pure vanilla extract is dark brown and only has two ingredients: vanilla beans and alcohol.

Homemade vanilla extract is super easy to make, so why not make it yourself? Experiment with different alcohols and vanilla beans to add a unique flavor to your baking.

Yield: 8 oz

Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe | Simple and Easy (6)

Easy Vanilla Extract made with 2 ingredients!

Prep Time30 minutes

Additional Time2 months

Total Time2 months 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 to 5 Whole Vanilla Beans
  • 1 cup Vodka or Bourbon 80 Proof

Instructions

    1. Place the vanilla beans on a cutting board and carefully make inch long slits in them.I like to make several slits in each bean to allow the vodka to seep in in order to draw out the rich vanilla flavor.

    2. Place the split beans in a glass bottle or jar.

    3. Pour the vodka or bourbon over the beans, making sure they are fully submerged.

    .4. Seal the container and store it in a cool, dark place for at least 8 weeks.

    5. Gently shake each bottle once a week or so.

    6. After 8 weeks, strain out the vanilla beans and transfer the liquid to a clean bottle for use.

Notes

1. For the best vanilla extract, it is suggested to use vodka. You can also use bourbon, brandy, or rum but these will give a flavored extract instead of just pure vanilla.

2. You can split each vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds it you do not like having the tiny seeds in your finished product as some of the small vanilla bean seeds will work their way out of the bean pods and will dot your homemade vanilla extract. But, the tiny seeds inside each bean add a wonderful rustic appeal to your homemade vanilla extract.

3. Quantity of Vanilla Beans and Vodka for larger batches that are perfect for gifts!!

Here are the number of vanilla beans per cups of vodka. These ratios are for a mid-quality between commercial and professional baker. You should be highly pleased with the results!


4 Beans and 8oz of Vodka

8 Beans and 16oz of Vodka

12 Beans and 24oz of Vodka

16 Beans and 32oz of Vodka

A few tips and pointers:

  • The little black specks are from the natural vanilla seeds in each pod. These are normal and show the authenticity of your homemade vanilla.
  • Brown glass bottles help protect the extract from light.
  • Always use 80 proof vodka or bourbon.
  • Allow your homemade vanilla extract to age for at least 2 months and possibly longer if you have the time
  • If you have an extra vanilla bean or two, place the bean pod in a bowl of raw sugar for a fragrant vanilla-flavored sugar topping!

Nutrition Information

Yield

48

Serving Size

1

Amount Per ServingCalories 11Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 0mgCarbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 0g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate due to variations of ingredients used in recipe.Did you make this recipe?

A few tips and pointers:

  • The little black specks are from the natural vanilla seeds in each pod. These are normal and show the authenticity of your homemade vanilla.
  • Brown glass bottles help protect the extract from light.
  • Always use 80 proof vodka.
  • Allow your homemade vanilla extract to age for at least 2 months and possibly longer if you have the time
  • If you have an extra vanilla bean or two, place the bean pod in a bowl of raw sugar for a fragrant vanilla-flavored sugar topping!
Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe | Simple and Easy (7)
Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe | Simple and Easy (2024)

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