October 16, 2019

DIY Vanilla Extract

I am so excited to share this tutorial with you – this is a super simple ‘project’ but it takes time for the vanilla beans and vodka to turn into vanilla extract. Some recipes say to wait to use until after 6 weeks or up to 6 months. I made this in early August and will use for Christmas gifts and cooking. This is a great idea for holiday gifts or just a better/cheaper version of the vanilla extract you can buy from the store (and without any added flavors or chemicals). I did quite a bit of research before coming up with this method and I can tell you that there are a lot of vanilla tutorials – I tried to simplify it as much as possible while using the best quality ingredients. My sister-in-law and I made this together, doubled the formula and split it up – feel free to double or triple the recipe if you want to make it with someone or if you want to make a bunch to give as gifts.

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Here’s what you need:

  • glass canning jars with good sealing lids (boil in hot water or run through the dishwasher before using)  I used a one quart canning jar that I had on hand and also grabbed these smaller bottles to transfer the vanilla into once it’s ready for gift giving. I love these lids for canning jar closures.
  • Grade B Madagascar Vanilla Beans (B vanilla beans are cheaper than A vanilla beans and great for extract). Here are the exact ones I purchased.
  • Vodka – I used Tito’s – some recipes say to use the cheap stuff but I used what I had on hand.

The Simple Tutorial:

Once you have clean, dry jars you are ready to start!


This is a double-vanilla recipe. If you want a mellower vanilla, use less vanilla beans. Personally I love vanilla and want to taste it in my recipes so I go for the stronger version.
HERE’S THE RATIO –   5-8 vanilla beans : 1 cup vodka – I did 8 beans per cup for the double vanilla recipe.

Slice each vanilla bean pod in half but not all the way through and scrape the ‘seeds’ of the vanilla – put the seeds and the vanilla beans in the jar(s).

Pour the vodka over the vanilla beans – use a funnel if necessary.

Close the jar tightly and put in a cool, dark place for 6 weeks – preferably 4-6 months before using. Take out and swirl monthly to mix up all that vanilla-goodness. Smells are totally okay! This is what it will look like right after you seal everything up.

And this is what it looks like after a couple months – isn’t it just so satisfying?

Ready to try making your own Vanilla Extract?  I don’t think I’ll ever buy it again!

Posted Under:

Kitchen