Homemade Vanilla Extract

Okay, no, not really, but it sure felt like it!
After seeing the offspring of the queen of butter, a.k.a. Paula Deen,  make some homemade vanilla extract, I decided that I would try my hand at it. Especially, since I am prone to whipping up red velvet cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, or a pound cake, on a whim.  The recipe was amazingly easy, and totally fun.
Here’s what you need:
Sanitized jars that can be sealed well. 
Fresh Vanilla Beans 6 per pint sized  jar is fine. Just remember, the more vanilla beans you have, the stronger your extract will be.
Your Choice of Vodka, 1.75mL worth – I used Skol because I have no idea what type of Vodka is “good” vodka.  No, really, I’m totally an alcohol novice. You could give me gin, and tell me it’s vodka (I just learned that they are the same color while on my trip to the grocery store) and I’d skip happily away. Don’t judge me.
Cutting board
Pairing Knife
 Take your pairing knife and slice the vanilla bean from tip to tip. You don’t want to slice through to the other side, but you do want the skin to open up to reveal the seedy part. It’s going to look like dirt. Seriously.

 Put the beans into the mason jar.

Put the lid on the jar.

Screw it on. 
Store these in a cool dark place and give them a shake every couple of weeks. You can let these sit for as long as you want – of course, the vanilla flavor will steep more the longer you wait. I plan to give these out as Christmas presents to the bakers in my family. Easy peasy,  and quite easy on the wallet. PLUS – you’re getting WAY more than you do in those two ounce deals in the grocery store.  How ‘bout them apples?!

Came back to add – after the extract has gotten to the strength that you desire, strain into a dark bottle with cheesecloth (to catch the vanilla beans) – decorate with a label and voila! Your very own homemade vanilla extract.

~Make It A Fantastic Day!!

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  • Reply
    Denise @How Mama Got Her Swag Back
    April 12, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    That is awesome!

  • Reply
    K. Rock
    April 14, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Cool! I didn't know extract was made with vodka. That makes me like it even more. LOL!

  • Reply
    N. Nicholes
    April 15, 2011 at 3:40 am

    Thanks ladies!

    @K Rock, then you should have been here to help me pick out a vodka! I was completely LOST! LOL!

  • Reply
    April 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    That looks easy peasy. I think I'll make some this summer so it'll be good and ready for holiday baking and gifts!

  • Reply
    N. Nicholes
    April 17, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    It was extremely easy Teri! I do know that some people do a variation by heating the alcohol first – which I'm guessing ferments the vanilla quicker than the method that I am using.

    You all also have to remember to transfer the vanilla to a dark bottle so that it doesn't lose potency from direct light. I have to find some brown bottles to transfer them to.

  • Reply
    April 3, 2012 at 12:24 am

    I made vanilla last year using a 1.75ml bottle of vodka, a cheap brand. I put the beans right into the vodka bottle (after pouring a bit off so there would be room for the beans) I wasn’t sure how many beans to add so over a period of a few months kept adding more beans, now I don’t know how many I put in. You explained how to make vanilla extract very well in your blog, however I would like to know what size mason jars you used, they look like pint size, is this correct? ~or~ If I put the beans right into the bottle of vodka how many would you say I should add? Thank you for your help with this and thank you too for your most informative blog.

    • Reply
      April 3, 2012 at 12:36 am

      Sorry about that! I used a pint sized mason jar, and I used 6 beans each. It proves to be very potent the longer you wait of course, but from research, I realize that you can use the beans for up to 7 years. Isn’t that crazy?! If you put them right into your bottle of vodka, it would probably be four times as much for that volume. I used that same amount of vodka between all four bottles of the mason jars. Now, you have just reminded me that I need to do a follow up of the vanilla extract! Thanks for stopping by Anna!

  • Reply
    lucy tyler
    February 8, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Thanks for this great recipe!

  • Reply
    Stacie Branson
    December 11, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Mmm, I love vanilla during the holiday but I usually by the cheap imitation kind. This seems easy enough for someone like me but I wonder how expensive is real vanilla beans.

  • Reply
    December 12, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Wow. This is so cool. I’ve never heard of anyone making their own vanilla extract. I’ve obviously been living under a rock. I’m going to try this!

  • Reply
    December 12, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    This is so cool! I would have never thought to do this but it seems easier than I would have anticipated! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    December 12, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    I am so doing this! This is such a neat idea… and as a gift? Yes! I can definitely do that. What else can I soak in vodka and give away? I’m so serious…

  • Reply
    December 13, 2017 at 1:14 am

    My mom use to make homemade extract. Me, I buy it at the store but it’s expensive so this may just happen.

  • Reply
    December 13, 2017 at 7:11 am

    How Cool is this!!! Vanilla extract is expensive I would love to make my own! I can’t wait to share this with my mom and sister!!!!

  • Reply
    December 13, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    What an easy and useful recipe! Although it does make me wonder if I should be putting vanilla extract into my green smoothies. Lol ‍♀️

  • Reply
    December 14, 2017 at 11:49 am

    I have always wanted to know how to do this, but always figured it was one of those things that was not a part of my ministry. But you make it look so easy! Can’t wait to try this out!

  • Reply
    December 16, 2017 at 5:17 am

    The price of Vanilla extract has drastically increased. This could save some me money and it actually looks pretty easy to do. Maybe I’ll give it a try.

  • Reply
    Ramona C
    December 17, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Vanilla Extract is a staple in my kitchen. I’m bookmarking this post. It will be cool to make my own in the future.

  • Reply
    Danasia Fantastic
    December 18, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    My mom would love this tutorial! She uses Vanilla Extract daily!

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