How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract

How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract

With the holidays coming, you might be breaking out the baking goods more frequently than usual, and with it, endless bottles of vanilla extract. If you're always buying tiny amounts of this essential ingredient in sugary sweets, why not try making a batch of your own big enough to handle all of your baking needs? It's surprisingly easy to do, and makes a great homemade gift as well!

Vanilla Extract_Large

Materials Needed

  • an air-tight container
  • vanilla beans
  • vodka, or your alcohol of choice, be it bourbon, rum, or brandy.


  1. Split your vanilla beans in half with a knife. (There's no need to scrape them).
  2. Put your vanilla beans in your glass bottle or jar and cover with vodka. Add about 1/3rd cup of vodka for each whole bean.
  3. Seal the jar and store it in a cool place for at least 6-8 weeks, making sure to shake the bottle at least once a week!

Tips and Tricks

  • 2 months of steeping will allow for the best flavor, but your vanilla extract can be used as early as 3-4 weeks.
  • Instead of making a brand new batch, just keep adding vanilla beans and liquor to your bottle as you use it! The taste will just get better.
  • Keep your fresh vanilla beans in a cool, dark place in a vacuum-sealed bag (if possible). This will prevent them from hardening too much over time!