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Homemade Vanilla Extract
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5 from 2 votes

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade vanilla extract couldn’t be simpler. All you need are two ingredients: vodka and vanilla beans. And of course, time. This vanilla extract is delicious, easy and makes the perfect gift. 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 min
Extraction Time180 d
Total Time180 d 6 mins
Course: Cake
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade vanilla extract, vanilla beans
Servings: 1


  • 5 to 6 vanilla beans (from Madagascar, Tahiti or Mexico)
  • 8 ounces vodka (or bourbon or rum)
  • Bottle
  • Funnel


  • In a small saucepan, set over medium-low heat, add the vodka. Warm it up until it’s warm to the touch. No need to take it to a boil. You just want it a bit warm.
  • Using a paring knife, split open the vanilla bean pod to expose the beans. Add them to the bottle you’re using. Pour the vodka over the beans and close the lid. Label the bottle with the name and date. Every few days in the beginning, you want to give it a shake. After those the first week, you can just give it a shake every week or so. Store in a dark cool place and in 6 to 8 months, you’ll have beautiful homemade vanilla extract.


Bottles | Madagascar Vanilla Beans (Pack of 10) | Madagascar Beans (Pack of 25) | Funnel
Tips and Tricks:
  • Jars - You can use a big mason jar and just double or triple the recipe if you like. I I found these jars to be great with an attached lid.
  • Funnel - I find funnels to be a super useful thing to have in the kitchen. I've had these for a few years and they come in handy!
Making Alcohol-Free Extract
Food-grade Glycerin can be substituted 1:1