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Homemade Vanilla Extract (2 Ingredients)

You solely want 2 components for do-it-yourself vanilla extract: vanilla beans and vodka. Let the vanilla beans infuse the vodka for as little as 8 weeks, but for optimum flavor, wait no less than 6-12 months before using. Homemade vanilla is more value efficient than store-bought choices.

Vanilla extract is an ingredient in lots of our baked items. This widespread addition truly carries huge weight– 1 teaspoon utterly transforms an excellent dessert into an awesome dessert. You’ll be able to’t make a couple of staples like vanilla cake, vanilla cupcakes, or vanilla buttercream without it.

An expensive reader named Jill emailed me last yr and stated that when she began making her personal vanilla extract, her baked items tasted even higher than before. She informed me the secrets and techniques are to make use of additional vanilla beans and let the extract sit for at the least 6 months before utilizing.

I by no means thought to publish a submit about selfmade vanilla extract because it’s truly fairly simple. But Jill’s phrases have been sufficient to convince me that each one bakers should know that a cheaper AND higher tasting vanilla extract is just 2 elements away.

homemade vanilla extract

Why Make Homemade Vanilla Extract?

Why make vanilla extract when you possibly can simply buy it from the store? Good query. With the worth of vanilla continually fluctuating, it’s very value environment friendly to make your personal. Plus, you possibly can control the power of its taste. That is KEY because many expensive store-bought choices lack the important depth of taste that makes good vanilla… good vanilla. This is either because the vanilla extract is imitation and made with synthetic or artificial elements or brands reduce on the quantity of real vanilla in each bottle. You’re not paying for good vanilla, you’re paying for the convenience of weak bottled vanilla.

(By the best way, final yr I was a part of a blind taste check of different store-bought pure vanillas and McCormick gained by a landslide. It was the group’s best choice in both flavor and aroma.)

In case you open a bottle of some store-bought vanilla extracts and a bottle of do-it-yourself vanilla, you will immediately odor the difference. And this distinction immediately transfers into your do-it-yourself baked goods.

Homemade Vanilla Extract: Video Tutorial

vanilla beans

What You Need for Homemade Vanilla Extract

All you’re doing is pouring alcohol over cut up vanilla beans and letting the concoction age over time. Give it a shake every so often. It’s that straightforward.

  1. Vanilla Beans: You will discover vanilla beans at most main grocery stores in the spice aisle. Should you can’t find them, attempt purchasing them on-line. I highly advocate these Madagascar vanilla beans, these Tahitian vanilla beans, or these Tahitian vanilla beans. (Notice that each are totally different quantities.) I’ve made vanilla with all of them. The beans are a beneficiant measurement, good and plump, top quality, and excellent for do-it-yourself vanilla. Vanilla beans labeled “Grade B” are specifically bought for extracting purposes, but I’ve made vanilla with Grade A beans and it tastes nice. Use both.
  2. 80 proof Alcohol: Vanilla extract is mostly constructed from vodka, however you need to use bourbon, brandy, or rum as an alternative. I often use vodka, but the one bottle of bourbon vanilla I made 7 months in the past is DIVINE. No have to splurge on expensive alcohol. That is in all probability the only time somebody will inform you to buy a budget stuff!! All of the vanilla’s taste is from the vanilla beans, so spend your money on these. Keep away from flavored vodkas as they typically include artificial flavors, which negates the purpose of creating your personal pure vanilla.
  3. Glass Bottles or Jars with Tight Seal: I like to recommend 8 ounce bottles. These bottles have a convenient swing prime with a very tight seal. Great for gifting!
  4. Funnel: A funnel is optionally available, nevertheless it makes pouring 100x faster and easier. (These funnels collapse, in order that they’re great for storage.)

Vanilla beans are costly, however 5-6 of them make a whole CUP (eight ounces) of vanilla extract and you may reuse the beans. Examine that to $four for 1 ounce of store-bought extract.

Non-alcoholic model? Pure extracts are created from alcohol as a result of it’s the simplest approach to extract the flavor out of the food. I’ve by no means made vanilla extract with a nonalcoholic various, however there are a couple of tutorials on-line for those who give it a quick search.

Single-Fold Vs Double-Fold Vanilla Extract

Most store-bought vanilla extracts are what’s generally known as single-fold. Single-fold vanillas are weaker and to make your personal, you need about four vanilla beans per eight ounces of alcohol. I choose a stronger vanilla so the selfmade flavor is extra outstanding in desserts. Robust vanilla is called double-fold and it’s pretty expensive because it requires plenty of vanilla beans. Since double-fold can get costly, I go for about 5-6 vanilla beans per eight ounces of alcohol. This is the perfect stability of style and worth.

vanilla beans and vodka

Confused about which sort of vanilla bean to buy?

  • Madagascar Vanilla – very common and has a creamy and rich flavor
  • Mexican Vanilla – has a darker, virtually smoky taste
  • Tahitian Vanilla – additionally very common and has a rich floral taste

Any are great decisions on your vanilla extract.

Wait 6-12 Months

The only things you’ll want to keep in mind about do-it-yourself vanilla extract are ratio and time. The ratio of vanilla beans per ounces of alcohol is crucial, however so is the amount of time the vanilla infuses the alcohol. We mentioned ratio above, so let’s chat about how long to infuse the vanilla. Homemade vanilla extract tastes better and turns into darker in shade the longer it sits. This means we need to apply our endurance and fortunately with an virtually 2 yr previous, I’ve endurance in my back pocket at all times. The wait is value it, although. Make some right now and use it 6 months from now. You’ll be even happier when a full yr has past. 12+ month selfmade vanilla is unimaginable!!

Store the infusing vanilla out of direct daylight and give it a shake as soon as per week.

Need to know the most effective a part of all? You possibly can constantly add more alcohol to the bottle as you employ it. See the recipe instructions under. This is really the present that retains on giving!

3 bottles of homemade vanilla extract

Free Printable Vanilla Extract Labels

As a result of everyone loves a cute accessory, I asked my pricey good friend Jess to design cute labels for the vanilla extract bottles. So excited to share these with you.

Click on this hyperlink for the PDF: Sallys Baking Habit Vanilla Extract Stickers

Print out the labels on sticker adhesive paper, then minimize out the circles. Peel off the labels and stick on your vanilla extract bottles. The labels are clearly non-compulsory, but they’re a cute addition especially when you plan to present the vanilla to others.

homemade vanilla extract in a bottle

I gifted my sister-in-law this very bottle yesterday for her birthday! 🙂

And one final thing… as you wait on your vanilla to infuse, listed here are lots of of recipes using vanilla extract which you could browse. Tons to look ahead to!



Let the vanilla beans infuse the vodka for as little as eight weeks, however for optimal taste, wait at the very least 6-12 months earlier than using.


  • 5–6 vanilla beans
  • 1 cup (8 ounces; 240ml) 80 proof vodka (or bourbon, brandy, and even rum)
  • eight ounce bottle or jar with a decent seal, washed & dried


  1. Utilizing a sharp knife, slit the vanilla beans so the beans are exposed. No have to utterly cut up the bean in half, simply slit down the middle. If the size of the vanilla beans don’t match into your bottle or jar, minimize the vanilla beans into smaller items. Place beans into bottle or jar.
  2. Pour vodka on prime. A funnel helps. Use somewhat additional vodka, if wanted, so the beans are absolutely submerged. Shake a couple of occasions.
  3. Retailer vanilla at room temperature out of direct daylight. Shake about as soon as per week or as soon as every couple weeks. Vanilla could be ready to make use of in as little as 8 weeks, but I like to recommend at the very least 6 months for optimal taste. 12+ months is nice!
  4. As you begin to make use of your vanilla, you possibly can refill with a bit of vodka each time. Give it a shake after you refill and provides it a shake earlier than each use, too. When you’re gifting the vanilla or should you don’t have any extra alcohol to refill, remove the beans utterly after first use. The beans will grow to be a bit of slimy in the event that they aren’t virtually absolutely submerged.
  5. Unused aged vanilla extract (with the beans absolutely submerged) will final several years. If it nonetheless smells good, it’s still good to make use of! Aged extract with out the beans will final indefinitely. Once you begin using the vanilla and including extra alcohol after each use, the beans will ultimately have to be changed. It’s onerous to provide a selected amount of time as some might use (and refill) the vanilla extra shortly than others. After about 1 yr of frequent use and refilling, you’ll you find the vanilla taste much less intense. Merely take away previous beans, add recent beans, shake, and continue to make use of/refill.


  1. Seeds: Because the vanilla beans are exposed (slit open), there shall be vanilla bean seeds in the bottle and subsequently in your baked good. They add much more fantastic taste!
  2. Use the identical quantity of selfmade vanilla extract as you’d store-bought in recipes.
  3. Gifting: I often take away the beans if I’m gifting the bottle, that means the present recipient isn’t chargeable for refilling with extra alcohol and the beans don’t go to waste. (You possibly can reuse the beans for a brand new bottle.) Nevertheless, if it’s been less than 6 months, I like to recommend gifting with the beans within the bottle because there’s nonetheless numerous flavor in there! Tell the present recipient to remove the beans as soon as he/she begins using the vanilla.
  4. Alcohol: If baking gluten free, use licensed gluten free alcohol. Avoid flavored vodkas as they typically include artificial flavors, which negates the purpose of creating your personal pure vanilla.

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