Add a burst of sweet delicious flavor with this homemade vanilla extract. If you use vanilla flavoring often, you’ll love making your own homemade version.
Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe
Vanilla extract is used in a multitude of recipes. Even if it is just a little bit of vanilla, it adds that little extra to make a dessert deliciously special.
In fact, even chocolate can be enhanced with just a few drops of vanilla. With so many benefits to the stuff, making your own homemade vanilla extract is definitely worth it.
Sweet, delicious vanilla extract is made with just two simple ingredients! This extract carries a sweet and potent flavor unlike any you’ve ever had.
When used in recipes, the vanilla is sugary, with a caramelly taste and a light floral component. It enhances the flavor of other ingredients to bring out a sweet taste.
Why You’ll Love this Vanilla Extract Recipe:
- It’s cheaper. It costs about 7 bucks to make an 8 oz bottle for yourself, but you would pay 10 to 20 bucks in the store.
- Great for gifting. Everyone loves getting homemade stuff they can actually use, and this stuff makes a great stocking stuffer.
- Better flavor. Compared to store-bought vanilla extract, homemade has a much sweeter and more potent flavor that everyone is sure to love.
How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract from Scratch
Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!
- Place your vanilla beans In a jar or a bottle that can have an airtight seal.
- Next, pour the alcohol into the beans and seal the lid.
- Then, place the vanilla in a cool dark place for at least 6 months before using.
For most vanilla extract recipes, you will use alcohol. However, if you don’t like the idea of using alcohol for your extract, you can make it with 3 parts food-grade liquid glycerin and 1 part water. So, for this recipe, you would do ¾ cup glycerin to ¼ cup water.
Any kind of alcohol works to make vanilla extract. However, you want to ensure the alcohol is at least 80 proof for best results. I recommend vodka for the purest flavor, but bourbon is also popular. I don’t use the top shelf, but I don’t use the bottom of the barrel either. Ketel One, Absolut, or Smirnoff will work just fine.
When stored properly, your vanilla extract will keep indefinitely. So, there’s no need to throw it out. However, we recommend using it within 5 years to allow for the best flavor and aroma. Never refrigerate or freeze your extract even after you open it. Simply keep it in a cool, dark place in an airtight container.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Add more flavor. You can add more flavor to the party by using bourbon, brandy, or rum. For a richer, well-rounded flavor, I opt for Bourbon.
- Save money online. You can buy vanilla beans online or at spice shops which will save you even more money. Here is what we bought.
- Give it a shake every month. To make sure it’s moving along nicely, give your extract a good shake once a month.
This recipe is super simple and perfect for all your baking needs. Because this recipe takes 6 months for completion, I recommend starting it before you run out! Make several batches and stock up!
If you make this recipe be sure to leave us a comment or rating. Enjoy!
Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe
- 6-8 whole vanilla beans cut in half lengthwise (Click for where to buy)
- 1 cup vodka or bourbon
- Add the vanilla beans to a clean jar or bottle with an airtight seal. Optional: Scrape the vanilla caviar from the beans with a pairing knife and add it to the jar separately. This can speed up the process a little bit.6-8 whole vanilla beans
- Add your alcohol of choice to completely cover the beans and attach the lid.1 cup vodka or bourbon
- Place the vanilla in a cool, dark place for at least 6 months before using. Periodically add more alcohol and/or beans as you use it up.
- This recipe makes 1 cup of vanilla extract
- Buying vanilla beans online or at spice shops can help you save a lot of money– they’re much more expensive in the grocery store. Here is what we bought.
- For a more pure vanilla taste, I opt for vodka. For a richer, well-rounded flavor, I opt for Bourbon– but I always have one of each on hand!
- I usually give my vanilla extract a good shake every month but that is really optional– I just like to check on it to make sure it’s moving along nicely.