Homemade Vanilla Extract


I thought I would make it fun today by showing you how to make your own extract. Honestly, it just couldn’t be easier. All you’ll need is vodka, a few vanilla beans, a mason jar and 10 minutes of your time. That’s it.

I love making my own vanilla extract and after attempting it for the first time (with huge success) a few years back, I’ll never buy extract again. It’s that good. Not to mention so much more affordable than what you buy at the store. It doesn’t matter what kind of vanilla bean you use. There are so many varieties on the market and each one will have a subtle difference in taste and appearance. Play around with some of them and come up with your favorite. I used Madagascar vanilla beans. They are long and thin with a sweet and almost creamy like aroma to them.


The key to making great extract is using FRESH beans. You want them to feel a little oily to the touch and should be fairly soft. Stay away from dry and brittle beans- throw those ones into some sugar to use for either baking. I like to use my homemade extract in oatmeal, a fruit smoothie, and a splash in a cocktail is amazing. With the holiday season in mind, I started 5 jars in September. The jars have been nestled away in a dark cupboard becoming richer and more intensified in flavor by the day. I don’t like to show up anywhere empty handed and this makes an excellent hostess gift. If I haven’t convinced you to make your own vanilla, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to get some of mine!


How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract


A simple guide to making your own homemade vanilla extract.


  • 12 oz Vodka
  • 3 Vanilla Beans
  • 1 Mason Jar


  1. With a sharp knife split vanilla beans in half length wise.
  2. Place the split beans in a mason jar (or any tight fitting glass container) and cover with vodka. Make sure the lid is on tightly and put jars in a dark cool place.
  3. Give them a little shake every few days or so. They will be ready in about two months.
  4. The flavors develop more the longer they sit. When you start to run low simply add more vodka to your jar and you will never run out of vanilla extract!