Vanilla Extract Recipe (2024)

Vanilla Extract Recipe (1)

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Learning how to make vanilla extract is the easiest thing ever. It requires only 2 ingredients andmakes all of your baked goods taste and smell incredible. Homemade vanilla extract will be your secret ingredientfor baking!Once you make your own homemade vanilla extract,there’s just no going back to the store-bought version. As a bonus,you can refill real vanilla extract with more vodka as it runs out so it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

These make for darling and thoughtful DIY Christmas gifts (see tutorial below). My cousin’s wife, Alla, shared this awesome idea with me for gifting homemade vanilla extract and now all my sisters and friends know exactly what they’re getting for Christmas! lol.

I included links to all of the tools and resources that I used to make these from the sweet little glass bottles on Amazon to the free labels I designed which you can print at home. There’s also a full visual tutorial on wrapping these in kitchen towels. I really enjoyed making these and I will enjoy giving them away even more!

Vanilla Extract Recipe (2)

Vanilla Extract Ingredients (makes 10 (4oz) jars):

20 vanilla beans
40 oz plain vodka* (80 proof works great)

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It’s easy to scale this recipe up or down, the proportions are 4 whole vanilla beans per 1 cup (8 oz) vodka, or 2 vanilla beans per 1/2 cup (4 oz) vodka.

*It’s not necessary to get themost expensive brand of vodka; something middle of the road like Smirnoff triple distilled 80 proof will work just fine. I found this at the liquor store and paid $25 for a giant jug. I’ll be refilling my vanilla a long time :).My cousin used the Vodka sold at Costco (Washington Costco’scarry liquor, but Idaho’s don’t).

Tools you’ll need for Homemade Vanilla Extract:

Small funnel or measuring cup with pouring lip
10 (4oz) clear bottles with lids (avoid cork lids – alcohol evaporates through the cork)
Labels (click here to save and print the labels I designed FREE!)
Kitchen scissors or sharp knife

How to Make Vanilla Extract:

1. Wash and sanitize bottles and lids. I washedwith mild soapy water, rinsed then swirled with boiling hot water to sanitize them.

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2. Cut beans in half then Split beans. I found this is easiest with kitchen scissors. Cutting them about halfway down the stem. If the beans are too dry to split, cut them into 1″ pieces. Place a total of 2 whole beans in each jar (or 4 split halves).

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3. Use a funnel or measuring cup to pour vodka to the top of the jar. Cover tightly with lid and let them brew for 2 months, shaking occasionally.

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Apply the FREE vanilla extract labels by printing them on label paper or by gluing them onto the bottles. If printing on the labels, make sure your printer is set to 100% and not “fit to page” which make shrink or stretch labels.

You should give the vanilla a little shake every now and then for the next couple of months as it sits. It will turn a beautiful amber color when it’s ready to use. The instructions are right on the label so you don’t have to wait that long to gift them ;).

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Vanilla Extract Recipe (9)

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For Creative Gifting:

12 yards of yarnorkitchen string
12 kitchen towels for gifting, preferably tea towel style
12 small/medium cookie cutters

How to Wrap a Gift With a Kitchen Towel:

Fold a kitchen towel in half lengthwise and then in half again lengthwise. Place vanilla in the upper left corner, fold over the bottom flap, roll into a log and tie the top with a string or ribbon directly over the next of where the bottle is sitting inside the towel.

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Vanilla Extract Recipe (12)

How to Store Vanilla Extract

Keep your homemade vanilla extract in a cool dry place. Heat and light can cause it to turn cloudy.

If it does turn cloudy, murky, or muddy-looking, do the smell test and if it still smells good, it should be fine to use. Using 80 proof vodka, it is highly unlikely there is bacterial growth.

Sometimes the type of beans you get can leach pulp into the alcohol and you can strain out sediment if desired.

Vanilla Extract Recipe

4.95 from 353 votes

Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com

How to make Homemade Vanilla Extract - it's so easy and only requires 2 ingredients! This will become your secret ingredient for baking.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes mins

Total Time: 30 minutes mins

Ingredients

Servings: 12 (4oz) jars

Vanilla Extract Ingredients (makes 12 (4oz) jars):

  • 20 vanilla beans, I used Grade B Bourbon
  • 40 oz plain vodka*, 80 proof works great

Tools you'll need for Homemade Vanilla Extract:

Instructions

  • Wash and sanitize bottles and lids: Wash with mild soapy water, rinse, then carefully swirl with boiling hot water to sanitize them.

  • Cut beans in half then Split beans (it's easiest with kitchen scissors), cutting them about halfway down the stem. If the beans are too dry to split, cut them into small 1" pieces so they don't stick up above the surface of the extract as you use it. Place a total of 2 whole beans in each jar (or 4 split halves).

  • Use a funnel to pour vodka to the top of jar. Cover tightly with lid and let them brew for 2 months, shaking occasionally.

Notes

It's easy to scale this recipe up or down, the proportions are 4 whole vanilla beans per 1 cup (8 oz) vodka, or 2 vanilla beans per 1/2 cup (4 oz) vodka.

  • Full Nutrition Label
  • Nutrition Disclosure

Course: Condiments, Sauce

Cuisine: American

Keyword: Vanilla Extract

Skill Level: Easy

Cost to Make: $$$

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

Vanilla Extract Recipe (15)

Natasha Kravchuk

Vanilla Extract Recipe (16)

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Vanilla Extract Recipe (2024)

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