Vanilla Extract

by Kris on November 29, 2011

With Christmas right around the corner, I have begun my holiday baking. Between gifts, cards, decorations, flights, and food, this time of year can be tough on your pocket strings. I’m always shocked to see how expensive pure vanilla extract is. Essentially it is just alcohol and vanilla beans. After finding vanilla beans on sale at my local grocery store, I decided to make my own extract.

It is so simple, as it literally takes just five minutes to throw together. It’s the waiting part that’s hard. Ideally you want the extract to sit in a cool dark place for one month or more. This would make a great gift for someone who loves to bake!

  • 1½ cups vodka
  • 4 Vanilla beans

Slice vanilla beans length wise. Place in a sealable jar.

Pour vodka into the jar, seal and shake.

Place jar in a cool dark place and shake once every few days for about a month. The longer you let it sit, the better the vanilla extract will be.

Happy Baking!

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Cookie and Kate November 29, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Well that’s easy! Great gift idea, too. Now I want to make my own!


Isobelle November 29, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Awesome! I’ll definitely be giving this a go as soon as possible!


Kelly @ Inspired Edibles November 30, 2011 at 9:16 am

Love this! Such a perfect gift idea and so simple… I wonder whether rum would work as a substitute for vodka…


munchinwithmunchkin November 30, 2011 at 10:06 am

I’m not sure. Rum has more flavour than vodka so you may taste it in your baked goods. That could be a really good thing though! If you try it, let us know how it turns out! :)


sweetsimplestuff November 30, 2011 at 11:57 am

What a great gift for my baking friends! Thank you.


Danni December 1, 2011 at 11:07 am

Does that vodka have to have a certain alcohol content?


munchinwithmunchkin December 1, 2011 at 11:31 am

I used the cheapest vodka I could find. It’s 80 proof. Leave the good stuff for drinking. :)


terry bowers December 5, 2011 at 2:37 pm

do you keep it in dark place and leave beans in it?? Or do you refrigerate?? I love the thought of making my own vanilla. Thanks


munchinwithmunchkin December 5, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Yes, leave the vanilla beans inside the bottle and store it in your cupboard.


Dianne December 15, 2011 at 12:48 pm

I had seen somewhere else you could keep adding vodka as used and it would last for years?


Anne May 10, 2012 at 9:37 pm

I’ve been making my own vanilla for years because of my sons’ food allergies. Make a reduction of the vanilla and use it for homemade vanilla ice cream. Nothing better!!


Kris May 11, 2012 at 9:09 am

Oh that sounds fantastic Anne! I’m going to give that a try! I actually just made some ice cream yesterday.


Patricia Hamilton July 8, 2012 at 11:16 am

Lovely gift idea! Where may I ask did you find the container pictured?


Kris July 8, 2012 at 11:25 am

I believe I bought it at either World Market or Sur la Table.


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