Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

homemade vanilla extract recipe

If you have ever tasted the difference between real vanilla extract and imitation vanilla extract in recipes, you know there is a difference. It is a much richer vanilla taste and really brings depth to your recipes. Did you know it is super easy to make your own vanilla extract and costs less than buying it in the store? It is mostly a matter of waiting! Here is how I make my own vanilla extract.


Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

homemade vanilla extract month 1

homemade vanilla extract 2


You will need to some vodka and some vanilla beans. It does not matter if you use expensive vodka or not as it won’t effect the favor much. I used a cheap bottle that cost me around $5. The vanilla beans were a little harder to get for a lower price as they vary widely depending on where you go. I found in my area, they cost around $2 each. I was able to find a two pack at my local Cost Plus World Market for around $3. Other than that, you bulk order (for 5 beans, just the right amount you need for this recipe!) on Amazon for cheaper.  Altogether, it should cost around 10-11 dollars to make this recipe and it makes around a pint and a half. You will usually pay 2-3 times this much for this amount!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Homemade Vanilla Extract
  • 5-6 Whole Vanilla Beans
  • 1 5th of Vodka
  • Mason jar with a tight fitting lid
  • Dark place to store it
  1. Pour your bottle of vodka into your mason jar.
  2. Add your vanilla beans. You can split them with a knife down the middle, but I don't think it makes much of a difference.
  3. Replace your lid, put a label on it and place it in a dark are where it will not be disturbed. Every week, shake the contents gently. After about 2-3 months it will be ready!
  4. If you use some and want to keep it going, just add a little bit more liqueur and another bean. It won't really spoil because it is mostly alcohol. It will only get richer in taste with time.


15 Replies to “Make Your Own Vanilla Extract”

  1. I made this in Spain. It was easier to find vanilla beans than extract. I started using it after a couple weeks and just kept adding more vodka to the bottle. I wasn’t unhappy with the flavor.
    LydiaF recently posted..Preparation for A Week of Vegan Before 6 EatingMy Profile

    1. I think my homemade version really adds something extra to recipes. I totally agree with you!

  2. I also make my own vanilla and it is SO good. 🙂 I agree that it adds something wonderful to our foods… and it smells great. I usually make 1/2 gallon at a time and it lasts quite a while even though I do a LOT of baking. It isn’t cheap to make, but then, I have NEVER bought 1/2 gallon of vanilla at a time. 🙂 They usually sell it in small bottles for $3 or $6 or $11 each, so making it probably isn’t that expensive after all. 🙂 Thank you for posting this….
    Gentle Joy recently posted..Plant WHAT With Tomatoes???My Profile

  3. Thanks so much for linking up to our Hip Homeschool Moms BlogHop last Tuesday! I chose your article as my favorite from the linkup!! You will be featured on this week’s hop and your article will be share on some of our various social media platforms! I’m pinning it now to our frugal board! Thanks for linking up! I look forward to seeing more from you on future hops!!
    Trish @ Hip Homeschool Moms recently posted..Kids in the Kitchen: Cooking in Your HomeschoolMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Trish! I really appreciate you choosing me! Yay! 🙂

  4. i love vanilla and this seems so easy! we will have to try it, thanks for sharing!
    Jennifer Zuna recently posted..Uncle Milton’s Wild Walls and Transforming Hulk ReviewMy Profile

    1. It couldn’t be easier, Jennifer! Thanks for stopping by and let me know how yours turns out!

  5. A friend made some of this for me at Christmas. My son uses it for cookies and those cookies are to.die.for! I may have to make some myself. Could you just add the vanilla beans to the vodka in the vodka bottle? or is there not enough room?
    Karen Childress recently posted..Help Your Child Become Successful at Life- an interview and giveawayMy Profile

    1. You could surely do it that way, Karen. I just have a “thing” for mason jars 🙂

  6. shelly peterson says: Reply

    I never thought to make my own vanilla extract. It looks easy enough and I bet worth the taste.

  7. I told my sister the other day that I do not like baking with artificial vanilla. It does not have a good vanilla flavor and I wanted to buy a better vanilla. I think that this recipe to make homemade vanilla is awesome. I will have to try it.

    1. Let me know how yours turns out, Julie. I still have that batch and it is dark amber in color now and smells awesome!

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