How to Make Your Own Vanilla Extract (Because It’s Cheap and Easy)
It’s easy to make your own vanilla extract, with vanilla beans and vodka, or any other similar alcohol of your choice. Here’s how!
1. I go through a lot of vanilla extract.
2. Storebought vanilla extract is expensive.
1+2 is not a combination I like.
Vanilla extract is not only unbelievably easy to make, but a lot cheaper than storebought vanilla.
I always buy these vanilla beans from Amazon, because they are very reasonable at less than $1/piece, ship for free, and are unbelievably fragrant. Here’s how to make some:
Take a few vanilla beans, and split them with a paring knife, stopping about an inch from each edge (so they still stay together):
Place them in a clean jar or bottle, and pour to cover with vodka.
Let the vanilla extract sit for 6-8 weeks, giving it a shake every week or so, and watch as it darkens over time. Then it will be ready for use!
Homemade Vanilla Extract
- 3 vanilla beans
- 1 cup vodka or any alcohol that's at least 80 proof or 40% alcohol by volume
- Take the vanilla beans, and split them with a paring knife, stopping about an inch from each edge (so they still stay together).
- Place them in a clean jar or bottle, and pour the vodka in.
- Let the vanilla extract sit for 6-8 weeks, giving it a shake every week or so, and watch as it darkens over time. That’s the tough part, waiting, but you will be rewarded!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
32 Comments on “How to Make Your Own Vanilla Extract (Because It’s Cheap and Easy)”
Vanilla is not the price it used to be but still enjoy making this for my pantry.
I’ve had a bottle of 180 proof alcohol in my cupboard for years, could I use it for this recipe or do you think it would be too strong?
I just started vanilla using Ina Garten’s method, which is simple to submerge beans in vodka and store/shake for a while, adding more vodka as it’s depleted. Added benefit over splitting the beans first is that you can still use the beans for recipes by snipping an end off and squeezing the delicious beany insides right out the end. They come out in a sort of paste. Seems way easier than splitting and scraping beans to me!
I found some Madagascar beans on Amazon for $2.60 a bean that have good reviews. I’m from the Us though, not sure where you’re from.
Believe it or not Etsy yes Etsy has pretty cheap prices for bundles of vanilla beans. I forget what prices I saw but they were pretty cheap most had free shipping. Think thats due to the weight of the product it would be pretty stupid to charge for shipping lol. Yea though I’d check Etsy out its really unexpected but a great place for crafting/ baking items.
I used to love making my own vanilla in bulk. Alas, it is a long time now since Madagascar Vanilla Beans were available from Amazon–or anyone else– and under a dollar a bean. The price now is closer to $10 a bean. This makes the whole enterprise much less questionable at this time. Alas!