Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

Do you make your own vanilla extract?

As a baker, believe it or not, I never did! What?! Yup, and I really don’t know why I haven’t done something so simple. 🤔

I must say, I always use good quality vanilla even though it may cost more. There is something about knowing your baked goods have good quality vanilla! I usually use Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla. Their extracts are great with intense flavor. I have been using it for a very, very long time.

However, good quality vanilla over time can get a little pricey. Lately, I have come across videos, cooking shows, and posts where bakers and chefs pause to mention that they make their own vanilla extract.

I said to myself, “Now why haven’t I made my own?”

So headed over to Amazon to get some Vanilla Madagascar Bourbon Beans Grade B. Then, I went to a local store to buy a big bottle of cheap vodka. I chose Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans because that is what I’m familiar with and I like the flavor. You can also use Tahitian or Mexican vanilla beans. Once this recipe is a success, I may decide to have a variety of extracts using the different beans!

Even though it is only two ingredients, I needed to have an idea of the ratios. So I researched seasoned bakers, chefs, and reputable food magazines. They were all slightly different so I took the information and kinda met in the middle and came up with the following:

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Difficulty:BeginnerPrep time: 5 minutesServings:16 oz


Easy Pure Vanilla Extract



  1. Make a slit lengthwise on each vanilla bean.
  2. Scrape the caviar from 5 of the vanilla beans and add the caviar to the bottle. (This is optional. You can skip this step and only do the slits on the beans).
  3. Place ALL the vanilla beans into the bottle. If the bottle or jar is not tall enough, cut the vanilla beans in half.
  4. Pour the16 ounces of 80 proof vodka into the jar or bottle.
  5. Close the jar or bottle and shake it.
  6. Place it in a cool, dark place where you can remember to give it a shake from time to time.
  7. May be ready between 3 to 6 months or longer. The longer it sits the better it gets.
  8. When the vanilla extract has a nice dark amber to brown color with an intense vanilla aroma it is ready!


  • Vanilla should always be submerged in alcohol. Once the vanilla beans are beginning peaking through the alcohol, you can add more vodka.
  • After using the vanilla for quite some time, once the color starts to get light, the aroma is faint, it may be time to add fresh vanilla beans but I learned it will be a long while before you need to add more vanilla beans.
Keywords:vanilla, vanilla extract, make your own
Homemade Vanilla Extract

There you have it! I just started making my own vanilla extract on November 8, 2021, so it is not ready. I will be sharing my process on social media and with my email subscribers. If you haven’t already followed me on social media and subscribe to my email list where I get a little more close and personal!

Since my vanilla is not ready yet, I can’t demonstrate the end result. However, if you notice the cover picture, I took that pic the very next day. It was already changing color and the aroma was no longer alcohol but a sweet vanilla smell. As I mentioned, I will share the process in social media and update this post once the vanilla is ready for use along with gifting ideas 🤩


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