Homemade Vanilla Extract

So, you can make vanilla extract?! Yes, you can. And it’s ridiculously easy, takes two minutes, and tastes great. The catch? Once you’ve assembled the bottle, you need to let it sit for two months so the vanilla bean can infuse the vodka. You also need to shake the bottle every week or so to help the infusion process.

I’d seen recipes all over for vanilla extract, but I could never stomach the cost of the large bottle of vodka plus the cost of several vanilla beans (ouch!) plus the cost of a decorative glass bottle to hold the extract.

Then I saw this idea in a book called Edible DIY: use a small bottle of vodka, and drop a single vanilla bean right into the bottle. One vanilla bean ($2-$3) and one bottle of vodka ($3-$4) is definitely doable.


What you need:

ingredients for vanilla extract


  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 200 mL bottle of vodka


  • knife and cutting board
  • measuring cup
  • fine-mesh sieve
  • glass bottle (optional)

Time: Two minutes, plus a few seconds here and there to shake the bottle every week,; two months wait for extract to be ready to use.

Freezeable: Not recommended. The extract will keep for a long time.

Serves: Makes nearly 8 oz. of extract.

Multiplying the recipe: You can use a regular-size bottle of vodka, you’ll just need to add more vanilla beans. I like the 200 mL size bottle, so I used one vanilla bean per bottle of vodka.

Homemade Vanilla Extract:

Open the bottle of vodka. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Cut it into 2″ segments. Drop these into the bottle of vodka; seal and shake gently.

Label the bottle with the date two months from today; that will be when the vodka is thoroughly infused with vanilla and the vanilla will be useable.

Every week or so, pull out the bottle and shake gently to redistribute the vanilla bean pieces.

When the vanilla extract is ready, remove the vanilla bean (or keep it in for a stronger flavor and be careful not to pour it into your measuring spoon!). Your extract is now ready to use!

homemade vanilla extract

20 Responses to Homemade Vanilla Extract

  1. Pingback: Weekly Menu Plan #2 | Cooking for the Fam

  2. Pingback: Rolled Sugar Cookies (Cutouts) | Cooking for the Fam

  3. Pingback: Chocolate-Mint Sandwich Cookies | Cooking for the Fam

  4. Pingback: Peanut Butter Blossoms | Cooking for the Fam

  5. Pingback: Double-Dipped Chocolate-Mint Cookies | Cooking for the Fam

  6. Pingback: Granola | Cooking for the Fam

  7. Pingback: Morning Glory Muffins | Cooking for the Fam

  8. Pingback: Love Is a Peanut Butter Cookie | Cooking for the Fam

  9. Pingback: Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Cake | Cooking for the Fam

  10. Pingback: How to Make an Ice Cream Sandwich Cake | Cooking for the Fam

  11. Pingback: Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Pie | Cooking for the Fam

  12. Pingback: Spiced Banana-Chocolate Chip Bread | Cooking for the Fam

  13. Pingback: How to Make Individual Baked Apples | Cooking for the Fam

  14. Pingback: Fall Snack Mix | Cooking for the Fam

  15. Pingback: Dark Chocolate-Orange Cake with Ganache | Cooking for the Fam

  16. Pingback: Dark Chocolate-Orange Mousse | Cooking for the Fam

  17. Pingback: Slow Cooker Chocolate Fondue with Fruit | Cooking for the Fam

  18. Pingback: Two Quick Ideas for Christmas: Shortbread Bites and Fudge | Cooking for the Fam

  19. Pingback: Carrot Cake | Cooking for the Fam

  20. Pingback: How to Make Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches | Cooking for the Fam

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s