Thursday, July 31, 2014

Homemade Vanilla Extract

The making of every recipe requires good ingredients... and the making of good ingredients can be easy and less expensive than the buying of good ingredients.  I have enjoyed making many ingredients, and love to have them on hand as much as I can. Vanilla extract is one of those ingredients and what a wonderful ingredient it is.  It also happens to be very easy to make.  Last summer I decided to make a batch of Vanilla Extract after I saw it all over Pinterest.  It was ready by Christmas and made wonderful presents as well as provided me with all I needed for my Christmas baking.  If you love to cook, you may have been tempted like I was, to make your own Vanilla Extract, and if you haven't given it a try yet, let me  encourage you to give it a try. It is an easy project and tastes so much better in your baked goods than anything pre-made from the store.

 Summer time is a good time to make Vanilla Extract, because it gives you several months to let it soak and still be ready for Christmas.  Some instructions will tell you that the extract can be ready to use in about two weeks, but letting it sit for several months makes a much better flavor.

Order good beans in bulk on line 

You will need 20- 25 Vanilla beans per quart.

Slice each bean lengthwise.

The Vanilla Caviar is in the middle of the bean.

Scrape it out and put it in the quart jar.

Place the sliced beans in the jar.

Fill with Vodka (some people use Rum, but I believe the Vodka has no flavor at all, compared to the Rum, which apparently does… so you can do as you like, or do what is least expensive).

Shake the jar well, and then shake it up every few days, for the first few weeks, and store for 5-6 months. The Vanilla will start out looking almost clear, but 2-3 weeks later it will have turned a lovely 
 sheer Amber brown.

Pour into Amber Colored Jars, seal and label.

1 quart of Vodka (I go for the least expensive).
20 -25 good quality Vanilla Beans (order in bulk on line for the best deals)
1 quart jar
Amber Colored jars with lids

  1. Slice  the Vanilla Beans lengthwise.
  2. Scrape the Vanilla Caviar out of each bean with a knife (the Caviar is the black paste inside the bean)
  3. Put the sliced beans and the Caviar into the quart jar.
  4. Pour Vodka over Vanilla Beans and Vanilla Bean Caviar and fill the jar to the top.
  5. Put a lid on the jar and store 1-6 months (the longer the better)
  6. For gifts, pour into Amber Colored Jars and seal.
  7. Label and enjoy.

Note: It is best not to skimp on the vanilla beans either in quality or quantity; if you try to economize by using less, you will end up with a weaker extract.

Resources: Olive Nation  and Mountain Rose Herbs (you can buy bottles in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs).

25 -30 beans are about 1/4 pound when you order in the bulk


  1. I also love to make my own vanilla. I first heard of making it while staying with a mom to a girl that we were involved in her wedding. She made homemade vanilla and it smelled so good.

    Just ordered another batch of beans and have another bottle started that I plan on using some of it for Christmas gifts.

    So different to bake with compared to when I used imitation vanilla.


  2. I finished my delightful bottle from last Christmas a few weeks ago "sniff". And it was w.o.n.d.e.r.f.u.l!!! This got my brain flowing with inspiration for Christmas Mom. Such a great idea and a really nice gift for friends come Christmas.