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Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe

How to make homemade vanilla extract to add a magical (and SUPER easy) secret ingredient to all of your baked goods. 

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Little things end up making a big difference.

I’m a big fan of shortcuts, especially when it comes to cooking. Pre-chopped frozen veggies? Bring ’em on. Ready-to-use spaghetti sauce? Saves me hours in the kitchen! Pre-shredded cheese? Heck yes.

Imitation vanilla extract? NOPE!

Homemade Vanilla Extract - How to make homemade vanilla extract to add a magical (and SUPER easy) secret ingredient to all of your baked goods.

I used to use it, but as soon as I tasted the real stuff, I just haven’t been able to go back.

When you add too many shortcuts together, sometimes you end up losing the beauty of the dish and that’s what was happening in my baked goods.

I have been making more of an effort to make more foods from scratch anyways (because homemade is almost always better!). And, even if you are a terrible cook, this is the easiest recipe ever.

Here’s What You Need:

  • Vodka (you can use rum, but I prefer the neutral taste of vodka)
  • Vanilla beans – Grade B Madagascar, bourbon, or Tahitian beans are the best for this! I get mine from Amazon because they are cheaper than the grocery store.
  • 5 minutes
  • Knife
  • Cutting board

Homemade Vanilla Extract - How to make homemade vanilla extract to add a magical (and SUPER easy) secret ingredient to all of your baked goods.

That’s it!

Here’s What You Do:

Slice the vanilla beans down the center, but not all the way through

Homemade Vanilla Extract - How to make homemade vanilla extract to add a magical (and SUPER easy) secret ingredient to all of your baked goods.

See all that good pulp in there? That’s the stuff that’s going to make it taste amazing!

Homemade Vanilla Extract - How to make homemade vanilla extract to add a magical (and SUPER easy) secret ingredient to all of your baked goods.

Then just drop them into the vodka.

Homemade Vanilla Extract - How to make homemade vanilla extract to add a magical (and SUPER easy) secret ingredient to all of your baked goods.

Once they are all in there, close it up, give it a little shake and find a cool, dry place for it to live for the next 2-3 months while it works its magic.

Homemade Vanilla Extract - How to make homemade vanilla extract to add a magical (and SUPER easy) secret ingredient to all of your baked goods.

I keep mine in a store room, but wherever you keep it, remember to shake it up every couple of weeks or so to get all of that vanilla flavor into the vodka!

Homemade Vanilla Extract - How to make homemade vanilla extract to add a magical (and SUPER easy) secret ingredient to all of your baked goods.

That’s all there is to it! In a few months, you will have the most amazing tasting vanilla to use in all of your baking and in cute little bottles, they also make adorable gifts!

Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe

5 minPrep Time

5 minTotal Time

Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1.75 liters vodka
  • 10-15 vanilla beans

Instructions

  1. Slice open the vanilla beans halfway, not cutting them all the way through.
  2. Add to vodka bottle and gently shake.
  3. Leave in a cool, dark place and gently shake it every couple of weeks for at least 8 weeks.

Notes

I've heard some people recommend removing your vanilla beans once you start using it because as they used their extract and uncovered their beans, they started to mold. I've been using my current bottle for two years and haven't had that issue!

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Homemade Vanilla Extract - How to make homemade vanilla extract to add a magical (and SUPER easy) secret ingredient to all of your baked goods.
This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. I've been making my own vanilla extract for years. I used to use vodka, but I now use bourbon to make mine because of the richness of flavor. Nothing beats homemade.
    1. You should absolutely try it! It's so easy! And, yes, you can absolutely make other extracts this way - mint, lemon, orange...the possibilities are endless!

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