How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract

homemade vanilla extract

I like to make homemade items for Christmas presents. Although Christmas is still a few months away, I am getting started now. I came across a homemade vanilla post over at Kitchen Stewardship and decided that it would be perfect for gifts.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

1.75 Liter Vodka
25-30 Vanilla Beans

After a little research, I decided to go the easy route for vanilla extract. As a busy mom I did not have time to slice the vanilla beans and half and scrape out the seeds. I found other tutorials that simply stated to cut the vanilla bean into thirds which is what I did. I also just placed the cut vanilla beans directly into the bottle of vodka. Make sure to pour out a small amount of vodka as the vanilla beans will add volume.

Store the bottle of vanilla extract in a dark place. Every few days give the bottle a little shake. The picture above is from 24 hours of the vanilla beans soaking in vodka. It takes a good 2-6 months for the vanilla extract to be finished. You can start using the vanilla extract after two months but for best results a full 6 months is best.

homemade vanilla extract

For gifts, pour the vanilla extract into little glass bottles. If it hasn’t been 4-6 months since you started the extract, add a vanilla bean into the bottle. If it has been several months you can strain off the beans and seeds. Make sure to label the bottle too!

I bought cheap vodka and it was around $12. I bought a 1/2 pound of Madagascar Vanilla Beans on Amazon for $18.49 plus the company sent me 10 free Tahitian Vanilla Beans.  If I purchase 4 oz. bottles I will have enough for 16 gifts!

Have you ever made homemade vanilla extract?

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Renae is a married working mom of two handsome boys. She works as a registered dental hygienist by day and blogs here at How to Have it All by night. She enjoys cooking from scratch, working in her vegetable garden and functional training.

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