How to Make Vanilla Extract

Posted by Sarah Papachristos on Friday, December 6, 2013


Vanilla extract is a very special ingredient, especially in baking, adding a unique sweetness and warmth that you just can’t match with sugar or other sweeteners. I adore all extracts and love to use them in my recipes.


Last year I was searching on Pinterest for holiday gift ideas and stumbled upon homemade vanilla extract. It is the perfect gift for the foodie in your life or, even if they don’t like to bake, vanilla extract is tasty in cocktails as well. This pecan pie martini is the perfect example :)


The best part about making homemade vanilla extract is how simple the process is. You start with your vanilla beans, I bought mine off of Amazon, and with a pair of scissors begin to cut the beans into quarters. From there you place about 7-8 beans into a clear, glass bottle of your choice (I purchased mine here) and fill the bottles with vodka.

Voila, you are done! I recommend letting the vanilla and vodka work their magic for at least 1 month before using the extract.


Homemade Vanilla Extract


Tahitian Vanilla Beans (purchased mine on Amazon)


Small glass bottles (I used Boston Rounds)


Being by cutting the vanilla beans in half. Then cut each half lengthwise down the middle. Each vanilla bean will yield 4 small pieces. 

Evenly distribute the vanilla beans into the glass bottles. I recommend each bottle have 6-8 pieces of vanilla.

Then, using a small funnel, pour the vodka in each bottle until full.

You can leave the bottles as is or you can decorate them with festive ribbons and a cute label. Happy holidays and enjoy!