Vanilla beans and vodka are the only two ingredients needed to make homemade vanilla extract. Allow the vanilla beans to infuse the vodka for as little as 8 weeks, but wait at least 6–12 months for the best flavor. Homemade vanilla is less expensive than store-bought vanilla.

Making Vanilla Extract It is the simplest thing in the world to learn how to create the homemade vanilla extract. It only requires two ingredients and transforms the flavor and aroma of all of your baked goods. There’s no going back to store-bought vanilla extract once you’ve tried your hand at making your own. It just requires a little bit of planning ahead.

Why should you make your own Vanilla Extract?

Why make your own vanilla extract when you can buy it in a store? That is an excellent question. With the price of vanilla continually shifting, making your own is a very cost-effective option. I also find it sometimes not readily available to purchase, and I don’t like to settle for artificial vanilla extract, especially if I don’t have to. You will also have the ability to determine the intensity of flavor in your vanilla, which is important. Store-bought vanilla usually lacks the intense depth of vanilla flavor, and this is because they are made with synthetic or artificial ingredients. I like to make vanilla from scratch because you know exactly what is going into each and every bottle.

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vanilla pods

What you’ll need to make Vanilla Extract:

Vanilla Beans:

Vanilla beans can be found in the spice section of most major supermarkets. If you can’t find them locally, consider buying them online. These are the alternatives that I use and highly recommend. Vanilla Beans from Madagascar, or Tahiti, The beans are a good size, good quality, and ideal for making vanilla extract at home. For the finest flavor, use 4-5 beans per 8 ounces (1 cup) of alcohol.

Alcohol: Vanilla extract is typically made from vodka, but it can also be made with bourbon, brandy, or rum. I usually use vodka but have used rum as well. There is no need to splurge on expensive alcohol. All the flavor is from the vanilla beans, so the grade of alcohol does not matter here.

Glass Jars: We Recommend using a mason jar or a swing-top jar. The last time I made my vanilla extract I put it all into the glass bottle from my vodka came and it worked out well too.

Funnel: A funnel isn’t required, but it makes pouring a lot easier and faster ( these funnels are nice because they collapse and make for easy storage)

About the Vanilla Bean:

vanilla pods
vanilla pods in a bundle

Which Vanilla Bean Grade is Best for Extract?

Grade B beans are intended solely for the production of vanilla extract. They’ll have a more intense flavor and are often less pricey. Grade A beans, on the other hand, can be used.

What’s the difference between Grade A and Grade B vanilla beans?

  • Grade A beans are often more expensive gourmet beans with a moisture content of more than 25%, allowing them to lose their flavor more easily. Use Grade A vanilla beans whenever a recipe calls for scraping the inside of a vanilla bean or infusing it into batters or sauces (like carrot cake or banana bread).
  • Grade B beans are less expensive and contain less than 25% moisture, which means they won’t lose their taste as easily as Grade A beans, but when they do, the flavor is more concentrated, making them ideal for long-term infusions like vanilla extract.

Madagascar Vanilla Beans are the most widely utilized flavor in vanilla extract.

Madagascar or Tahitian which is best?

  • Madagascar Vanilla Beans are the most widely utilized flavor in vanilla extract.
  • Tahitian Vanilla Beans: has hints of cherry and anise.

How to make Vanilla Extract

  1. Cut Vanilla Beans: With a sharp knife, cut the vanilla length-wise.
  2. Add to the jar and fill with alcohol: Place vanilla beans into the jar. Depending on the size of your jar, you may need to cut the beans in half to fit. Use a funnel if needed to fill jars with alcohol. Secure the lid and shake gently.
  3. Let it sit and rest: Vanilla extract needs time to rest while it develops the flavors. You will notice that the longer it sits, the deeper the color will become. This is where the patience comes in because you need to wait between 3 and 6 months for the flavors to really develop.

I like to make a good amount of vanilla extract, so I will double the batch, so once it is ready, there is a batch still sitting there developing flavors. while I have one to use.

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How to make Homemade Vanilla Extract

Vanilla beans and vodka are the only two things needed to make homemade vanilla extract. Allow the vanilla beans to infuse for 6-8 weeks and up to 6-12 months.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Extracts, Flavorings
Cuisine American
Servings 16 ounces
Calories 77 kcal


  • 10 beans Madagascar beans, Grade B  or vanilla bean of your choice
  • 2 Cups Vodka optional brandy, rum, or bourbon


  • Gather your jars, vanilla bean and vodka( or alcohol of your choice).
  • With a sharp knife cut the vanilla length wise, to the desired length this will depend on the size of your jar.
  • Place vanilla beans in the jars and submerge with alcohol.
Keyword Easy, Extract, homemade, Vanilla

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