Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

I am a baker! Because I am a baker I tend to use a lot of vanilla extract.  Unfortunately, I often find myself with an empty brown plastic bottle devoid of nothing more than the aroma of vanilla.  So a few weeks back I found a recipe for homemade vanilla extract and decided to try my hand at crafting my own.

I’m happy to report the experiment to be a resounding success. 

Caution: It does take a bit of pre-planning and will power.  The pre-planning stage is you have to wait a month before its usable. So make sure your favorite brown bottle is partially full before you take on How to make you own Vanilla Extract.

(The will-power comes in on the side of not drinking the ingredients prior to or during the making of this recipe. But I won’t tell if you don’t!)

Are you ready to try?

It’s really quite simple. And I for one will never buy store bought vanilla extract again.



How to Make your own Vanilla Extract


8 oz. Vodka or your favorite liquor of choice. Brandy or whiskey are other good choices. If you prefer a darker colored extract, go with the darker liquor

10 vanilla beans, lightly sliced down the middle.

Place in a mason jar or any glass jar with a lid and place in a cool dark place.  You will want to protect the extract from direct sun exposure.

Shake weekly to ensure vanilla beans stay covered with liguor.

Allow to infuse for 3 to 4 weeks.


I opened my extract after 2 weeks and it was very weak. At the four week mark, it was perfect.  

Oh, and don’t forget about it. Make sure your cool, dark place is still visible or your might end up with a vanilla syrup.

Vanilla extract will continue to mature. I like to leave a vanilla bean or two in my bottle for both extra flavor and esthetics.

A small decorative bottle with a tight-fitting cork filled with your homemade extract makes a great gift for the baker in your life. Who knows, you might inspire them to bake more cookies!

How easy is that?

I hope you enjoyed this simple tip on Making your own Vanilla Extract. Please feel free to share with your friends.

If you have any suggestions for future posts that you would like to see, please take a moment and leave a comment. I’m always up for a challenge.

Thanks again for taking the time to visit The Bee Queen!

P. S. Don’t toss those used beans. That work great in homemade vanilla bean ice cream!

Leave a Comment:

Barbara Sanders says

Wow, I never knew this could be done. Would be a great gift for sure.

    TheQueenBee-admin says

    It is really very simple and the same when you read the ingredients on the back of the bottle. Hope you try it.

Erin says

I didn’t realize vanilla extract was so simple!! I am definitely going to try this, thanks for sharing! :)

    TheQueenBee-admin says

    Erin, you should definitely try this. Ir couldn’t be easier! Look at the fine print on the back of the vanilla bottle. Its 14 alocohol with vanilla. Same thing!

rhonda says

Hey Becky, just wondering what kind and grade of vanilla bean do you use.

    TheQueenBee-admin says

    Rhonda, unfortunately we don’t have much of a choice around here. I just bought the ones at the local whole foods store. They worked just fine but I’m sure a better grade with infuse faster. I did leave a couple of beans in the decorative bottle and from what I’ve read it will continue to intensify. Good Luck!

      TheQueenBee-admin says

      Rhonda, grade B is best for extracts. Hope that helps. Thanks so much for the question. And it saves money as Grade A is more expensive. A win-win for all!

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