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How to Make Vanilla Extract Recipe

Ever wonder how to save money on Vanilla Extract? It’s EASY! Just two simple ingredients and you’ll have enough vanilla to last for an entire year at pennies on the dollar too! I’ll show you how to make vanilla extract recipe in no time at all!

bottle of fresh made vanilla extract and flowers

Why This Recipe Works? 

  • Only two ingredients
  • Fast
  • Easy
  • The waiting is the hardest part!

Here’s How It’s Done

STEP 1. 

Cut the vanilla beans and scrape out the seeds. 

two hands cutting vanilla beans

STEP 2. 

Place the bean pods and the seeds into the bottle.

hand placing bean pods in bottle

STEP 3. 

Pour in the Vodka or Rum (or whatever alcohol you are using).Cap the bottle and WAIT for 2-6 months for best flavor. 

hand pouring blue bottle of vodka into a liquid measure

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s). 

Where To Buy Bulk Vanilla Beans

You are going to need a larger quantity of vanilla beans for this recipe than what you usually find at the store.

Have you seen the price of vanilla beans at the store? Who could afford 10-20 of them? 

No worries, you can find very good vanilla beans in bulk at Amazon (that’s where I bought mine). In fact, I JUST purchased more before writing this article. 

This photo is a link to the ones I purchased. I am an Amazon affiliate and do make a percentage of the sale if you should purchase through this link. Thank you so much if you do! . 

 

plastic bag of vanilla beans

You are going to need 6 vanilla beans for every 8 ounces of vanilla extract that you plan to make. 

What Kind Of Vanilla Beans Should I Use? 

You’ll notice that Vanilla beans come in “grades” and that they also have different countries of origin. 

My personal favorites are the Madagascar Bourbon Beans. Grade B is usually used for making vanilla extract (Grade A is saved for other more special applications) but I’ve made vanilla with Grade A before and it turned out GREAT! 

There’s no reason that you have to use my suggestion though, try some of the other beans and let me know which ones you like the best! 

Can I Get My Vanilla Beans at Costco? 

What about Costco Vanilla Beans? Great question! I looked up buying bulk vanilla at Costco and Sam’s club, but couldn’t find any at those places right now. 

Perhaps they do carry vanilla beans, but just not right now. 

Here’s a Basic Guide to the Flavor Profiles: 

  • Madagascar Bourbon Beans:  Creamy deep vanilla that you are familiar with. 
  • Mexican Beans: Have a deeper smoky type flavor
  • Tahitian Beans: The familiar vanilla flavor you are accustomed to with flowery notes. 

What’s The Best Alcohol To Make Vanilla With? 

You’ll want any alcohol (the kind you drink) that is 80 proof (That’s 40%). 

I usually make mine with Vodka, however, I’ve made it with Rum and Bourbon.

I’m waiting for the Bourbon Vanilla to cure now but I bet it’s going to taste GREAT! 

What Kind Of Jars Should I Use? 

Any glass jar with a lid will work! In fact, I’ve been saving some of my old vinegar jars and other tall jars to make vanilla in! 

Glass canning jars also work. 

I found these cute jars on Amazon (you can click the photo to go straight over to Amazon to compare prices). They are a little more than 8oz and have that cute swing top lid! Perfect for gifting! (Again, I’m an Amazon affiliate and make a commission if you choose to purchase. This does not change your price however). 

two swing top glass bottles

How Long Does It Take to Make Vanilla? 

This is the kicker! It takes about 10 minutes to “make” the vanilla but you have to let the vanilla sit in order to extract all of the goodness from the beans. 

The vanilla will initially be ready after 2 months of extraction time, BUT the vanilla will taste best (and therefore your baked good will taste better) if you allow it to rest for 6 months. 

Sometimes, the super good stuff just can’t be sped up. 

That’s why I’m sharing this recipe with you now. If you make some for gifts NOW, they will be ready for the holiday season to roll around. 

Why Should I Make My Own Vanilla?

There are two main reasons to make your own vanilla: 

Cost – a small 1 oz bottle of quality vanilla extract is going to cost you $4-6 at the grocery store (depending on where you live). The same quantity of your own homemade vanilla will cost you roughly half that amount

Then, there’s the important part. 

The second reason to make your own vanilla: The flavor.

Your homemade vanilla will beat the store bought every single time, hands down. What does that mean for you? 

Better tasting baked goods and things that you put vanilla in! If someone told me that I could improve the taste of something coming out of my kitchen just by switching vanilla, I would be ALL OVER that! You should too! 

Will This Vanilla Make Me Drunk? 

No, you won’t be using enough of it at any one time to make you drunk and besides, most of the alcohol cooks off during the cooking process. 

That said, there are people who are very sensitive to alcohol, if you are cooking for someone like that, then it’s probably best to use imitation. 

How Long Does Vanilla Extract Last? 

This vanilla extract will last a very long time (well over a year). You’ll need to be careful and make sure the lid stays on tightly so that it doesn’t evaporate though. 

Tips and Tricks

  • Before starting, note if the beans are hard or soft. They should be soft and supple. If you note that they are hard, soak in warm water for 15 minutes or so first before trying to take the seeds out of the beans. 
  • Many people use a funnel to pour the alcohol into the jar, but I find that using a liquid measure to pour into the jar works just fine plus, it allows me to measure the exact quantity that I need. 
  • When you scrape the seeds from inside the beans, you’ll notice that they want to clump together. You may want to mix the alcohol and the seeds together and then use a whisk to break them up before pouring into the jar. That method seems to work best for me. 
  • It isn’t necessary for the beans to stand straight up in the bottle, it’s just necessary that the pods be in there, so if you don’t have a tall bottle, you can use a short one, just bend the beans in half and poke them in there. 
  • Usually I advise you to use alcohol that you would drink in recipes, but in this case, that really isn’t necessary. You won’t really be tasting the alcohol so, for once, I am promoting using the less expensive variety of alcohol!
  • Here’s probably everything you ever wanted to know about vanilla extract and more from the USDA. 

PROTIP: For a nice presentation, when you split the beans, leave them attached at the top so that the whole beans stays together when you put it in the jar. 

If You Liked This Recipe, You Might Want To Try Your New Vanilla In One of These…

Old Fashioned Sugar Cream Pie

Rustic Blueberry Galette

Chess Pie

and especially in your Vanilla Iced Coffee!

Be a Sweetie, Would You? 

Please leave a 5 STAR comment in the comment section below. That helps others to find the recipes at Loaves and Dishes

bottle of fresh made vanilla extract and flowers

How to Make Vanilla Extract Recipe

Ever wonder how to save money on Vanilla Extract? It’s EASY! Just two simple ingredients and you’ll have enough vanilla to last for an entire year at pennies on the dollar too! I’ll show you how to make vanilla extract in no time at all!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make vanilla
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
resting time: 64 days
Total Time: 64 days 10 minutes
Servings: 64 servings
Calories: 9kcal
Author: Wendi Spraker

Ingredients

  • 6 vanilla beans
  • 8 oz 80 Proof Alcohol

Instructions

  • Using a sharp knife, cut the vanilla bean lengthwise in half exposing the seeds on the inside of the pod.
  • Use the sharp edge of your knife to scrape the seeds out of the pods. Put the seeds into your liquid measure. Place the pods into the jar you will be using.
  • Pour 8 oz of 80proof alcohol into the liquid measure and use a small whisk to whisk the seeds and the alcohol together using the whisk to break up the clumps.
  • Pour the alcohol into your jar over the pods.
  • Seal the jar tightly, label and make sure to indicate what date it is ok to use the vanilla (2-6 months from now).

Notes

  • Before starting, note if the beans are hard or soft. They should be soft and supple. If you note that they are hard, soak in warm water for 15 minutes or so first before trying to take the seeds out of the beans.
  • Many people use a funnel to pour the alcohol into the jar, but I find that using a liquid measure to pour into the jar works just fine plus, it allows me to measure the exact quantity that I need.
  • When you scrape the seeds from inside the beans, you’ll notice that they want to clump together. You may want to mix the alcohol and the seeds together and then use a whisk to break them up before pouring into the jar. That method seems to work best for me.
  • It isn’t necessary for the beans to stand straight up in the bottle, it’s just necessary that the pods be in there, so if you don’t have a tall bottle, you can use a short one, just bend the beans in half and poke them in there.
  • Usually I advise you to use alcohol that you would drink in recipes, but in this case, that really isn’t necessary. You won’t really be tasting the alcohol so, for once, I am promoting using the less expensive variety of alcohol!
  • PROTIP: For a nice presentation, when you split the beans, leave them attached at the top so that the whole beans stays together when you put it in the jar.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
How to Make Vanilla Extract Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 9 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Sodium 1mg0%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!

A VERSE TO SHARE

There will be times when you feel persecuted. Now might be one of those times. Here’s something that gives me heart….

Matthew 5:44

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

 

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Recipe Rating




Bee K. Brown

Friday 29th of May 2020

Sounds great and simple. I make liquoirs often, let them age and then bottle and gift!

Wendi Spraker

Friday 29th of May 2020

Hi Bee! I hope you will give it a try! It will go right along with your other gift giving!

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