How to make a homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade vanilla extract is a simple and easy way to elevate the flavor of your baked goods and desserts. Here is a recipe for making it at home:


  • 6-8 vanilla beans
  • 1 cup vodka or bourbon


  1. Cut the vanilla beans lengthwise with a sharp knife.

  2. Place the vanilla beans in a clean jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid.

  3. Pour the vodka or bourbon over the vanilla beans, making sure they are completely covered.

  4. Seal the jar or bottle tightly and shake it gently.

  5. Store the jar or bottle in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry or cupboard.

  6. Shake the jar or bottle once a week for at least 8 weeks, or until the vanilla extract has reached the desired flavor.

  7. Once the vanilla extract is ready, strain it through a cheesecloth or coffee filter into a clean jar or bottle.

  8. Label the jar or bottle with the date and type of alcohol used.


  • The quality of the vanilla beans you use will impact the flavor of the extract. Look for plump, moist vanilla beans that are not dry or brittle.
  • You can use either vodka or bourbon for this recipe, depending on your preference. Vodka will produce a milder, more neutral flavor, while bourbon will add a subtle smoky note.
  • The longer you let the vanilla extract steep, the stronger the flavor will be. You can taste the extract periodically to determine when it has reached the desired flavor.
  • Homemade vanilla extract will last indefinitely if stored in a cool, dark place.

With this simple recipe, you can make a delicious and flavorful homemade vanilla extract that can be used in a variety of recipes, from cakes and cookies to ice cream and coffee.

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