Homemade Vanilla Extract – Recipe

Homemade Vanilla Extract - Recipe

I’m going to be honest. This kind of feels like cheating. It’s hard to call this a recipe when it’s two ingredients, chop/slice and throw together. BUT since this stuff was so well received over Christmas (I made a bunch to give away as Christmas presents), I figured I should share. It’s the right thing to do.


Also, because it’s the right thing to do…I’m going to share a secret with you. I buy my vanilla beans in bulk. It’s so much cheaper that way. I remember the first time I went to buy some vanilla beans at the grocery store. I had a mini heart attack when I saw the price for one bean. What the what?! People pay $10 to make one recipe? Yeah…I didn’t buy that single bean.

Instead I did what I tend to do when I think something is over priced. I went online. I found beans sold in bulk which made each bean a fraction of the cost. I’ll give you a few sources at the end of this post, but first…extract.


Real vanilla extract can be quite pricey as well, so I’ve taken to making my own. It’s super easy. Just chop or slice (depends on how you want it to look), add vodka and steep. Really, the hardest part is waiting for it to extract.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Prep time 5 mins

Total time 5 mins  

Author: Joy @ The Joyful Foodie

Serves: 8 oz


  • 8 fl ounces vodka
  • 7 vanilla beans, grade B

Instructions If you don’t care about looks:

  1. Chop the vanilla beans into 1 inch pieces and place them in your container of choice.
  2. Add vodka and let sit for 30 days before using.

If you want your vanilla to look pretty:

  1. Split vanilla beans down the middle leaving the ends attached.
  2. If your bottle is not tall enough to accommodate the full length of the beans, cut the beans in half.
  3. Place beans in container of choice and add vodka.
  4. Let sit for 30 days before using.

And that’s all, folks! See, wasn’t that easy? 😉

And because I promised…here are a couple bean sources I’ve tried (they don’t know me, just so you know) plus an Amazon link to other bulk vanilla beans so you can see what else is out there.

Vanilla Products USA, Beanilla, Amazon (affiliate link)

Have you made your own vanilla extract before? 

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