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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Ann Arbor, MI!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

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How to Make Vanilla Extract at Home

Vanilla extract

Mmm… vanilla. It has to be one of my most favorite flavors in baking and sweet treats. I even add it to my oatmeal some mornings!

A few weeks ago, my brother and his girlfriend came over to visit us, and with them they brought a jar of homemade vanilla extract! How cool is that? My brother’s girlfriend made it.

I usually buy vanilla extract from the store, but when she told me how easy it was to make at home I was inspired to share the recipe with all of you.

All you need is 8 vanilla beans and Vodka. It is super easy to make, but just takes a little patience because it has to sit for at least 1 month to infuse.

As for what type of vanilla beans to use — pretty much any type works! You can even blend different varieties of beans to get a more complex flavor.

vanilla beans and seeds

Here’s how you make vanilla extract at home:

To make 2.5 bottles of extract you need:

  • 16oz Plain Vodka (My brother’s girlfriend used Ketel One)
  • 8 vanilla beans

Time to infuse: 2 months

The Directions:

  1. Split the vanilla beans in half lengthwise.
  2. Place the vanilla beans in a jar and cover with alcohol, making sure they are completely submerged.
  3. Cover the jar and give it a shake.
  4. Infuse for at least one month (2 months is great for a stronger flavor) in a cool dark place, shaking it from time to time.
  5. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth when you are ready to pour it into bottles.

Enjoy! (And feel proud of yourself that you created your own vanilla extract!)


10 responses to “How to Make Vanilla Extract at Home”

    • Thanks Kelly!! I’m so glad you found this helpful! And yeah it’s just so easy to make — as long as you have a little bit of time to wait it out it is totally worth it! Enjoy!

    • Hi Tess! I’ve been using this in all of my oatmeal recipes and in a lot of baked goods like healthy muffins and cookies!

  1. Hey Anjali,
    I was on here looking for this recipe and thought I’d leave a little note. I’ve been using the vanilla that you gave me from your sister in all my baking recipes and it makes a HUGE difference! I put it in my (from scratch) pancake batter and it adds so much flavor. I usually use that imitation vanilla because I always thought vanilla is vanilla but not anymore. This one is so flavorful. I just ordered my bottles today and I can’t wait to get started on my vanilla.
    Thank you!!

    • Hey Michelle!! It’s so good to hear from you! Wooohooo – I’m so happy this has made all of your baked goods more tasty! That is great to hear, I’m sure my brother’s girlfriend will love to hear this too 🙂 Hope you are doing well!

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