Homemade Vanilla Extract, Part 1

I LOVE vanilla!  I love the smell and I love the taste.  All of the baking that I do is from scratch, so I use a lot of vanilla and I like to use high quality vanilla.  It just tastes so much better!  And it’s cheaper – see the cost comparison below!  I also love to give vanilla extract as holiday or housewarming gifts.

A few years ago I learned how to make my own and it’s time for me to do it again.  My recipe is based on this one.  I’m impatient and I didn’t want to wait 6 months for it to be ready, so I increased the ratio of beans to vodka in order for it to be ready in 3 or 4 months.


35 whole vanilla beans – I purchased 1/4 lb of these beans
6 cups of vodka – this is a little less than a 1.75ml bottle – cheap vodka is okay to use (save the expensive stuff for cocktails)
2 – 1 quart mason jars like these or other glass containers

**You can make this recipe in any amount you want.  Just use 7 vanilla beans per cup of vodka.**


1)  Using a sharp knife, cut the vanilla beans in half length wise

DSC_03372)  Cut them in half width wise so that they will fit in the jars nicely

DSC_03383)  Place half the beans and add 3 cups of vodka in each jar

DSC_0339DSC_03404)  Cover the jars and store in cool, dry place.

Cost comparison:

$16.95 – 1/4 lb of vanilla beans
$11.99 – 1.75ml of vodka  ($0.20/oz)
$26.55 = 48 oz of homemade vanilla extract or $0.55/oz

$28.50 = 32 oz of store bought vanilla extract or $0.89/oz




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