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Homemade Vanilla Extract

Learn how to make your own richly flavored, all-natural vanilla extract! It's easier than you think.
Course Condiment
Cuisine Baking
Prep Time 10 minutes
Infusion 42 days
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 36kcal
Author Elizabeth Walling



  • On a cutting board, use a sharp knife to cut a slit through the center of each vanilla bean (don't cut all the way through).
  • Place the beans in a glass jar or bottle. Cover with vodka. (If the beans are too long to be submerged in the alcohol, cut them in half first.)
  • Cover tightly and store in a cool, dark place for at least 6 weeks.
  • Shake the mixture once per week to enhance infusion.
  • After 6 weeks, you can start using your vanilla extract. Leave the beans in the vodka for a continuous infusion.
  • Store your vanilla extract in a cool, dark place.


  • Leave the beans in your vanilla jar after infusing - the flavor continues to improve and deeper over time.
  • Store in a cool, dark place, and your vanilla will keep for more than a year!
  • Use rum, bourbon, or whiskey in place of vodka to add a new depth of flavor.
  • Choose grade B vanilla beans. They contain less moisture and produce a stronger flavor.


Calories: 36kcal