Vanilla Extract Homemade

This is a much less expensive way to have pure vanilla in every recipe. I prefer the brandy version, as pictured. Each recipe makes around 1 cup full.

 Vanilla Extract Recipe

1/2-pint Vodka
4 Vanilla beans recommended (Madagascar)
Seal tight bottles
Glass mason jar

Cut vanilla beans length wise with a scissors so the bean stays intact.
Pour vodka into a glass capped container like a mason jar so you can see how its coming along.

Add vanilla beans to container all the way to the bottom of the jar and store in a dark place covered . It will take 2 months for the vanilla extract to mature. After the 2 month cycle has finished, strain the liquid through coffee filter, or strainer and place in capped bottle. Makes eight ounces or( one cup.) You can now store in a decorator bottle. When giving as gifts, putting a whole bean inside the bottle gives it continued flavor and looks great!

Brandy Vanilla

1 cup Brandy
1 whole vanilla bean

Place Brandy into a glass capped tight bottle.
Add one vanilla bean.

Wait. It will take 3-weeks for vanilla to cure properly.

Pour into a bottle that has a cap on it.

Stronger Extract: Use a high proof of alcohol and scrape the seeds from the bean.
Weaker Extract: Use a lesser proof of alcohol and soak beans intact.
To strain for future storage use a coffee filter.
Vodka usually gives the highest alcohol content. Brandy adds additional flavor which is my favorite but not the traditional vanilla.
Using a variety of vanilla pods you can find some from (Madagascar, Indonesia, Tahitian, Mexican) these will produce an extract with a much more stronger flavor and wonderful aroma.
Shake vanilla bottle before each use.


  1. Excellent tips for a vital ingredient in desserts.
    I didn’t know about it. Thanks for sharing!

    Meantime I hope you'll have Wonderful 2010!!



  2. I love do-it-yourself stuff like this. Plus, homemade always tastes better, right?

  3. @gera your welcome!
    @tastytrix oh yes the smell is awesome alone no less the taste of this :)

  4. I've been doing this for years and can't remember when I've bought commercial extract. I've been buying very high quality beans on Ebay ($11.00 included shipping for 18 high grade, moist, organic beans the last time I bought some in November). Like you, I use brandy (that same brand you show in your photo even, lol!), and even sherry is nice. I make a few bottles in the fall and rebottle the extract in cute glass bottles they sell at the dollar store to give as Christmas gifts. I don't discard the beans that have been steeping--I liquefy them with a bit of brandy and use the paste in recipes where the dark color won't be an issue (like oatmeal cookies or dark colored quick breads).

  5. @kathyvegas thanks for those great tips, I didn't even think to go to the dollar store for the bottles, will try there. That is so much a coincidence that you even use the same brandy! too funny, thanks Kathy.

  6. Love these. Rec'd some for Xmas as gifts - I have yet to do this.... one day....

  7. @Claudia It's so easy, I love the brandy its the easiest way

  8. hello I have already eaten the dough with polenta in Italy and found it delicious !! I wish you a very happy new year 2010 with many new cooking findings !! cheers from Pierre a french foodie in Paris

  9. Oh thanks so much for sharing this! Finally, I can make my own vanilla extract at home. yay!

  10. Amiable brief and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you on your information.

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