Homemade Vanilla Extract

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homemade vanilla extract


I love to bake, and every time my recipe calls for Vanilla extract, I add it as directed but it never really tastes that great. In fact I have given up on making frosting (or icing) because it tastes horrible!  I have tried different brands and I have come to the conclusion that I don’t like the vanilla extracts that you buy in the store.

So, I decided to make my own! I have heard about people making homemade vanilla extract, and that they really like the flavor of it.

I researched recipes, searched pinterest, talked to my neighbor who makes her own and I even posted the question on facebook. I received lots of responses and found different recipes and they were all pretty similar.

I made a few tweaks and this is what I came up with!

Homemade Vanilla Extract
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  • 1 Cup Vodka (Any kind. I just grabbed the one that was on sale)
  • 3 Vanilla Beans
  • Jar with a lid (I had an empty mason jar in my pantry that worked great)


  • Using a sharp paring knife, cut the beans in half and then slit them down the middle
  • Put Vanilla beans in the jar
  • Fill the jar with 1 cup Vodka. (A couple of my beans were still too tall so I added just a little extra vodka to make sure they were fully submerged.)
  • Shake and store somewhere cool and dark. Then once a week give it another shake and put it back. Repeat for 2-3 months.

You only need 2 ingredients to make your own homemade Vanilla extract!  How simple and easy!  You can get any kind of vodka.  They even have a vanilla flavored one that I really wanted to get to make it extra vanilla-y!


Just cut the beans in half and then slit them open


Then drop them in a jar and pour the vodka over them until they are submerged


Then you just screw on the lid and give it a little shake every week for 2-3 months!  I’m just dying to bake something with my homemade vanilla extract!  I’ve also thought about dividing it up into small jars and giving it away for Christmas gifts!

vanilla extract


About Amy @ Oh So Savvy Mom

Amy is mom to three, wife to one, and a sister and aunt to many. Her family is a former military family now settled in Lehi, Utah. Oh So Savvy Mom began as a way for Amy to share parenting and product advice with others. Just as she has evolved, Oh So Savvy Mom has evolved into a resource for Healthy Living for Families, Food, Parenting, and Family Travel.


  1. Linda Bradshaw says
    I found this one interesting but I don't think my mom will want to see a vodka jar at my house. I believe she would bend me over her knee even though I am 40, lol.
    • LOL! I find your comment funny because I'm the same. I don't drink, none of my family drinks. I felt so awkward when I purchasing "my first bottle of Vodka" at age 33. I felt compelled to explain to the cashier that I wasn't going to drink it. Hehehe.
  2. Very cool! I can't wait to try this at home .
  3. I've got vanilla beans on my wish list, and if I'm lucky and get some, I want to use some of them to try my hand at homemade vanilla extract. Thanks for sharing your experience and recipe.
  4. Debbie Welchert says
    Wow I never would have thought making vanilla would be so easy. I'm definitely going to give it a try. I can't wait to see how it will taste.
  5. This is a wonderful idea! It would be great to make my own vanilla extract. Thank you for sharing.
  6. I have never made my own vanilla extract before! I didn't realize the ingredients that went into it either.
  7. What a awesome idea! I use vanilla extract a lot in my baking, would love to try this on my own making it, great money saver. And easier then I thought.
  8. Thanks for the recipe. Easy enough to do.
  9. I have done this before and it works great!!! I love using the highest quality neans I can find for this but it is well worth the trouble.
  10. Terri Moore says
    I have always wanted to try making my own Vanilla Extract too. Thanks for the inspiration. Where did you get your vanilla beans from?
  11. Nice, will have to try it
  12. Christopher Sorel says
    wonder if you can do this with bourbon instead of vodka
  13. Jesselyn A/Jesstinger says
    Thanks for the recipe and it really is a great idea. I use a lot of vanilla extract ~ BUT aside from being quite expensive, it also (as you noted) often tastes terrible! Making our own fresh from scratch would be a good all around solution. (For some reason the recipes I've seen used brandy (Cognac) or whiskey as the liquor you use to make vanilla extract ~ but using vodka would make it less expensive and more "vanilla-y" I would think. I didn't know there was such a thing as "Vanilla Vodka" (sounds perfect for this purpose!) Coincidently, we DO have a bottle of vodka in the house (it was a Christmas gift from a neighbor) but it happens to be SRIRACHA Vodka (the gift included a bottle of Bloody Mary mix and some fancy organic tomato juice.) So I guess I'll have to buy a bottle ~ and I'll be on the lookout for the Vanilla Vodka!
  14. Dana Rodriguez says
    I have never heard of making your own extract.I don't drink vodka but that is so awesome!
  15. Francine Anchondo says
    What a great idea and the recipe seems easy enough for anyone to do it.
  16. What a cool idea. I have to try it
  17. I would love to try making my own extracts. This is a great tutorial. This would really come in handy during the holiday season.