Homemade Vanilla Extract

Did you know you can make vanilla extract at home??  Yes!  And did you know it requires only TWO simple ingredients:  vodka + vanilla beans.  If you get start on a batch of this Homemade Vanilla Extract soon, it will be in perfect condition to give away during the holidays.  This is quite honestly THE ideal gift for the baker or dessert addict in your life 🎂🍫🍦

Homemade Vanilla Extract recipe -- How to Make Vanilla Extract at Home! DIY Vanilla Extract is the perfect project and gift for the baker in your life (all natural, sugar free, fat free, gluten free, vegan) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

Nearly every single baked good and dessert recipe calls for vanilla extract.  I know for a fact that if I got a bottle of Homemade Vanilla Extract for Christmas, I would be over the moon happy and probably want to kiss you eight thousand times.  Thoughtful gifts just do that for ya.

This is a gift so good you will get hugs and thank yous and dancing and clapping.

It smells good too.  Kiddos can have their fun with their scented markers, us adults can live our lives sniffing bottles of vanilla 😏

Homemade Vanilla Extract recipe -- How to Make Vanilla Extract at Home! DIY Vanilla Extract is the perfect project and gift for the baker in your life (all natural, sugar free, fat free, gluten free, vegan) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

1 cup

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Ingredients:

  • Vanilla Beans
  • 1 cup Vodka (I used an organic, gluten-free vodka)

Directions:

  1. Slice the vanilla beans lengthwise, just enough so that you pierce through one side of the bean.
  2. Place the vanilla beans inside a bottle and cover completely with the vodka.  Top with a lid.  Shake the bottle vigorously, then place in a cool, dark place (like a cupboard or your pantry).
  3. Shake the bottle every day for 4 weeks (I put a daily reminder on my calendar so I wouldn't forget).  For the next 4 weeks you can shake it less often, like ~3x a week.  The vanilla will be ready to use in 8 weeks.  Shake before using.

Notes:

I've made this recipe multiple times using a wide range of vodkas -- plain vodka, strawberry vodka, whipped cream flavored vodka, Fireball (yeah, I know, not the most natural product out there 😁) ...  the options are endless!  I might want to try this using chocolate-flavored vodka or coconut-flavored vodka (*foodgasms*).
Recipe from The Healthy Foodie.

Be sure to follow @DessertsWithBenefits on Instagram!  If you try this recipe, make sure to snap a picture of it, tag me @DessertsWithBenefits, and hashtag #DessertsWithBenefits.  I’d love to see it and feature you on #FanFaveFridays!

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Homemade Vanilla Extract recipe -- How to Make Vanilla Extract at Home! DIY Vanilla Extract is the perfect project and gift for the baker in your life (all natural, sugar free, fat free, gluten free, vegan) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

^^ Day #1:  the mixture will be clear.

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Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade Vanilla Extract

^^ Week 8:  the mixture will be dark brown, just like storebought kinds!

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Homemade Vanilla Extract recipe -- How to Make Vanilla Extract at Home! DIY Vanilla Extract is the perfect project and gift for the baker in your life (all natural, sugar free, fat free, gluten free, vegan) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

Enjoy!

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– Jess

🎂🍴💕

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45 comments on “Homemade Vanilla Extract

  1. OMG NUH UH!!!

    OK, so I’ve been making vanilla extract for awhile.

    And Pinnacle Whipped is the only alcohol I will ever say I love.

    And I cannot believe I did not think about combining the two! THIS IS GENIUS! OMG OMG OMG!

  2. OH whoa. This is amazing. It definitely beats using regular vodka!

  3. WHOA WHOA and another WHOA. You may have just changed my life!

  4. This is genius. Wanted to make something for Christmas gifts and this is perfect.

  5. I love this idea! I’ve been searching for the best homemade vanilla recipe and I think this one takes the cake…or soon to be cake. Yum! I buy flavored vodkas like this one for drinks like “Smores Cocktail” and then have all this leftover super sweet vodka. This recipe will get rid of that problem. But I wonder how many calories end up in the finished product? Does it give it a whipped flavor too? I wonder if we did this with the Marshmallow flavor, if it would be a marshmallow-vanilla extract? Or would we need marshmallow root too…hmmm! Well thank you!

  6. I love homemade, do all vanilla extracts have alcohol in them!

  7. Flavored Vodka? Really? I didn’t even know they made that… perhaps it was better that way… 😉

    Not sure I like the idea of using it for my vanilla extract as I find it would make it very “fake” and “unnatural” tasting, but you just gave me an idea: I have this Cuban cherry liquor at home… now that could be totally fan.tas.tic! Have to give it a try!

    By the way, thanks for sharing the love, Jessica. I truly appreciate that! And glad you enjoyed making your own vanilla. Bet you’ll never go back to store bought! 🙂

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  9. I just finished making my homemade vanilla extract just in time for a big to do list if baking 🙂 I also used this as a gift and my friend loved it! Thanks Jess 😉

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  11. Hi Jessica, You are aware that the sweet tasting vodkaa like this Whipped does actually have sugar in it, yes? This one has 6.8 sugars per 1.5 ounces.

  12. Ok, thanks for confirming. I was on a low carb website and the folks were giddily mixing the sweet vodkas with diet sodas “wondering how many carbs” were in them. Oops! 🙂 Your website is great btw!! 🙂

  13. Love this idea. Most Vodka is made from grains (potato, corn and quinoa vodka is harder to find). If you use pinnacle, whipped cream vodka is it gluten free?

    • Slee-
      Wow, quinoa vodka?! Oh, the alcohol these days, it’s amazing 😉
      And yes, Pinnacle Whipped Cream Vodka is gluten-free. The majority of their products are GF actually!
      Hope you like the flavor-infused Vanilla Extract 🙂
      -Jess

  14. What do you do with the vanilla beans after the 9 weeks? Do you need to strain them out?

  15. Jessica…….did you cut the vanilla beans in half? Will the seeds escape if you do?

    • Martha-
      I sliced through the beans lengthwise, but leaving the ends intact so they hold together. It’s okay if the seeds come out in the bottle, the more it does the more flavor you’ll get 🙂
      You don’t want to scrape the seeds out of the pods though.
      My bottle held 1 cup/8oz. If yours only holds 3/4 cup/6oz, you’ll only need 6-7 beans (6 large or 7 smaller).
      I hope this helps! Have fun making the vanilla extract 🙂
      -Jess

  16. Also, if you halve them do you still need 9 beans? And also, what ounce bottle do you use for your vanilla? I think mine is about 3/4 cup.

  17. I love making my own vanilla extract, I’m also making lemon-, orange-, raspberry- and chocolate extract. I once tried making peppermint extract, but after one day already, the leafs get all soggy and it stinks.. Any idea what I’m doing wrong here?

    • Lauwchen-
      WOW, great idea making your own lemon, orange, raspberry and chocolate extracts!! I really want to try making a chocolate extract because every time I buy one I really don’t like the flavor. It’s not chocolatey enough and it smells too strongly of alcohol 🙁
      As for the peppermint, I have no idea why that could be happening. I’ve never made peppermint extract before so I’m not sure what it’s supposed to look like.
      I guess all you can really do is make sure your peppermint leaves are extremely fresh. I would choose organic too… maybe pesticides/herbicides don’t do well in vodka? Haha
      Here is a recipe in case you’re curious as to how other people make it:
      http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2013/10/diy-mint-extract-recipe.html

      I hope this helps!
      -Jess

  18. Thanks for your reply, I’m using mint leafs from our garden, but I don’t recall storring the bottle in a dark place. I’ll try the recipe again and hopefully it will work 😀

  19. Hello Jessica !

    You’ve convinced me into making my own vanilla extract

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  21. Do you leave the beans or take them out after the 9 wks?

  22. How long does the vanilla extract & paste last for?

    • Jo-
      Vanilla extract should last for years! 😀
      Alcohol acts as a preservative. But, just to be sure, make sure your vanilla beans are very fresh and check if your alcohol has an expiration date.
      As for the vanilla paste, check your agave for the expiration date. Hope you like the recipes 😀
      -Jess

  23. For those who use sugar, you can also put the used beans inside a container with sugar to make vanilla sugar. Scented sugar scrub anyone?

  24. When making the vanilla been paste do you use the whole been or just what’s in side? Thank you!!:):)

    • You use the WHOLE bean! It sounds crazy, but it works! After making vanilla extract, the beans will be super soft and blendable. You will still need to strain it since it’s so fibrous, but it has a ton of flavor that most people just throw away. Hope you like the recipe! 😀
      -Jess

  25. My fiance made me homemade vanilla extract for me one time as a gift! I still have the giant bottle he made – that stuff lasts forever.

  26. Anyone have a link to buy the bottles like these. Want to makes this as gifts.

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