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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How to Make Your Own Vanilla Extract


When I went to get some vanilla for the baking season, I had some concerns.  You see not all vanilla is created equal. In fact not all vanilla is even vanilla! So what were my options? I decided to try my hand at making our own vanilla. It is really not that hard it just takes patience and time. If you want some in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas baking you better get started real soon though, because the process takes at least three weeks.
What you need.
  • a bottle to make the vanilla extract in
  • a couple of vanilla beans.
  • some vodka. The cheap kind will work. 


Split the Vanilla beans, This will allow the alcohol to dissolve and absorb more of the oils from the beans.

Place the beans in the jar and add the vodka.
Now here comes the hard part. Sit it in a dark cupboard and wait. Three weeks is the minimum amount of time, but it can sit longer.


Now here is the good news. You can reuse your vanilla beans, after making the extract. As long as the beans still smell like vanilla you can keep on using it to make more vanilla.

This post is linked up with Simple Lives Thursday Pennywise PlatterYour Green ResourceWorks for Me Wednesday,  Living Well Blog Hop,Fight Back Friday


Good Girl Gone Green said...

Love this Lisa. I just read an article to make your own vanilla extract last week. I think I am going to attempt to make my own almond extract....wish me luck! I will need it! :)

Jenny said...

I have found that the taste of the alcohol base makes a difference if you use it for non cooked items, like eggnog. I prefer the taste of cheap rum to cheap vodka, less "sharp".

What ever you choose, it better than store bought.

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

I can't wait to try our vanilla extract. It has only been a week and it is getting nice and dark already.

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

Stephanie, good luck with your vanilla extract. Let me know how it turns out.

Ada said...

I've heard of this before, but I've never gotten around to doing this. I really should try it though: right now I'm using imitation vanilla (it's so cheap) and really, I know I can do way better than that!

Cherished Events said...

I would love to give this a try.
Following from super stalker sunday.

Kelley said...

Hello! I am visiting your blog from "Say Hi Sunday". I need to try making my own vanilla extract. Thanks for sharing. =) When you have a chance, I hope you can visit
Have a great day!

Audrey said...

Dropping by from Super Stalker Sunday~~ Where did you purchase your vanilla beans? Audrey at

Jessica said...

Thanks for the tips!

Stopping by from Super Stalker Sunday!

4Eighteen said...

Wow I had no idea! I'm going to try this, thank you for the tip!

Following you via GFC.

Kristi and Stephanie @

Found you on a blog hop. Have a great night!

Tristine Fleming said...

Great tip, but MIGHTY expensive. It's cheaper to just buy the extract than to get 2 beans. Just saying...

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

Tristine, considering that the vanilla is perpetual and as long as the beans still smell like vanilla you can top it off and keep on using it it is quite frugal, not cheap, but frugal. Many vanillas in the store are not true vanilla so you do have to careful when you buy that you are buying the good stuff, and the good stuff always is worth it.

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