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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Ann Arbor, MI!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

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How to Make Vanilla Extract at Home

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Vanilla extract

Mmm… vanilla. It has to be one of my most favorite flavors in baking and sweet treats. I even add it to my oatmeal some mornings!

A few weeks ago, my brother and his girlfriend came over to visit us, and with them they brought a jar of homemade vanilla extract! How cool is that? My brother’s girlfriend made it.

I usually buy vanilla extract from the store, but when she told me how easy it was to make at home I was inspired to share the recipe with all of you.

All you need is 8 vanilla beans and Vodka. It is super easy to make, but just takes a little patience because it has to sit for at least 1 month to infuse.

As for what type of vanilla beans to use — pretty much any type works! You can even blend different varieties of beans to get a more complex flavor.

vanilla beans and seeds

Here’s how you make vanilla extract at home:

To make 2.5 bottles of extract you need:

  • 16oz Plain Vodka (My brother’s girlfriend used Ketel One)
  • 8 vanilla beans

Time to infuse: 2 months

The Directions:

  1. Split the vanilla beans in half lengthwise.
  2. Place the vanilla beans in a jar and cover with alcohol, making sure they are completely submerged.
  3. Cover the jar and give it a shake.
  4. Infuse for at least one month (2 months is great for a stronger flavor) in a cool dark place, shaking it from time to time.
  5. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth when you are ready to pour it into bottles.

Enjoy! (And feel proud of yourself that you created your own vanilla extract!)

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10 responses to “How to Make Vanilla Extract at Home”

    • Thanks Kelly!! I’m so glad you found this helpful! And yeah it’s just so easy to make — as long as you have a little bit of time to wait it out it is totally worth it! Enjoy!

    • Hi Tess! I’ve been using this in all of my oatmeal recipes and in a lot of baked goods like healthy muffins and cookies!

  1. Hey Anjali,
    I was on here looking for this recipe and thought I’d leave a little note. I’ve been using the vanilla that you gave me from your sister in all my baking recipes and it makes a HUGE difference! I put it in my (from scratch) pancake batter and it adds so much flavor. I usually use that imitation vanilla because I always thought vanilla is vanilla but not anymore. This one is so flavorful. I just ordered my bottles today and I can’t wait to get started on my vanilla.
    Thank you!!

    • Hey Michelle!! It’s so good to hear from you! Wooohooo – I’m so happy this has made all of your baked goods more tasty! That is great to hear, I’m sure my brother’s girlfriend will love to hear this too 🙂 Hope you are doing well!

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