homemade vanilla extract
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How To Make Vanilla Extract | Homemade Vanilla Extract

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This tutorial will show you How To Make Vanilla Extract as well as show you were to get the items needed to do so. Vanilla extract is a delicious solution that you can put in anything from baked goods to smoothies to your morning pancake batter.

homemade vanilla extract

With Fall quickly approaching and our first day of homeschool under our belt. I have slowly began transitioning into the cold weather mode. Although not ready exactly ready to bring out the warm sweaters, I am ready for baking days on rainy afternoons. This week I am stocking up the vanilla extract as it is a staple in our house during these months.

Truth be told I opt to make this as it is quite expensive when purchasing the organic pure vanilla extract. It often comes in a tiny bottle we sparingly use however, when you make your own, you find it so simple. You will for sure ask yourself why didn’t you start doing this sooner. I know I did. I will warn you that the cure time for this is about 4 months so it is not a quick process. However, with each batch you can make entire years worth and quite literally find yourself putting it in everything.

What You Will Need To Make Vanilla Extract

Madagascar Vanilla Pods 3 pods total (1 1/2 pod per 12 oz jar)

1 750 ml bottle of cheap vodka or rum (I prefer vodka as it is closer to the traditional vanilla extract flavor)

2 -12 oz mason jars


Taking a sharp pair of kitchen scissors or a knife cut the vanilla pod down the center to help it release its flavor.

If using a shorter mason jar go ahead and snip it in half to fit the jar. You will need 1 1/2 pods per 12 oz mason jar.

Fill the jar with vodka.

Allow this to sit at room temperature checking it occasionally by smell. The liquid will darken and the vodka smell will be gone when it is ready. I find that the 4 month mark is usually when it is ready for me.

It can depend on how warm you keep your house so make sure to check the vanilla monthly as yours can be ready quicker then mine. I live in a hot area and my kitchen gets quite warm. Once it is ready you will use it just like your would the store bought. I remove my vanilla bean after its done and ready to use.

homemade vanilla extract

Tools You May Need

Vanilla Pods I Use

Mason Jars 16 oz (4 pack)

FAQ for How To Make Vanilla Extract

Where do I store when ready?

This should be stored in a cool, dry place. A normal cupboard should be fine.

Can I use Tahitian vanilla pods instead?

You can but it is recommended to use the Madagascar ones as they are most often used for culinary purposes whereas the Tahitian ones are normally used for aroma and smell. I have heard of people using either and all of them have told me that they didn’t notice a difference in taste. I personally haven’t tried it myself but I would if Madagascar pods were not in stock.

Where can I find the pods?

Under tools you might need in this blog post, I have a link there where I get them. Which is amazon. You should also be able to find them at any natural food stores near you.

homemade vanilla extract

How To Make Vanilla Extract | Homemade Vanilla Extract

Yield: 2 12 oz jars of vanilla extract
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 4 months
Total Time: 4 months 10 minutes

a delicious solution used for baking, adding to smoothies or anything you'd like to add an essence of vanilla to


  • 3 Vanilla Pods
  • 1- 750 ml vodka or rum


  1. Slice or cut vanilla pod down the center to release flavor
  2. Slice the pod in half to fit the jar
  3. Place 1 12 pods in each jar
  4. Fill jar to the fill line and place lid on
  5. Place jar on counter top or in a room temp area of your kitchen
  6. Allow the vanilla to soak (extract) for 4 months
  7. Make sure to check vanilla monthly as it sits as home temperatures vary and you may find it done sooner or later then the 4 month mark. The vanilla is ready when it smells of just vanilla and the alcohol smell is gone.


*Using rum will add a deeper flavor while using vodka will give the taste of traditional vanilla extracts

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