How To Make Easy Homemade Vanilla Extract

I LOVE vanilla extract. I use it in pretty much everything I bake. EVERYTHING! People often ask why I make my own real extract. Using the finest ingredients is a core value in my baking. I discovered that by making my own extract instead of using imitation, I saved money and controlled the flavor profile. The biggest win was the exceptional quality of my extract and it has no additives. A win-win! Making your own vanilla extract is so easy.  All you need is a glass container with a tight-fitting lid, vodka, and vanilla beans.

vanilla extract
Extract Ingredients

There are different types of vanilla beans such as Tahitian, Madagascar, Mexican, and Indian.  All have their own unique flavor. Buy what you like! I love the floral overtones the Tahitian beans offer but many like the rich, creamy flavor of the Madagascar beans.  There is no wrong choice. I promise.

Buy your vanilla beans from a reputable dealer.  The beans should be supple, pliable, and fresh. I’ve found it best to buy my beans online from a company that specializes in vanilla beans.  The beans I’ve found in the spice section at the grocery are dry and brittle…not at all what you want. are two grades of vanilla beans, A and B.  A beans are more expensive and mostly used for cooking and or pastry.   B beans are what you want. They are considered an extract grade. They may vary in size but are less expensive and are recommended for making extract. I buy my beans from Slo Food Group. I only accept affiliate relationships with purveyors I actually use and Slo Food is on the top of my list. For all of my lovely and talented followers, use Minette5 to receive 5% off your next Slo Food order.

As for vodka, save your top shelf for a martini and use any basic vodka. I buy what is on sale at my local liquor store.

Chop up the beans.
Put them in a bottle of vodka. Any kind will do.
Shake it up and let it sit in a cool dark place for 90 days.
Ready for its 90-day sabbatical.
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Vanilla Extract




This recipe can be doubled or cut in half.

Vodka is my choice because it is a neutral base and allows the vanilla flavor to shine through.  Rum, Brand, or bourbon that is 70% can also be used.

I buy my beans from  I’ve always been pleased with their beans and customer service.


  1. Sarah says:

    Thank you! I’ve always been curious how vanilla extract was made. I’m going to try my own now.

  2. Amy Pournoury says:

    This is the only vanilla recipe I use now. Thank you for sharing this recipe! Amy Jo

  3. Laney says:

    This is everything!!!

  4. Bonnie says:

    This is the best!!! I will never buy vanilla again! Your recommendation on where to buy the beans was so helpful! Really everything you share with us is the best!!!

    • Minette says:

      Thank you so much, Bonnie! Glad you found the post helpful. Like you, I’ll never buy vanilla again. Love making my own!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

Get the latest recipes and business tips!

Sugar for your inbox!