follow TidyMom on Pinterest

Recipe for Homemade Vanilla Extract


Last year I wondered how to make vanilla.  I use a lot of vanilla in my baking so I thought why not look for a recipe for vanilla not to mention, it makes a really cool homemade gift as well!  Download and print a pretty label and you have an easy and affordable gift for friends, family or co-workers! 

How to make Vanilla Extract

With as much baking as I do, I go through a lot of vanilla extract.  Since I prefer the Mexican Vanilla, it can get rather costly at $20+ for an 8 ounce bottle! That’s what happens when you get hooked on the good stuff!  

Thanks to I found out, making your own vanilla couldn’t be easier and it is far more economical than buying the store bought variety.  By making my own vanilla extract, I could also try more varieties than just Mexican.  Beanilla sells bottles and  7 different variety of vanilla beans, each of which has a unique flavor!  Using premium grade vanilla beans will provide significantly better flavor and aroma than commercially produced extracts.

According to

Do you prefer bold and smokey? If so, try Mexican vanilla beans. Rich and creamy? Use Madagascar Vanilla Beans! Floral aroma and unique cherry-chocolate? Venture to the Tahitian vanilla beans. Each type is excellent for homemade vanilla extract.  You can even blend various varieties together.  The floral, fruity, cherry like notes of the Tahitian variety blend wonderfully with the nutty-chocolate character of the Bourbon varieties.

Christmas is just two months away! How did that happen?  So now is the perfect time to start making Homemade Vanilla if you want hand some out during the holidays and have some for your own holiday baking!

Vanilla Extract Recipe

What you need to make Vanilla Extract

How to make Vanilla Extract for a homemade gift

First be sure to wash you bottles in hot soapy water.  Rinse well, then allow your bottles to air dry.

Wash & Dry Bottles for Homemade Vanilla

Using a sharp knife, slice each vanilla bean in half.  then starting about 1/4″ from one end, cut the vanilla bean lengthwise (see picture below)

Place 6-8 vanilla bean pieces (that would be 3-4 whole beans) in each 8 ounce bottle. Using a measuring cup or funnel, pour vodka into each bottle completely covering the  beans in the liquid.

Making Homemade Vanilla at

Next, place the caps/lids on tightly and store bottles in a cool, dark environment (I put mine in a closet) Give them a good shake about once a week. The vanilla will be ready to use as soon as 6 weeks, and the longer you allow it to age, the darker it will become and the more intense the vanilla flavor will be.

Homemade Vanilla recipe at

After 8 weeks the majority of the extraction process is complete and the vanilla is ready to use.  The vanilla beans can be removed or you can leave the vanilla beans in the jar for the flavor to continue evolve – just be sure to add vodka so the beans are always submerged in alcohol.

Homemade Vanilla

Worth mentioning:  Vanilla Beans can be VERY pricey at the grocery store, so if you plan to make more than a bottle of extract I highly suggest purchasing your beans at Beanilla, right now they have 25 Madagascar Vanilla Beans for $25 + FREE shipping! that’s a fantastic price!

Homemade Vanilla Extract FREE Labels to print

If you’d like to  dress up your vanilla extract before gifting, you can head over to and download and print the free Vanilla Extract labels Kelly made for me and YOU!

Free Printable Vanilla Extract Label from

You’ll be seeing more of Kelly around here, she is will be a new contributor here at TidyMom sharing more fabulous printables!


What? you need supplies?  I’ve got you covered there too!

The great people at would like to give four lucky TidyMom & LiveLaughRow readers 5 Madagascar vanilla beans,5 Uganda vanilla beans, and two 8 oz decorative glass bottles and a 2 oz bottle of flavoring (for other baking needs).

 Beanilla Vanilla Extract Giveaway at


To enter simply follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below (if you are reading this post via email or reader, as always you must click over to the blog to enter)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  Beanilla found out I was making my own Vanilla Extract and offered to send me the supplies and some to giveaway.  As always, all opinions, views and love of good quality vanilla are my own.

If you’re new to TidyMom, I would love for you to subscribe for free updates! You can subscribe via RSS feed or Email. I would also love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter! Thanks for visiting!
About TidyMom

A self-proclaimed neat freak, Cheryl chronicles her journey through homemaking on her blog,, where she shares recipes, tutorials, crafting and her ever-growing love for photography. This St. Louis mom juggles her passion for life, her daughters and her tiger-loving husband, all while her obsession with tidiness cleans up the trail blazed behind her. Google+


  1. 506

    i love vanilla in anything and a nice steady stream does it! love it in cakes

  2. 507
    Jana Carter says:

    Mmmm. I love vanilla anything! To be able to make my own vanilla extract would be dreamy!

  3. 508

    I’ve always wanted to try making my own.

  4. 509

    I <3 homemade vanilla.

  5. 510

    My favorite recipe using vanilla extract is definitely angel food cake with marshmallow frosting. So light and tasty. Always a favorite in my house!

  6. 511

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. Planning on giving it away at christmas time.

  7. 512

    toss up between choco chip cookies…and REAL whipped cream…love the hint of vanilla in my whipped cream!

  8. 513

    I love mixing vanilla in with my pancakes and sometime I mix it in with my tea.

  9. 514

    I have always wanted to try this!!

  10. 515

    I love to can food and I absolutely love to make pears or peaches in a light syrup with a vanilla bean. Omgosh talk about yummy goodness!

  11. 516

    Love Beanilla!!

  12. 517

    Looks like a great gift idea and now I know what to do with the vodka in my cabinet that I will NEVER drink!

  13. 518

    Homemade vanilla???? That is fabulous! Everything is better with vanilla

  14. 519

    My son was on a missions trip this summer to Grenada and had him pick me some up. Almost gone =(
    Love mexican vanilla also. Would love to make my own also. Thanks for the give-a-way!

  15. 520

    What fun!

  16. 521

    I love to make baked goods with vanilla extract- especially chocolate chip cookies.

  17. 522

    this would be a great Christmas gift!

  18. 523

    I have been wanting to make my own vanilla, but it seems a bit expensive. I could only imagine how delicious this tastes!

  19. 524

    I Absolutely LOVE Adding Vanilla Extract To ALL My Juice Plus+ Complete Green Smoothies! YUMBA!

  20. 525

    I really want to try making this. How does the flavor compare to good vanilla?

  21. 526

    I found you through the Pioneer Woman and Tasty Kitchen. I made my first batch of homemade vanilla last Christmas I used the madgascar everyone loved it, but I gave it all away so I would love to win this!
    Thanks for sharing your time with me.:)

  22. 527
    Jennifer Madigan says:

    I have never made vanilla but have always wanted to. I actually thought about making it for my Grandma this year for Christmas.

  23. 528

    Would love to make for a Christmas gift.

  24. 529

    Oh, what a great give a way and just in time for Christmas! I would LOVE to start making vanilla extract now!

  25. 530
    katharine says:

    WHat a great giveaway! I would use this when making my great-grandmother’s stollen recipe!

  26. 531
    Jessica W says:

    I love this giveaway. I am actually making vanilla extract right now, but I didn’t get such high quality beans and we are just keeping it in a mason jar.

  27. 532

    thank you!

  28. 533

    Excited to try this. I love vanilla and this homemade version looks spectacular

  29. 534
    Jennifer McClure says:

    Excellent vanilla extract is the key ingredient for my homemade hot cocoa!

  30. 535

    I am happy to found this, it’s hard to find these days where i am from so thanks for the tip ^-^
    I love it ^^

  31. 536
    Angelique Howard says:

    My favorite recipe with vanilla is fresh whipped cream yummo! Love the taste of freshly made whipped cream over store bought and love adding extra vanilla in.

  32. 537
    Marlene Daniels says:

    My favorite thing to make with vanilla is chocolate chip cookies.

  33. 538
    Jennifer M. says:

    My favorite recipe to make with vanilla is fudge. I like seeing how creamy the fudge gets with the addition of vanilla.

  34. 539

    I love to make buttercream frosting with vanilla extract!

  35. 540

    I love vanilla and have been meaning to make my own extract for months now. Some new pretty bottle would be just the motivation I need!

  36. 541
    Yvonne Higgins says:

    I would love to win this and share with my daughter in law. What a fun gift too. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  37. 542

    Everything is better with vanilla and I usually add a little extra to every recipe! Thank you for the giveaway!

  38. 543
    Sherry Baird says:

    I Would really like to try and make my own vanilla sometime, I know it has to be an awesome taste.

  39. 544

    I would love to make my own vanilla!

  40. 545

    Ih! I’ve always wanted to try to make my own vanilla!!!

  41. 546

    vanilla is my favorite scent…and spice ;O)

  42. 547

    I love vanilla extract in cookies!

  43. 548

    Ive never made it before but ive wanted to try to make some bourbon vanilla!

  44. 549
    analee thornburg says:

    i’ve never used real beans! thanks for this post!

  45. 550
    analee thornburg says:

    PS. tea cookies!

  46. 551

    I have always used store bought vanilla essence. I do buy vanilla beans in bulk and attempt to use them in place of store bought essence. I have never attempted to make my own. It would be neat to give it a DIY attempt.

  47. 552
    ginny Wurttemberg says:

    Want to try this! Great idea for gifts!

  48. 553
    Leann Peasley says:

    I have been wanted to make my own vanilla for over a year now and just haven’t made the time. This would be the perfect win! Thanks for all the great ideas.

  49. 554

    My sugar cookies are not the same without vanilla. I love to put it in any baked good and even our French toast mix!

  50. 555

    This is fantastic! I’ll bet it tastes so much better than store-bought. And with the holidays coming up I’d better make some soon!


    I’d love to hear from you, leave a comment


    Current ye@r *