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.

more by Cheryl »

Cheryl Sousan

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. I just started making my own vanilla. I have been using a ball jar, and the lid gets sticky and then it is hard to open. This kit would be perfect!!

  2. Absolutely would have to be my very vanilla whipped cream!!!

  3. I love to make Vanilla cupcakes from scratch!

  4. I don’t know what my “favorite” thing is, I put vanilla in just about everything I bake!! I love GOOD vanilla too!

  5. I LOVE vanilla extract in everything! But my favorite recipe to use it in, where it really shines, is coconut milk vanilla cupcakes. Yumm.

  6. I love to use vanilla extract in my sugar-free chocolate and almond butter cookies!!!

  7. I would love to make my own vanilla!!!

  8. I love using Mexican vanilla in my homemade sugar cookies!

  9. Homemade peanut brittle with good vanilla 🙂

  10. I would LOVE to win this, to make vanilla extrast! How fun! Thanks for the chance!

  11. I put vanilla in almost ALL of my baked goods. My habit gets expensive! Making my own is a great idea!

  12. I use mexican vanilla in my sugar cookies and they are sooooooooooo good! They smell and taste insanely yummy!

  13. Chocolate Chip Cookies. A simple recipe but always a favorite. I’ve been on the hunt for some Mexican Vanilla though. Heard some great things about it.

  14. Thank you! I’ve wanted to try this and now I have the steps to do it!!

  15. Winning this would be awesome! I just bought some vanilla beans at Costco, so I could make my own extract…thanks for the instructions.

  16. My grandson is addicted to my vanilla milk.

  17. I would love to win this and be able to create my own vanilla. Sounds like such a easy process with fantastic results 🙂

  18. i make biscotti with vanilla

  19. I’ve never made vanilla before, but do a lot of baking, so this sounds like something fun (and yummy) to try. 🙂

  20. Pound cake and vanilla sugar – love to use vanilla sugar in whipping cream

  21. I would love to try this, it would be a great gift for my “baker” friends too!

  22. Cookies made w/ homemade vanilla are the best! Thanks for offering a giveaway!

  23. wow, homemade vanilla sounds like a fun project to do with my girls. Thanks for the opportunity to participate. I would use homemade vanilla in french toast!

  24. Oh how awesome! Definitely going to make some next year for Christmas gifts!

  25. Banana Bread, Coffee Cake…..put the coffee pot on!!!

  26. My favorite recipe with vanilla extract is baked maple oatmeal!

  27. I would love to make my own vanilla. I use it for general baking but I would really like to make some to give away as presents for Christmas. I love making homemade pressies. This is soo unique. I bet the flavour is amazing too compared to store bought!! Baked custards are great with vanilla and smoothies too.

  28. I’ve always wanted to try making my own vanilla. This would be totally awesome to win.

  29. no bake cookie dough is my favorite thing to put vanilla in:)

  30. My favorite recipe to use vanilla in is chocolate chip cookies.

  31. My favorite recipe to use vanilla in is pecan pie.

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  37. Can u make vanilla extract from a vanilla bean paste?

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  39. I don’t think I ever saw how much vodka to use for that many vanilla beans…

    • “Using a measuring cup or funnel, pour vodka into each bottle completely covering the beans in the liquid.”

      You just cover the beans with vodka / fill your bottle. If you use a really large bottle, just add more beans.
      I used 8 ounce bottles.

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  43. Hi, I love this idea and will be trying it soon. I am one of those people who checks expiration dates frequently, so how long can you use this vanilla extract (safely)? Also, I would love some ideas for use of vanilla extract other than baking. That’s usually all I use it for (plus homemade ice cream), but I love the smell and taste, so what else could I use it for? Thanks!

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  48. Thank you! My son is splitting the vanilla beans, and we’re getting ready to make our extract. I love vanilla in everything, so I can’t wait to try this. Turns out I’m out of vodka, so I wonder if I can use rum? Hummm.

  49. Hello – I was just wondering what size bottles you used for the 3-4 whole beans. Thank you!

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