Do-It-Yourself: Vanilla Extract


If you’re a baker – or even if you just spend some time in the kitchen – you probably know that vanilla extract is expensive. Like $11 for a tiny bottle of organic vanilla kind of expensive. I use vanilla extract pretty often, especially since I have been adding it to my homemade almond milk recipes.

So, in an effort to save some money, and just because I really enjoy making things myself; that way I know exactly what goes into the product, I have made my own vanilla extract! It’s super easy and I highly recommend that you try this out. Of course, once you make the concoction, you have to leave it alone for at least a month (longer if you want more potency), but I think it is so worth it!

Vanilla ExtractWhat You Need:
~ 3-5 vanilla beans (make sure they are Grade B**) for every 1 cup of your choice of hard alcohol. I went with vodka, but brandy, bourbon and rum are also recommended.

What To Do:

  1. Split each vanilla bean in half lengthwise. If you like, you can leave an inch connected at the end of the bean for an attractive presentation. You can also chop the beans into smaller pieces if necessary to fit in your jar or bottle.
  2. Place the vanilla beans in a clean jar or bottle. Cover them with alcohol, making sure they are completely submerged. Cover the jar/bottle and give it a good shake.
  3. Store the jar/bottle of vanilla beans in a cool, dark place for at least one month, shaking it from time to time.
  4. You may wish to remove the vanilla pods afterwards; the flecks of seeds can be a nice touch, but if you want a clear extract you can strain them out using a coffee filter.
  5. You can also leave the beans in the alcohol and top off the bottle as you use the extract. Eventually, all the flavor will be extracted from the original vanilla beans, so you should periodically add fresh beans as well as leftover vanilla pods.

Obviously, I don’t know what the extract tastes like yet because I just made the concoction, but in a month or two I will give you beautiful people an update!

** Also, take note that you should use Grade B vanilla beans – and better yet, make them Madagascar (that’s what I used). Grade B beans contain significantly less moisture (and are less attractive) which makes them perfect for extracts, but not for baking. The flavor is rich, dark and creamy with a sweet and buttery aroma. I had originally gone to the grocery store in search of them, but 1 bean was $8, which is insane. So… to the inter-web I went! I wound up finding a great deal here – 12 beans for $6! Now that’s how you do it, folks.

Stay beautiful 🙂


About azuremarie

Bonjour, I'm Azure; a healthy dose of eccentricity best taken with a grain of salt. Most people describe me as sassy, and I like that. I love words, and think that anyone who can twist them in their mouth and make something beautiful come out is sexy and someone with whom I want to spend my time. I read a lot (bordering on too much), and am baller at boggle. I happen to be addicted to concerts/live music, and will listen to anything that can carry a beat, and even those that don't. I believe that being normal is boring, and love bright colors. I have a soft spot for animals, particularly dogs and horses, but I am beginning to be a cat person as well. Sometimes, I will admit that I like some animals better than some people - they're great listeners and don't judge. J'adore voyager. Someday I want to be able to look at a map of the world and say "I have been there, there, and there... and there", and have a memory attached to them all. I've recently begun to work at an organic juice bar, and diet/holistic health is starting to become a main passion of mine. I want to be able to experience our world, as well as help save it. Oh, and unicorns exist.

One response »

  1. Pingback: Do-It-Yourself: Almond Milk (Rounds 3&4) | azuremarie

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