Recipes » Make Your Own » Homemade Vanilla Extract: Recipes & Tips

Homemade Vanilla Extract: Recipes & Tips

Making your own vanilla extract is simple and I highly recommend it if you enjoy a rich vanilla flavor in your favorite recipes. Here are a few of my favorite Homemade Vanilla extract recipes as well as tips for using the leftover vanilla beans when you’re done!
homemade-vanilla-extract-recipes-tips

Real Vanilla extract (not the cheap-o imitation stuff) is flavorful, decadent and Expensive! Making your own vanilla extract is simple and the flavor just cant be beat.

Vanilla Extract Recipe #1

* Split 2 vanilla beans end-to-end with a sharp knife. Add these to 2 cups of High Quality Vodka or alcohol of your choice, seal the jar, shake lightly
* Place the Jar in a cool, dark spot for 3-weeks
* Pour into decorative bottle & Use as desired

Other Tips:
* Vanilla beans are good as long as they have a strong vanilla scent
* Try using different types of Vanilla Beans for varying intensity and flavor- Madagascar, Indonesia, Tahitian, Mexican
* Stronger Extract: Use a higher proof of alcohol and Split the beans, scraping the seeds directly into the extract
* Weaker Extract: Use a lesser proof of alcohol and soak whole beans without cutting them.

Traditional Vanilla Recipe
(Makes 8-ounces)

1/2-pint Vodka
4 Vanilla beans
Seal tight bottle or container
Decorative bottle

* Add vanilla beans that have been split lengthwise, seal the jar, shake lightly
* Place the Jar in a cool, dark spot for 3-weeks
* Pour into decorative bottle & Use as desired

Brandy Vanilla
(Makes 8-ounces)

1 cup Brandy
1 whole vanilla bean

* Place Brandy into glass jar that can be sealed (Mason Jars work great)
* Add one vanilla bean that has been split lengthwise, seal the jar, shake lightly
* Place the Jar in a cool, dark spot for 3-weeks
* Strain the brandy vanilla through a coffee filter into decorative bottle & Use as desired

Note: Brandy adds an additional flavor to the vanilla, which is not desirable in some recipes.


What to do with Vanilla Beans after Making Homemade Vanilla

Once you remove the vanilla beans from the alcohol in your homemade vanilla, allow them dry them thoroughly and place them in a coffee grinder or chopper. Chop until very smooth. Vanilla sugar is great for sprinkling on cookies, cereal, oatmeal, etc. homemade-vanilla-extract-recipes-tips

Where to get Vanilla Beans

Vanilla beans can be rather expensive if you purchase them in your local grocery store. I’ve seen them as expensive as $10 for 2 beans! However, you can order quality, flavorful beans online at a mere fraction of the price and save that expensive gas for something more important.

The Best Deal I’ve found online at Amazon is for a 30 Vanilla Bean Assortment Pack for $16.99 which includes:

  • 10 Grade A Madagascar Beans
  • 10 Grade B Madagascar Beans
  • 10 Grade A Tahitian Vanilla Beans

However, I found these Madagascar Beans (seen in the photos above) for $5.99 (for 10 whole beans) and the shipping is free (with or without Amazon prime) for both of those.