Homemade Vanilla Extract

Ever notice how expensive vanilla extract is? And the imitation stuff is filled with chemicals. Even the pure vanilla extract can have added sugar or water to it. I found this recipe from the Thrifty Mama and just had to try it! My friend bought the vanilla beans online, but you can find them at some grocery stores (probably Whole Foods or stores similar).  They may be cheaper online so search around. Also, get decent vodka to get the best product! The Thrifty Mama calculated it to be about $0.66 per ounce which beats Aldi’s $0.995 per ounce.
All you need is….
10-15 vanilla beans
750 ml decent vodka
  • Take vanilla beans and slit them in half
  • Pour out a little bit of the vodka so there is room for the vanilla beans
  • Throw the vanilla beans in the bottle of vodka and put the top back on
  • Store in a cool dark place
  • Shake once a week for 3 months or less
  • Then its ready to use!

Super easy right? Anyone could do it and cheaper than buying it from the store! Go ahead, try it, and see the difference!

This was part of the Homestead Barn Hop, Thrifty Thursday, 
and Craft-O-Maniacs link party, Dog Days of Winter


  1. says

    I’ve seen several bloggers post about this and I can’t wait to try it. I would like to give as Christmas gifts next year. I didn’t realize until reading how yucky the imitation is.

  2. says

    I’ve heard of pouring the vodka and beans into smaller individual bottles and steeping it that way, but never heard of putting all the beans into the big bottle….that makes much more sense than trying to find small bottles!

  3. says

    I was talking to my husband the other day about making vanilla. Guess I need to get my ingredients together and do it now. So simple to do! Thanks!

  4. says

    I’ve been meaning to make some but I never plan far enough ahead. I just purchased a 16 oz bottle of vanilla extract from Costco so I think this might be the time to start making a batch. Thanks so much for sharing. Have a wonderful day!


  5. says

    Hi Amy,
    This recipe sounds wonderful and too easy. I have been thinking about making some and I am sure glad I read this post. Thanks for sharing.

  6. says

    I can say, since I make and sell my own vanilla extract…it really takes about 6 months to do it right….and the clues I use…when you open the bottle at first, you smell alcohol with a hint of vanilla. As it ages you start smelling them both. When it changes until you are smelling MORE vanilla than alcohol, then you are ready. If you try to use it before then, the flavor of the alcohol overpowers the vanilla and ruins it.


  7. says

    I was wondering where you got the bottles that you pictured. I planned on doing this for christmas presents and I really like these jars.


  8. says

    Hi Amy, I love your blog! I’ve been browsing, turning pages and enjoying myself! I’ve made vanilla too & I love the little bottle you found to package yours in. I found them at The Container Store online.
    Have a great day!

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