Homemade Vanilla Extract | Vanilla Extract Recipe

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Making vanilla extract at home is a lot more cheaper and the quality is better than store bought. You will get very good aroma and flavour in your baked goods from using homemade vanilla extract. Did you know you can make vanilla bean paste and vanilla sugar at home. You only need 2 ingredients to make vanilla extract or essence at home. Learn how to make best homemade vanilla extract at home with step by step pictures and video.

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Vanilla Extract

Since I have been baking quite a lot, I am running out of vanilla extract often. Finding a good quality vanilla extract is quite expensive here. So I thought of making vanilla extract at home. I bough some vanilla beans from Amazon and Hubby’s friend got a bottle of vodka from Russia, so thought of using that to make this. And I am telling you, once you try this homemade vanilla extract, you are never going to buy store bought stuff again. This stuff is pure gold when it comes to baking vanilla cake, vanilla ice cream, panna cotta or vanilla muffins.

About Vanilla Extract

Can you believe you can make pure vanilla extract at home using just 2 ingredients. Yes you heard it right. Making vanilla extract at home is not only cheap and budget friendly. You only need two ingredients. Good quality vanilla beans and Alcohol.

Making vanilla extract at home is not only affordable but you get the finest flavoured vanilla extract when you make it yourselves. The quality and flavour of the vanilla extract depends on the quality of vanilla bean. So try to find best quality vanilla bean that you can afford. I like to use Madagascar vanilla beans which I source either in online stores or wholesale dealer.

Actually when it comes to homemade vanilla extract, there is no particular recipe to follow. All you need is bunch of vanilla beans and vodka. Once you make a batch of vanilla extract, you can keep adding more vanilla beans and more liquor as it gets used. It doesn’t get spoiled. Once you start making vanilla extract at home, you can try my vanilla bean paste and vanilla sugar which comes handy all the time.

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Watch Vanilla Extract Making Video

YouTube video

Homemade Vanilla Extract Ingredients

ingredients for making vanilla extractPin

Vanilla Beans – The quality and flavour of the vanilla extract depends on the quality of vanilla bean. So try to find best quality vanilla bean that you can afford. I like to use Madagascar vanilla beans which I source either in online stores or wholesale dealer.

Vodka – Vanilla extract is usually made with vodka because it is more affordable. but you can use bourbon, brandy or rum as well. I like to use pure distilled vodka.

pure homemade vanilla extractPin

How to Make Vanilla Extract at Home (Stepwise Pictures)

Which Bottle to Use

1)For making vanilla extract at home, use glass bottles or mason jars. Since vanilla extract doesn’t go bad for years it is better to invest in good quality glass jar. I don’t recommend using mason jars with metal lid since it may rust.

I use my wine decanter for this since it has glass lid.

glass decanter for making vanilla extractPin

Vanilla Beans

2)The quality and flavour of the vanilla extract depends on the quality of vanilla bean. So try to find best quality vanilla bean that you can afford.

I like to slit the vanilla bean in half and use that to make vanilla extract.

madagascar vanilla beansPin

Making Vanilla Extract

3)Add vanilla bean into the decanter. You can add as much vanilla bean into the decanter as you want. In fact you can keep adding more vanilla beans and more liquor as it gets used.

add it to the bottle for making homemade vanilla extractPin

4)Pour in the vodka. I prefer vodka when making vanilla extract since it is neutral in flavour and preserves the extract.

pour vodka over vanilla beansPin

5)Cover the jar with lid and allow it to sit for few weeks for the flavour to infuse. Make sure you shake the bottle in between.

cover and let it steepPin

Vanilla Extract After 2 Weeks

6)This is how the vanilla extract looks after 2 weeks. The longer the extract sits the better the flavour will be.

homemade vanilla extractPin

Expert Tips

  • use glass bottle with glass or plastic lid for storing vanilla extract. If you use glass bottle with metal lid, it may rust in the long run.
  • Once you make a batch of vanilla extract, you can keep adding more vanilla beans and more liquor as it gets used. It doesn’t get spoiled.
  • You can just slit the vanilla bean in the middle and add it to the bottle whole without cutting. I like to cut in half for the vanilla seeds to extract faster.
  • You can use rum, brandy or bourbon instead of vodka.

How Long Should Vanilla Bean Steep Before Using

Once you make the vanilla extract allow it steep for at least 2 weeks to month before using it in baking. the longer the vanilla extract sits the better the flavour of the vanilla will be.

Storage

Vanilla Extract can be stored more than a year. As you use the vanilla extract, you can keep adding more vanilla beans and vodka. 

FAQ

Which bottle to use for storing vanilla extract?

For making vanilla extract at home, use glass bottles or mason jars. Since vanilla extract doesn’t go bad for years it is better to invest in good quality glass jar. I don’t recommend using mason jars with metal lid since it may rust.

I use my wine decanter for this since it has glass lid. You can search for glass decanter in amazon and you will find many options.

Should we use only vodka to make vanilla extract?

Vanilla extract is usually made with vodka because it is more affordable. but you can use bourbon, brandy or rum as well.

I like to use pure distilled vodka. But you can use any booze you want, it’s just Vodka has no flavor of it’s own. Other booze leaves it’s own flavor in the result.

Is it necessary to use alcohol for making vanilla extract?

Vanilla extract made using alcohol is a way of extracting and preserving the flavour of vanilla bean for a longer period of time. It is important to use alcohol and not water because it will affect the shelf life and water will not preserve the vanilla bean flavour.

Can this be used in cakes for kids?

When heating or baking the alcohol content will be evaporated. So it is completely safe to use this vanilla extract in baking for kids.

How long can this be stored?

Vanilla Extract can be stored more than a year. As you use the vanilla extract, you can keep adding more vanilla beans and vodka. 

More Baking Basics

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Homemade Vanilla Extract | How to Make Vanilla Extract at Home

Making vanilla extract at home is a lot more cheaper and the quality is better than store bought. You will get very good aroma and flavour in your baked goods from using homemade vanilla extract. Did you know you can make vanilla bean paste and vanilla sugar at home. You only need 2 ingredients to make vanilla extract or essence at home. Learn how to make best homemade vanilla extract at home with step by step pictures and video.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 250 ml

Author: Aarthi

Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • use glass bottle with glass or plastic lid for storing vanilla extract. If you use glass bottle with metal lid, it may rust in the long run.
  • Once you make a batch of vanilla extract, you can keep adding more vanilla beans and more liquor as it gets used. It doesn’t get spoiled.
  • You can just slit the vanilla bean in the middle and add it to the bottle whole without cutting. I like to cut in half for the vanilla seeds to extract faster.
  • You can use rum, brandy or bourbon instead of vodka.

How Long Should Vanilla Bean Steep Before Using

Once you make the vanilla extract allow it to steep for at least 2 weeks to month before using it in baking. the longer the vanilla extract sits the better the flavour of the vanilla will be.

Storage

Vanilla Extract can be stored more than a year. As you use the vanilla extract, you can keep adding more vanilla beans and vodka. 

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