Monday, April 11, 2011

Making Vanilla Extract

Have you priced vanilla extract lately? Ridiculous!

I prefer to use real vanilla extract rather than the less expensive imitation vanilla flavoring, especially when I found out that imitation vanilla is made from the waste product of paper mills... Ewwww!!!

I also hate paying $5 or more for a tiny bottle of vanilla extract, hence the search for a way to make it myself.

It's super easy... here's what I did...

4 or 5 vanilla beans
1 cup vodka

Split the vanilla beans in half (no need to scrape out the seeds, just split them in half) and cut them into pieces that will easily fit into the half-pint canning jar.

Vanilla Beans
Using a clean, sterilized half-pint canning jar (if you wash it in a dishwasher that gets super hot, that will do fine, otherwise boil the jar for 10 minutes or so) and clean, sterilized lids and rings (simmer them for 10 minutes or so and keep hot)... simply put the vanilla beans into the jar and add vodka to about a half inch from the jar rim. Put the lid on and tighten it, (no need to heat the ingredients or seal the jars) then give the jar a little shake and

Voila!!!! Vanilla Extract!

Store the extract in a cool, dark place, giving the jar a shake every day for about six weeks... you will notice the color begin to darken to amber as the days pass... this is what you want to happen.

After six weeks (give or take) the extract is usable... you may or may not choose to strain out the vanilla beans, the extract will continue to strengthen if the beans stay in and that's a good thing.
If stored in a cool, dark place, the extract will keep pretty much indefinitely.

Vanilla Extract a few hours after adding the vodka... it's already starting to get that golden amber color... should darken more with age.

Canning Granny©2011 All Rights Reserved


  1. where can you find vanilla bean?

    1. Most grocery stores sell it (sometimes in the produce section), Fresh Market (if you have one nearby) sells them VERY reasonably priced. ~~Granny

    2. Buy online for the really good fresh beans. I order from

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  3. If I wanted to purchase a jar, what would it cost?

    1. I have NO idea, LOL! ~~Granny

    2. I ordered 50 Vanilla Beans for $19 on Amazon. (I split it with a friend!) I will never buy Vanilla Extract again! Also after leaving the beans in the vodka for 6 months, I took them out, patted dry and placed 3 in a pint size jar of sugar! Two weeks later, I had the most wonderful flavored suagr! :)

    3. Woo Hoo!!! You go Brandy! I'm with you... it's so easy and tastes SO much better! ~~Granny


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