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How To Make Vanilla Extract

Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe



How to Make Vanilla Extract

Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Like the flavor of pure vanilla extract, but hate the pure vanilla price? Invest in three vanilla beans, and you can make enough extract to last you for years.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 5 minutes to prep; 2 months to develop.

Here's How:

  1. Use a knife to split the vanilla beans open lengthwise, stopping one inch from the end of each bean.
  2. Place the cut beans in a glass container, and cover with vodka.
  3. Make sure the beans are completely submerged. Push down any that aren't.
  4. Secure the lid; and store in a cool, dark place.
  5. Allow the extract to develop for at least two months before using, shaking at least once a week.


  1. To replenish your supply of extract, just add more vodka to the bottle. The original beans will retain their flavor for years.
  2. Homemade vanilla extract makes a great gift. Package some up in small bottles, and decorate them with your own label.
  3. Online vendors often have the best price for vanilla beans.
  4. Want to make vanilla without the alcohol? Here's how.

What You Need:

  • 1 cup vodka
  • 3 vanilla beans
  • A glass jar with a snug-fitting lid
  • A knife
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How to Make Homemade Vanilla
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