Homemade Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract is an essential ingredient in so many baked goods and desserts that it is nearly as important a kitchen staple as flour and salt, and good quality vanilla can really make a difference in the flavor of your baked goods. Since homemade extract is so easy to make, there’s no reason why you can’t have the best on hand at all times. It keeps indefinitely too!

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Yield: 6 (4 ounce) bottles
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Making top-quality vanilla extract at home is easy and economical, plus it makes a nice, heartfelt gift for friends and family.


  • 12 whole vanilla beans
  • 3 cups unflavored vodka
  • Six 4-ounce Amber Boston Round Glass Bottles


Thoroughly wash the bottles and caps in hot, soapy water and allow to air dry.

Slit each vanilla bean lengthwise with a sharp knife, stopping 1/4-inch from each end. Cut each bean in half crosswise, giving you 24 pieces.

Place 4 pieces of vanilla (2 beans) in each bottle. Using a funnel, pour 1/2 cup of vodka into each bottle and push the beans down to submerge.

Screw the caps on tightly and place the bottles in a cool, dark place to steep. The vanilla will be ready for initial use in 6 weeks, but 8 weeks is optimal for the most flavor.

Homemade Vanilla Extract Makes A Great Holiday Gift

A bottle of homemade vanilla extract with decorative, personalized label makes a nice holiday gift for friends and family.

Homemade Vanilla Extract Gift Tags

If you’d like to print a set of the labels pictured here, click here to download the file.