EASY HOMEMADE VANILLA EXTRACT (ENORMOUS MONEY SAVED)

February 15, 2021

Long on my to-do list was to start making my own vanilla extract because it pained me how expensive it was and I knew there would be savings if I could get my act together and do it. Let me warn you, IT IS EASY. So the delay wasn’t even necessary. It’s just vodka and vanilla beans and it’s much higher quality than many vanilla extracts and, as previously explained, much less expensive. Storebought from an average brand, this amount would be about $250 and this for my first batch was $75. That number will crash even lower on my second batch to like $15 because most of the cost was the vanilla beans, and those are re-usable.

I’m not really like, a canning type person if you know what I mean. This was a very passive venture.

Also better flavor, better flavor. Below are pictures from day 1 and day 68 and the link to the vanilla beans I got from AMAZON!

HOMEMADE VANILLA EXTRACT
Makes about 60 ounces, or 1.75 liters

1.75 liters vodka
40 vanilla beans
Additional smaller bottles, if you’d like to bottle or give away your vanilla in smaller quantities

First I used a razor blade to scratch of the ugly vodka logo printing off the bottle. Then slice into your vanilla beans and gently open them, not cutting all the way through.

Place beans into vodka. I had to pour a little out because the volume got too full. Then just let it sit in a cool, dark place! Allegedly turning it daily or weekly helps, but I don’t know how important it was. Six weeks is the lower end, but eight weeks is even better. The longer you wait, the better the depth of flavor.

After the first batch is finished, you can remove vanilla beans and place them into a new bottle to make another batch. The vanilla can be kept in the big original vodka container or dispersed into smaller bottles.

EASY HOMEMADE VANILLA EXTRACT (ENORMOUS MONEY SAVED)
 
Author:
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. First I used a razor blade to scratch of the ugly vodka logo printing off the bottle. Then slice into your vanilla beans and gently open them, not cutting all the way through.
  2. Place beans into vodka. I had to pour a little out because the volume got too full. Then just let it sit in a cool, dark place! Allegedly turning it daily or weekly helps, but I don't know how important it was. Six weeks is the lower end, but eight weeks is even better. The longer you wait, the better the depth of flavor.
  3. After the first batch is finished, you can remove vanilla beans and place them into a new bottle to make another batch. The vanilla can be kept in the big original vodka container or dispersed into smaller bottles.

A couple fun places to use your new vanilla is this vanilla buttercream frosting or these carrot cake pancakes with cream cheese syrup. And like, every other baked good ever.

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  • Rebecca

    Hello, I suppose it’s ok to store the vanilla & beans concoction in the refrigerator?

    • Rachel Schultz

      Yes!

  • I’ve made 4 bottles of homemade vanilla extract in the past year, giving them out as gifts to the bakers in my life. I actually make mine with bourbon instead of vodka. Bourbon already has some natural vanillin flavor absorbed from the oak wood of the barrels it’s aged in. The whole batch will, of course, have a very different character than your vodka-based extract, but it can be very distict for cooking and baking. I use a little extra vanilla in my egg and cream mixture when I make french toast, and everyone LOVES it.

    Unrelated: make french toast out of 1 or 2 day old doughnuts. It’s amazing. Not healthy, but amazing.

  • Great! I want to try this process. Hope it will work.

    • Rachel Schultz

      Enjoy it!

  • Rebecca

    I Love this Rachel! I will be trying this one.

    • Rachel Schultz

      Fun!!

  • Michelle McClintock

    What if you don’t drink? Can you use something else?

    • Rachel Schultz

      I believe all vanilla extract has alcohol in it.

  • Jill Kirshman

    Does the brand of vodka matter?
    ?

    • Rachel Schultz

      I don’t think so!

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