How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract From Scratch

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Homemade vanilla extract is so easy to make at home from scratch. It tastes so much better than the store bought variety, saves you money and makes a great gift. Get started making your own homemade vanilla extract from scratch today!

Scroll down for your free printable homemade vanilla tags.

homemade vanilla with the vanilla beans in the jar

This is my homemade vanilla after 2 weeks. If you look closely you can see the vanilla beans inside the jar. It really got dark quickly!

Why Make Your Own Vanilla From Scratch?

Making your own homemade vanilla extract from scratch saves you money. If you buy the real vanilla in the store it can get really expensive. You can make your own real vanilla and save yourself a good bit of money.

Home made vanilla extract taste far superior to store bought vanilla especially if you are used to using the imitation vanilla so many of us grew up with.

Anytime I can make something myself from scratch I usually like to do it. When you make things yourself, you know exactly what ingredients are included in it and you don’t have to wonder if it includes  imitation or artificial ingredients.

Homemade vanilla and vanilla beans

How is Vanilla Made From Scratch?

Making vanilla is no different than making any other herbal tincture. When you place any herb into a preserving/extracting liquid, like alcohol, the properties of the herb are extracted to the liquid. You are then able to use the liquid and get the herbal benefits.

Homemade vanilla extract is made simply by combining vanilla beans with a extracting liquid, and letting the liquid extract the deliciousness out of the vanilla beans.

Homemade Vanilla makes a great gift.

Anyone who enjoys baking will appreciate a gift of high quality delicious vanilla. It is the perfect gift for that hard to buy person on your gift list. It makes such a nice hostess gift, or office party gift. But in order to give a homemade vanilla gift you need to think ahead a few months, and start preparing it early. Homemade vanilla from scratch will take at the least 2-4 months and the longer you let it sit the better it will be.

Homemade vanilla made from scratch packaged to give as gifts

What Do I Need to Make Homemade Vanilla?

Vanilla Beans, alcohol and a glass jar are the only things you will need to make homemade vanilla from scratch.

Types and Grades of Vanilla Beans

There are three popular different types of vanilla beans. They are Madagascar beans, Tahitian beans, and Mexican Beans.

Each type of bean has a different flavor but they all are vanilla. I have used both the Madagascar and Tahitian beans in the past to make vanilla. I can’t say that I could tell a great amount of difference in the flavor, but honestly it has been a long time since I used the Madagascar beans.

Vanilla beans also come in different grades. There are grade A beans and grade B beans. Grade A are best20 for baking, and grade B are best for making extracts.

So when you purchase vanilla beans grade B is what you want to get. A bonus is that grade B should be less expensive than grade A!

Vanilla beans whole and opened up

Here you can see the inside of the vanilla bean that I split in half.

What Alcohol Should I Use?

The most popular alcohols that people use to make vanilla extract are vodka, bourbon, and rum.

You can use whatever you have, but vodka is the most neutral in taste so it will have a more traditional vanilla taste like the vanilla you purchase in the store.

What is the Process of Making Homemade Vanilla From Scratch?

This is the really easy part you just place your vanilla beans in a jar, either whole, cut in half or split open. Or you can do any combination of those. I cut all of mine in half and split most of them open.

Pour your extracting liquid over your beans. Make sure you completely cover your vanilla beans with the liquid.  I used 15 beans of various sizes, with 3 cups of vodka.

Put a lid on your jar tightly and shake lightly. If you have a problem with your jar leaking when you shake it you can cut a square of wax paper and place on the jar under your lid. This is a good idea also if you are using a metal lid to keep the vanilla from touching the lid.

Place your jar in a cool, dark place. Shake your jar daily for the first week and weekly after that until it is ready.

When you decide it is ready by the way it looks and smells, it should smell like vanilla. You can remove your beans and place in a new jar to start a new batch of vanilla. Or you can package your vanilla in different containers and just refill this jar with vodka to start a new batch.

You can watch the process here:

Homemade Vanilla Makes A Great Gift!

I like to package my homemade vanilla in smaller bottles, with a cute tag when I give them as gifts.

Small bottles of homemade vanilla with printable tags

You can get a set of free printable tags for your vanilla by signing up below.


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Homemade Vanilla From Scratch graphic

I love to make my own things from scratch whenever possible. I hope this post has inspired you to go give making your own vanilla a try.

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