Homemade Vanilla

"Found this recipe on Tammy's Blog (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/homemade_vanilla_extract) and couldn't resist trying it. I made 3 batches; one with vodka, one with gluten-free vodka and one with bourbon. It'll be 6 months before they're totally mature, but I might have to test one out a little sooner. :) I purchased 1/2 lb of very fresh Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans online for this recipe. The recipe is for 12 ozs of vanilla essence but it can be made in any amount needed. Just figure out how many ounces you want to make and add more vanilla beans in the same ratio."
photo by Tinkerbell photo by Tinkerbell
photo by Tinkerbell
photo by Tinkerbell photo by Tinkerbell
photo by Tinkerbell photo by Tinkerbell
Ready In:
4320hrs 5mins
12 ounces of vanilla essence




  • Slice the vanilla beans length-wise and scrape the seeds out.
  • Cut the empty pods into 1-2 inch pieces and add both the seeds and pods to a one pint (2-cup) glass jar. (I used the alcohol bottles so I wouldn't mix up the different versions.).
  • Add vodka.
  • Seal jar with canning lid and ring or cap and shake vigorously.
  • Label and date the jar with the start date and the end date, six months from today.
  • Place jar in a cupboard, away from sunlight.
  • Shake jar once a day for a week, then once a week for a couple months, then once a month until mature.
  • After 6 months you can strain out the extract, leaving any seeds & pods in the jar and start a second batch.
  • The second batch may take longer to mature.

Questions & Replies

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  1. This is how I have been making vanilla for several years. That is when I don't cheat & buy it from Costco. I usually only do a 6 oz batch with 1 vanilla bean. If you do a lot of baking you can start 3 separate batches a couple of months apart to have a steady supply of vanilla. Don't forget you can reuse the vanilla beans for a 2nd or even 3rd batch of vanilla, just cut back on the amount of vodka you add. The hardest part is waiting for the vanilla to mature. Thanks for posting this Tink.


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