Vanilla Extract

"This is a wonderful alternative to store-bought. You can get the beans in a health-food store."
photo by oilpatchjo photo by oilpatchjo
photo by oilpatchjo
photo by oilpatchjo photo by oilpatchjo
photo by oilpatchjo photo by oilpatchjo
photo by Cindy Lynn photo by Cindy Lynn
Ready In:
15 average uses




  • Put the vodka in a sterilized glass container.
  • Break or chop the beans into pieces and drop into the vodka.
  • Cover the vodka with a lid.
  • Let sit on a shelf for 2 weeks, shaking every other day.
  • Use a tad bit less than you would regular vanilla extract.
  • When you are gettting low, just add more vodka if the beans still smell good.

Questions & Replies

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  1. oilpatchjo
    I used a triple distilled vodka expensive and some really beautiful vanilla beans {I bake a lot and I love the flavour of vanilla so the expense is well worth it}. It smells wonderful!Thanks for posting this recipe I will never buy vanilla from a store again. Update from 2005 to 2008 the vanilla extract has gone beyond my expectations a hint from Barefoot Contessa of Food TV fame. The beans can be used whole by taking them out and just holding the bean at the top and squeezing out the vanilla seeds. 2010 still using my vanilla just add more vodka and vanilla beans and magic more vanilla extract. My baking experience is wonderful because of this vanilla extract! Thank You, for posting!
  2. Old Smoky
    I haven't made this yet but I know it's going to be glorious. I will get the beans tomorrow; already have the Vodka. Thanks! I'll let you know how it turns out.
  3. sugarpea
    I used 4 beans per 1 1/2c (375ml) of vodka and have waited four months. It's just now deepening to a dark brown color and has that marvelous vanilla fragrance. I think it will be perfect in another two months.
  4. Vnut-Beyond Redempt
    This is similar to the recipe I came up with. I use 1 litre of vodka and 6 beans (Balinese). I usually wait for about 6 months. They smell pretty good!
  5. Cindy Lynn
    Since I only had two vanilla beans, I reduced this recipe to half, while I waited for more vanilla beans I'd ordered from Penzeys to arrive. The vanilla beans I used were not of the best quality--store bought, tiny and very very dry, but the vanilla extract still turned out very well. I've used it several times already with great results. I've since made another full batch using Mexican vanilla beans, beautiful, big vanilla beans from Penzeys. I haven't used from the Mexican batch, but I can tell from the smell that they are going to be lovely! Thank you for sharing this recipe wildheart! I had a very difficult time making myself wait for two weeks to be able to use this.


Still in West Virginia but we've moved a few miles away, down to the county capitol. It's a compromise: bigger than our last town but smalelr than the "big city" of Cumberland MD, right up the road. Jobs are not that plentiful here so I am fortunate to be able to work at home (I'm a writer). My passion is cooking and feeding people family pet peeve is the family court systems in love is for emergency medicine and the people that make survival in a crisis possible
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