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Homemade Organic Vanilla Extract

Homemade organic vanilla extract is seriously one of the easiest things possible. You probably have seen these adorable homemade bottles for sale. And they do make really great gifts! {Psst! You’ve still got time to make some up for this Christmas!!}

Homemade Vanilla Extract    l  #vanilla #homemade #diy #gifts

Why make it? Because it’s expeeeeensive in the stores! And it’s easy to do. Expensive = DIY, right? (Look at me – bein’ all DIY! Who’s proud of this girl? Me! Me!)

So let’s break the cost down. I love these beans: Premium Bourbon-Madagascar Vanilla Beans. And because vodka is made from corn, we want organic or non-GMO vodka, if possible! I was able to find organic vodka at my local grocery store! And the cost ended up being about $1.09/oz. If I were to buy organic vanilla extract online, I could pay $4.25/oz! That’s a huge savings!! Not to mention you’re going to have tons to give as gifts!

Depending on how many bottles you plan to give away as gifts (and how much extract you’re keeping for yourself), you can get the perfect sized 2 oz. bottles here: 2 oz glass amber bottles with screw cap. You definitely want glass bottles, so don’t skimp on this! =)Homemade Vanilla Extract    l  #vanilla #homemade #diy #gifts

Other supplies you’ll need. Some kind of large glass jars. I do not recommend using a small-mouthed jar because it’s incredibly difficult to remove the beans when you’re ready to make up the gifts. Sigh. So, maybe use a couple of 1/2 gallon mason jars. See? You’re learning from my mistakes.

And depending on how artsy you are, you can make labels for your pretty, fancy bottles. Ribbons, rafia, what else could you use to prettify these sweet things?

Are you ready to get your kitchen smelling like vanilla? And a step ahead on Christmas gifts? Let’s go!

Homemade Organic Vanilla Extract

Ok, so you’re going to be really careful and slice open your beans – look at all that yummy vanilla! It’s kinda messy. Be prepared. But that’s ok because you’ll smell heavenly for some time afterwards! Much better than, say…making lasagna. =)

Divide your beans up into your large jars and then pour the vodka over the beans. Place the lid on your jar(s) and shake. Sing a little song while you’re shaking – am I the only one who sings to entertain my kiddos while they’re eating lunch and I’m in the kitchen??…I am? Oh.

Ok, now make sure the liquid covers the beans because it’s possible for the beans to get moldy and the whole batch would be ruined, and that would be bad.

Now you’re gonna find a nice, dark home for your bottle(s) to live for a little while. Your vanilla will be ready after a couple of months (see why I said “let’s get going!”?) and you will need to shake the bottle(s) a couple times a week. I added this to my calendar so I’d remember to shake it. I sure did! And I also snuck a sniff each time. Mmmm!

So, after about 8-ish weeks the liquid should be darker than when you first pour the vodka in – which should be clear. If it’s pretty dark and it’s getting time to give as gifts-ies, pour the liquid into the smaller amber glass bottles. Place a vanilla bean or two back into the liquid. Cap and decorate your organic vanilla extract bottles with labels, ribbon, etc.! Prepare for the “oohs” and “ahhs” from your recipients!

Homemade Vanilla Extract
Delicious, cheap and organic homemade vanilla extract!
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  1. 1/2 lb vanilla beans
  2. 1 gallon organic vodka
  3. 2 1/2 gallon mason jars
  4. 2 oz amber glass bottles (with screw cap)
  5. Labels, ribbon, etc.
  1. Carefully slice open your beans - look at all that yummy vanilla!
  2. Divide into your large jars and pour the vodka over the beans.
  3. Place the lid on your jar(s) and shake.
  4. Be sure the liquid covers the beans (otherwise it's possible for the beans to get moldy and the whole batch ruined! Yikes!).
  5. Store in a cool, dark place (I used my pantry).
  6. Shake the bottle a couple of times a week.
  7. That's it! After a good 8+ weeks, your vanilla should be ready!
  8. Pour the liquid into the smaller amber glass bottles and place a vanilla bean or two back into the liquid.
  9. Cap and decorate with labels, ribbon, etc.!
Growing Up Triplets

Who are you making your homemade vanilla extract for?


Foodie Friday LinkyHomemade Vanilla Extract    l  #vanilla #homemade #diy #gifts

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This post linked up on Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Wellness Wednesdays at Intoxicated on Life.


  1. YUM! We love homemade vanilla & it is sooo easy to make! I always feel kinda funny buying a big ol’ jug of vodka though! 🙂

  2. Came on your website to check out the eggplant pizza recipe we’re making tonight! (I’m excited to try it!) I saw this and got SUPER excited! I had no idea I could make my own vanilla extract so easily! But if I’m doing my math right….this made over 60 little bottles of vanilla?! (128 oz in a gallon) That’s a LOT! Have you ever cut the recipe down or do you think I could? Even if I give it away as gifts, I think it will be way too much for us. What do you think?

  3. Can you “over-steep” the vanilla beans? Like…can it end up being too strong? If I made some now, and let it sit (and shake) until December, would I knock anyone over?


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    Homemade Organic Vanilla Extract – Growing Up Triplets

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    Homemade Organic Vanilla Extract – Growing Up Triplets

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