Making your own homemade vanilla extract is an easy, and delicious, project. With only a few minutes of effort, you can make enough vanilla extract to last you the whole year.
Vanilla extract, it is in almost every recipe for baked good. Some of us like to add it to our coffee, other like to try it out in savoury recipes. It is versatile, and elevates recipes with its unique flavour. It is readily available on most supermarket shelfs. So…
Why make homemade vanilla extract?
Much like making anything from scratch at home, there are many reason why you would want to try to make vanilla extract at home. You can control the ingredients you use. You can adjust the flavour profiles to your families preferences. And of course, it taste better. Homemade vanilla extract has more flavour than the commercial made products. Vanilla extract is a quick and simple project, and is worth making your own at home.
Ingredients & supplies
You don’t need many ingredients or supplies in order to make your own homemade vanilla extract. There are only two ingredients that you really need to make vanilla extract, so this is the time to spend a little more on quality ingredients, because it will make the final product taste SO much better.
- Vanilla beans – choose high quality beans that still feel soft and supple. They should not be dry or brittle. Those are signs that the beans are old and have probably lost their flavour. I like to buy my vanilla beans at Costco. It is the best price I have found and I trust the quality of the product. Where ever you choose to purchase vanilla beans from, just make sure that you trust the company to ensure you are getting a quality bean.
- Alcohol – the alcohol is where you can get creative with the flavour of your homemade vanilla extract. Vodka will give you a pure, clean tasting extract. If you would like your vanilla extract to have more of a toasted, nutty flavour, you could use bourbon. You could choose to use rum to give your extract fruit flavours and toasted spice notes. The point is, think about what you would like your homemade vanilla extract to taste like and choose accordingly. Just remember that what ever you choose needs to be at least 70 proof.
- Other supplies – After vanilla beans and alcohol, you will need a clean, sterilized jar and a knife. That’s it friend! You are on your way to the best tasting vanilla extract.
How to make homemade vanilla extract
First, you are going to start with a clean sterilized jar. It needs to have a leak proof lid, because we will be shaking the jar occasionally.
Next you are going to use a knife to split the vanilla beans in half length wise. I like to leave the seeds inside the beans. Add each vanilla bean to the jar as you split them open. You are going to need 4-6 vanilla beans for each 250mL/1 cup/ 8 oz of alcohol.
Once the vanilla beans are all split open and inside the jar. Pour in the alcohol. Place on the lid and give it a little shake back and forth. You are going to want to give the jar a shake every few days while it brews.
Add a label with the date, store your extract in a cool, dark place (like a cupboard or pantry), and that is it friend. So. Easy.
When will it be ready?
Your homemade vanilla extract is going to take a minimum of 8 weeks before it is ready to use. The longer it sits the more flavour it will have. Once it has sat for a minimum of 8 weeks, you can then decant it into small bottles for ease of use.
If you are choose to give your homemade vanilla extract as a gift, sign up below and you can get some free printable labels for the bottles. Download the file. Print on sticker paper, cut out and place on your bottles.
I really hope that you give this homemade vanilla extract recipe a try. It is a simple upgrade that you can make in your home, that will make a big difference in all that you use it in.