This recipe for homemade vanilla extract made with vanilla beans and vodka comes with its own printable label and is so easy to make. It’s got a rich bold vanilla flavor for your baking needs and it also makes a great homemade holiday gift idea.
Recipe for Homemade Vanilla Extract
Ever since I saw my friend TidyMom’s recipe for making vanilla, I have been wanting to give it a try. She also has some really cute printable labels you may like better than mine. I love the idea of giving this away for holiday gifts. But you do need to plan ahead a bit since it does take a while to age. Homemade vanilla will need at least a month but is best if left to age for 6 months.
How to Make your own Vanilla Extract
Making your own vanilla extract is way easier than I had ever expected. It takes 2 ingredients. Vanilla beans and vodka or bourbon. I had a gallon of vodka sitting around from when I thought I would need it for making my own hand wipes as well as disinfecting my home… only to learn that it wasn’t strong enough. (thanks to the year 2020 and the lack of cleaning products).
That’s when I decided this was my chance at making Orange Vanilla Vodka as well as this recipe for homemade vanilla extract. I like having alternatives to baking products, even if this one isn’t instant. Like making your own brown sugar… so easy! My baking substitutes printable really comes in handy when you’re in a pinch.
How to Make Vanilla Extract
This recipe for homemade vanilla extract is easy to make with 2 ingredients. Let it age for 1 to 6 months.
- Vanilla Beans - 1 1/2 for each 4oz. bottle
- Cut vanilla beans in half if needed for your jar size. Score or slice your vanilla beans lengthwise down the center and pry open a bit to expose the vanilla bean paste.
- Add 1 1/2 beans to each 4oz. bottle.
- Fill to the top with vodka or bourbon.
- Store in a dark cool place for at least 4 weeks or up to 6 mo for a richer flavor.
- Shake the vanilla bottles every week or so.
If you're using larger bottles, you'll need to add more vanilla beans. There really isn't a limit. The more you use, the less time it may take for a rich bold extract.
Once the extract reaches full flavor, you can strain the vanilla to remove the beans using a cheesecloth, then pour the extract back into the bottle. I leave mine in.
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Nutrition InformationYield 1 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 64Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 16mgCarbohydrates 22gFiber 0gSugar 22gProtein 0g
We do our best to calculate, however, nutrition information may not be accurate.
Does Vanilla Extract Go Bad?
Everything store-bought has to have an expiration date, however, if you store vanilla properly, it will stay good forever. After doing a quick google, I did read that you should use it up or throw it out after 5 years. You’ll want to store any recipe for homemade vanilla in a cool dark place.
Substitutes for Vanilla Extract
If I’m out of vanilla extract, I usually use almond extract, but less. Almond extract is a little stronger but makes a pretty good substitute. Maple syrup is another great suggestion.
Free Printable Labels for Recipe for Homemade Vanilla Extract
You’ll find these labels in the Printable Vault. All TCL subscribers have been sent the password to access all free printables. Subscribe here. Your password will be sent to you. Please check your spam folder.
To make these labels you’ll need the following:
- White Sticker Paper
- Downloaded Lable Image
- Paper Trimmer, Craft Scissors or a 2 inch Square Paper Punch
After you print onto self-adhesive sticker paper, trim the squares, and then peel the backing off. Stick to a clean jar, right in the middle.
Holiday Gifts from the Kitchen
Simple and easy homemade edible holiday gift ideas!
Oatmeal Cookie Mix in a Jar Recipe
Who doesn't love cookies?
Homemade Mocha Mix Recipe
Another great gift idea you can make.
Gingerbread Cake Mix with Free Printable Tag
This is a delicious homemade gift.
White Chocolate Peppermint Bites
Eat as is, or drop them in a mug of hot cocoa.
Hot Buttered Rum Recipe
The secret ingredient makes this homemade gift even better!
White Chocolate Nutty Fruit Bites
Simple, easy and they are beautiful!
Eierlikör – German Egg Liqueur (a.k.a. Advocaat) - Texanerin Baking
For a fun diy gift idea.
Mini Hot Cocoa Jars
These make great party favors too!
Lorrie MN Keating says
This recipe will give you vanilla flavor vodka but not extract. 4 ounces of alcohol requires 1/2 OUNCE by WEIGHT of vanilla beans (the ratio is 1 ounce of beans to 8 ounces of alcohol). Counting beans doesn’t give you the same product. If you split, cut, scrape the beans you can have a usable extract in 6 months but not 30 days.
It’s amazing how many incorrect recipes there are for vanilla extract on the web. Consider doing more research and correcting your contribution so that your readers get the right information.
Hi Lorrie, Thanks for the information. I have been making it like this for a while and it has turned out great. I do let it sit longer since it takes a while for me to get to opening it.
I will always use homemade after I tried this recipe. Never knew that it was easy to make! I will make another batch soon to give away to my family and friends. I’m sure they will love it!
Homemade vanilla adds such a wonderful touch to everything! I keep a jar on hand all the time.
Shadi Hasanzadenemati says
Oh wow, this looks so delicious. My family is going to devour it!
Andrea Thueson says
I’ll never go back to buying vanilla extract! This was so simple to make and so much better than store-bought!
Laura Reese says
This is a great gift, especially with how expensive vanilla has gotten! So easy and the labels made it really come together!
Shannon W says
Love the vanilla extract post! The label is extra special!
Thank you! I’m so glad you like it. I wanted something very simple.