There are affiliate links within this post and I regularly make this recipe! Making vanilla is easy with just beans and vodka.
I’ve always been a bit intimidated by Vanilla beans. I had never thought I could really do anything with them until I was talking with Joanna at Baked By Joanna and she said how easy it was! She said vodka and vanilla beans and that is it. So I went on some researching adventures and was excited when Bountiful Baskets offered a basket with Vanilla beans! When I got my basket, it only had two and I knew from all my research I wanted more. So I did more research and read that Beanilla had some great reviews, so I ordered 10 Premium Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans on Amazon for only $10!
Here are a few tips before I start explaining the process:
- I did research to see if people thought one brand of Vodka was better for the process over another but there was not a favored brand. The overall recommendation is to make sure it’s 40 proof.
- You *could* use Rum, however, Rum adds it’s own flavor and it might taste different than a traditional extract.
- The rule of measuring is 1/3 cup of vodka for each bean. Try to start with at least 3 beans and 1 cup of Vodka.
- Just a quick note on beans, the Vanilla beans found in a regular grocery store aren’t ideal for the extract process, start with fresh softer beans. Look on Amazon (my favorite go-to for Vanilla beans) or try your specialty grocery store.
Homemade Vanilla Recipe
6 Madagascar Vanilla Beans (find them on Amazon, look at the ratings before buying)
2 Cups of Vodka
- Take each bean, cut lengthwise (up and down) the bean, splitting it open but leaving an inch on the bottom and an inch on the top intact.
- Put the beans in the mason jar, then cover with Vodka. Make sure the beans are completely soaked in the Vodka.
- Seal tight and store in a cool, dark place where the sun cannot hit it. Every week, shake it up at least one time for about 6-8 weeks.
- After two months, take the jar and strain the Vanilla into smaller amber colored jars (look below). Be sure to leave 20% of the original extract in the mason jar.
- You can continue to add Vodka to those same beans for at least a few cycles and they will continue to make Vanilla extract! What I usually do is add a few fresh beans to every new batch while also using the old beans.
This really is such an easy recipe, I think the hardest part is waiting until it’s finished the process!
Homemade Vanilla can be great for gifts as well! I put the vanilla in these jars from Amazon:
Small Brown Bottles
I pair it with a cookie mix in a jar, these gift sets can be great and can be around $5 a gift! Just remember, you’ll need to start this sometime in October!