Making Vanilla Extract at Home is Surprisingly Easy

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

If you want to take your baking to the next level, try making your own vanilla extract at home! 


  • 4 vanilla bean pods
  • 1 cup of alcohol, such as vodka, bourbon, brandy, rum, or single malt whiskey-does not have to be high quality 


  1. First, only use vanilla bean pods that look slightly plump as they will have more caviar, or vanilla beans, inside, and will make your extract taste stronger and more delicious.
  2. Once you have your pods, use a paring knife to split the pods open without cutting them in half. 
  3. Take a clean jar with a lid and put the pods into it.
  4. Then, cover the pods with your choice of alcohol and leave it in a cool, dark place for at least 8 weeks.
  5. Once a week or so shake the jar until the 8 weeks are up. If you want a stronger extract, leave the pods in for longer. 
  6. Once the 8 weeks or longer is up you can use it right away, or if you don’t want the black specks from the caviar in your baked goods you can strain it. 
  7. The best thing about this recipe is that once the extract has been used, you can make another batch by just pouring more alcohol over the beans.