Whole vanilla beans and booze are all you’ll need to make your own vanilla extract for baking. This recipe is super easy to make and much less expensive than buying commercially made extract.
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Here’s how it goes at our house: Plan to make my own vanilla, but forget. Then my husband (the baker in the family) sees that we’re low. He picks up a big bottle at Costco, perpetuating a vicious cycle. Every bottle we get from the store? That’s one more piece of plastic that we have to figure out what to do with.
DIY vanilla extract recipe
Making my own in a reusable glass bottle makes sense from a waste perspective. But here in Hawaii, it makes sense from a locavore perspective, too. Several small farms grow vanilla right here on the island. (Check out this little look at my friend Chuck’s efforts at growing his own.)
How ridiculous to buy an imported version in plastic!
Even if you don’t have access to a locally grown crop, it makes sense to make it yourself. It eliminates waste, plus a single batch of homemade vanilla can last indefinitely, since you can keep topping off the jar as you use the vanilla.
Make your own vanilla at home
Inspired to try to make your own? Here’s how you do it. It’s not really a recipe so much as it is just putting a couple of ingredients in a jar. Then waiting, of course. Once it’s ready, you’ll be off and baking. Use your homemade extract just as you would the store-bought version. Stir it into homemade yogurt, sugar cookie dough, or this tangerine jam with ginger and vanilla.
This recipe would make a great gift for your favorite, baker, too! Package it up in pretty jars, tie on a ribbon, and print out several easy recipe cards to go with it.
★ Did you make this homemade vanilla extract recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★
Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe
This homemade extract is super easy to make and will save you a bundle of money.
- 2 whole organic vanilla beans
- 2 cups vodka
Split vanilla beans down the center with a knife or scissors.
Slip the beans into a recycled glass jar or a canning jar. Use a jar that holds two cups of liquid.
Pour vodka into jar and allow it to sit for three to four weeks.
Leave the vanilla bean in the jar and when your supply starts to get low, add more vodka. (Eventually, you may need to start fresh when the beans start to lose their oomph.)