Go Back
+ servings
homemade vanilla extract in two jars

How to Make Vanilla Extract

Learn exactly how to make vanilla extract using just two ingredients and two simple steps! Homemade vanilla extract can last over a year and will make all of your baked goods taste amazing. Store a jar for later or gift it to friends and family for the holidays!
Course How to
Cuisine American
Keyword homemade vanilla extract, how to make vanilla extract
Prep Time 60 days
Total Time 60 days
Servings 1 cup vanilla extract
Author Monique Volz of AmbitiousKitchen.com


  • 6-7 vanilla beans
  • 1 cup 80 proof vodka, bourbon, rum or brandy


  • Slit each vanilla bean down the middle lengthwise so that the insides are exposed. Be sure not to slice all the way through the bean pod. Place each vanilla bean in an 8 ounce glass bottle or jar. If the beans don’t fit lengthwise, simply cut them into smaller pieces widthwise.
  • Pour the vodka (or bourbon, rum or brandy) into the jar. Make sure the vanilla beans are completely submerged. Give the bottle a couple of shakes.
  • Store the vanilla at room temp out of direct sunlight for at least 8 weeks, and give it a shake once every 1-2 weeks. The longer your vanilla sits, the better the flavor will be, I love when it sits for at least 3 months!
  • Once you begin to use the vanilla, you can either continue to refill the bottle with more alcohol of choice to keep using the same beans, or you can remove the beans and use the vanilla as-is.


To store: store your homemade vanilla extract in a cool, dark place away from heat.