If you bake chances are you use vanilla! Only 2 ingredients and you can make your own Homemade Vanilla Extract at a fraction of the price.
I started making my own vanilla extract years ago. I bake a LOT and those tiny bottles of vanilla extract only go so far, plus they are expensive. With only two ingredients and some patience you can make your own homemade vanilla extract that will last a LONG time. It is so good, you will never want to bake with that store bought stuff again.
What is Vanilla Extract?
Vanilla extract is a solution made by steeping vanilla pods in a solution of alcohol. The alcohol absorbs the flavor of the vanilla beans. It is an essential ingredient in many baking recipes.
Where to buy Vanilla Beans?
Many stores sell whole vanilla beans now. They are a bit pricey, but so is pure vanilla extract. I have found that the best deal is to buy them in bulk from Amazon. I have had really good luck with their vanilla beans, and use them all the time.
How to store Vanilla Extract?
After your vanilla extract is done, store it in a closed glass jar. I saved these cork top bottles from some soda I bought at Aldi, but they sell other similar bottles online. You can also just keep it in a mason jar, which is probably the easiest.
How long does it take to make vanilla extract?
After the vanilla beans have been soaking for about 8 weeks the alcohol will start to take on the vanilla flavor, but if you want the BEST vanilla extract you have ever had, you want to let your extract sit for 6 - 12 months before using. YES, this is a long time, but it is so worth it!
I make a large batch, so I don't need to make it again for a while. You will be shocked how much you can make at once.
How long does vanilla extract keep?
A LONG TIME! Since this is made from alcohol it prevents bacteria growth and will keep indefinitely in your pantry as long as it is sealed. The vanilla beans will deteriorate and loose flavor after multiple uses and will need to be removed and changed.
Can you make other extracts?
Yes, you can. The skies the limit. Think peppermint extract, orange extract and more. By soaking leaves, peels, cinnamon sticks and more in alcohol like you do the vanilla beans you can create many extracts for baking. Each have different brew times. I suggest google searching for the specific type you want to make before you get started.
Homemade Vanilla Extract
- Use a sharp knife to slit your vanilla beans. No need to cut them completely, you just want to release some of their essense. Place them into your bottle or jar and pour your alcohol of choice over the top.
- Seal your bottle up and give it a shake. Store it in a cool dry place to "brew". Occasionally give it a shake to encourage a delicious vanilla extract.
- Your vanilla extract will start to have flavor at about 8 weeks, but will be the BEST after 6 months +.
- Your vanilla beans are reusable. As you use your vanilla extract, pour some additional vodka, or alcohol of choice back in the jar. Give it a little shake. As you begin to use your vanilla, you can refill with a little vodka each time. This will keep a constant brew and you will always have plenty of vanilla for baking.
- Just make sure you are using a gluten free alcohol; Many vodkas are.
More Baking Recipes
- How to Make Brown Sugar
- Homemade Cinnamon Baking Chips Recipe
- How To Make Pumpkin Pie Spice : Simple Recipe