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Homemade Vanilla Extract


Homemade vanilla extract is so easy to make, much cheaper than shop bought and you have the advantage of choosing your own vanilla pods.

Homemade vanilla extract is worth making just to be able to open the jar and take in the wonderful aroma of vanilla, it’s heavenly, no wonder vanilla is used in perfume! You also have the added bonus that vanilla extract makes a lovely gift.

Homemade Vanilla Extract


  • 6 to 8 vanilla pods per 250 ml (1 cup) vodka
  • 1 sterilised jar large enough to hold the quantity you’re making
Note on alcohol:

Vanilla extract can be made with different types of alcohol but works best with vodka because of its ‘neutral’ taste. You don’t need to go for the expensive brands although I would avoid the cheaper end of the market – whichever brand you use it does need to be 40% strength. I was lucky to get my vodka duty free when our son came over on a visit so I was able to get a good quality vodka for a budget price.

  • Split the vanilla pods with a sharp knife along the centre.
  • Place in your jar and cover with alcohol.
  • Store in a dark place and shake once a week.
  • Leave for at least 4 weeks.
  • The flavour will mature and grow more intense over time. I like to leave mine for at least 3 months.
  • Decant into a small bottle for easy use – you can strain the extract if you wish but I like all the bits.
  • At this point you can top up your jar with alcohol and add 1 or 2 more split vanilla pods.
  • Don’t forget to give your topped up extract a shake every once in a while.
  • Use your homemade vanilla extract in the same quantities as commercially made vanilla extract.

One of our favourite uses for our Homemade Vanilla extract is in our Vanilla Yogurt Pots with fresh strawberries and homemade strawberry glaze.

I’m entering this recipe into The Spice Trail from Vanesther at Bangers and Mash, the theme this month is Vanilla and is hosted by Solange at Pebble Soup

And because it’s made from scratch, I’m linking it to Made With Love Mondays hosted by Javelin Warrior

Sharing is caring!

Sugar Free Mini Cheesecakes - Tales From The Kitchen Shed

Monday 5th of December 2016

[…] 1 teaspoon sugar free vanilla extract or home-made vanilla extract […]

Solange at Pebble Soup

Friday 30th of May 2014

What could be more perfect than Vanilla Extract for a Vanilla challenge. Thank you for entering the Spice Trail x


Monday 2nd of June 2014

You're welcome Solange, Vanilla is definitely the star in this recipe so I couldn't resist entering it into the challenge.

Sarah Marquis

Wednesday 28th of May 2014

I never knew you could make vanilla extract, let alone it being so simple! Love the idea of making as gifts too!


Monday 2nd of June 2014

I was surprised how easy it was & it does make the perfect gift :-)

Keep Calm and Fanny On

Wednesday 28th of May 2014

Lovely idea, I usually have some vodka kicking about that's been a present, I'm not a vodka drinker, so always looking for ways to use it! Just need to track down some good quality vanilla and I'm off! Thanks...


Wednesday 28th of May 2014

You're welcome, glad you've found a good use for your vodka! That's the beauty of making your own extract, you can add good quality vanilla pods.

Javelin Warrior

Tuesday 27th of May 2014

I've never tried to make my own vanilla extract before, but I've wanted to because I'd read how easy it is to do. This is a wonderful idea and perfect for a homemade gift, too...


Wednesday 28th of May 2014

Definitely recommend making some, it comes with a warning tho! You might not want to give it away :-)