Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I may have recommended. I will never link to a product I do not highly recommend and have used! Please check out my disclosure policy for more details.
A quick look at how much store bought Vanilla Extract costs and it’s $5.69 for a 2 ounce bottle! That’s the same as paying over $65 for the same amount of vanilla you get in the homemade version (if you make just 1 batch but with the amount of vanilla beans you get, you can make much more!)
Vanilla extract is a staple in baking homes everywhere! Look at most cookie recipes; it’ll ask for a teaspoon of vanilla!
Homemade vanilla is so easy to make and makes a difference in the taste of your baked goods!
I had made a batch of my favorite chocolate chip cookies and brought them into work (right when I began using my first batch of vanilla). My coworker LOVED the cookies and asked for the recipe. I told her exactly how I made the cookies and she tried to replicate them. She came back to work saying that her cookies were good, but just didn’t have the same goodness as my batch. I asked her if she used the same chocolate chips in her batch (that can make a huge difference in taste also!) and that was the same, I then told her, “Well, I use homemade vanilla. Maybe that made the difference?” I gave her a few ounces of my homemade vanilla, she made another batch of cookies, and she said that made a difference in the taste!
It does take some planning because you need to have patience waiting for your vanilla to be ready, but once it’s ready, it’s worth the wait!
The best part about homemade vanilla is that it only takes 2 ingredients! Quality vanilla beans can be found on Amazon, and a bottle of Vodka can be found at any local liquor store. The price of homemade vanilla also varies. You can go cheap on the vanilla beans or get a higher quality vanilla bean. The same is true with the vodka! I’ve only used Svedka when making my vanilla because I figured it was the middle ground on vodka quality. Personally, I use these vanilla beans that I order off of Amazon.
Now that all the ingredients are covered, the three steps taken to make homemade vanilla are as follows…
- Cut a slit in 12-15 Vanilla beans lengthwise, leaving about an inch on each end so the bean isn’t completely cut apart.
- Put slit vanilla beans into the vodka bottle (after removing an ounce of the vodka for displacement) and shake.
- Store in a dark place (like a pantry) and wait 6-8 weeks before enjoying your homemade vanilla.
I’ve made my vanilla since 2013 and I’m in the process of making my third bottle of vodka into vanilla! The first time I made a batch, I put it in a smaller craft and let it sit for 8 weeks before using it. I also decided to put vanilla beans directly into the remaining vodka in the bottle because I didn’t have another fancy craft to put it in. Using a mason jar and pouring the finished product out of it sounded horrible if I didn’t have a funnel. My small craft lasted me quite a while. By the time I got to my remaining vanilla in the vodka bottle, it had been sitting for almost a year! I always begin a new vanilla batch early on to allow it more than 6-8 weeks to sit!
- Some people prefer to put their vodka into crafts and let it sit and develop into their homemade vanilla in there…if you choose to do that, you would not need as many vanilla beans inside the vodka!
- You can also use other types of alcohol when making this! (Rum, Brandy, Bourban) I’ve only ever used vodka to make my vanilla!
For some great recipes to use your homemade vanilla, check out 5 Variations to the Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie!
I hope you find this idea to make homemade vanilla helpful! Has anybody ever used a different type of alcohol while making homemade vanilla? Does it give your desserts a different taste?