Learn How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract, and you’ll never have to buy it again. Watch my video and print out the recipe in this post for step-by-step instructions. This vanilla extract is perpetual and will last indefinitely.

Mary holding a jar with Vanilla Extract.
Watch the How to Make Homemade Vanilla Bean Extract video

Affiliates note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. My content may contain affiliate links to products and services. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission. It does not affect the price you pay.

Making Homemade Extracts

Making homemade extracts is probably one of the easiest things to do. Vanilla Extract is probably the simplest, and it lasts the longest. Some call it a perpetual extract. Ina Garten, the best-selling cookbook author, once said that the beans used in her extract are almost 20 years old. Now that certainly warrants the perpetual label!

Step-by-Step Instructions

In my video, I walk you through the easy steps involved in making Vanilla Extract. You’ll simply cut the beans in half, split them down the middle, or do both. Next, you’ll place them in a quart-sized or one-liter jar and then fill it with vodka.

Why Vodka for My Extract?

I like to use vodka when making Vanilla Extract or any extract for that matter. Vodka is colorless and basically tasteless and odorless, so it lets the vanilla flavor shine through. However, you can also try other spirits, including rum or bourbon.

What If I Don’t Want to Use Alcohol for My Extract?

Remember that when you use a Homemade Extract, you will most likely use it in baking. The heat of the oven will help the alcohol dissipate and leave the lovely extract flavor behind.

However, if you are concerned about the high-proof alcohol used in making an extract, you have options. To replace the vodka or other high-proof alcohol in any extract recipe, simply substitute the alcohol called for with three parts liquid glycerine and one part water. Now, keep in mind that glycerine is, in essence, alcohol, but with a much lower alcohol content than 80-100 proof spirits.

One other option when making extracts is to use a low-alcohol wine mixed with glycerine to make your extract. To learn how to make homemade wine and use it with glycerin to make a low-alcohol extract, please visit my sweet friend Heidi over at Rain Country Homestead.

More Ideas for the Traditional Foods Pantry

Now that you’ve learned how to make homemade Vanilla Extract, be sure to try your hand at making more Homemade Extracts and other essentials for stocking your Traditional Foods Pantry.

Mary with 10 favors of homemade extracts.

Homemade Vinegar Recipes

Making vinegars can be fun too, and they look great next to the homemade extracts in your pantry. I recommend starting out with a homemade Apple Cider Vinegar, but depending on the season, fruit scrap vinegars would be perfect too.

Download Your Free 36-Page Pantry List

For an extensive list of the traditional foods you can make and purchase to stock your pantry, be sure to download my free 36-page Traditional Foods Pantry List. This comprehensive eBook is full of links to recipe videos, helpful articles, and more!

The Modern Pioneer Cookbook

And if you’re looking for a printed book full of my traditional foods recipes that shows you how to create a traditional foods kitchen, be sure to preorder your copy of my new book, The Modern Pioneer Cookbook.

Order YOUR COPY Now!

The Modern Pioneer Cookbook

Seasonal ingredients, traditional techniques, and nourishing recipes. Over 85 traditional, from-scratch recipes! Discover for yourself how you can use simple ingredients and traditional techniques to cook the modern pioneer way.

Join the Traditional Foods Kitchen Academy

Are you looking for more traditional foods videos? If so, I invite you to join the Traditional Foods Kitchen Academy. Members of this optional paid YouTube community get access to exclusive videos, live streams, and other members-only perks. Plus, your YouTube comments include a special members-only badge.

Kitchen Academy Videos

See all →

Stay in Touch with Mary’s Nest

  1. Subscribe to My YouTube Channel for Traditional Foods Videos (Free) - When you subscribe, be sure to click on the notification bell that will let you know each time I upload a new video.
  2. Subscribe to Mary’s Traditional Foods Newsletter (Free) - Get a free 36-page eBook for signing up: How to Stock Your Essential Traditional Foods Four-Corners Pantry.
  3. Join the Traditional Foods Kitchen Academy (Optional Paid) - For more detailed videos and exclusive members-only perks, join my YouTube membership community.
  4. Order The Modern Pioneer Cookbook (Optional Paid) - Get a printed book of Mary's nourishing recipes from a Traditional Foods Kitchen. This bestselling cookbook is published by Penguin Random House with their DK imprint.

I look forward to having you join me in my Texas Hill Country Kitchen!

How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract

5 from 1 vote
Steeping time: 180 days
Total: 180 days
Yield: 64 servings
This vanilla extract is perpetual and will last indefinitely!

Equipment

  • 1 quart-sized jar or 1 liter-sized jar

Instructions 

  • Add vanilla beans to the clean jar and cover with vodka.
  • Allow the beans to steep in vodka for six months in a dark pantry or cupboard.
  • After six months, remove some of the vanilla extract and decant it into a clean bottle.
  • Add new vodka to the original jar containing the vanilla beans, and return the jar to the pantry or cupboard to steep for another six months.
  • Every six months, continue this process of decanting some vanilla extract into a separate bottle and topping off the jar containing the vanilla beans with additional alcohol. By following this process, your vanilla extract will basically last indefinitely.

Video

Notes

Find this recipe and video at https://marysnest.com/how-to-make-homemade-vanilla-extract/
Copyright © 2019 Mary’s Nest, LLC, All Rights Reserved

Nutrition

Calories: 2kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.2g | Fat: 0.1g
Course: Pantry Staples
Cuisine: Americana
Calories: 2
Keyword: Baking Basics, Homemade Extracts, Pantry Staples, Vanilla Extract
Watch Mary’s Nest on YouTube

Shop for items used in this blog post or video

Favorite Homemade Vanilla Supplies

Favorite Kitchen Supplies

Amazon Shop and Shopping Guide

  • Visit Mary’s Nest Amazon Shop
  • Visit my Shopping Guide page
    Get up to 15% off for stocking your Traditional Foods Pantry and equipping your Modern Pioneer Kitchen, including discounts from US Wellness Meats, Farmhouse Teas, Lehman's, Masontops, Cultures for Health, Survival Garden Seeds, Redmond Real Salt, Plan to Eat, and More!

Posted in: ,

About the Author

Read More About Me

You may also like:

Comments

  1. Linda says:

    How long will the vanilla beans last in the vodka without replacing ?
    Thank you.

    1. Mary's Nest says:

      Hi Linda,

      This is a great question. I have not had to replace mine in years. Ina Garten claims that her beans have been perpetual and she has kept her vanilla extract going for over 25 years! Who knows!! Love, Mary

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating