Homemade vanilla extract

Sometimes the simplest things make everything better.


Many years ago I went to the store to buy some high quality vanilla extract to make some Chocolate chip cookies, they wanted like 5 dollars for the tiniest little bottle.

I paid the ransom bought the vanilla and made my cookies, but I was not happy about it. This was my moment of clarity and I said never again!

Years ago in culinary school we learned how to infuse alcohol with whatever flavor we desired and this is what led to the development of my vanilla extract recipe.

To start you will need a clean sterile bottle with a lid.  I use a old balsamic vinegar bottle, it has a cork top and is ideal for vanilla extract. There are only 3 more ingredients you will need.

Vodka can be cheap or top shelf

2 vanilla pods, this is where you want the beat quality available

1 tsp sugar

The first step in the process is to cut the vanilla pods in half. You will then want to open the pods by cutting them in half lengthwise. Do not seed them the alcohol will do this for you,  place them in the bottle.

Now you pour the the sugar into the jar and fill it till almost full with vodka. Now for the tricky part,  put the lid on,  shake it well and put it in a sunny window for 15 days to infuse.  Shake well every 5 day’s and that is it simpler than Apple pie and it will make all of your baked goods taste so much better.

This vanilla is kind of like sour dough starter, you don’t want to use it all up before you make a new batch. Plan ahead and make when you are down to a quarter of a bottle, this will keep the flavor strong.

There is no need to sterilize the bottle everytime the alcohol in the vodka does that for you.
When the bottle gets full of vanilla pods empty it into a bowl and shake it upside down till all the old pods come out. Pour the leftover vanilla back in the bottle and start a new batch. 

Now you have my best kept baking secret. I hope you enjoy it


4 thoughts on “Homemade vanilla extract

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