Homemade Vanilla Extract!

The Perfect Gift!








PRINT Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe

Some of the most memorable and treasured gifts that I’ve received are the ones that are homemade! A few Christmases ago my dear friend Angela presented me with a beautiful amber colored bottle, adorned with a homemade label that simply read “Madagascar Vanilla Extract 2009”.  I was thrilled!  I had no idea that vanilla extract could be made at home; but my sweet friend did and she knew how much I LOVE to bake, too!   It was the perfect gift and it meant the world to me!!  I later learned how amazingly easy it was to prepare and we are thrilled to share it with all of you!  With the help of www.beanilla.com, who will supply you with the bottles and vanilla beans, you are on your way to creating a wonderfully useful and delicious gift for anyone on your list!


  • 1  8 ounce glass bottle with lid
  • 5 whole vanilla beans
  • 8 ounces of bottom shelf vodka



Split 5 whole vanilla beans lengthwise.  Insert them into the empty bottle and fill with Vodka. Screw the lid on tightly. Allow the bottle to rest for 8 weeks, gently shaking the bottle from time to time.  You’ll be amazed at how rich the flavor is and the beautiful aroma that escapes when you open the bottle each time!



  • As you use your vanilla extract refill the bottle with a bit more Vodka.  With the vanilla beans still inside the jar the flavors from the beans will infuse into the added vodka, therefore replenishing your supply.  If after several additions of Vodka you notice that the extract flavor seems weaker, simply add another vanilla bean or two to the bottle!
  • For a bold and smoky flavored vanilla extract we recommend Mexican vanilla beans, which can also be ordered from beanilla.com.
  • If you prefer a rich and creamy flavor, as Carolyn and I do, we strongly recommend the Madagascar vanilla beans!
  • A unique cherry chocolate and floral aroma can be obtained by using Tahitian vanilla beans, also offered at beanilla.com.
  • If you choose to remove the vanilla beans from your bottle, don’t toss them out!  Combine them with a small amount of granulated sugar in a tightly sealed plastic container and let it rest for a few weeks.  You’ve now created vanilla sugar, which tastes absolutely amazing in hot tea!
  • I love vanilla scones and another great use for the vanilla beans, which you’ve chosen to remove from the extract, is to use the scraped out centers as an added flavor kick to your scones!  Don’t forget to use your homemade vanilla extract in the recipe, too!
  • The empty bottles can be ordered at beanilla.com for approximately $3.75 each.  The Madagascar vanilla beans can be ordered at an amazing cost of 25 beans for $25!!
  • Showcase your homemade Madagascar vanilla extract gifts inside your homemade embellished gift bags, also featured in this edition of our ‘Celebrate’ webazine!
  • Vodka is our liquor of choice, because it doesn’t add any additional flavors to your vanilla extract.  However, you can also use Bourbon, Rum or Brandy if you prefer!
  • This homemade vanilla extract can be given anytime of the year, not just Christmas!  Include it in a basket of homemade vanilla infused sugar cookies or shortbread cookies on Valentine’s Day or Easter, along with a cookie cutter or two, fitting for that holiday!  You can even nestle your homemade vanilla extract into a basket filled with kitchen baking essentials for the guest of honor at a Bridal Shower!  Include a few of your favorite recipes, which call for vanilla extract, giving this ‘soon to be wife’ a head start on her recipe repertoire!



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