Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe – An Easy Recipe to Save you Money

I spent yesterday evening helping my mom clean up her Facebook friends. My mom has over 1,000 friends! Now, I know that she has that many friends because she needs it for business purposes, but she didn’t know that she should probably hide the posts from these people that she doesn’t know. She kept telling me that she had no idea that I had a blog and that she never sees my posts. Well, guess what, when you have over 1,000 friends, you are bound to miss a post or two by the people that you really are interested in knowing about.

While we were doing the arduous task of hiding posts from hundreds of people we started talking about my blog and how I always comment about her swapping ingredients. She read my post about the Jambalaya and said, “I would never put grapefruit in Jambalaya…I might add green beans or something like that.” I rest my case mom! Green beans do not belong in Jambalaya.

Moving on…So, what do you get when you mix vanilla beans with vodka. No, I’m not making vanilla vodka, although that does sound good right now mixed with some cranberry juice. Yum! But back to reality…when you add vanilla beans to vodka, you get vanilla extract. In fact, it’s the best vanilla extract you can use. It has a really great flavor. The best part about this is that it’s much cheaper than buying pure vanilla extract. Notice that I didn’t say “imitation vanilla.” Why would you ever use that when you can make the good stuff at home?

Vanilla beans aren’t cheap, but I bought a whole bag of them on Amazon.com for about $12 – they are about $10 per bean at the grocery store. Even if you buy the beans at the grocery store, you will save yourself a lot of money in the long run if you use vanilla on a regular basis.

The key is to buy good vodka to make your extract. Do not buy those cheaper brands – you know which ones I’m talking about. The ones that you used to buy because they were cheap and then realized that the reason why it’s so cheap is because no one would buy it if it cost more than $5. The kind that you bought when you were younger and learned why adults don’t drink that junk! I will stick with my Grey Goose, but you can use Smirnoff or Sky to make your extract.

I hope you enjoy making this to use for your baking. Make sure you hide your vodka if you don’t plan to use it right away. I have to hide mine or the hubby will drink it and wonder why I’m so upset. Note that the vodka in the picture is actually orange vodka, the hubby drank all of the plain stuff. Do NOT use flavored vodka for your vanilla.

Vanilla Extract


4 ounces plain vodka
2 vanilla beans


Slice vanilla beans down the center and split them open to expose the inside. Try to only slice through the top layer and leave the bottom layer intact. It will work no matter what, so don’t stress if you slice through the whole thing.

Place the beans into an airtight container. I bought 5 oz. glass bottles with lids online at Specialtybottle.com for around $0.80 a piece. Any airtight jar will work. Pour vodka over the beans making sure that the beans are entirely covered. Place the lid on the container and store in a cool place with no sunlight. Shake your vanilla every few days. It will be ready to use in about 2 months. As your vanilla runs low, simply add more vodka to the jar and continue to use for a year or more.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake – A simple cake with simple flavors « The Accidental Cook

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