vanilla extract recipe, how to make vanilla extract at home

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Homemade vanilla extract method with step by step photos – a diy post on how to make vanilla extract at home.

vanilla extract

Making vanilla extract at home is very easy and you just need two ingredients:

  1. Vanilla beans
  2. Alcohol like vokda, rum or brandy

Living in India, its difficult to get pure vanilla extract. Usually I would buy organic vanilla beans or vanilla powder from super stores and add them to my bakes. Then my sis gifted me a really good pure vanilla extract which came all the way from united states. One whiff and it was so good. So when this bottle got over, I decided to make vanilla extract at home. Since vanilla beans are easily available both in superstores as well as online, I started making vanilla extract at home.

The method to make vanilla extract was mentioned in booklet that I got with the vanilla beans. So I followed the method from there and just reduced the amount of alcohol.

The quality and flavor of the vanilla extract largely depends on the type of vanilla beans you buy. i used prime beans which are also called as gourmet or grade A vanilla beans. These were vanilla beans from god’s own country – Kerala.

For the liquor, you can use vodka, rum or brandy. I used vodka. After a month or so, you can start adding this homemade vanilla extract to your baking or ice cream recipes.

The more you keep longer, the better and potent the flavors become. The vanilla beans continue to flavor the liquor, even after you start using the extract. So just make sure that the beans are always submerged inside the liquor. I kept this extract for more than 5 months instead of one month.

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homemade vanilla extract recipe

Vanilla Extract

5 from 1 vote
Homemade vanilla extract - diy vanilla extract that can be easily made at home.
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins

Cuisine World
Course: Condiment
Diet: Vegan
Difficulty Level: Easy

Servings 1 small bottle
Units

Ingredients

  • 4 to 5 vanilla beans
  • ¾ cup vodka (187.5 ml or 6.4 ounces or 0.4 pint)
  • a clean glass bottle or jar

Instructions

  • You will need 4 to 5 vanilla beans, 3/4 cup vodka (7.6 ounces or 1/2 pint) and a glass jar or bottle
  • Now slit the vanilla beans and halve them into two using a knife. You can also slit and then chop them in small sticks.
  • Add them to a clean glass jar/bottle and then pour vodka. Shake the jar lightly. The vanilla beans needs to completely immersed in the vodka. Keep in a cool dry place.
  • Once in a week shake the jar and allow the vanilla beans to steep in the vodka for at least a month. The more you keep longer, the better and potent the flavors will be.
  • After the time period, you can also strain the extract. The vanilla beans can be pat dried and then added to a sugar jar or container to get vanilla flavored sugar.
  • After a period of time, you will see the transparency of vodka changes to a deep dark brown color. Then add the homemade vanilla extract as required to your bakes and desserts. You can keep the extract at room temperature.

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How to make vanilla extract

1. You will need 4 to 5 vanilla beans, ¾ cup vodka (6.4 ounces or 0.4 pint) and a glass jar or bottle.

vanilla beans for vanilla extract

2. On a cutting board, slit the vanilla beans into two, if you are using a small jar like me.

vanilla beans for vanilla extract
3. You can also slit and then chop them in small sticks.

slit vanilla beans for vanilla extract

4. Add the vanilla beans to a clean glass jar/bottle. Also scrape off the vanilla seed from the cutting board and add to the jar. Then pour vodka. Shake the jar lightly. The vanilla beans needs to completely immersed in the vodka. Keep in a cool dry place at room temperature.

vanilla beans in glass jar

5. Once in a week shake the jar and allow the vanilla beans to steep in the vodka for at least a month. So that the alcohol extracts the flavors from the vanilla beans.

making homemade vanilla extract

6. This batch, I kept for more than 5 months. After the time period, you can also strain the extract. The vanilla beans can be pat dried and then added to a sugar jar/container to get Vanilla flavored sugar. I do not strain the extract.

making homemade vanilla extract

7. after a period of time, you will see the transparency of vodka (see above pic) changes to a deep dark brown color (below pic). Then add this Real homemade vanilla extract as required to your bakes and desserts. You can keep the vanilla extract at room temperature.

homemade vanilla extract, how to make vanilla extract

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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26 Comments

  1. Hi…please tell if we use vanilla essence instead of vanilla extract in chocolate cake(pressure cooker), will it be fine? Here at my place availability of vanilla beans is rare almost impossible.

    1. you can use vanilla essence, but let me tell you vanilla essence is chemically made. you can always order online for vanilla beans or real vanilla extract from amazon.in. but still if you do not vanilla beans or real vanilla extract, then use vanilla essence. but halve its quantity eg if 1 teaspoon vanilla extract is used, then add half a teaspoon of vanilla essence in place of it. more can make the cake have some slight bitter tones.

    1. the vanilla beans used in the recipe, i did not get from kerala. i got from super store near my place. but on a visit to kerala, i did get some more vanilla beans from the spice shops in broadway in kochi (cochin).

  2. hi, right now here i get whisky, so can i make vanilla extract from it. in my state it’s hard to get alcohol, but love to get homemade product5 stars

  3. First of all let me thank you for the almost foolproof dishes I have made from the recipes posted by you. Especially the eggless cakes have been a great savior!
    I have got vanilla paste – can the above method be used to make it into vanilla extract.

    1. thanks sanjyot. glad to read your positive feedback. i don’t know whether it will work or not. you will have to search in web to get some idea.

  4. Heya! Is there a substitute for alcohol (rum, brandy, vodka) just in case I want to prepare vanilla extract at home because being a Muslim I keep myself off alcoholic products.

    1. maria, thats good to know and i appreciate it. i don’t know any alternative for alcohol. i suggest you to just use vanilla beans directly in the bakes and desserts.

        1. I think you can make it with vegetable glycerin. I did not know pure non-alcoholic vanilla extract existed till I visited Trader Joe’s recently in the US. They have it there.

        2. jyothsna, even i didn’t know. from your comment i came to know. thanks for sharing the info.

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