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How To Make Vanilla Extract

Vanilla is one of the most common ingredients used in baking. It plays a huge role in achieving the desired flavor of your desserts. Though it may not taste great on its own, when added into recipes it brings out a delicious flavor.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: How To Make Vanilla Extract
Author: cakedecorist.com


  • A container with a lid that is large enough to hold the vanilla beans and alcohol


  • Vanilla beans
  • Vodka with at least 35% alcohol content
  • Glass jar or bottle with lid


Step One: Cut the Vanilla Beans

  • Take your vanilla beans and cut them down the middle lengthwise. This will allow you to get the most flavor. If needed, cut the beans down in height to fit in your jar.

Step Two: Put the Vanilla in the Jar

  • In a clean and empty jar, place your vanilla pieces.

Step Three: Adding the Alcohol

  • Fill the container with alcohol. Close the jar tightly and shake up the mix.

Step 4: Storage

  • Store your vanilla extract mix in a cool, dark place. It is best to give it a shake at least once a week to help mix it up. It is recommended to store the vanilla extract for at least two months before using, however you may try to use some after a month to see if it is strong enough. The longer it sits, the stronger the flavor gets.


If you use vanilla extract on a regular basis, you can make multiple batches at once, that way once you run out of your first batch, you don’t have to wait another two months for more. You can also add a label with the date to the jar of your vanilla extract to know when it will be ready, so you don’t lose track of time.
Though you may put the beans in whole, it is recommended to split them to get more flavor. If any vanilla gets stuck to your knife or scissors, or falls off when prepping the beans, make sure to still add it to the jar. This will help your vanilla extract to get as much flavor as possible.
You can also make multiple batches, using vodka, bourbon and rum, then compare them to see which vanilla you like best. Some people prefer the classic taste vodka gives, while others like the deeper flavor from bourbon or rum. Vodka is the most common alcohol used for making vanilla extract.