How to Make Vanilla Extract from Vanilla Beans (Homemade Vanilla)

In Vanilla Bean Recipes, Tips, and Helpful Information Blog 95 comments

As any serious baker will tell you, pure, real, homemade vanilla extract can be the difference between a normal cookie and an award-winning confection! It is so much better that you probably think it must be difficult, expensive and time consuming to make. The reality is, it takes less of your time and effort to make real vanilla extract than it does to bake the cookies you add it to, and the cost is comparable or less than just buying vanilla extract.

To make things even easier for you we have created an all in one Homemade Vanilla Extract Kit that you can purchase on our site and create your own vanilla in 4 easy steps.

Homemade Vanilla – Better than Store Bought

When it comes to food, the idea that something homemade is better than something store bought isn’t hard to imagine. What is hard to imagine is just how much better homemade vanilla really is. It’s not just a bit better. It’s not even just a lot better. It is so much better that anyone who has ever made their own vanilla from vanilla beans, will never buy vanilla extract again. It’s THAT good.

What Makes Homemade Vanilla Extract Better

The most significant factor is the vanilla beans. When you make your own homemade vanilla extract you can choose the quality of vanilla beans you use. Premium grade vanilla beans simply have a richer, fuller flavor than any commercially produced vanilla extract.

How to Make Your Own Vanilla Extract at Home

It's surprisingly easy to make your own vanilla extract. You only need a few ingredients, and some patience.

The ingredients:

  • 1 oz Premium Vanilla Beans (about 8-10 of vanilla beans)
  • 8.5 ounce Glass Jar or Bottle with lid (we suggest a swing top bottle with attached lid)
  • 1 cup (8 oz) alcohol (at least 35% alcohol (70 proof)-vodka is common; also try rum, bourbon or brandy)


FDA standards call for at least 13.35 ounces of vanilla beans per gallon of liquid. This equates to approximately .9 oz of beans per 8 ounces of alcohol! Many people really like to use rum, bourbon, or brandy. The quality and brand of the alcohol are not important. The quality of the vanilla beans is extremely important which is why we use a blend of gourmet quality or Grade A vanilla beans and beans specifically grown for extract purposes.

The 4 Steps for How to Make Vanilla Extract

Step One – Slit the beans long-ways then cut into smaller pieces. Place them into the jar or bottle.

Step Two – Completely submerge your beans by adding 8 oz of your favorite vodka, rum, bourbon, or brandy.

Step Three – Secure the lid on the jar or bottle and give your new delicious concoction a shake 1-2 times weekly.

Step Four – Try not to run out of patience. It takes about 6 - 12 months for the vanilla beans to magically turn the alcohol into pure, homemade vanilla extract. After 6 months, most of the extraction is finished. The vanilla beans could be removed, but if you leave the vanilla beans in the bottle, the flavor continues to evolve like wine does.

Store your vanilla extract out of direct sunlight and at room temperature and it will last literally forever, if you don’t use it up.

Premium Madagascar Bourbon Gourmet Vanilla Beans

Madagascar Bourbon Gourmet Vanilla Beans have a strong, deep, rich, vanilla aroma. The traditional, rich and creamy vanilla flavor that you expect is exactly what these beans deliver. They are ideal for making your homemade vanilla extract. In fact, Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans are highly sought after because the region in which they are grown is known to produce the best quality beans.

Your Homemade Vanilla Extract

Perhaps you will just make enough vanilla extract for your own baking. Many people find that small bottles of homemade vanilla extract make ideal gifts. Make a large batch and repackage it into pretty jars or bottles. They make great hostess gifts, gifts for teachers, holiday gifts, or any occasion you have to give a gift to your favorite baker.

Making vanilla extract is quick and easy, aside from the waiting part. Yes, the waiting is the hardest part.


95 thoughts on “How to Make Vanilla Extract from Vanilla Beans (Homemade Vanilla)


Hello, I am interested in making my own extract, but I do not want to do this unless I can make extract that is as good or better than gourmet extracts such as Heilala, Nielsen-Massey or yours. In doing research I read an article that claims soaking vanilla beans in alcohol and then waiting, as is stated in this and other recipes I have seen, is not extract at all but rather is vanilla infusion. True vanilla extract requires commercial grade equipment. Is what this article claims true? Is making vanilla extract in the way instructed here produce an inferior product than some of the gourmet extracts available elsewhere? Also, do you say that making vanilla extract in the way you suggest will make a finished product as good or better than the gourmet extract available? I will add a link to that article. Thanks

November 23, 2021 at 07:56am
Alfred J Sorichillo

I have to say that after a bad start vanilla bean kings came thru with flying colors.
someone packed only half my beans but they corrected it and gave me a couple extra,
they are by far the nicest and plumpest beans ever. I want to thank them for making good on their promise to be the best.
I am learning a lot from them and I have told many of my friends to try them first
before someone else.This is no Bull S as I am 71 years old and don’t have time to play games.
I am trying to learn as much as I can to pass along to my grand kids who Love making
extracts with pop pop. Anyways Good Luck Vanilla Bean Kings and Thanks Again.
I am sure I will be ordering from you in the near future God willing.

Take Care and God Bless

November 23, 2021 at 07:56am
Michelle Gray

Hi I’m expecting my Madagascar vanilla beans any day now and I would just like to know I have the little 8 ounce jars after a year when it’s ready and you take some out do you replace it with vodka or more beans can’t wait to hear your response thank you Michelle

November 23, 2021 at 07:56am
Tresa Meier

Excited to have received my first order from you today. Loved everything about my order!! The vanilla beans are wonderful. Packaging was great, loved the funnel, the labels. Shipping time was great. I will definitely order from you again. Thank you for encouraging us all to make our own vanilla extract, vanilla sugar and paste. Blessings to you and your family from Hartsville, IN.

November 23, 2021 at 07:56am
Angi Henry

First time buying and I will definitely to buying from you guys again.

November 23, 2021 at 07:56am

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