Start Your Homemade
Holiday Vanilla Extract

Did someone mention the word… holiday?

Uh…. yes, that was me.

I know, I know… it may seem just a wee bit early to start thinking about Christmas.

However, when it comes to making homemade vanilla extract for holiday gifting…. you’re right on time.

beans in a cup

Homemade vanilla extract is a wonderful holiday gift from the kitchen and I’ve made tons of batches over the years for friends and family.

It’s probably one of those things you never considered making yourself but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see just how easy it is to make.

Not only that, think about how impressed your recipients will be with your ingenuity.

Homemade vanilla extract only requires a few ingredients; vanilla beans (of course), vodka or bourbon (one is as good as the other), and time (at least three months for full flavor to develop).

You’ll need 3 large beans for every 1 cup of alcohol.

vanilla bean trio

I typically purchase my vanilla beans in bulk via Amazon.

There are quite a few suppliers so, I don’t think you’ll have any problem finding beans.

Sometimes buying beans online can be hit or miss so, I do suggest you pay close attention to the source reviews before placing an order.

vanilla bean seeds

When you get your beans they should be plump and moist.

Do not wash them off.

Slice open the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds and cut the pods in half.

Then, put the seeds, pods and corresponding amount of liquid in a large Mason jar and seal with a cap.

Don’t forget, three beans for every one cup of alcohol.

vanilla bean extract

Shake the jar vigorously once a week for at least 12 weeks.

The longer you allow the mixture to “cure”… the stronger the vanilla flavor.

When you’re ready to gift the vanilla extract, pour the mixture through a fine strainer to remove seeds and sediment.

Strain the vanilla into small bottles and add a label to identify the homemade contents.

Yeah, it’s that simple.

Homemade Vanilla Extract
 
Ingredients
  • Vanilla beans (3 beans for every 1 cup of alcohol)
  • Vodka or Bourbon
  • Time (at least three months to cure)
Instructions
  1. Do not wash vanilla beans.
  2. Slice open the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds and cut the pods in half.
  3. Use 3 large beans for every 1 cup of alcohol.
  4. Put the seeds, pods and corresponding amount of liquid in a large Mason jar and seal with a cap.
  5. Shake the jar vigorously once a week for at least 12 weeks.
  6. The longer you allow the mixture to "cure"... the stronger the vanilla flavor.
  7. When you're ready to gift the vanilla extract, pour the mixture through a fine strainer to remove seeds and sediment.
  8. Pour into gift jars and add handcrafted labeling of the contents
  9. Strain the vanilla into small bottles and add a label to identify the homemade contents.
  10. Gift to friends and loved ones.

vanilla bean pods

People love gifts from the kitchen and you can’t go wrong with homemade vanilla extract.

You could pair your gift of vanilla extract with a box of homemade cookies, cake, muffins or even a handcrafted apron (I’ve done that before).

It’s unique and unexpected and I think your gift recipients will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

By the way, you can see how I packaged up some of my homemade vanilla extract in a previous post HERE.

Thanks for stopping by.

See  you back here next time. ♥

  • thefolia

    Cheers to home made vanilla…I need to make some more thanks for the reminder!

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Good luck with your batch.
      I’m always excited about making homemade vanilla extract in September because I know I’ll have it in time for the holidays.
      Happy day to you, thanks for popping by.

  • MaryLisa Noyes

    I found your blog on Pinterest with your tips on embroider. I’ve signed up now and your are amazing! I’m going to try this vanilla recipe for this upcoming holiday season! Thanks for sharing.

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Thanks for popping by, MaryLisa.
      Hope you find more inspiration and ideas that interest you.
      If you ever have any questions about any of my project, just drop me an email and I’ll walk you through it.
      Have a lovely weekend.

  • Martha Bilski

    This looks so good!

  • Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    What a wonderful idea!! Can’t wait to give it a go. I do have a question for you — it’s about cake decorating. You use the Russian tips, right? Do you have a favorite. I’d like to make some special cupcakes/cakes/cookies. I don’t want to invest in GOBS of tips — I don’t make that many desserts. And advice would be appreciated. BTW, how is the college student getting along and how is her mom? Big hugs!! Have a great weekend.

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Marisa, do try the homemade vanilla. As much as you cook and bake, you should have your own brew-lol.
      As for the Russian piping tips, I’ve only used the tips a few times so, I don’t have a favorite yet.
      You can borrow mine if you like. Try them out and mail them back when you’re done.
      Then, you can decide for yourself which one you like the best before investing.
      Just private message me your mailing address and I’ll get them in the mail to you.

  • Dana

    Such a luxurious gift to give! Luckily I have a ton of locally grown vanilla beans I bought on Maui. So, I think I’m going to do this for a gift this year.

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Ah, good for you, Dana.
      If you already have the vanilla beans, you’re halfway there.
      Please let me know how your batch turns out.
      I know you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
      Have a great holiday weekend.

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