Homemade Vanilla Extract

By Vicki Walsh:

I’m trying to be a better version of myself. I’m trying to be thoughtful, prepared, and more in control of my life. In order to achieve this, I’ve been planning more, I’ve been organizing my days more … and I’ve been buying vanilla beans in bulk. The planner inside me has eagerly been studying the calendar lately – it’s already the second week of November! Colder days, darker evenings, colourful knitwear, hot chocolate by the fire, extra blankets. All of this can only possibly mean one thing: it’s time to start planning our holiday gifting!

I know. I see your skeptical glances and your raised eyebrow. Perhaps you’re wondering if I’ve lost my mind – and maybe I have – but it’s better to ease into these things sooner rather than later. This way you can avoid that panic attack you normally have around December 16th, right when you realize how unprepared you are. Trust me, I speak from experience. No one ever appreciates the last minute this-is-all-that-was-left-in-the-store gift.

Homemade Vanilla Extract is a wonderfully thoughtful and useful gift that you can package up super cutely. The only small snag is that you need to make it six weeks before you can use it. So, let’s take five minutes out of our lives now, whip up a few bottles of extract, store them in a dark forgotten place, and take them out just in time for the holidays. We’ll look like calm and collected gifting pros. Just think of it as an early Christmas present from me to you.

Happy gifting!

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Print Recipe
Serves: 1 cup Cooking Time: 5 minutes


  • cute bottles or jars
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 3 whole vanilla beans



Using a sharp knife, split the vanilla beans vertically down the centre and scrape out the seeds.


Place both the seeds and the hollowed out vanilla beans into a sterilized bottle.


Pour the vodka over the vanilla and tightly close the lid before giving it a good shake.


Store the bottle in a cool, dark place for at least six weeks before using (I always pop a date on mine just to be sure!).


The recipe scales up very easily, just use three vanilla beans per cup of vodka! When the bottle starts to run low, simply add more vanilla beans and top it up with some more vodka. Vanilla extract will last indefinitely.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    November 16, 2017 at 11:06 am

    I do this but with bourbon, so delicious! And you’re not crazy, it’s good to be prepared.

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