Vanilla is a staple in my kitchen. It goes into almost everything I bake from Red Velvet Pancakes to My Favorite Buttercream Recipe and almost all of my cupcake recipes. With the high cost of Extracts, I wanted to show you how to make DIY Vanilla extract and give it as gifts as well as make it for your own baking.
Vanilla Extract with 2 Ingredients
The best thing about making Homemade Vanilla is that you can make several bottles at once and give them as gifts, just make sure you start 8 weeks earlier than you want to give them. You also only need 3 items and 2 ingredients to get this going. You can decorate the bottles later while you wait for the allotted time while the flavors meld together.
What Items Do I Need To Start?
You can order the bottles and the Grade B Vanilla beans online below and get the vodka at the grocery store. You don’t need expensive Vodka so don’t splurge. Also, make sure you buy Grade B Beans, not Grade A. I was in a hurry when I made mine so I ordered the Beans and not the bottles and then I had to go searching for them. So I made several different bottles and really they are pretty big. I like these small bottles better.
How to make DIY Vanilla Extract
- The first thing you should do is wash your bottles with hot soap and water.
- You will also need a sharp knife to split open the Vanilla Beans lengthwise.
- Cut the beans in half or smaller so they are about 1 – 2 inches in length.
- Pour the Vodka or your choice of Rum or Bourbon into the bottles. Vodka is more neutral in taste.
- Slice the bean and scrape the inside of the beans out and scoop into the bottles with your knife.
- Use 2-3 whole beans per 8 oz. So if you use 4 oz bottles cut 1-2 beans in half and use all pieces.
What is the difference between Grade A and Grade B Vanilla Bean
- Grade A is referred to as Prime or Gourmet. They are redder in color.
- Grade B beans have less water weight. You get more bean for your money because you’re not paying for water. You will also get less water in your extract.
- With Grade A you pay for appearance, which doesn’t matter since you aren’t seeing the bean itself.
- You get the same beans as Grade A, but at a fraction of the cost.
Where do you get Vanilla Beans?
You can find Vanilla beans in gourmet grocery stores at a premium price. The best place to order them is through Amazon or eBay. You can get them in bulk and get the Grade B Bean. You will save more money this way.
DIY Vanilla Extract
- Grade B Vanilla Beans I used Madagascar
- Vodka, Rum or Bourbon Vodka has the least amount of alcohol flavor so it’s more neutral. That is what I use.
- Clean out bottles and let dry
- Use approx 1/2 Vanilla Bean per bottle for 4 oz bottles
- Chop beans in 1/2″ pieces
- Fill the bottle with Vodka and add chopped vanilla beans to liquid in the bottle.
- Place in cool, dark place for a minimum of 2 months, shaking every one to two days.
Can I reuse the Vanilla Beans?
You can reuse the beans inside the bottles when they are empty. You should not throw away. Always add a new bean when adding more alcohol.
How Long Does it Take for Extract To Process?
Once you are done adding your ingredients into the bottles, place your bottle in a cool dark place and shake every few days for approximately 2 months. To get the labels as you see on my bottles created by My Paper Printables, here is the download of Vanilla labels.
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