Homemade Vanilla Extract

Silver Post Medal for All Time! 390 Posts
February 28, 2011
Homemade vanilla extract in a glass bottle.


  • 1 quart of good 80-proof brandy
  • 2 vanilla beans, split


Add the two split vanilla beans to the brandy. Cork it/put lid back on. Let sit for 2 months before using.


By Irishwitch from Aurora, CO

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October 9, 2009

Vanilla extract gets expensive if you bake a lot and, with the holidays approaching, there is always that annoying discovery of an empty extract bottle.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
October 8, 2019

Vanilla extract is a welcome gift any time of the year, and especially during the holidays. The instant pot decreases the waiting time to use the vanilla extract from 2 months to about 2 weeks. Homemade extract is significantly cheaper than store-bought.

Instant Pot Vanilla Extract - ready to use in 2 weeks


6 Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

July 27, 2009

I want to purchase vanilla beans to make my own vanilla extract. I do not like imitation vanilla. I'm not sure of the quantity of beans to purchase so I was wondering what are other uses for these beans?

By Judy from Mt. Pleasant, MI


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
July 29, 20090 found this helpful

Various recipes here to choose from ;-) I am not sure what you would be able to use the beans for after you make the extract though :-(

August 2, 20090 found this helpful

You leave the beans in the extract so you can make more! They will not go bad as the alcohol serves as a preservative. When I make it I use a 1/2 pint of vodka or very good brandy. Split 3 vanilla beans longwise but not all of the way through. Add to the liquor & shake. Put the bottle where you will see it & shake well a few times a week. It will take 2 to 6 months (sometimes longer) for your vanilla to 'make'.


I made 2 bottles for my own use because when the 1st bottle gets low I can add more liquor to it & still have homemade vanilla to use while the 1st one 'makes' again. You can use the vanilla beans over & over again. So far, I have used the 1st bottle for 4 years, & the 2nd for 3 years. I have made a lot of homemade vanilla for Christmas & housewarmings & always get raves!

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

July 27, 2009

I always make my own Vanilla extract. It's much tastier and when I make in bulk, I give away the extra as Christmas gifts in bottles I get at the dollar store. Just go to the liquor store and buy a fifth of Everclear. Buy 3 vanilla beans, split them down the middle and open a bit and drop them in the bottle.


April 21, 2008

Has anyone made their own Vanilla Extract? I read somewhere that you can soak Vanilla beans in Rum and that does it, but I am wondering if anyone has had experience with this and what the proportions would be?

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