Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

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Store-bought extracts are cheap and easy, but they can also come with a dose of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. There’s also something that’s just plain satisfying about making your own vanilla extract instead of buying it at the store. You know exactly what’s in that bottle, because you put it there!

Want to make your own vanilla extract? It’s super simple. All it takes is two ingredients and a little bit of patience. When you’re shopping for your ingredients, make sure you use fair trade vanilla beans, so you aren’t steeping cruelty into that bottle!

Vanilla Extract Recipe


  • 5 fair trade vanilla beans
  • 1 pint of vodka


  • sharp knife
  • butter knife
  • pint sized Mason jar
  • sticky labels and a marker


  1. Label your jar, making sure to put a date on there.
  2. Slice your vanilla beans in half lengthwise using that sharp knife.
  3. Use your butter knife to scrape the sticky innards from the pods into your Mason jar.
  4. Cut your beans in half the other way, and place them in the jar.
  5. Fill your jar up with vodka, shake it well, and store it in a cool, dark place for 3 weeks, shaking it once or twice a week.

Your vanilla extract will keep for up to 8 months, and you can even refill the jar with vodka during that time as you use the extract, so you won’t run out!

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