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A bottle of homemade vanilla extract.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Heather Smoke
An easy recipe for homemade vanilla extract made from real vanilla beans.

All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet.

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Inactive Time 90 d
Total Time 90 d 5 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings16 ounces


  • 1 Half-Pint Glass Jar with Lid
  • Glass Apothecary Bottles & Labels


  • 8-10 vanilla beans
  • 16 oz good quality, high-proof vodka, rum or bourbon


  • First, split the vanilla beans lengthwise with a sharp paring knife. You can either scrape out the seeds to use them in a recipe, or leave the seeds in, which will give your extract even more flavor.
    TIP: If you only have 1 or 2 beans to start, that's totally fine. Use what you have, and as you use more beans in your baking, you can add those beans to the jar. The more beans you add to the vodka, the darker and more flavorful your extract will be.
  • Place the beans in your glass jar, and fill the jar with alcohol.
  • Screw the lid on tightly, label the jar with the date, and place in a cool, dry place to rest. Homemade vanilla extract needs at least 3 months to steep and develop flavor. As noted in the first step, you can continue to add more beans to the jar over time.
  • When your extract is ready, pour it into pretty glass apothecary bottles.
  • You can keep the old beans in the jar, and just add more fresh beans and alcohol for a new batch of extract.
Keyword Homemade, Vanilla Bean, Vanilla Extract
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