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Vanilla Extract Recipe

Learn how to make vanilla extract with 2 ingredients! Homemade vanilla extract will be your secret ingredient for baking. The best vanilla extract recipe! | natashaskitchen.com

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Learning how to make vanilla extract is the easiest thing ever. It requires only 2 ingredients and makes all of your baked goods taste and smell incredible. Homemade vanilla extract will be your secret ingredient for baking! Once you make your own homemade vanilla extract, there’s just no going back to the store-bought version. As a bonus, you can refill real vanilla extract with more vodka as it runs out so it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

These make for darling and thoughtful DIY Christmas gifts (see tutorial below). My cousin’s wife, Alla, shared this awesome idea with me for gifting homemade vanilla extract and now all my sisters and friends know exactly what they’re getting for Christmas! lol.

I included links to all of the tools and resources that I used to make these from the sweet little glass bottles on Amazon to the free labels I designed which you can print at home. There’s also a full visual tutorial on wrapping these in kitchen towels. I really enjoyed making these and I will enjoy giving them away even more!

Learn how to make vanilla extract with 2 ingredients! Homemade vanilla extract will be your secret ingredient for baking. The best vanilla extract recipe! | natashaskitchen.com

Vanilla Extract Ingredients (makes 12 (4oz) jars):

18-20 vanilla beans
48 oz plain vodka* (80 proof works great)

Learn how to make vanilla extract with 2 ingredients! Homemade vanilla extract will be your secret ingredient for baking. The best vanilla extract recipe! | natashaskitchen.com

It’s easy to scale this recipe up or down, the proportions are 3 whole vanilla beans per 1 cup (8 oz) vodka, or 1 1/2 vanilla beans per 1/2 cup (4 oz) vodka.

*It’s not necessary to get the most expensive brand of vodka; something middle of the road like Smirnoff triple distilled 80 proof will work just fine. I found this at the liquor store and paid $25 for a giant jug. I’ll be refilling my vanilla a long time :). My cousin used the Vodka sold at Costco (Washington Costco’s carry liquor, but Idaho’s don’t).

Tools you’ll need for Homemade Vanilla Extract:

Small funnel or measuring cup with pouring lip
12 (4oz) clear bottles with lids (avoid cork lids – alcohol evaporates through the cork)
Labels (click here to save and print the labels I designed FREE!)
Kitchen scissors or sharp knife

How to Make Vanilla Extract:

1. Wash and sanitize bottles and lids. I washed with mild soapy water, rinsed then swirled with boiling hot water to sanitize them.

homemade-vanilla-extract-3

2. Cut beans in half then Split beans. I found this is easiest with kitchen scissors. Cutting them about halfway down the stem. If the beans are too dry to split, cut them into 1″ pieces. Place a total of 1 1/2 whole beans in each jar (or 3 split halves).

Learn how to make vanilla extract with 2 ingredients! Homemade vanilla extract will be your secret ingredient for baking. The best vanilla extract recipe! | natashaskitchen.com

3. Use a funnel or measuring cup to pour vodka to the top of the jar. Cover tightly with lid and let them brew for 2 months, shaking occasionally.

Learn how to make vanilla extract with 2 ingredients! Homemade vanilla extract will be your secret ingredient for baking. The best vanilla extract recipe! | natashaskitchen.com

Learn how to make vanilla extract with 2 ingredients! Homemade vanilla extract will be your secret ingredient for baking. The best vanilla extract recipe! | natashaskitchen.com

Apply the FREE vanilla extract labels by printing them on label paper or by gluing them onto the bottles. If printing on the labels, make sure your printer is set to 100% and not “fit to page” which make shrink or stretch labels.

You should give the vanilla a little shake every now and then for the next couple of months as it sits. It will turn a beautiful amber color when it’s ready to use. The instructions are right on the label so you don’t have to wait that long to gift them ;).

homemade-vanilla-extract-12

Learn how to make vanilla extract with 2 ingredients! Homemade vanilla extract will be your secret ingredient for baking. The best vanilla extract recipe! | natashaskitchen.com

Learn how to make vanilla extract with 2 ingredients! Homemade vanilla extract will be your secret ingredient for baking. The best vanilla extract recipe! | natashaskitchen.com

For Creative Gifting:

12 yards of yarn or kitchen string
12 kitchen towels for gifting, preferably tea towel style
12 small/medium cookie cutters

How to Wrap a Gift With a Kitchen Towel:

Fold a kitchen towel in half lengthwise and then in half again lengthwise. Place vanilla in the upper left corner, fold over the bottom flap, roll into a log and tie the top with a string or ribbon directly over the next of where the bottle is sitting inside the towel.

Learn how to make vanilla extract with 2 ingredients! Homemade vanilla extract will be your secret ingredient for baking. The best vanilla extract recipe! | natashaskitchen.com

Learn how to make vanilla extract with 2 ingredients! Homemade vanilla extract will be your secret ingredient for baking. The best vanilla extract recipe! | natashaskitchen.com

Vanilla Extract Recipe

4.92 from 106 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
How to make Homemade Vanilla Extract - it's so easy and only requires 2 ingredients! This will become your secret ingredient for baking.
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: Varies by amounts and packaging
Keyword: Vanilla Extract
Cuisine: American
Course: Condiments, Sauce
Servings: 12 (4oz) jars

Ingredients

Vanilla Extract Ingredients (makes 12 (4oz) jars):

  • 18-20 vanilla beans I used Grade B Bourbon
  • 48 oz plain vodka* 80 proof works great

Tools you'll need for Homemade Vanilla Extract:

  • Small funnel or measuring cup with pouring lip
  • 12 4oz clear bottles with lids (avoid cork lids)
  • Labels click here to save and print the labels
  • Kitchen scissors or sharp knife

Instructions

  1. Wash and sanitize bottles and lids: Wash with mild soapy water, rinse, then carefully swirl with boiling hot water to sanitize them.
  2. Cut beans in half then Split beans (it's easiest with kitchen scissors), cutting them about halfway down the stem. If the beans are too dry to split, cut them into 1" pieces. Place a total of 1 1/2 whole beans in each jar (or 3 split halves).
  3. Use a funnel to pour vodka to the top of jar. Cover tightly with lid and let them brew for 2 months, shaking occasionally.

Recipe Notes

It's easy to scale this recipe up or down, the proportions are 3 whole vanilla beans per 1 cup (8 oz) vodka, or 1 1/2 vanilla beans per 1/2 cup (4 oz) vodka.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

Learn how to make vanilla extract with 2 ingredients! Homemade vanilla extract will be your secret ingredient for baking. The best vanilla extract recipe! | natashaskitchen.com

 

Learn how to make vanilla extract with 2 ingredients! Homemade vanilla extract will be your secret ingredient for baking. The best vanilla extract recipe! | natashaskitchen.com
Learn how to make vanilla extract with 2 ingredients! Homemade vanilla extract will be your secret ingredient for baking. The best vanilla extract recipe! | natashaskitchen.com

FREE BONUS: 5 Secrets to Be a Better Cook!

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

Read more posts by Natasha

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Dieysy
    January 13, 2021

    Hi, I just need to ask if there is a substitute for the vodka for people who can not use alcohol?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 13, 2021

      Hi Gieysy, I’ve heard people using glycerine to make it alcohol-free but don’t have any personal experience with that.

      Reply

      • Dieysy
        January 14, 2021

        Thank you, I will try that

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          January 14, 2021

          You’re welcome!

          Reply

  • Leah Link
    January 11, 2021

    Hi Natasha I don’t have amber jars.
    Do I need an amber jar to make vanilla?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 12, 2021

      Hi Leah, we use clear jars and amber is not necessary if you are storing them in a dark place like a cupboard.

      Reply

  • Christine
    January 5, 2021

    Hi Natasha!
    My family & I love all your recipes! So, thank you for making me look like I know what I’m doing in the Kitchen! lol
    Question about the Vodka.. Will 100 proof work?!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 7, 2021

      Hi Christine, I think so but you might do a google search to double check.

      Reply

  • Yvonne Cloutier
    January 5, 2021

    A question about the vanilla extract.
    I am going to be doing this for the first time. So at what point to you add more vodka to keep it going? And when do you start all over again with new vanilla beans and vodka?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 6, 2021

      Hi Yvonne, you can refill it as you use it so it will last and last.

      Reply

  • Kathy S.
    January 3, 2021

    Just wondering where you found your tea towels that you used to gift wrap the bottles? I love the design and colors.

    Reply

  • Alissa Turner
    January 3, 2021

    When you add more vodka to continue having a full bottle must you wait another 2 months?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 4, 2021

      Hi Alissa, waiting 2 months is not necessary if you continue to fill it as you go.

      Reply

      • Alissa Turner
        January 4, 2021

        Thank you so much!!

        Reply

  • Tess
    December 29, 2020

    Do i need to leave the seeds in the vanilla bean?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 30, 2020

      Hi Tess, seeing some vanilla bean seeds is pretty normal and not anything to be concerned about. That can happen if you have softer or higher grade vanilla beans. You can scrape out the seeds and use them for baking or you can keep them in the extract.

      Reply

  • Robert Souva
    December 24, 2020

    Have to ask, will one bean per 4oz bottle work? I found beans at the store but was shocked at the price. Two beans were around $20. Only bought one bottle of two beans. Hoping to get a couple bottles going as I use a lot of vanilla extract.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 25, 2020

      Hi Robert, if they are higher grade and extra-large that may work, otherwise your extract will be pretty light in color.

      Reply

    • Patty
      December 30, 2020

      Robert, they have vanilla beans on Amazon pretty reasonable.
      You may want to try these sometime…Grade B

      Reply

    • Rose Higginbotham
      January 13, 2021

      I heard that true vanilla extract needs 1oz. Beans for 1 cup alcohol.

      Reply

  • Sue Stanley
    December 23, 2020

    Hi Natasha, I didn’t have much luck with my bottles. Seven out if 12 have mold on the beans. I’m not sure I even want to gift the rest that look ok. The beans must have been bad. They were a submerged in the vodka. Expensive experiment. ☹

    Reply

    • December 23, 2020

      Oh bummer that’s no good. My guess is bad beans or not properly cleaned bottles.

      Reply

  • Laura Williams-Gonzalez
    December 21, 2020

    Do you leave the vanilla beans in the jar after it has turned amber color. Or do you remove them when the vanilla extract is done.? And i LOVE watching all your vidios.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 22, 2020

      Hi Laura, we leave them in there.

      Reply

  • Jamie
    December 21, 2020

    How long is this good for? Does it expire?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 21, 2020

      Hello Jamie, the extract doesn’t really expire and you can refill it as you use it so it will last and last.

      Reply

  • Anissa
    December 20, 2020

    I just made my first five bottles last night! I can’t wait to use it this time next year and give them as gifts! One question though. Where did you get the image for you label? I have to redo the label due to the size of the bottles I am using, but would love to use the same image! Thanks!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 21, 2020

      Hi Anissa, unfortunately, we are not able to reproduce that and provide it in various sizes.

      Reply

  • Joyce Scott
    December 20, 2020

    Where do you get the bottles

    Reply

  • Alina
    December 20, 2020

    Those are very cute. What is the AVERY label number that your labels need to be printed on?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 20, 2020

      Thank you! I’m not sure what you mean but if printing on the labels, make sure your printer is set to 100% and not “fit to page” which make shrink or stretch labels.

      Reply

  • Lou
    December 19, 2020

    Thanks for sharing this great gift idea. I put up 18 4oz bottles today that will be Christmas gifts. Made a couple for me too!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 20, 2020

      Sounds wonderful! I’m sure they will appreciate this gift.

      Reply

  • Whitney
    December 19, 2020

    I made it! Thanks so much for the inspiration! I clicked the link and purchased that vanilla. It arrived in 3 days and I made it with my favorite vodka: Grey Goose. I must now wait until February 19th to use. I’m so excited! 😁

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 19, 2020

      That’s so awesome, Whitney! I hope you love it!

      Reply

  • KAREN HOLMAN
    December 19, 2020

    Can I just put my vanilla beans in my vodka bottle and let it sit then put it in smaller bottles to distribute?

    Reply

  • Tracey
    December 17, 2020

    Is it normal for the top of the jar (inside between the cap & liquid) to get a build up/ sticky look to it?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 18, 2020

      Hi Tracey, I haven’t seen that – I wonder if there was something on the lid initially? I would rinse the lid and wipe down the rim of the jar with a damp paper towel.

      Reply

  • Donna
    December 17, 2020

    Hello Natasha. I came across your blog after looking a simple crepes recipe and looking further to this homemade vanilla recipe. I really want to try it however I saw that you use alcohol as one of the ingredients which unfortunately I can’t use. Will the taste still be totally different if I don’t use alcohol or is there any substitute I can use? Many thanks in advance

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 17, 2020

      Hello Donna, I don’t really know of anything else that works as well for this recipe. Sorry about that.

      Reply

  • Hopey
    December 17, 2020

    I know this is probably going to be a stupid question but
    do you take the vanilla bean out after 2 months or does it disappear? I never got vanilla bean before so , lol.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 17, 2020

      Hi Hopey, you would leave the beans in there the entire time. There is no need to remove them. You can actually add more vodka as you use the bottle, so you don’t run out. I haven’t tried any others to recommend them.

      Reply

      • Carolitamack
        December 18, 2020

        Does the vodka lose its ability to make someone tipsy after it is baked into a chocolate chip cookie?

        Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          December 20, 2020

          Hi Carol, using just tiny amounts for baking isn’t something I worry about, especially since most baked goods cook off the alcohol while baking.

          Reply

      • Darlene
        December 24, 2020

        How long can you continue to refill the bottle with vodka? It seems to me at some point it would be weak. Also if the recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon do you use the same equivalent of the homemade extract?

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          December 24, 2020

          Hi Darlene, the extract doesn’t really expire, and you can refill it as you use it so it will last and last.

          Reply

  • Terri
    December 17, 2020

    Some of my bottles have a grayish sediment. Should I strain it out ?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 17, 2020

      Hi Terri, I haven’t come across that but you could if it does not look good.

      Reply

  • laurie thompson
    December 15, 2020

    Love this , thank you so much never knew it could be this easy , Your the best !

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 15, 2020

      I’m so glad you enjoyed that Laurie!

      Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 15, 2020

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply

  • Sage
    December 14, 2020

    *BREW FOR 2 MONTHS *

    Reply

  • Carol Gall
    December 14, 2020

    Is your vanilla recipe for baking or is it vanilla flavored vodka? I luv your show!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 14, 2020

      Hi Carol, this for baking.

      Reply

  • Jane A.
    December 14, 2020

    Hi Natasha! I really love all your recipes! Can I use 35% vodka?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 14, 2020

      Hi Jane, I haven’t tested that and you might google to see if it would be ok. The 80 proof vodka that we recommend is 40% alcohol.

      Reply

  • Sharon
    December 14, 2020

    Have you made lemon extract? I’d like to make both at the same time. TIA!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 14, 2020

      Hi Sharon, I have not, thank you for that suggestion! We do have this ‘What to do with Lemons’ post for our readers 🙂

      Reply

      • Leilani
        December 18, 2020

        I think I split the beans too far down the middle and all the beans are footing everywhere. Is it still ok or should I strain before gifting?

        Reply

        • Natasha
          December 18, 2020

          Hi Leilani, seeing some vanilla bean seeds is pretty normal and not anything to be concerned about. That can happen if you have softer or higher grade vanilla beans. You can scrape out the seeds and use them for baking or you can keep them in the extract.

          Reply

  • Patricia joy sebastian
    December 14, 2020

    Hi ms. Natasha im patricia from philippines. I just want to say that i love all your recipe. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 14, 2020

      Hi Patricia! I’m so glad you’re enjoying our blog!

      Reply

  • Jane T Lewkowicz
    December 14, 2020

    I see you gave the link to the label but no lable # to use? Can you share it. I’m excited to make this. Thank you.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 14, 2020

      Hi Jane, the link should take you directly to the product we used. The product number (5294) is on the front side of the item photo.

      Reply

  • Dan Goossen
    December 14, 2020

    I love homemade vanilla extract! Instead of vodka, I use rum and it tastes great.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 14, 2020

      Hi Dan, Thank you so much for sharing that with us! That’s so great!

      Reply

  • Jane
    December 14, 2020

    How long does it keep

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 14, 2020

      Hi Jane, the extract doesn’t really expire and you can refill it as you use it so it will last and last.

      Reply

  • Leslie
    December 14, 2020

    Wow…this is unbelievable and so easy!!! I am going to give this a try.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 14, 2020

      Sounds like a great plan, Leslie. I hope you love this recipe!

      Reply

  • Kenneth Spears
    December 14, 2020

    Could you use bourbon instead of vodka for a unique vanilla flavor?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 14, 2020

      Hello Kenneth, vanilla extract is typically made with vodka, but you can substitute it with bourbon, rum, or brandy.

      Reply

  • Reihanehsadat Hassani
    December 13, 2020

    Hello Natasha!
    What can I use instead of alcoholic ingredient?
    Thank you for your answer 😉

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 13, 2020

      Hi there, I don’t know of anything else that works as well.

      Reply

      • Samia
        December 13, 2020

        Hello can I use vegetable glycerin instead of vodka?

        Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          December 14, 2020

          Hello Samia, I haven’t really tried that yet to advise. If you do an experiment on that, please share with us how it goes.

          Reply

    • Muneez
      December 14, 2020

      100% vegetable glycerin food grade

      Reply

  • Valerie
    December 11, 2020

    Hello, wondering how you made the labels?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 11, 2020

      Hi Valerie, I printed them with the link above on the labels that I linked in the post. I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Patti Burke
    December 10, 2020

    I made the vanilla extract in June and it is awesome. The smell and taste is wonderful. Now I am ready to print the labels. The AVERY labels are 9 on a page but it prints 12. i have the printer set on 100%. Any ideas what i am doing wrong?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 10, 2020

      Hi Patti, you might check to make sure that the labels are the same style number as the ones I linked in the post above.

      Reply

    • Jacqueline
      December 18, 2020

      Hi Patti, I had trouble printing the labels as well. The labels I purchased are for 9, not 12. Here is an alternative option I found online! Hope it helps.
      https://www.sarahbakesgfree.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/homemade-vanilla-extract-labels.pdf

      Reply

      • Richard
        December 21, 2020

        The template you provided shows 12 labels per page which is for a 2″ diameter printer label. The Avery printer sticker link you provided is for 9 labels per page which is for a 2-1/12″ diameter label. If you tell us what diameter your labels actually are it will tell everyone what printer stickers to buy.

        Reply

  • Kris P
    December 9, 2020

    Made the little bottles of vanilla extract during the pandemic for my girlfriends for Christmas. I ordered everything from Amazon (except for the the vodka), and it all turned out fantastic! Thank you!!!!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 10, 2020

      Yay so awesome! I hope your friends will enjoy your special gift.

      Reply

  • Karan Singh
    December 8, 2020

    Show us how to make Chocolate Cheesecake

    Reply

  • Sally
    December 7, 2020

    Do the beans have to be slit down the center. Ina Garden’s recipe has the whole bean in?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 7, 2020

      Hi Sally, we split ours, we found that was best for this extract recipe.

      Reply

  • Diana Iversen
    December 6, 2020

    Does the alcohol evaporate?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 7, 2020

      Hi Diana, The only tip I have is making sure the bottle is securely closed. Alcohol will evaporate over time, and that may cause a more intense vanilla flavor. I hope this helps.

      Reply

  • Lana
    December 6, 2020

    I’ve made this extract 3 times this year and it is ready for gifting. My question is this: my vanilla is full of vanilla bean “seeds”, do I strain before giving? Natashas does not show “seeds”.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 6, 2020

      Hi Lana, sediment on the bottom is normal and there is no need to strain it. Often it’s just vanilla seeds which are part of the charm and taste of homemade vanilla extract.

      Reply

  • Debbie
    December 5, 2020

    If I make 12 oz of vanilla, do I use 6 total vanilla beans?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 8, 2020

      Hi Debbie, if you click on the serving size in the recipe card, you can slide it up or down to scale the recipe ingredient lists. I hope that helps!

      Reply

  • Linda K. Adney
    December 4, 2020

    What does Grade B Bourbon refer to…We are using Vodka

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 4, 2020

      Hi Linda, it is the type of vanilla beans.

      Reply

      • Jan
        December 6, 2020

        Hi Natasha, where can we purchase the Bourbon B vanilla bean?

        Reply

  • Sherry
    December 3, 2020

    I made the extract with Smirnoff 40% alcohol per volume. Will that still work?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 3, 2020

      Hi Sherry, an 80 proof vodka is 40% alcohol and 60% water. If you have 40% alcohol, that is the same thing as 80 proof.

      Reply

  • Linda wark
    December 2, 2020

    Natasha,
    I have make the vanilla in 4 oz jars. I used 5 oz of vodka instead of 4. Will it still have the vanilla taste? Should I add more vanilla beans? I made them Oct 22. So far looks good.
    I have made so many of your recipes, loved them all.
    Thanks, Linda

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 2, 2020

      Hi Linda, that should still work, but you can definitely add more. I recommend reading through a few of our recipe comments.

      Reply

  • Toni
    December 1, 2020

    love this- and love the labels! I’m thinking maybe add your name or website to bottom of the labels page- so that down the road people remember where they found it and come back to you for more ideas 🙂

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 1, 2020

      Thank you so much for that suggestion, Toni! Great idea!

      Reply

  • Laurie
    November 30, 2020

    After one month I am noticing where the beans were split a little fuzz, very minute, at the top of the split. Is this mold? Are these salvagable? What should I do?

    Reply

    • Kristin
      December 1, 2020

      The same thing is happening to mine, and I used all of the same ingredients that were linked/recommended. Not sure what’s going on.

      Reply

    • Aiyana
      December 7, 2020

      Hi Laurie,

      If your beans were completely submerged in the alcohol, you don’t have to worry about mold. I’ve made many bottles of vanilla extract and over time, the beans do start to break down in the alcohol, which is good because all of that flavor is going into the extract! Also, if your beans are split, the seeds and some sedimentation may fall to the bottom of the bottle. Don’t worry about that, just make sure that you give your bottles a shake now and then! I hope that helps!

      Reply

    • Lola
      December 13, 2020

      I’m 5 weeks along with my bottles. I noticed that one of the beans in one of the bottles has a gel like “slime” coming out of the middle where it was split. Unfortunately I noticed this after I shook it and now there’s some at the bottom too. I took the bean out because I thought that it probably wasn’t normal, but do I need to dump it all out, re-sanitize and start fresh with that bottle? Could I still use the other beans that were in with it? I hate to throw it all away, as I used 5 beans for each 8oz bottle.

      Reply

      • Natasha
        December 14, 2020

        Hi Lola, that does seem really odd, and what a bummer. I suspect a bad vanilla bean.

        Reply

  • Deborah Roland
    November 30, 2020

    Hi Natasha, first I’d like to thank you for your amazing recipes. I have now tried 8 of your recipes and all are wonderful. Keep up the good work. My question is, I have done the homemade vanilla and went by the recipe precisely. The last few times I have shook them up like you said to do, I noticed there are some very small vanilla particles in the bottom of every jar I have. Should those vanilla particles be there or did I cut open the vanilla beans to much, or what do you think I did wrong? Thank you so much for your reply in advance. Deborah Roland

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 30, 2020

      Hi Deborah, I’m so glad you love our recipes! With vanilla, it can depend on the beans (softer beans release seeds easier), but sediment in vanilla is usually seeds from the pod which is expected and nothing to be concerned about.

      Reply

  • Laurie
    November 28, 2020

    I started 12 bottles a month ago and now I am noticing what appears to be a mold (fuzz) on several of the vanilla sticks. Now what? Are these all no good now?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 29, 2020

      Hi Laurie, I haven’t seen that happen. Were your beans fully submerged in the vodka? Also, did you use the recommended proof of vodka in the post above?

      Reply

  • Linda
    November 25, 2020

    Is there a Word format for the labels so that we could edit the text if we wanted to do so? I find the labels adorable, but would love to tweak them a bit for my use.
    Happy Thanksgiving!!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 25, 2020

      Hi Linda, I wish there was a way to do that easily but I haven’t found a great tool to customize them individually that way.

      Reply

  • Jen S.
    November 23, 2020

    Thank you for this recipe, lovely labels and gift wrapping suggestions. I have a batch brewing for Christmas! Can’t wait to gift it to my baking friends.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 23, 2020

      They are going to LOVE these gifts.

      Reply

  • Terri R Moorhead
    November 22, 2020

    Hi Natasha! Lovin your recipes! I have one question, how often do you refill and do you let it get empty before refilling? Do you need to let it set up awhile after refilling to ferment? I am a bit confused regarding the re fill process!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 23, 2020

      Hi Terri, I recommend reading through the recipe notes and comments. We have many suggestions on when to do that. There really is no limit to how often you can refill it, but it will be lighter in color with every refill. I refill it as I use it – refill as you go so you don’t have to wait to use it. You can also add another bean when I refill to keep the color dark. You don’t have to refill after each use – if you use it quite a bit, then maybe weekly or monthly or every 2 months if you use it less often. Usually, when 1/4 is gone, I’ll refill it.

      Reply

  • Kathy Cope
    November 20, 2020

    Love all your recipes and hope in the future you will have a cookbook available! What is the shelf life of your homemade vanilla?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 20, 2020

      Thank you so much, Kathy! We are planning on a book, stay tuned! Great question! Vanilla extract can last for years and doesn’t really have an expiration date that I am aware of.

      Reply

      • Cherie
        December 14, 2020

        Hi Natasha, this recipe sounds fabulous! I wish I knew about this sooner so I could have made it for Christmas gifts.

        You mentioned a book coming out, I so excited. I really enjoy seeing you cook and your recipes are really good.

        Thanks for all your hard work and encouragement.

        Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          December 14, 2020

          You’re welcome Cherie! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

          Reply

  • LettyAnn
    November 18, 2020

    I’ve been making my own vanilla for several years now. I also do a bourbon vanilla extract for those Fall flavors. It has such a depth of flavor. I use it exclusively when I make my vanilla ice cream. It’s just beyond good. I use vodka as my “regular” go to vanilla.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 19, 2020

      That sounds wonderful, Letty Ann. I should try that next time too! Thank you for sharing that with us.

      Reply

  • Rachel Holler
    November 18, 2020

    Thank you for sharing this – such a quick and simple gift. The cute bottles and labels really make it special. Can’t wait to give out to my friends and family this year!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 18, 2020

      You’re welcome, Rachel! Aren’t they the cutest gift option?! We absolutely love these. Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback with us!

      Reply

  • Lin Geldmyer
    November 15, 2020

    So anxious to give this a try. Where are the bottles purchased at, please?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 16, 2020

      Hello Lin, you can buy the bottles at Amazon. This is the bottle that I used.

      Reply

  • Tiffany
    November 15, 2020

    Help! Lol. I bought the label paper with 9 scalloped circles. The one you used with 12 was not in stock. How do I redo the labels for 9??

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 16, 2020

      Hi Tiffany, I only have the template for the set of 12. You might have to do a re-design on the Avery website.

      Reply

  • Oksana
    November 12, 2020

    Hi Natasha,
    Your link to the labels is no longer there. Is there a way you can post it here again, please? Thank you so much! ~ Oksana

    Reply

  • Melissa
    November 10, 2020

    Natasha,
    Does it matter when you make the vanilla and let it “ferment” per se the temperature where the bottles are located? I ask because I am making Christmas gift and had in garage/storage. They are pretty cold so was concerned it might affect the process.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 11, 2020

      Hi Melissa, I have read that it’s best to store the vanilla extract between 60-80 degrees F. I haven’t read anything bad about storing them in a cooler temperature. It might slow down the process possibly? I don’t think it would spoil.

      Reply

  • Catherine L Caulfield
    November 10, 2020

    Love your recipes and videos and make lots of them myself. For this extract recipe, I took out the overage of vodka from the bottle and put all the beans into it. Now I only have to shake one bottle every day or so and it is looking beautiful! Thanks you!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 10, 2020

      You’re welcome, Catherine. Sounds awesome! I hope you love the end result.

      Reply

    • Lisa
      December 7, 2020

      Hi Natasha! I love your recipes!! Have made so many!
      I’m doing this vanilla recipe and after I split my beans I’m left with a half of bean! What did I do wrong?
      Thanks! Lisa

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        December 7, 2020

        Hi Lisa, did you possibly put less in one jar than the rest?

        Reply

  • Shirley
    November 9, 2020

    Just wonder do you leave the vanilla beans in the bottle after 2 months or take them out?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 10, 2020

      Hi Shirley, I leave the vanilla beans in and add more vodka as I use it up.

      Reply

  • Saira
    November 9, 2020

    HI Natasha
    What can i substitute the vodka with, since i am not allowed to use any alchohol or alchohol by.products? I would really like to make my own extract.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 10, 2020

      Hi Saira, I’ve heard people using glycerine to make it alcohol-free but don’t have any personal experience with that.

      Reply

  • Bonnie
    November 9, 2020

    I just ordered all the items and can’t wait to try this! I clicked on the free labels but don’t have the option to save as pdf or to print. How do I print them?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 10, 2020

      So exciting! If you click on this Free Label on the upper right side you will see the options save or print.

      Reply

  • Krissy
    November 9, 2020

    Please please make a video! I am a visual learner. I learn by watching and listening. Please please please. I would love to do this and make them gifts for my baking family.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 9, 2020

      Thanks for your suggestion, Krissy. I cannot promise on that but I hope we can do a video about this recipe in the future.

      Reply

  • Dee Redpath
    November 9, 2020

    I am so looking forward to making this for gift but I need the bottles and labels.
    I can get the pictures of the labels but not where to buy them.
    Love you to bits. Dee

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 9, 2020

      Hi Dee, here’s the link to the free label that I designed. I hope you love this recipe! Click here for the exact 2.5″ labels that we used.

      Reply

  • Sarah Peterson
    November 8, 2020

    Thank you so much for sharing! I love the labels sooo much! I have been trying to change the ounces so I can use it on my other bottles but when I convert it to word it changes. If you make a new label I would love it if the ounces were a fill in the blank also. Thanks again!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 9, 2020

      Hi Sarah, thank you for that suggestion! We don’t have plans to redesign it at this time, but I will keep that in mind if we do.

      Reply

  • Sarah Peterson
    November 8, 2020

    Thank you so much for sharing! I love the labels sooo much! I have been trying to change the ounces so I can use it on my other bottles but when I convert it to word it changes. If you make a new label I would love it if the ounces were a fill in the blank also. Thanks again!

    Reply

  • Sherrye
    November 8, 2020

    Hello!
    I love your vanilla extract recipe and tips. Thank you. I have a question. I’m going to make a batch of vodka vanilla extract but I was given a bottle of an Armenian 7 year old cognac and we don’t drink. Could it be used to make a batch of vanilla extract?
    Thanks so much,
    Sherrye

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 9, 2020

      Hi Sherrye, I haven’t tried that but from what I’ve read, if it’s 80 proof alcohol then it should work with cognac.

      Reply

  • Peggy Yankovich
    November 8, 2020

    Love your recipes! Thanks!

    Reply

  • Peggy Yankovich
    November 8, 2020

    Hey Natasha! Made the vanilla extract tonight for Christmas gifts! Love you recipes. Have made so many of them. So impressed and love following you. Question – I have vanilla beans left over. How do I store them? Let me know. Thanks so much!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 8, 2020

      Hi Peggy, I am so glad you enjoyed the vanilla extract recipe! I used a food saver to vacuum seal the leftover vanilla beans. They will last longer if they are stored in airtight packaging. You can also double zip loc bag them and remove as much air as possible then store at room temperature in a dark area.

      Reply

      • Peggy Yankovich
        November 12, 2020

        Thanks so much! Have made so many of your recipes and love them! Chicken noodle soup, chicken pot pie, marinara sauce, baked ziti, lemon blueberry cake and others. So yummy!

        Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          November 12, 2020

          Wow, that makes me happy! Thanks for trying out a lot of my recipes already. Love it.

          Reply

  • Sue
    November 7, 2020

    Made these last Christmas for “girl friend” gifts. Everyone commented on how good the vanilla was after they used it. Many wanted the recipe. Thanks Natasha, keep up the excellent work! We love it!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 7, 2020

      That’s just awesome! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review!

      Reply

  • LUCY NESSE
    November 7, 2020

    I heard from multiple sources you don’t have to cut or scoop out the vanilla bean caviar to make vanilla extract. Just make sure the beans are submerged in vodka and to shake once in a while

    Reply

  • Mandy
    November 5, 2020

    what would I do if I just wanted to make a 750ml bottle for myself? Thanks

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 6, 2020

      Hi Mandy, I recommend using the recipe slider to adjust how much you want to make.

      Reply

    • Dee Redpath
      November 7, 2020

      Where can I buy the labels for the vanilla extract ❤️

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        November 7, 2020

        Hi Dee, we have everything we used linked in the recipe but you can click HERE for the exact 2.5″ labels that we used.

        Reply

  • Michelle
    November 5, 2020

    I made the vanilla extract last night using all the recommendations/links you provided. Question though, is it possible I used too many beans in a bottle? I used 1 1/2 beans per 4oz bottle, and it’s already turning in color, is that normal? I did split the beans.
    Thank you!
    BTW—love following you!!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 5, 2020

      Hi Michelle, that is great! It could also be due to having the higher quality or softer beans. The poorer quality beans are firmer and dryer which takes longer to change color.

      Reply

  • Trudy Bagley
    November 2, 2020

    My friend and I made your vanilla recipe and all went well. But we have noticed a lot of black flakes floating around in the bottle. We are giving these as gifts so we are not happy with the floating black flakes. Do you have any suggestions how to solve this problem

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 2, 2020

      Hi Trudy, are you using a soft Grade A vanilla bean? Those would be more likely to release seeds and seeds can be scraped out and used for baking. My Grade B beans were so dry, I would have had a hard time trying to scrape out any seeds. That could be why there are seeds floating around.

      Reply

    • LUCY NESSE
      November 7, 2020

      This is why I don’t split the beans

      Reply

  • Alma
    November 2, 2020

    I can’t wait to make this. I can’t find the link to the labels though. Can you post it as a reply? Thank you.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 2, 2020

      Hello Alma, here’s the link to the free label that I designed. I hope you love this recipe!

      Reply

  • Heidie Gentes
    November 1, 2020

    HELP!! I just made a batch and noticed the vodka is 40%.. !!!
    Should I dump them all out and start over?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 3, 2020

      Hi Heidie, an 80 proof vodka is 40% alcohol and 60% water. If you have 40% alcohol, that is the same thing as 80 proof.

      Reply

      • Patricia A Potter
        December 29, 2020

        Natasha, I’m just learning this too…I bought a bottle of Vodka and it says 40% alcohol, so I was thinking I had the wrong bottle until I learned that 40% is 80 proof…..Cant wait to make this vanilla….I have brown jars so I hope it doesn’t matter if they are clear or brown…

        Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          December 29, 2020

          I hope it will be awesome! Please update us later on, on how it goes.

          Reply

  • Joanne
    November 1, 2020

    I am making six 8oz bottles of your wonderful vanilla extract recipe, do you have an 8oz label template. I can open the 4oz template but can not edit. In advance, thank you for all your great recipes

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 1, 2020

      Hello Joanne, I only have the 2.5 labels that we used but you may go to Avery website and print the round labels that you prefer.

      Reply

      • Joanne
        November 2, 2020

        Thank you very much for your time! Enjoy the day..as I enjoy your receipes. Joanne

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          November 2, 2020

          Thank you, Joanne! You also!

          Reply

  • Lynn
    October 31, 2020

    Is the vanilla supposed to be light instead of the dark brown? I find after 3 weeks of sitting it is more of a caramel color? Is this normal?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 31, 2020

      Hi Lynn, it should be clear. Are you noticing it turn murky? I recommend reading through the comments for suggestions but it should stay dark and clear. Typically you might see a few seeds settle at the bottom if you split the beans but it shouldn’t fill the bottle. Vanilla extract is normally deep amber color and clear of particles.

      Reply

  • Ginger Rose
    October 31, 2020

    Natasha, can you send me a link to purchase tea towels? I’m not sure what tea towel style is. Also, the cookie cutter, is there a place where to buy individual ones? Thank you

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 31, 2020

      Hi Ginger, I purchased them at Cost Plus world market and I believe they were standard tea towels. We linked our favorite tools in our Amazon Affiliate Shop but these items specifically we got a while back. I want to say it was either Hobby Lobby or World Market where I bought the cookie cutter but Amazon has great finds also.

      Reply

  • Kasey Mclaughlin
    October 28, 2020

    Ok so I haven’t tried this before but I was wondering if this was safe for my kids to use? (with the alcohol and what not) Also, where did you buy your vanilla beans? I can’t seem to find any anywhere?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      October 29, 2020

      Hi Kasey, I have a link to the vanilla beans above. I ended up finding them on Amazon. Sometimes Costco carries them but I found Amazon to have the best pricing. Also, using just tiny amounts for baking isn’t something I worry about with my kids, especially since most baked goods cook off the alcohol while baking. You definitely wouldn’t want them to drink it and I would keep it out of reach of children, but the amount in baking would not be dangerous.

      Reply

  • Liz Buehner
    October 27, 2020

    Hi Natasha,
    I have 8 (4oz bottles) of the extract going for about 2 weeks now. When I swirl the contents there is Vanilla bean sediment present. Should I strain the liquid and return to the bottle or gift as they are?
    Thanks, Liz

    Reply

    • Natasha
      October 27, 2020

      Hi Liz, sediment on the bottom is normal and there is no need to strain it. Often it’s just vanilla seeds which are part of the charm and taste of homemade vanilla extract.

      Reply

  • Kathy Castillo-Quickel
    October 26, 2020

    How long does the extract last?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      October 26, 2020

      Hi Kathy, the extract doesn’t really expire and you can refill it as you use it so it will last and last.

      Reply

  • cindy vaughn
    October 26, 2020

    We had fun doing it together.For some reason, my picture isnt showing up!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      October 26, 2020

      Hi Cindy, we don’t have a way to publish photos on our recipe posts, but I would love it if you shared it on social media and tagged us @ natashaskitchen or # natashaskitchen.

      Reply

  • JD
    October 22, 2020

    Hi Natasha! Love following you. I have tried a couple of your recipes and they were delicious. Just made a batch of vanilla extract last week and can’t wait to gift them. However, I have a question. I forgot to split the beans, but when I remembered the next day, I did split them and rebottled them. Will that have a negative affect on the brewing process?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 23, 2020

      Hi JD, I haven’t tried that process to say it will cause any issues. Keep an eye on it but I bet it will be just fine!

      Reply

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