FREE BONUS: 5 Secrets to Be a Better Cook!

Home > Holiday > Vanilla Extract Recipe

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

4.9 from 86 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

  • 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

  • cecilia
    October 22, 2020

    Hi, I have a question. When do you refill the bottle? I consumed half, can I refill it already?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 22, 2020

      Hi Cecilia, there really is no limit to how often but it will be lighter in color with every refill. What I do is refill it as I use it – refill as you go so you don’t have to wait to use it.

      Reply

  • terri day
    October 21, 2020

    Hi Natsha! Another gem of yours! Each and every recipe from your blog is fabulous. I am unable to get the label for the vanilla to print. What am I doing wrong? P.S. making the chicken lasagna this weekend,can;t wait! Terri

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 21, 2020

      Thanks for your great feedback, Terry. Are you using this Free label that I created? It works well on my end, you can try saving it first then print it if that helps.

      Reply

  • Liz Pellerin
    October 20, 2020

    Hey Natasha! I love following you! I had a question about the vanilla extract… I thought I read somewhere that it should go in brown bottles but yours shows clear bottles. Is there a difference or does it matter? Thanks so much! Liz

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 20, 2020

      Hi Liz, I use clear bottles because it looks prettier and the light ones show the color changing, but you are welcome to use amber-colored bottles. We make sure to keep the bottles in a cool dark place.

      Reply

  • Kate
    October 19, 2020

    I’ve been following Natasha for a long time now.
    Her videos are always entertaining and the receipes always great.
    Thanks Natasha for sharing!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 19, 2020

      Thank you for that wonderful compliment Kate!

      Reply

  • Aneela
    October 19, 2020

    Hi natasha, I love your recipes they are amazing and delicious I just want to ask you one thing about the vanilla extract that what can we use instead of vodka?thanks

    Reply

    • Natasha
      October 20, 2020

      Hi Aneela, vanilla extract is typically made with vodka, but you can substitute with bourbon, rum or brandy.

      Reply

      • Zaleena Karim
        October 21, 2020

        Hi Natasha I love your recipes. I tried a few of them and they delicious. How can I make this vanilla extract alcohol free? Thanks.

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          October 21, 2020

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

          Reply

  • Tiffany
    October 19, 2020

    This is a great idea!!! Where is a good place to get the vanilla beans??

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 19, 2020

      Hello Tiffany, you can check the spice or baking aisle of the grocery. They could be on the same spot as the herbs and spices.

      Reply

  • Tim C.
    October 19, 2020

    Just made six 4oz bottles. can’t wait until they are ready. How long will the vanilla beans generally last?. I know you said you refill as you use it but when will i need to buy new beans? I am guessing if it doesn’t turn in color.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 19, 2020

      Hi Tim, great question! Vanilla extract can last for years and doesn’t really have an expiration date that I am aware of. The expiration date I would watch is the same as the experimentation date for the alcohol that you use.

      Reply

  • Erika Smolinets
    October 18, 2020

    Hi, just made these and I’m so excited to gift them!
    I went to Office Depot and tried to get them printed, however they don’t carry that label printer. Any way you can make labels that are sized to Avery 22807?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      October 18, 2020

      Hi Erika, unfortunately, there isn’t a way to make multiple sizes with the format we have. I have a link to the one we used in the post above.

      Reply

  • Jennifer Ward
    October 17, 2020

    We just started our first batch and I’m so excited can’t wait for Christmas. We made some with vodka and some scotch.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 18, 2020

      Sounds fun and awesome! Please don’t forget to share with us how it goes once it’s ready.

      Reply

  • Donna Pugh
    October 11, 2020

    I can’t wait to do this for Christmas gifts.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 11, 2020

      Hello Donna, this is perfect for giveaways! I hope you love this recipe.

      Reply

  • Marigold
    October 3, 2020

    Hi, What is the purpose of a clear bottle if you are to store it in a cool/dark place? Do you think an amber glass would be better? Or do you really want to see it while it marinates? Thank you. I ask since most extracts are sold in dark amber bottles.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 6, 2020

      Hi Marigold, I use clear bottles because it looks prettier and the light ones show the color changing, but you are welcome to use amber-colored bottles.

      Reply

  • Sheri
    September 30, 2020

    Where did you buy the towels and star cookie cutters at?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 30, 2020

      Hi Sheri. You can see the kitchen tools that I use here in my Amazon affiliate shop.

      Reply

      • Sheri
        October 1, 2020

        The towels and ornament are not listed on your amazon page

        Reply

      • Sheri
        October 1, 2020

        I don’t see them on your amazon page!

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          October 1, 2020

          Hi Sheri, we linked our favorite tools in the 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

          • Sheri
            October 2, 2020

            Thank you! Love your recipes and the amazon link! Making your meatballs and doing vanilla for gifts!

          • Natashas Kitchen
            October 2, 2020

            That’s so great! Thank you for that wonderful review!

  • Nancy Vogel
    September 29, 2020

    Hello Natasha,
    I have made my first batch and going to print the labels however what size are the round labels? 2 inch is standard but they look maybe 2 1/2.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 29, 2020

      Hi Nancy, The label sheet was 8 1/2 by 11 and I cut out the circles. I wasn’t able to find pre-cut circles. Click here for the exact 2.5″ labels that we used.

      Reply

      • Karen
        October 10, 2020

        Is there a substitute that I could use instead of vodka?

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          October 10, 2020

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

          Reply

  • Alissa
    September 28, 2020

    Where do you store the bottles while they turn into vanilla?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 28, 2020

      Hi Alissa, we like to store it in a cool, dark place like a pantry. I recommend reading through the tips in the receipt and our reader comments for more on that.

      Reply

      • Alissa Deuel Turner
        September 29, 2020

        Thank you so much!!!

        Reply

    • Debbie
      October 11, 2020

      Hi Natasha,
      I am so excited about trying this out (because store-bought vanilla is so expensive and you get such a little bit!), and giving the little bottles as gifts this Christmas!! What a unique gift idea! Question: how long can you keep adding vodka to keep making more? I guess until you notice it doesn’t turn brown anymore?

      Reply

      • Natasha
        October 12, 2020

        Hi Debbie, that is correct. I usually add more as I go (top it off) so I don’t have to wait to use it again.

        Reply

  • Alissa Turner
    September 27, 2020

    I just started a batch but was wondering where best to store for the two months?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 28, 2020

      Hi Alissa, we like to store it in a cool, dark place like a pantry. I recommend reading through the tips in the receipt and our reader comments for more on that.

      Reply

  • Tracy
    September 26, 2020

    I am about to make a few batches. The bottles I have are a little larger and filling to 4 oz looks odd. I can do 4.5 oz. Do you think I need to increase vanilla bean quantity to just “resting” time??

    Reply

    • Natasha
      September 26, 2020

      Hi Tracy, I would increase the vanilla beans or it would take a long time to get to the right color. It never hurts to add more beans.

      Reply

  • Manel
    September 24, 2020

    Bonjour,
    Est ce qu’on peut avoir les ingrédients en gramme et non pas en tasse SVP ?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 24, 2020

      Hi Manel, thanks for your suggestion. In the meantime, you can use this Ingredient Weight Chart for help.

      Reply

  • Phyllis A Brushaber
    September 19, 2020

    Hi Natasha
    I made the vanilla extract July 1, 2020 and followed the instructions although I used Madagascar Grade A vanilla beans ordered through Amazon. I just tried it and it just tastes like vodka not vanilla. I ordered another Madagascar Vanilla Beans Whole Grade A Vanilla Pods for Vanilla Extract and plan on adding to original bottles of vanilla. I did everything according to instructions. Help!
    I have made so many of your recipes and am very pleased with how they turned out. You are my favorite. I have books of your recipes.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      September 19, 2020

      Hi Phyllis, make sure to split the beans when bottling and double check the proportions. More beans will make the vanilla more concentrated and darken faster.

      Reply

  • Elizabeth
    September 16, 2020

    Hi
    Where do you buy vanilla beans to make the extract and where did you get the bottles?
    Thanks, love your recipes!
    I’m a devoted follower!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 16, 2020

      Hi Elizabeth! We have both linked in the recipe post.I hope you love this recipe!

      Reply

  • L
    September 14, 2020

    Hi Natasha,
    I’d love to try this! Do you think it would work if I used the 4 vanilla beans I have in one medium sized glass jar with a metal lid? Amazon is out of the bottles you used

    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      September 15, 2020

      Without knowing the size of your bottle, it’s difficult to say. I would scale the recipe up using the serving adjustment bar in the recipe card. If you click on the number of servings, you can adjust the ingredients up to see what the proportions should be.

      Reply

  • Angela H
    September 9, 2020

    Hi Natasha,
    Where did you purchase the dish area towels? Those are nice! Also, you should do a video on how to make this recipe. Love all your recipes!

    Reply

    • Angela H
      September 9, 2020

      I meant to say dish/tea towels.

      Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 9, 2020

      Thanks for your suggestion, Angela. You can see the kitchen tools that I use here in our Amazon Page. That should be there too if I am not mistaken.

      Reply

  • Naomi
    August 20, 2020

    Thank you for this recipe and the free, beautiful labels! I’m experimenting by making your recipe and by making an instant pot recipe. Taste testing is so much fun. Thanks again!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 20, 2020

      You’re welcome! I’m happy you enjoyed both!

      Reply

  • Brook
    August 13, 2020

    Question for you! Have you ever made the vanilla with a 1.75 liter bottle of vodka or anything? I have 25 beans and wonder if I should make it with more beans to the one bottle or if I should split them into smaller bottles?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      August 17, 2020

      Hi Brook, I haven’t tried putting beans into the entire bottle, but if you highlight over the servings, you can adjust the recipe to the amount of vodka you have to get the proportions.

      Reply

  • Phyllis
    August 6, 2020

    I printed out the labels on clear label paper and attached it to the bottle. When I poured the vodka into the bottle a little spilled out and it completely evaporated the ink on the label. Is there a way to prevent this from happening?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 6, 2020

      That has not happened to me before, maybe the ink was not dry yet?

      Reply

      • Phyllis
        August 9, 2020

        No. I changed the paper from clear to white.

        Reply

    • Kathy
      October 12, 2020

      I filled the bottles and wiped them down well, then I applied the label.

      Reply

    • Sam
      October 20, 2020

      Maybe fill the bottle first then put the label on.

      Reply

  • Kathy
    July 30, 2020

    Hi, I just made these the other day and now I’m second guessing myself, I did the 3 split halves in 4 oz. bottles. I keep thinking about your statement “Place a total of 1 1/2 whole beans in each jar (or 3 split halves)” would it have been better if I put 1 1/2 whole bean in the jar?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      July 31, 2020

      Hi Kathy, it’s best to split the beans to expose the centers. It will take much longer to get it’s color if the beans aren’t split. 1 1/2 whole beans split in half would be 3 split halves. I hope that makes sense.

      Reply

      • Kathy
        August 2, 2020

        Ok Natasha, I belive I did misunderstand. I took a bean and cut it in half and then each half was split opened which gives you 4 pieces now. So I thought when you said 3 split halves I took that to mean 3 of those 4 pieces went in each jar. LOL, I better go and add more right away. I’m so silly. Thanks for answering me, and I’m so glad I asked. ^_^

        Reply

  • Nadine
    July 30, 2020

    Hi,
    Are these labels able to be edited? I was hoping to use bourbon instead of vodka.
    Thanks

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 30, 2020

      Hi Nadine, I can’t wait for you to give this a try! Unfortunately, there’s no way to edit the label since it is a static image that we saved. However, you can go directly to the Avery label website and custom make a label. Their website is pretty user-friendly and I hope that helps!

      Reply

  • Jim
    July 21, 2020

    I followed the instructions perfectly, however at the bottom of my extract bottle, there seems to be a few “fuzzy” objects that look strangely like worms. Did I get a bad batch of Vanilla bean?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 21, 2020

      Hi Jim, I haven’t had that experience. Using the correct proof of vodka would inhibit any kind of growth, but make sure to use very clean bottles for the process. Some people have reported a cloudy extract but from what I understand that is typically due to the vanilla bean (age, quality, sourcing). Also, here is what one of our readers wrote, however, I haven’t done my own research to know if this is accurate: “I did a little research and found out that this is normal and that the white fuzzy stuff that’s growing around the pods is vanillin seeping out, it’s mentioned that this is a sign of good quality beans, I hope that this information is correct, as it’s the only website that had any real answers about this. I’m so greatful that I don’t need to throw my batch away. Thank you so much for your quick response!” I hope that helps

      Reply

  • Deb Stratas
    July 21, 2020

    Hi…once the vanilla is ready – how do you maintain it? Once I start using it, how do I know when to add more vanilla bean or vodka? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 21, 2020

      Hi Deb, 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

  • Sylvia
    July 13, 2020

    I’ve found that bourbon works very well also.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 13, 2020

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me Sylvia!

      Reply

  • Jerriya
    July 12, 2020

    Hi Natasha, I love all your recipes , I was wondering in the recipe of vanilla extract what other things I can use instead of vodka? Thanks

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 12, 2020

      Hi Jerriya, I don’t know of any other substitute that could work with this recipe.

      Reply

  • Laura
    July 3, 2020

    I want to try this, where is the best place to buy Vanilla Bean? Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 3, 2020

      Hi Laura, we buy our vanilla beans on Amazon. Several of our readers have also tried the ones Costco sells.

      Reply

  • Patricia
    June 30, 2020

    Hi Natasha. I love love your recipes and have made quite a few! Can a combination of both tahitian and madagascar vanilla beans be used when making vanilla extract? Or is it best to stick to just one?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      June 30, 2020

      Hi Patricia, I haven’t tried mixing them so I can’t say for sure but I don’t see why not.

      Reply

  • Cynthia Dawson
    June 24, 2020

    I swirled the boiling water inside my bottles and poured it out. Do I have to wait until the bottles are completely dry before I add the beans and vodka? Thank you! Great recipes!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      June 24, 2020

      Hi Cynthia, as long as you pour out all of the water, it’s ok if there is still a little bit of moisture in the bottle.

      Reply

  • Jessica Tufaro
    June 10, 2020

    Hi Natasha,
    I ordered 20 Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla beans grade A. I ordered 8 oz bottles on Amazon and pretty labels on Zazzle. How many beans per bottle do you suggest? Thank you

    Reply

    • Natasha
      June 11, 2020

      Hi Jessica, I would still do the same amount as in the recipe above.

      Reply

  • Dan
    June 10, 2020

    Hi Natasha! Loved this recipe so much! When I was preparing the batter, I forgot one of the most important ingredients which was vanilla extract! I tried using maple syrup as a substitute and surprisingly, it still turned out great!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 10, 2020

      Wow so great to hear that, Dan, and thank you for sharing that info with us. That is so useful!

      Reply

  • Jane
    June 4, 2020

    Do you have a video of this recipe?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 4, 2020

      Hi Jane, we do not at this time but thank you for that suggestion!

      Reply

  • Mary-Jean
    May 20, 2020

    Hi! I made this about 3 months ago using a Grade B Vsnilla beans and kettle one vodka. The color doesn’t look very dark. Also pieces of the bean are settled on the bottom of the bottle. Is all this normal?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      May 21, 2020

      Hi Mary, it could be the type of beans and how firm they are. Also, Grade B are harder to slit down the middle and don’t soften or release color as easily. Settling at the bottom is normal.

      Reply

  • Valarie
    May 18, 2020

    My husband and I just bottled (12) 4 oz. bottles last night. They were put back in the box and in the basement to “brew” until Christmas. Labels are ordered. For reasons I can’t recall right now, I used grade B Tahitian Beans but I did use Tito’s vodka and since we have leftover, we can drink it…lol.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 18, 2020

      Those are going to be the best gifts!!

      Reply

  • Selim
    May 16, 2020

    Hi Natasha, I do love all your videos and my daughter loves watching you on the TV all the time, Thank you for being Awesome.

    One question about the Vanilla extract. Is there is a substitute for alcohol if someone cant have alcohol?
    Thanks.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 16, 2020

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

      Reply

  • Annie
    May 14, 2020

    Hi Natasha, first – i’d like to say I enjoy ALL of your videos; especially the ones with your special guests! I can’t wait to make this vanilla extract. I know that someone asked you about the size of the Avery label and you said it was mentioned above but I am not seeing it… I apologize but can you please tell me what size label I should buy to use your beautiful labels? Thanks so much for sharing!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 14, 2020

      Hi Annie, The label sheet was 8 1/2 by 11 and I cut out the circles. I wasn’t able to find pre-cut circles. Click here for the exact 2.5″ labels that we used.

      Reply

    • BJ
      July 22, 2020

      I have heard/seen that vanilla extract can be de-canned. By pouring from big jars to smaller jars. Is there any affects? Thank you for your prompt response.

      Reply

      • Natasha
        July 22, 2020

        Hi BJ, I always have a large jar of vanilla that a refill my smaller jars with.

        Reply

  • Paul E Tomnitz
    May 10, 2020

    Your recipe calls for the following:
    18-20 vanilla beans I used Grade B Bourbon

    48 oz plain vodka* 80 proof works great

    Which is one or the other optional.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      May 11, 2020

      Hi Paul, I used 80 proof of vodka and Grade B vanilla beans. Both are necessary to make vanilla. I’m not sure I understand your question.

      Reply

      • Jay
        May 12, 2020

        I think the word bourbon is throwing him. It’s a regional name for where the beans come from. The vodka is the only alcohol.

        Reply

  • Jeya
    May 10, 2020

    Hi
    How long can these vanilla extract be kept?

    Jeya
    Singapore

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 10, 2020

      Hi Jeya, from what I’ve read, the extract never really expires – it just lasts and lasts

      Reply

      • Mary Baxter
        May 29, 2020

        I made the vanilla yesterday. What about all the sediment in the bottom of the bottle? Is it just left there and ends up in whatever you’re baking or do you strain it out

        Reply

        • Natasha
          May 29, 2020

          Hi Mary, most likely what you are seeing are seeds from inside the pods and there is no need to strain before using.

          Reply

          • Tara
            June 26, 2020

            Natasha please help!!
            I cut the beans which I just bought from Costco, when I added them to the vodka in sterilized jar, one of the jars (I suspect one of the beans ) has a weird greyish fuzzy looking flaky stuff that is floating all over. Is this mold?? It’s not furry in the traditional sense, looks more like blanket fuzzies . I’ve heard someone complain about this on amazon and he posted a pic of my exact issue but alas no one replied to him.
            Did I just waste a pint of vodka and several vanilla beans

          • Natasha
            June 27, 2020

            Hi Tara, I haven’t had that happen and I suspect it’s from the beans – maybe there is some kind of coating on them or it may be the variety.

  • Sheryl
    May 10, 2020

    When making your homemade vanilla do you remove the vanilla beans after the two months it takes to create the vanilla? Or do you leave the vanilla beans in the bottle for the entire time it takes to use up all the vanilla in the bottle? Also, the link you provided to purchase the bottles says the item is unavailable. Can you provide a different link for another bottle you would suggest?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 11, 2020

      Hi Sheryl, 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

    • Loretta
      May 29, 2020

      I’ve made your vanilla extract and it was fantastic! I’ve also experimented with orange, lemon and clementine peel to make other flavours of extract. Mint leaves are my next experiment. Love your videos and your recipes, I make them often and enjoyed by everyone in my family. Thank you!

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        May 29, 2020

        I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us!

        Reply

  • Alexandra
    May 9, 2020

    Hi Natasha, I just love the snowflake cookie cutter. Can you please let me know we you bought it? Thank you, Alexandra

    Reply

    • Natasha
      May 11, 2020

      Hi Alexandra, it has been a while. I want to say it was either Hobby Lobby or World Market.

      Reply

  • Emily
    May 5, 2020

    Where did you purchase the 12 oz bottles with the black lids? Love them!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 5, 2020

      Hi Emily, we have them listed in the recipe. You can find them here.

      Reply

  • Maria
    April 29, 2020

    Hi Natasha! I have recently started following you when a friend said that I would love it…and I do!! (Especially since I am 100% Polish-so I LOVE all the eastern European dishes!)
    I have made this vanilla extract recipe and it’s about a week out from being ready, however I think that the extract still looks pretty light. I was planning to leave it alone for a couple more weeks or do you think I should add more vanilla beans? (I followed you recipe exactly.) Also, I have pretty many pieces of the seeds and beans in the bottle…have you ever strained it before use? Thanks so much!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      April 29, 2020

      Hi Maria, straining is not necessary before use. Did you make sure to cut the beans down the center to split them? That helps with color and also some beans or grades may take longer. You could add more beans if desired which will help it achieve a deeper color faster.

      Reply

  • Donna Utsch
    April 28, 2020

    I am so excited to make this recipe but chose to use 8 oz. bottles vs. 4 oz. I was wondering, since you have this gorgeous label you made could you make an adjustment to reference 8 oz vs the 4 oz you show? That would be so wonderful if you could. Please let me know. Want to get these started for Christmas presents. Thank you!!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 28, 2020

      I can’t wait for you to give this a try! Unfortunately, there’s no way to edit the label since it is a static image that we saved. However, you can go directly to the Avery label website and custom make a label. Their website is pretty user-friendly and I hope that helps!

      Reply

      • Ching
        May 7, 2020

        can you tell me what size or Avery number of the label you use?

        Thank you

        Reply

  • Isuri
    April 10, 2020

    It’s good to know how to make vanilla.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 10, 2020

      I’m so glad that was helpful! Thank you for that great review!

      Reply

  • Barbara
    April 5, 2020

    Hi Natasha, I’m attempting to make this vanilla extract and on the same day I noticed a white fuzz growing on the already submerged vanilla pods..is this normal? Is it supposed to break down as it infuses? Thank you for your time.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      April 6, 2020

      Hi Barbara, I haven’t had that experience. Using the correct proof of vodka would inhibit any kind of growth, but make sure to use very clean bottles for the process. Some people have reported a cloudy extract but from what I understand that is typically due to the vanilla bean (age, quality, sourcing).

      Reply

      • Barbara
        April 6, 2020

        Hey, I did a little research and found out that this is normal and that the white fuzzy stuff that’s growing around the pods is vanillin seeping out, it’s mentioned that this is a sign of good quality beans, I hope that this information is correct, as it’s the only website that had any real answers about this. I’m so greatful that I don’t need to throw my batch away. Thank you so much for your quick response!

        Reply

  • Kristel Petty
    March 2, 2020

    When/how do you remove the beans?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 2, 2020

      Hi Kristel, 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.

      Reply

  • Julie
    March 1, 2020

    What are the best kind if vanilla beans to use? Where is a good place to buy them? Thank you. Julie S.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 2, 2020

      Hi Julie, the ones I buy are from Amazon and I linked to the best ones I have found in the post above.

      Reply

  • Dee Dee
    January 15, 2020

    How many times can you refill the bottle?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 15, 2020

      Hi, there really is no limit but it will be lighter in color with every refill. What I do is refill it as I use is – refill as you go so you don’t have to wait to use it.

      Reply

  • Esther
    January 5, 2020

    I make my vanilla bean extract in the instant pot in 1 hour . Ready to use that same day. 👍🏽

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 6, 2020

      Woah! That is wild! Can you share how you do it?

      Reply

    • King
      April 4, 2020

      Hi Esther, I would love to know how you made them ready to use in 1hour!!! lol

      Reply

  • MaryEllen
    December 28, 2019

    Can I just add the vanilla beans to the bottle of volka

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 28, 2019

      Hi MaryEllen, I suppose you could. I don’t see why not, just check the proportions of beans to vodka to make sure it will be concentrated enough.

      Reply

      • MaruEllen
        December 30, 2019

        what company did you purchase the vanilla beans from.
        I am so looking forward to making this

        Reply

  • Sylvia
    December 26, 2019

    Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 26, 2019

      You’re welcome, Sylvia!

      Reply

  • Sylvia
    December 25, 2019

    Thank you for the information! At some point will I have to add fresh vanilla beans? Thank you.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 26, 2019

      Hi Sylvia, I usually add another bean when I refill to keep the color dark.

      Reply

  • Sylvia
    December 25, 2019

    When I refill my vanilla with vodka, it’s usually after it’s about 1/3 down. How long should it sit before I can use it again? Also, how many times can I refill it before I have to add a new bean(s)? Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 25, 2019

      Hi Sylvia, it will have flavor right away and is useable right away if you are refilling it gradually as you use it but the longer you let it sit, the more depth of flavor it will have.

      Reply

  • Kay
    December 17, 2019

    I am making vanilla extract from bourbon as well as vodka. Do you have label template for that?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 17, 2019

      Hi Kay, unfortunately I don’t have a way to customize the labels – would be a nice feature though! I hope you love the extract!

      Reply

      • Dawn
        May 1, 2020

        Kay – were you able to find anything close that resembles Natasha’s labels? They are SO cute and I can’t find something similiar – yet. 🙂 Natash – I love your post and I’m going to get started!!!

        Reply

  • Bessie
    December 16, 2019

    I just put the final touches on my bottles, as they are all Christmas gifts. They are wrapped in the tea towels, but used silver measuring spoons instead of cookie cutters. They look amazing!!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 16, 2019

      That sounds lovely! Our favorite gift to give!

      Reply

    • Michele
      December 17, 2019

      Sounds great! Wish we could see pics! Measuring spoon is excellent idea!

      Reply

  • Kara
    December 16, 2019

    I made this recipe last year and absolutely loved it – such a cute gift idea. Great homemade vanilla extract too! I am making another batch for Christmas gifts, but am having trouble downloading the label sheet. Any chance you can help?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 16, 2019

      Hi Kara, I’m not sure why, but the link glitched. Here is the free downloadable label sheet for the vanilla extract.

      Reply

    • Kara
      December 16, 2019

      Thank you! Love your labels – so adorable. This new link works.

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        December 16, 2019

        I’m so glad to hear you’ve liked them! Thank you for that wonderful review!

        Reply

  • mattina
    December 15, 2019

    Hi! Receiving an error with the pdf when downloading the label template. Can you please fix the link? Thanks so much!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 16, 2019

      Hi Mattina, Here is the updated link. I’m not sure why it stopped working but it’s corrected now. I hope you enjoy the vanilla extract and the process of making it!

      Reply

  • Jaon Robinson
    December 15, 2019

    Hi Natasha,

    Thank you for the great recipe. We just bottled our first batch of HVE. I just tried to download the template on two different devices and they both stated that the file was corrupt and we could not download (one download on mobile and one on PC). How can I get the PDF?

    Reply

  • Andrea
    December 13, 2019

    Hi! I am putting this into 2 oz bottles in order to ship more easily to family. Can you please help me downsize the labels? They are too big for the bottles. Thank you so much!!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 13, 2019

      Hi Andrea, I’m not able to do that without completely re-designing the label sheet. Will these labels still work just wrapped further around the bottle?

      Reply

    • Dee Dee
      December 13, 2019

      Print on card stock, punch a hole in the label, then tie to the bottle.

      Reply

  • Olivia
    December 12, 2019

    Hello Natasha – this is only my 10+ recipe of yours I’ve tried, so LOVE your site! My vanilla has been “brewing“ for a month now and not anywhere near amber. I used a slightly less expensive Vodka than Smirnoff AND I kept the bottles in the box they came in. Would either of those 2 factors hv anything to do w/the light color? (Hv since our the open box in a sunny room)

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 13, 2019

      Hi Olivia, if you store it in a dark place or a pantry out of direct light that a clear glass would work fine. Light exposure may cause that.

      Reply

    • Annie Smith
      April 22, 2020

      Hi Natasha
      Could you please share what size of round sticky labels you use!
      Thank you

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        April 22, 2020

        Hi Annie, The label sheet was 8 1/2 by 11 and I cut out the circles. I wasn’t able to find pre-cut circles.

        Reply

  • asha
    December 12, 2019

    hi asha from india can we use vanilla flavored vodka for same

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 12, 2019

      Hi, I honestly haven’t tried that product so I’m not sure.

      Reply

  • Bobbi
    December 9, 2019

    My beans after 4 weeks have started to form a fluffy coating on them. I am also noticing blots of beans settling on the bottom. Is this normal? I shake the extract a few times a week.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 9, 2019

      Hi Bobbi, I’m not sure what you mean by a fluffy coating? I haven’t seen that before. Did you use the same proof of vodka that I have listed in the post? Also, sediment at the bottom is normal as the vanilla bean seeds will settle at the bottom.

      Reply

      • Perry Zeringue
        March 11, 2020

        What kind of label paper do you used

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          March 11, 2020

          Hi Perry, I have links to the label paper (it was a solid label from which I cut out the circles). It would work to also go to avery website and design then print on round labels from avery if you prefer. They have a great label maker free online design tool. Click here for the exact 2.5″ labels that we used.

          Reply

  • Andrea M Cimeno
    December 7, 2019

    I have made this recipe for gift-giving this year, using all the links you shared. Everything is perfect, but I find I need another pair of hands for wrapping my bottles! Not having any available, Once I get the towel wrapped around the bottle, I use tape to secure the sides before I tie the twine. Also, the towels I chose depicted the stripe going down the middle, but when I opened it up to fold as directed, it just runs down the side. Will be more selective with my choice next time! Love your recipes and videos! Keep them coming!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 7, 2019

      Thank you for sharing that feedback with us Andrea.

      Reply

    • Lyuba
      December 25, 2019

      Thank you for this recipe Natasha! I can’t wait to try it!
      Can you please explain a little about how to refill the bottle? Do you refill after each use? Or do you use up the whole bottle of vanilla and then refill and wait another 2 months to use?

      Reply

      • Natasha
        December 25, 2019

        Hi Lyuba, it is best to refill it as you use it. 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

  • Laurie Phillips
    December 7, 2019

    Thank you for making this so easy for gift giving! I have a dozen jars of extract distilling right now for Christmas gifts and am copying everything you have done. What a time saver!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 7, 2019

      Isn’t it the perfect gift! Thank you for sharing that great feedback with us!

      Reply

  • Ann
    December 7, 2019

    My vanilla extract stills smells like more like alcohol than vanilla. In July, I bottled 24 (with 8 ounce bottles and 6 beans) them and have shaken them almost weekly. I used bourbon for some and vodka for others. These are to be Christmas gifts. Any suggestions?
    Thank you, Ann

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 9, 2019

      Hi Ann, that is pretty normal with homemade vanilla extract and homemade will taste even better! Did you make sure to split the beans? You should have achieved some coloring by now.

      Reply

  • JoAnne
    December 3, 2019

    what size are the avery labels you use to put on the bottles?

    Reply

  • Meredith
    December 2, 2019

    Hi! I love this idea and recipe. I’m having trouble lining up the labels on the label sheet. Are you able to send it to me another way or do you have a trick for it to line up?
    Thanks!
    Meredith

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 3, 2019

      Hi Meredith, are you using the same brand of labels? Make sure when printing that you are printing at 100% on your printer settings without any “shrink to fit” or scale to page settings activated. Sometimes printer settings will have that set automatically but it will throw off the scale and won’t line up with labels. I hope that helps to troubleshoot.

      Reply

  • Linda Krzykowski
    December 1, 2019

    Love this recipe, the detailed instructions and the free labels! Thank you for the links to the beans and jars you used. I am making them for my daughters for Christmas gifts!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 2, 2019

      You’re welcome, Linda! This is one of our favorite gifts to give.

      Reply

  • Barbara
    November 30, 2019

    Natasha you’re the best. I have to be the worlds worst cook and your recipes make me look good. I made your lasagna rolls ups for dinner. My husband raved about them and ate several. He said they were the best I had ever made, and I have to agree. Thanks a million. Your recipes are easy and very tasty.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 1, 2019

      Looks like you’re going to have to make them over and over again! That’s so great!

      Reply

  • SUSAN BOLOTTE
    November 30, 2019

    I am in love with this site!!!!!!!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 30, 2019

      Thank you for stopping by!

      Reply

  • Danielle
    November 28, 2019

    I stumbled upon this awesome gift idea while making your easy caramel recipe!
    Thank you for having everything ready; you couldn’t have done a better job explaining and having links to make these a breeze! Thank you a thousand times!!!!!!!!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 28, 2019

      I’m so glad you found that useful. Thank you for the wonderful review and I hope you also loved the caramel!

      Reply

Read more comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

Leave a comment

Recipe Rating




As Featured On

FREE BONUS: 5 Secrets to Be a Better Cook!

Never Go "Hangry" Again!

Get weekly updates on new recipes, exclusive giveaways plus behind the scenes photos.