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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

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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

How to Store Vanilla Extract

Keep your homemade vanilla extract in a cool dry place. Heat and light can cause it to turn cloudy.

If it does turn cloudy, murky, or muddy-looking, do the smell test and if it still smells good, it should be fine to use. Using 80 proof vodka, it is highly unlikely there is bacterial growth.

Sometimes the type of beans you get can leach pulp into the alcohol and you can strain out sediment if desired.

Vanilla Extract Recipe

4.95 from 299 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
How to make Homemade Vanilla Extract - it's so easy and only requires 2 ingredients! This will become your secret ingredient for baking.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 12 (4oz) jars

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:

Instructions

  • Wash and sanitize bottles and lids: Wash with mild soapy water, rinse, then carefully swirl with boiling hot water to sanitize them.
  • 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).
  • Use a funnel to pour vodka to the top of jar. Cover tightly with lid and let them brew for 2 months, shaking occasionally.

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.
Course: Condiments, Sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Vanilla Extract
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: Varies by amounts and packaging

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

  • Lynn
    September 21, 2023

    How long can you keep the homemade vanilla? And should you refridgerate?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 21, 2023

      Hi Lynn, The shelf life will continue for a very long time since vodka preserves the beans. If you are making these for a gift, they need to brew for 2 months before they are ready to use so keep that in mind and start early or you can write the date on the bottle of when they will be ready to use. There is no need to refrigerate

      Reply

  • Kathy Bishop
    September 20, 2023

    I just made the homemade vanilla extract for Christmas gifts. Question, how large is the kitchen towel used for wrapping the bottles? Also, is there a link where I might purchase them? Thank you.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      September 20, 2023

      Hi Kathy! I’m sorry, I don’t have that specific information. A tea towel style works best.

      Reply

  • Nan
    September 20, 2023

    I love this post. I made the vodka version. But I want to make vanilla extract with Rum and Bourbon and give all three flavors as a gift set to my firends. Is it possiable to get labels that would have rum and bourbon on them, so the labels match?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      September 20, 2023

      Hi Nan! Unfortunately the labels don’t have an edit option so I can’t change them but you could still use the link provided above to create your own.

      Reply

      • Nan
        September 22, 2023

        The link for the free labels? If so, it just goes to where you can print out, but no edit. Sorry I’m missing something

        Reply

        • NatashasKitchen.com
          September 22, 2023

          Hi Nan. The labels I attached cannot be edited but you can use the “Avery” website to customize your own labels. That’s where I made mine.

          Reply

  • Debbie R.
    September 18, 2023

    I made your homemade vanilla 2 months ago. I’m excited to use it for the first time. I have a question though. How dark should the vanilla get? Everything store bought is so dark that I have nothing to reference mine to other than that.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      September 18, 2023

      Hi Debbie. You can reference my images above. It will turn a beautiful amber color when it’s ready to use.

      Reply

  • Eleanor DeMarcus
    August 19, 2023

    I’m really excited to try this recipe for Homemade Vanilla. Maybe I missed it in your blog but what is the shelf life for the vanilla once ready.
    Thanks

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      August 19, 2023

      Hi Eleanor! The shelf life will continue for a very long time since vodka preserves the beans. In my research, when stored properly, vanilla extract can keep indefinitely but the taste and aroma can be affected the older it gets.

      Reply

  • Katie
    August 16, 2023

    Definitely want to try! Should you make these at exactly two months prior to giving them out or can you make months in advance?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      August 16, 2023

      Hi Katie. You can make them as you please. Just be sure to write the date of when they’d be ready to use on the label.

      Reply

  • Shannon
    July 19, 2023

    Easy recipe. Easy to follow recipe and directions. Made this to put in the favor bags for my son and his fiance’s Wedding Shower. They were a huge hit!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 19, 2023

      That is an awesome idea to give them as giveaways!

      Reply

  • Mel
    July 6, 2023

    I followed the instructions and my vanilla has a strong taste of alcohol. What should I do to get more vanilla taste?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 6, 2023

      Hi Mel, did you cover tightly with lid and let them brew for 2 months, shaking occasionally? If you followed all the steps and let it brew, you should have the perfect flavor. I wish I could be more helpful.

      Reply

  • Sohini
    July 6, 2023

    Thank you so much for all these recipes you make! I am so glad that as I was scrolling through Youtube I saw your channel! Thank you so much for your creativity.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      July 6, 2023

      Hi Sohini! I’m so glad you found my channel. Thank you for the wonderful feedback.

      Reply

  • Roseline Mustapha
    June 2, 2023

    Thanks for this great jobs I reakl enjoy going through your teachings am now a member and glad to have found you ,well done
    On the issue of the bean ,am a Nigerian , and have not heard name before ,but now , maybe you could be more elaborate on the type of beans to use for me ,

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 2, 2023

      Hi Roseline! I attached the link to the vanilla beans here so you can see which ones I used.

      Reply

  • Jenn Y.
    April 16, 2023

    Hello, I am sorry if this has already been asked, but how often do we need to shake the bottles throughout the 2 month period?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 16, 2023

      Hi Jenn! You should give the vanilla a little shake every now and then for the next couple of months as it sits. 🙂

      Reply

  • Krista Ames
    April 6, 2023

    Hi there, i was wondering about the label. IN the recipe it says to click here to get the label but nothing happens, or there is no hyper link. Can you help with that?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 6, 2023

      Hi Krista! Try clicking on this link HERE. These are my pre-made labels. It’s working for me, so I hope you are able to pull them up as well.

      Reply

    • Kelsey
      August 1, 2023

      Is there any way to get an editable version of the labels? I’m using rum instead of vodka, but love the labels!

      Reply

      • NatashasKitchen.com
        August 1, 2023

        Hi Kelsey! Unfortunately, there’s no way to edit the label since it is a static image that we saved. I custom-made the labels on the Avery website so you could custom make your own too.

        Reply

  • Jen
    April 3, 2023

    Hi, I have recently come across you on YouTube and so glad I did. Yo make the videos easy and fun to watch. About the homemade vanilla, is it best to do the individual bottles for less proofing time or should the wait time be a year regardless of size like you showed or one 16fl oz

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 3, 2023

      Thank you for that wonderful compliment, Jen! I’m so glad you’re enjoying my videos and recipes! Hi Jen, if you have the correct ratio of beans to vodka, it should take about the same amount of time.

      Reply

  • Kayla Hardison
    April 3, 2023

    Hello,
    I made vanilla extract following your recipe. I noticed cloudy pieces coming from the cut area. Has this happened to others? Is it just from the bean? It has sat in a cool place for several months and it hasn’t seemed to grow in amount or size which makes me feel like it isn’t mold?! And that it’s in alcohol. Is it safe to use?
    Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 3, 2023

      Hi Kayla, I haven’t had that experience. Using the correct proof of vodka would inhibit any kind of growth or floaters, 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

  • Blair
    March 21, 2023

    Thank you Natasha. I’m using Russian Standard. I cannot wait until these are ready.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 21, 2023

      You’re welcome, Blair! Enjoy. 🙂

      Reply

  • H
    February 10, 2023

    FDA standard for pure vanilla extract is .83 ounces of beans for every cup of liquor. Most people will round up to a full ounce of beans for simplicity. Beans can vary a lot in size and weight so it’s necessary to weigh beans and not use a certain number of them. It’s highly unlikely though, that 3 beans would weigh enough. The average time for a full extraction using vodka is around a year. My extracts have never been finished much earlier than that.💖

    Reply

  • Maria Siddiqui
    January 25, 2023

    Hi Natasha – great way to prepared the real vanilla extract, is there a way to replace vine with a nonalcoholic beverage?

    Thanks,
    Maria

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 25, 2023

      Hi Maria! No there is not a substitute for it in this recipe.

      Reply

  • Regina
    December 27, 2022

    Hi Natasha. I did some research before finding your recipe and a lot of places (like the FDA?) for instance, recommend far more beans.
    So I bought 3 bottles totalling 78 ounces. For a lot of these other recipes I was ready to use 18 beans per 26oz?!
    Using your recipe I need only 9 or 10 beans per 26 ounce bottle at 3 beans per 8oz. is that correct?
    Because I’m thinking, since I have 52 grade B beans, I could get a fourth 26oz. bottle and I’d still have enough for 13 beans in each 26oz bottle!? This would still give me more beans per bottle than your recipe so I’d still end up with a wonderful extract.
    Am I figuring this right? I hope that’s not too confusing….I have foggy head cold. 😀

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 27, 2022

      Hi Regina! 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.

      Reply

      • hae-young chun
        August 17, 2023

        Hi,
        Does using 3 beans per cup make a strong-enough single-fold extract? I’ve seen other recipes that use 5-6 beans.
        Thank you.

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          August 17, 2023

          Hi Hae-young, we believe we found the perfect balance with 3 beans.

          Reply

  • Betty
    December 18, 2022

    This is far better than store bought. My question is, when you add vodka to it when it’s almost gone, do you have to wait another 2 months to use it?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 19, 2022

      Hi Betty! It’s hard to give a specific amount/time, it depends on how much you are using and refilling. If it’s almost gone, you’d have to wait some time before using it again so that it has enough time to infuse. You can also top it off each time you use it and give it a little swirl. It’s actually better for the vanilla beans to remain submerged. As it ages, the flavor will only improve and you can continue to use this without waiting periods in between refills as long as you don’t let it get to the bottom. You’ll notice after about 6-12months of frequent use and refills, the vanilla flavor is less intense and the color is lighter. You can add more vanilla beans or remove the old beans and add fresh ones. I hope that helps

      Reply

  • Kim Hanik
    December 16, 2022

    Should I drain the tiny seeds and “floaters” out before I give away?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 16, 2022

      Hi Kim! This is normal, depending on the beans used. You can strain it if you’d like. I like to keep the beans in to keep on infusing and refilling it.

      Reply

  • Peg
    December 14, 2022

    I made the recipe for vanilla and am excited to gift my family and friends at Christmas. There seems to be a problem however. In looking at the finished bottles of vanilla, I am seeing tiny vanilla seeds floating in the liquid. Should I have scraped the seeds out before using the whole bean? Should I now filter the seeds out? Please advise. Many thanks.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 14, 2022

      Hi Peg, 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

  • Stacy
    December 10, 2022

    Natasha, When you say add Vodka as you use it. How exactly do you measure that so you don’t disturb the integrity of the extract. Like would you take it about half empty and than top up with vodka than leave it brew for a time before you can use it again?!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 10, 2022

      Hi Stacy! It’s hard to give a specific amount/time, it depends on how much you are using and refilling. You can also top it off each time you use it and give it a little swirl. It’s actually better for the vanilla beans to remain submerged. As it ages, the flavor will only improve and you can continue to use this without waiting periods in between refills as long as you don’t let it get to the bottom. You’ll notice after about 6-12months of frequent use and refills, the vanilla flavor is less intense and the color is lighter. You can add more vanilla beans or remove the old beans and add fresh ones. I hope that helps.

      Reply

  • Rita K
    December 8, 2022

    My labels were too small.
    I used 2” labels.
    Natasha did you use 2.25” labels?
    Any info helps.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 8, 2022

      Hi Rita! I don’t recall the exact size but 2” sounds about right, the whole sheet prints 12 labels, which may help give you a point of reference. You can also go to the Avery website to create your own labels, they are a great resource and are user-friendly.

      Reply

  • Yvonne
    December 7, 2022

    I can’t get the labels for the vanilla extract, there is no ability to “click here”
    I like these over others available, I would buy them if I know where to look for them
    Thank You

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 7, 2022

      Hi Yvonne! It is a link if you click on “free labels” in red font in my blog notes above.

      Reply

  • Mary H
    December 6, 2022

    I have not made vanilla from vodka for several years, What I have done is to buy whiskey or Brandy in nip bottles, open them and put a vanilla bean cut in half then split and put into the bottle. Really easy and fast for a cute gift. The longer it ages, the better. Never thought to refill the bottles.

    Reply

  • Wendy M
    December 6, 2022

    Loving the look of this and have bottled but having difficulty printing with Avery in Australia ? Closest size for labels was 60mm template code L7105. It just doesn’t line up perfectly in label circles stickers no matter following your directions or trying alternatives. If I had the image of one circle only in the right format I could upload it in the Avery perhaps ? Would love some help on this.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 8, 2022

      Hi Wendy! Unfortunately, there’s no way to edit the label since it is a static image that we saved. I am not sure about the size difference in Australia, 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

  • Rhonda
    December 2, 2022

    Hi Natasha,

    Love all of your recipes and how thoroughly you explain them!
    I followed this recipe to the T using the exact same ingredients. I know the little brown flecks are the vanilla beans, but I’m also getting white floaters. I’ve tried to research it and am just concerned as I’m giving this for gifts.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 2, 2022

      Hi Rhonda, I haven’t had that experience. Using the correct proof of vodka would inhibit any kind of growth or floaters, 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

      • Rhonda
        December 19, 2022

        Thanks! I just found this… White fur = sugar crystals
        Also, don’t worry if your vanilla beans develop a thin coating of whitish “fur.” It’s not mold — it’s simply some of the sugar in the bean that’s begun to crystallize. It won’t change the flavor or degrade your extract in any way.

        On the contrary, it’s actually a sign that the beans are fresh and full of natural sugars. Applaud yourself for choosing a good source of vanilla beans if you see sugar starting to crystallize. (source: kingarthurbaking.com)

        Reply

  • Shelley
    December 1, 2022

    Does it go through a murky phase? Mine has been brewing about a month, and it doesn’t look as clear as your pictures. Have you filtered yours? Thanks

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 1, 2022

      If it turns cloudy, murky, or muddy-looking, do the smell test and if it still smells good, it should be fine. Using 80-proof vodka, it is highly unlikely there is bacterial growth. Sometimes the type of beans you get can leach pulp into the alcohol and you can strain out sediment if desired. Heat and light can cause it to turn cloudy. Keep it in a cool dry place.

      Reply

  • Cathy
    December 1, 2022

    My bottles have been fermenting for 2 months. There is a lot of sediment from the beans. The beans are kind of mushy. Is that normal?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 1, 2022

      Hi Cathy! Sometimes the type of beans you get can leak pulp into the alcohol and you can strain out sediment if desired.

      Reply

  • April
    November 30, 2022

    Hi Natasha!
    I’ve made many of your recipes and all have been great! Thanks for a great and EASY homemade gift idea! Your links to all the supplies made it even simpler. I can’t wait to wrap up the finished product for the holiday gifts.
    Happy Holidays!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 30, 2022

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, April! Happy Holidays!

      Reply

  • Sharon
    November 28, 2022

    Hi Natasha!

    Can you provide the link for the labels, please? I made the vanilla extract per your recipe and want to give as gifts for Christmas.

    Thank you,
    Sharon

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 28, 2022

      Hi Sharon! Yes, I linked it in my blog notes above. The “free labels” in red font is a link if you click on it but I’ll attach the vanilla label template HERE

      Reply

      • Susan Lambert
        January 24, 2023

        what is the Number for Avery labels that go with your template . Thank you

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          January 24, 2023

          Hi Susan, I used these exact labels HERE. The number is (5294). I hope this helps!

          Reply

  • Meaghan
    November 21, 2022

    Any recommendations for purchasing the jars with lids? Can’t wait to try this out! Thanks

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 21, 2022

      Hi Meaghan! I provided links to all the supplies in my notes above. I used these glass jars from amazon. 🙂

      Reply

  • Nina
    November 15, 2022

    I followed your recipes exact to make extract as a gift for holidays. I noticed today that there is some type of white stuff coming out the cut beans in the jar. Is this something I should be worried about? Does it mean to toss it? Any advice would be really appreciated. Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 15, 2022

      Hi Nina, 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

  • Susan
    November 14, 2022

    I’m excited to make vanilla but wondering if it is necessary to strain once it is done?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 14, 2022

      Hi Susan. I do not strain in.

      Reply

  • Gayl
    November 14, 2022

    Great stuff…. I made a large batch and after 6 months I shared it with my daughter….Should I have left the beans in there after the six months? I used to get my vanilla from Mexico…. but this stuff is just as good…. maybe better…. Thank you for all of your great recipes…

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 14, 2022

      Hi Gayl! I’m glad you love this recipe. I leave the beans in, that way when it gets low you can add more alcohol and it continues to make the extract. If it remains too light, then you can add more beans.

      Reply

  • Gabriela
    November 13, 2022

    Will this taste like alcohol? I don’t drink alcohol so I wouldn’t like to have the alcohol taste. I figure that there will be no actual alcohol if I use it to bake, but what happens if I use it for something that doesn’t require baking, like frosting?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 13, 2022

      Hi Gabriela, it will not taste like alcohol but it helps a lot to make this recipe work. I’ve heard people using glycerine to make it alcohol-free but don’t have any personal experience with that.

      Reply

  • Nupur
    November 13, 2022

    Looks so easy. But isn’t it alcoholic then? Can kids have it in an uncooked dish? I add in milk shakes sometimes

    Reply

  • Carrie
    November 13, 2022

    Vanilla extract should be made by weight instead of number of beans. Beans differ very much in size. I have some beans 4” and some 9” – Single fold is 1 oz of beans to 1 cup of “liquid.” Double fold is 2 oz of beans to 1 cup of liquid. Triple fold is 3 oz of beans to 1 cup of liquid. Liquid could be vodka, diluted everclear, rum, bourbon, etc. it takes a full year to extract as well, not just based on color. Just some food for thought.

    Reply

    • Terri
      November 17, 2022

      I’m confused by the folds. So what would you consider true store bought vanilla, 1,2 or 3 fold. I would like to have a stronger vanilla taste than store bought.The comparison would help me to know what fold to go by. Thank you.

      Reply

  • Christine
    November 13, 2022

    Such an incredible idea! Just completed assembly and couldn’t be more pleased. Love the labels and how you provided all necessary links. Can’t wait to give as gifts! Thank you so much.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 13, 2022

      They are perfect as gifts! I’m sure they will love it!

      Reply

  • Deb
    November 12, 2022

    I love this but is it better to use a dark bottle?Do you have to wait 2 months to use?
    I love your recipes!!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 12, 2022

      Hi Deb! I keep it stored in a dark and cool place so the clear bottles work fine for me. The darker the color, the more flavor it will have. I’m afraid you won’t get much of the vanilla taste if it’s too light.

      Reply

  • Arlene
    November 10, 2022

    Hello! How timely, I am going to do this for gifts this year. Thanks for the labels! Question: isn’t vanilla supposed to be stored in a dark bottle? I got the brown ones

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 10, 2022

      Hi Arlene! You’re welcome! They’re so neat and fun to make for the holidays. The dark bottles work great but I just store them in a cool and dark cupboard so this helps.

      Reply

  • Howie
    November 10, 2022

    I want to make but where do you get the vanilla beans reasonable? My local supermarket wants $19.79 for two beans! This price is way above my means since being on a fixed income social security.
    Sincerely, Howie

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 10, 2022

      Hi Howie! I put my amazon link for the vanilla beans in the blog post above (the red words are a link).

      Reply

  • Ann
    November 10, 2022

    I love this recipe!
    I made a gallon of this in July 2013, for Xmas gifts and me. You are right I have a large jar like a quart and a half size that I keep going, I add some vodka to it and a new bean every once in awhile. The best tasting vanilla ever!!! I might have to put it in my will as to who gets it when I gone🤣.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 10, 2022

      Yes, that’s right. Good to hear that you love this recipe a lot too!

      Reply

  • Patti
    November 3, 2022

    Hi Natasha. I love your videos and the recipes. I’m ordering the bottles and beans in just a moment. I look forward to more fun videos and great recipes. Thank you and take care.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      November 3, 2022

      Thank you, Patti! 🙂 I hope you love this recipe.

      Reply

  • Susan Ramirez
    October 29, 2022

    Had a mostly full bottle of Tito’s Homemade Vodka (80 proof) chilling. Came across this Homemade Vanilla Extract recipe and got excited. I love making homemade gifts for my daughters for Christmas. Looked at Natasha’s links for all the needed supplies and then headed to eBay to source identical in the exact quantities needed. Six 4-oz Boston Round Bottles $14.99. Ten yards Red Bakers Twine $3.50. Five sheets Avery 5294 Round Labels $5.50. Ten Madagascar Grade A Organic Vanilla Beans $11.49. Two Poinsettia Tea Towels $1.95. All in, excluding the Vodka, I was able to make five 4-oz Vanilla Extract for $7.49 per bottle. Smells amazing and looks beautiful! Thank you, Natasha for sharing this awesome recipe!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 29, 2022

      You’re welcome! 🙂

      Reply

  • Blucollargal
    October 28, 2022

    Hi, While I wait for bottles, etc., to get here, can I just stuff the vanilla beans into the bottle of vodka so as to start the process? Thanks!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 28, 2022

      Hi! I think you could. Several of my readers have mentioned making this in bulk and them adding it to the bottles when it’s done. I like to make these individually because you can add Vodka to the beans as the extract starts to run low.

      Reply

  • Pam
    October 27, 2022

    Thank you Natasha for the fun project. Also thanks to all for sharing their experiences.
    I made my batch with bourbon, not vodka, however. Any chance you have a label for bourbon?
    Your labels are next level and I do not have those skills to make anything as lovely.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 27, 2022

      Hi Pam, 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

  • Debra R
    October 25, 2022

    I just made this recipe and I used Smirnoff thinking it was 80 proof and I did not check it. I just noticed it says 40 proof. Will this not turn out the same or as good?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      October 26, 2022

      Hi Debra, you might need to google search that and see if that is acceptable for making vanilla. An 80 proof vodka is 40% alcohol and 60% water. If you have 40% alcohol, that is the same thing as 80 proof.

      Reply

  • Lisa V
    October 23, 2022

    Have you ever made vanilla paste? What’s your opinion on using that vs extract? I’ve not tried the paste but am intrigued 🙂

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 23, 2022

      Hi Lisa, I have not tried that but I think that’s a good recipe to try in the future!

      Reply

  • Debbie
    October 23, 2022

    I have made vanilla in the last few years and In my experience – it’s not ready to use for almost 6-9 months. I typically make this a new year (Jan/Feb) project to get started for the next holiday season. That said, even if you gift it early this year, it’s fun for the recipient to be involved with their vanilla process by shaking and smelling from time to time 🙂

    For ease (if you start at least 6-9 months before gifting), I make the vanilla directly in the vodka bottle (you need a lot of beans) and then fill gift bottles when ready (adding some of the vanilla beans from the bottle). Hopefully you will have you will then have plenty leftover for yourself to enjoy! The labels, recipe and gifting wrapping idea are fabulous!!!!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 24, 2022

      Thanks a lot for sharing that with us, Debbie!

      Reply

      • Brooke
        October 24, 2022

        I think I will try your method. Can you share the brand of vodka you used?

        Reply

  • Tania
    October 22, 2022

    Having made vanilla for years I would advise 1 cup of vodka for 1 0z of vanilla beans to make a proper single fold extract as beans can vary in size. Make a large batch in advance of gifting.

    Reply

  • Vickie
    October 22, 2022

    I’m eager to try this. I’m confused, though, about the bourbon in the ingredients list. At what point does that get used?

    Reply

    • Vicki
      October 22, 2022

      Edit: The way my monitor showed it, Bourbon was on the 2nd line so looked like a separate ingredient. But now I see that it says “Grade B Bourbon” about the beans. However, the beans in y0our link say nothing about Bourbon. Could you please clarify?

      Reply

      • Natasha
        October 22, 2022

        Hi Vicki, the variety can change online based on what the seller is selling or what is available. I know vanilla has had some supply issues in the last couple of years so maybe that is why?

        Reply

        • Vicki
          October 24, 2022

          Thanks, Natasha – looking forward to trying it! Buying the beans today.

          Reply

          • Natasha
            October 24, 2022

            How fun! I hope you love the process and the result. Enjoy!

        • Carrie
          November 14, 2022

          “Bourbon” refers to the cure of the bean- it is either bourbon cured (with steam) or Mexican cured (dried in sun).

          Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 22, 2022

      Hi Vickie, it reads “18-20 vanilla beans, I used Grade B Bourbon”

      Reply

  • Linda keller
    October 22, 2022

    Where do you get the grade b Bourbon to make vanilla you have all the stuff to make it but the bourbon vanilla

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 22, 2022

      Hi Linda, we have a link to it in our recipe! You can also find it HERE.

      Reply

  • Val Fourie
    October 21, 2022

    What is the difference between vanilla essence and the extract, and when would you use is? Could I use the extract in normal cakes? Thank you for all you recipies.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 22, 2022

      Hi Val, the extract is a natural product, whereas essence is synthetic. The extract is less processed and provides a stronger vanilla flavor, so we always use extract.

      Reply

  • Beth Smith
    October 21, 2022

    I just ordered the stuff! $4.20/bottle (not including the vodka). What a GREAT gift idea! THANK YOU!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 21, 2022

      You’re welcome. They make a great gift! 🙂

      Reply

      • Rosanna
        October 21, 2022

        Hi Natasha,
        Your amazing in everything you do your a great person
        I don’t miss anything you make
        I love all your recipes
        I’m going to make this vanilla extract.
        Thanks again
        Rosanna 🥰🥰

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          October 22, 2022

          Thank you for that wonderful compliment, Rosanna! I’m smiling big reading this comment and so happy to hear you’re loving my recipes!

          Reply

  • Norma
    October 21, 2022

    I feel this recipe would make pretty weak vanilla extract, I make mine 750ml (25 oz) with 15 vanilla bean and its great

    Reply

    • Lupita
      October 21, 2022

      Did you use 750 ml of vodka to 15 vainilla beans? Also, did you let it sit for 2 months like Natasha recommends?
      I look forward to hearing from you Norma!

      Reply

    • Gabriela
      November 13, 2022

      I’m doing exactly that right now. I hope the result is good! Do you like it read for 2 months or longer??

      Reply

  • Barbara
    October 21, 2022

    Where did you get the jars to use for the home made vanilla? Are clear jars recommended?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 21, 2022

      Hi Barbara, I linked them in my blog notes under “Tools You’ll Need…” Click on the red lettering.

      Reply

  • Pam
    October 21, 2022

    Hi Natasha,
    I do not see a link for the labels. Could you send it me me please. Great Idea!
    Thanks, Pam

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 21, 2022

      Hi Pam, I have the printout linked to the recipe, but you can also find it HERE for the printable PDF and you can find the exact label I used HERE. I hope it works great for you!.

      Reply

  • Amanda
    October 15, 2022

    This is amazing! Such a cute and easy gift idea as well.
    But where can I find vanilla beans?? I don’t recall seeing it anywhere.
    Thanks!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 15, 2022

      Hi Amanda! I linked it in the notes, the red letter is a link if you click on it. 🙂
      Here is my link for the vanilla beans.

      Reply

  • Lori Kfoury
    October 13, 2022

    I made this vanilla extract last November, and I’m just now using it. It is absolutely fantastic! Thank you for the recipe! My question is once I use a complete bottle of it and the old vanilla beans are still left inside, can I just pour more Vodka inside of it and leave another year? Or do I need to start the process all over with new vanilla beans. Thank you, Lori

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 13, 2022

      Hi Lori, I refill them continuously as they are depleted and I start fresh when the color is no longer deep in amber.

      Reply

      • Karen
        October 28, 2022

        Hi Natasha. I just want to clarify what you’re saying about refilling them continuously. Are you saying you use a bottle entirely and then refill it? Or are you using a portion of the bottle and then refilling it with Vodka so that the old mixed with the new? If you are doing that, do you need it to sit for a certain amount of time after you fill it?I’m excited to try this. Just waiting for the bottles to be delivered. Could I make any extra with what I have left over and place it in a mason jar? Or would that jar not be good enough? Thanks!!

        Reply

        • Natasha
          October 28, 2022

          HI Karen, I add more as I use it – I like to keep enough in there to keep the beans submerged in liquid and this way I don’t have to wait to use it again. If I keep adding it over time, I can use it the next time I’m baking. I keep a mason jar of vanilla extract also and I use that for refilling. I make a big batch and as I refill my mini jars with it, I add more vodka to the large jar. It works well for me.

          Reply

  • Ana
    October 10, 2022

    This is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and tips. Any chance you can share where to buy the little lidded bottles for the vanilla extract?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 10, 2022

      Hi Ana! Glad you enjoy this recipe. I provided the links to the bottles and tools you’ll need in my notes above. Anything in red lettering is a link. 🙂

      Reply

  • Angelina
    October 4, 2022

    Hello Natasha,
    I have a bit of vodka and a bit of rum. Would it be okay to mix the two alcohols for this vanilla extract recipe, or would it be better to separately ferment one with vodka and one with rum?
    Thank you in advance.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 4, 2022

      Hi Angelina, I haven’t tested that to advise. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.

      Reply

  • Tina Batson
    September 18, 2022

    Because I am in Vanilla groups and have researched quite a bit, Vanilla Beans should be weighed, not counted, because different beans weigh different amounts. The rule of thumb is to use 1 Oz of beans per 1 cup of alcohol of at least 80 proof of you want a “single fold” vanilla extract. That said, Grade A beans have more moisture, so if using Grade A, you can use alcohol up to 100 proof. Many use 190 proof grain alcohol mixed with equal parts Distilled Water, making your proof 95 or 47.5% alcohol. It needs to mature for around 1 year. At that time, you can decant and use your vanilla beans again in half the amount of alcohol for the same amount of beans. Your end result should be at least 35% alcohol per the FDA.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 19, 2022

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me!

      Reply

  • Colleen Vesetas
    September 10, 2022

    We love your recipes. Do you know how to make vanilla bean paste Thankyou.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      September 10, 2022

      Hi Colleen. So glad you love my recipes. No, I do not have a recipe for vanilla bean paste.

      Reply

  • Jo
    September 2, 2022

    Made this in June for Christmas gifts and the vanilla is quite transparent. Will this be good? Should I add more vanilla beans?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      September 3, 2022

      Hi Jo! It may still need time, but it could also depend on the types or size of beans used. If it is still too light for your liking, you can definitely add more beans to darken the color.

      Reply

  • Bobbie
    August 30, 2022

    Hi, Natasha,
    Love your recipes and your videos. This vanilla extract recipe inspires me to start thinking about food gifts for Christmas even though it’s about four months away. What do you think about doing a segment on holiday food gifts, labeling, wrapping? Vanilla extract, caramel sauce? What else? Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 30, 2022

      Thank you so much for that suggestion, Bobbie!

      Reply

  • Kathy B
    August 28, 2022

    I have made vanilla using the same amounts of vanilla beans and vodka you give in your recipe, but the extract is MUCH better if you give it at least 6 months to a year before you use it! I prefer waiting a year, so when I know I plan on gifting it, I keep a good rotation going and label the bottles with the date I started them. I’m about to bottle some vanilla I’ve had going since last September. They are two 16 oz. jars that I will divide between 8 four oz. bottles. I have another batch that will be ready in December – also will be a year to develop awesome flavor and darkness! It makes a big difference if you have patience! Also, if you do have a bottle you are using that has some beans inside, adding some vodka to replace what you use can only be satisfactory for so long– you need to add a new vanilla bean from time to time, and remember to shake! Do not let vanilla beans stick out above the extract. This can cause them to mold!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 28, 2022

      Thank you for your tips and suggestions, Kathy.

      Reply

    • Linda I
      October 22, 2022

      I put up several bottles of extract using this recipe in fall of 2020. Could not give them out at that time due to Covid. I wondered if it would still be ok to give them out this year. They have been stored in a dark room in my house. Still good?

      Reply

      • Natasha
        October 22, 2022

        Hi Linda, from what I have read, vanilla extract doesn’t really expire so expiration would not be a concern for me.

        Reply

  • Laurie
    August 23, 2022

    Natasha, can you please let us know what and where you get your vanilla beans! I’ve read so many negative comments on Amazon regarding different beans, I don’t know which to buy!

    Reply

  • Mandy
    August 18, 2022

    I would love to have the link to print the label for homemade vanilla extract. Thank you in advance. It said to click here for label but it doesn’t work.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 18, 2022

      Hi Mandy, I have the printout linked to the recipe, but you can also find it HERE.

      Reply

  • Beth
    July 18, 2022

    Hi Natasha. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I made the vanilla recipe exactly as described. I was able to get the jars and vanilla beans from Amazon. I’ve kept the bottles in a dark, cool place for 6 weeks, and I have shaken them lightly as suggested. At this point, the color is a very light amber. Will the color darken over time, or is this the color it’s supposed to be?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      July 18, 2022

      Hi Beth! I’m glad you tried this recipe. It may still need some time, but it could also depend on the types or size of beans used. If it is still too light for your liking, you can definitely add more beans to darken the color.

      Reply

  • Suzie
    July 12, 2022

    Hi Natasha, how many times can you keep refilling with the vodka, before the vanilla beans lose their fragrance? Hope this question makes sense, lol
    Thax 🙂

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      July 12, 2022

      Hi Suzie, I refill them continuously as they are depleted and I start fresh when the color is no longer deep in amber.

      Reply

  • Emanuel Hallef
    June 16, 2022

    I really liked your site. Thanks for the information.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 16, 2022

      You’re very welcome!

      Reply

  • Jim Robinson
    May 25, 2022

    I use 1 vanilla bean per ounce,28 ozs. 28 beans. I make 56 ozs. of Voda, sometimes 80 Proof, sometimes 100 Proof (still experimenting but can’t tell too much difference) at one time (of course I sell it also). I let it marinate 6 months (like fine wine) of course I will start using it at about 4 months…

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 25, 2022

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me! I hope you try and like our recipe soon!

      Reply

  • Phyllis
    April 15, 2022

    Hi Natasha
    My question is can you use Jack Daniel whisky to make the vanilla this is my first time.I don’t want to mess up the first time

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 15, 2022

      Hi Phyllis, I would only make this recipe as written.

      Reply

  • Robin B
    April 14, 2022

    I have never made my own vanilla before and I Love Vanilla and always end up adding more than the recipe calls for. Therefore, is it okay to use 2 whole vanilla beans per 4 oz vodka or 4 whole vanilla beans per 8 oz of vodka?
    Thanks so much!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 14, 2022

      Hi Robin, I have not tested that but I think it could work.

      Reply

  • Jean
    April 9, 2022

    Just love your recipes! Especially, your New York
    Cheesecake.

    I have seen that Ina Gartener has a jar of vanilla beans for 25 years. She doesn’t say how to do it. In my research you can reuse beans – count 25% of them “as new.” Some sites say don’t keep them longer than a year.
    I use about 5 beans per each cup. Other sites say 10 per each cup. $$$$ Now you prefer 3 per cup.
    I think how you wrap them are way cute.
    Instead of waiting for your vanilla to cure give them uncured so the person can watch it cure.
    Continuing to pray for your family and the Ukraine.
    Thank you.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 10, 2022

      Thanks for sharing that with us, Jean. There are different varieties but this is the recipe that we love and what works best for us. Thank you too for your prayers for the people in Ukraine, it means a lot to us.

      Reply

  • C.J Sailors
    April 6, 2022

    Is it worth spending the few extra dollars for Madagascar Vanilla Bean vs Vanilla Bean?

    Any advice appreciated!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      April 6, 2022

      Hi C.J. Yes, that is my preference, but you could opt to use just vanilla bean. Madagascar vanilla beans are considered to be the best due to their quality and flavor profile.

      Reply

  • June
    March 31, 2022

    I just made some of these vanilla bottles.. Wish me luck..
    Thanks for all your time and giving us all these great recipes!!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 1, 2022

      You’re welcome!

      Reply

  • Sania
    March 30, 2022

    Hi Natasha I made the vanilla extract and used it to make your blueberry muffins again. It tastes amazing . Will add more vodka as it starts to decrease. The colour of the vanilla extract is lovely just like yours & the aroma is soothing. Thank you so much.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 30, 2022

      You’re very welcome, Sania. So happy you enjoyed this recipe.

      Reply

  • Reva Scarlato
    March 28, 2022

    I’m currently using a glass bottle with a flip top. It was cheap $2.99. I wouldn’t take it on adventures, but to have while sitting at my desk – it’s great!

    Reply

  • Bernadette
    March 21, 2022

    I love all your recipes!!!! I am on limited income and your vanilla extract I am going to try. Thanks for the free labels. I will be making for Christmas presents this year! Thank you so much. When would be best time to make vanilla for December. How long does it keep!

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 21, 2022

      Hi Bernadette! The shelf life will continue for a very long time since vodka preserves the beans. If you are making these for a gift, they need to brew for 2 months before they are ready to use so keep that in mind and start early or you can write the date on the bottle of when they will be ready to use. The labels include a spot for this.

      Reply

      • Susan Lambert
        May 25, 2022

        Ms Natasha, what is the size of the labels so the proper Avery blanks can be purchased. I never did this before so i little anxious. . I appreciate all your delicious recipes and your lovely personality. Prayers with all in Ukraine and your family .

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          May 25, 2022

          Hi Susan, this is the exact label I used HERE. I hope it works great for you!

          Reply

          • Susan
            June 11, 2022

            Thank you so much Natasha ! I was cutting the label from the sheet and taping it and it just really needs to have a regular glue on label.

  • Celia
    March 19, 2022

    Looks easy to make. Do you have the print out for the labels ? I don’t see Thanks

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 19, 2022

      Hi Celia, yes, you can print them. I have the printout linked to the recipe, but you can also find it HERE.

      Reply

  • Sania
    March 7, 2022

    Will start on another batch of vanilla sugar with 1 plump long vanilla bean. Want to see which one tastes better . Will let you know how it goes after a month .

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 7, 2022

      Sounds like a great plan. Please share with us how it goes, we’d love to know too!

      Reply

  • Sania
    March 6, 2022

    Hi Natasha I just made the vanilla sugar using white sugar approx 500gms in a glass jar. I used 2 beans because they were very small & dry . Otherwise 1 bean for 500gms sugar would be fine . It has been few days but it has a lovely aroma already. The vanilla extract I made using your recipe has got a beautiful colour .1 month more to go to start using the extract.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 6, 2022

      Sounds great! Please update us on how it goes, we’ve love to hear your feedback.

      Reply

  • Maribel
    February 23, 2022

    When I click on the link for Vanilla Bean in Amazon, this is what it came up – (10 Vanilla Beans – Whole Extract Grade B Pods for Baking, Homemade Extract, Brewing, Coffee, Cooking – (Tahitian) ) Can I still use it to make Vanilla Extract?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 24, 2022

      Hi Maribel, those are the beans we used following this link! I hope you love this recipe!

      Reply

  • Cindy Johnson
    February 13, 2022

    I mistakenly purchased the 9 per page labels. Do you have a template for those?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 13, 2022

      Hi Cindy, these are the labels that I used (also linked in the post above). I don’t have a way to re-design these for a set of 9 labels, but you might be able to do something on the Avery website where you can build labels to print.

      Reply

  • Sania
    February 6, 2022

    Hi Natasha I have made the vanilla extract. The colour is looking beautiful. So excited waiting for 2 months to start using it. I made it in the 350 ml vodka bottle itself . Wanted to ask you if you have tried making vanilla sugar . Would like to know if you have . Thanks

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 7, 2022

      Sounds great! I haven’t tried making vanilla sugar yet but if you do it as an experiment, please share with us how it goes. I hope you love this vanilla extract recipe!

      Reply

      • Sania
        February 8, 2022

        All your recipes I have tried are fabulous. Will definitely let you know when I try making the vanilla sugar. I am sure the vanilla extract will be amazing . Keep up the good work. Thanks

        Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          February 8, 2022

          Thank you and yes, please do!

          Reply

      • Sania
        March 2, 2022

        Hi Natasha I just made the vanilla sugar using white sugar approx 500gms in a glass jar. I used 2 beans because they were very small & dry . Otherwise 1 bean for 500gms sugar would be fine . It has been few days but it has a lovely aroma already. The vanilla extract I made using your recipe had got a beautiful colour .1 month more to go to start using the extract. Will let you know after a month how it tastes. Thank you have a wonderful day.

        Reply

  • Kymber
    February 1, 2022

    Do you leave the vanilla beans in forever?
    How long does the vanilla last?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 1, 2022

      Hi Kymber, I refill them continuously as they are depleted and I start fresh when the color is no longer deep in amber.

      Reply

  • Kathy C
    January 29, 2022

    Is there any way I can edit your labels? I would like to try making your vanilla with Bourbon rather than Vodka. Love to make this!
    Thanks in advance!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 29, 2022

      Hi Kathy, 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

  • Karen Jackson
    December 30, 2021

    I purchased my vanilla beans through Amazon and they are much smaller than the ones I usually see in the grocery store. What length (and how many) should I use for each 4 oz. bottle. Second question…can I make the vanilla in one large jar and when ready, pour into individual bottles?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 31, 2021

      Hi Karen, we used these vanilla beans HERE. They are about 5-6 inches long each.

      Reply

    • Patty
      January 9, 2022

      Thank you for asking that question. I’ve been looking online trying to find the same answer!

      Reply

  • Carolina Burgos
    December 26, 2021

    Natasha… what happens if I forgot to split the vanilla beans?
    Ohh noooo¡ 🙁

    Thank you

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 27, 2021

      Hi Carolina, I have always split the bean. If you don’t split it will take a much longer time to extract.

      Reply

  • Karen
    December 24, 2021

    Is the vanilla taste sweet or boozie? My tastes like vodka boozie. Do I need more vanilla beans? I used the same ingredients you used.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 24, 2021

      Hi Karen, it should not taste boozy once it sits for the allotted time.

      Reply

      • Karen
        December 25, 2021

        Thanks for answering my question. I started this batch Feb. of this year. 16 oz bottles. 7 beans per bottle. Any suggestions on how to fix it or should I start over?

        Reply

        • Natasha
          December 26, 2021

          Hi Karen, the color and aroma are pretty good indicators. If it hasn’t gotten enough color, you could add more beans, but if it has a rich amber color, it should be great. Since the main ingredient is alcohol, that will still come through even when it’s done.

          Reply

  • Robin
    December 19, 2021

    Update: I’ve completed all my vanilla and gave them away for for gifts! They came out beautifully and looked just like yours! Everyone loved them! Thank you for this great gift idea! Can’t wait to use mine when it’s ready.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 20, 2021

      Aaaw that is nice to know! I’m really happy to hear that your friends and family enjoyed their Vanilla Extract!

      Reply

  • Lynda
    December 17, 2021

    Hi Natasha, I was wondering if you could explain why this recipe is ready in 3 months and others I have seen take a year. I’ve never made it but plan to so I wondered why it the length of time is so different. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 17, 2021

      Hi Lynda, I’m curious if they use a different method or ingredients? Since we split the beans that helps that process to be quicker.

      Reply

      • Jean
        April 9, 2022

        In my research the longer the time you cure them the better the flavor. I also have seen, but haven’t done it to add some sugar in the bottle to increase flavor. To me that doesn’t sound like a good idea.

        Jean

        Reply

    • Susan
      May 25, 2022

      I appreciate what you wrote about the time to extract being different information. I am following one recipe that says 1 oz beans to 8 oz’s spirits. Vodka has shorter extracting time. White Rum is at least half as much time more. Everclear vodka is too strong concentration so 1/2 spirits to 1/2 water is best.I am learning. i have heard if you add a little extract to the vanilla sugar and then put into small chocolate molds in different shapes it is a very nice touch.

      Reply

  • Denise
    December 16, 2021

    Hi Natasha, I was very excited to do this recipe and gift them as presents for Christmas. I did exactly as was instructed but my extract looks quite pale. Could it be because of a different variety of bean? It’s been two months already. Would it still taste the same? I’m afraid to try. Thanks for help and suggestions. Denise

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 16, 2021

      Could be because of the bean, was there anything that you substituted from the recipe?

      Reply

  • Jill
    December 15, 2021

    Hi Natasha, Thank you for the great recipe. I used split vanilla beans and the seeds are floating in the vodka. I used it and it tasted fine and smelled great. Just wanted to see if other people have the same thing.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 16, 2021

      Hi Jill, seeing some seeds in the jar is normal – there are some in mine and it makes desserts look nicer having those little flecks of vanilla seeds in real vanilla.

      Reply

      • Chuck
        May 2, 2022

        One month in and I’m seeing flakes in my bottles as well. Color is nice so far and smells good.

        Reply

  • Jane
    December 14, 2021

    Hi Natasha,
    Avid fan right here. We absolutely love your recipes. I made 6 bottles 3 days ago and i noticed there are some whitish floating (kinda like dust/lint)? What could it be? Should I just tossed them away? Can I wash the bottles and reuse them?

    Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 14, 2021

      Hi Jane, 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

      • Michelle
        December 21, 2021

        Hi, I had exactly the same problem with Jane. My vanilla beans were grade A and has some moist, not dried out ones. Should I use less moist beans? Should I toss out those extract that have dust looking things on them?

        Reply

        • Natasha
          December 21, 2021

          Hi Michelle, if there is some residue, you could strain it out. It may just be the type of beans. I haven’t had that issue but I would probably choose a different source for beans next time.

          Reply

  • Carole
    December 14, 2021

    Natasha,
    Imade 6 bottles of vanilla about 3 months ago. I shake like you said, have them in a dark place, but they are still light in color. I used the same size glass bottles and vanilla beans you did. Do I need to add more vanilla beans?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 15, 2021

      Hi Carole, it could depend on the types or size of beans used. If it is still too light for your liking, you can definitely add more beans to darken the color.

      Reply

  • Katie
    December 10, 2021

    I forgot that I had read you handwashed the lids…I washed mine in the dishwasher and now they have moisture under the plastic dome inside the lid. 🙁 Would you recommend I ask the company for more lids?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 11, 2021

      Hi Katie, I haven’t had that experience; if they’re compromised, you can try with the manufacturer. I would also see if the plastic dome is removable to sanitize properly.

      Reply

      • Katie
        December 19, 2021

        The company got right back to me and the tops do come off! They dried great and popped right back on. Now patiently (?) waiting for the vanilla beans to brew!

        Reply

  • Katie
    December 4, 2021

    Wondering how long I can continue to “feed” the vanilla beans in the bottles with more vodka? Like what’s the shelf life of the beans starting from when it’s made? Looking forward to making my 1st batch of vanilla!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 6, 2021

      Hi Katie, the shelf life will continue for a very long time since vodka preserves the beans. I continuously refill (don’t wait until it gets low or you’ll have to wait for it to deepen in color in flavor again). As soon as the color starts getting too light, you can add more beans.

      Reply

      • Katie
        December 10, 2021

        Thanks…first time doing this; eager to see and taste the results! Thanks for all your help!

        Reply

  • Christine
    December 4, 2021

    I have tried both Firefox and Chrome and am unable to get a link for the label you have for the vanilla. There is no link. I have made vanilla for years and love your idea of it as a gift.
    I have tried many of your recipes and love them.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 4, 2021

      Hi Christine, these are the labels that I used (also linked in the post above). You might be able to do something on the Avery website where you can build labels to print.

      Reply

  • Camelia
    December 3, 2021

    Hello Natasha,

    Thank you for sharing these amazing recipes ! I am trying them one by one, and it’s a win all the time!
    I am not sure what it’s 80 proof for vodka but I have 96deg. alcohol. I should combine it with water or how I could use it instead of vodka? Thank you much !

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 4, 2021

      Hi Camelia, I would not recommend water. I recommend making the recipe as written if you can.

      Reply

  • Robin Bengal
    December 3, 2021

    Can I add more vanilla beans than the recipe asks for? Your jars look like they have more than 1 1/2. Will this speed the process up? Also, was I supposed to open up the split bean?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 4, 2021

      Hi Robin, this will depend on the types or size of beans used. If it is still too light for your liking, you can definitely add more beans to darken the color.

      Reply

  • Maria
    December 3, 2021

    Hi Natasha, If I want to make a smaller batch.. I have 4 bottles to make what would you recommend?

    Thank you
    Maria

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 3, 2021

      Hi Maria, that should be fairly easy to do for this recipe. I recommend clicking “Jump to recipe” at the top of the post, it will take you to our printable recipe where you’ll have the option to change the number of servings (bottles in this case). Hover over the number of servings highlighted in red and slide it to how many servings you would like to make. I hope that helps!

      Reply

  • Donna Alford
    December 1, 2021

    The vanilla extract stickers what do you use to stick them on the bottles

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 2, 2021

      Hi Donna, we buy labels that are already stickers, simply peel off the back and stick them on!

      Reply

    • Nancy Lauritson
      December 4, 2021

      I have been making my own vanilla and giving it away.. I found a bottle in my cupboard way in the back. must be a least 5 years old and boy does it smell good. I am going to use it this year for my baking.. can’t wait.. Love your website.

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        December 4, 2021

        I bet it smells amazing! Thank you so much for sharing that with us!

        Reply

  • Robin Bengal
    December 1, 2021

    Do I take the vanilla beans out after 2 months? If I add more vodka at that point, do I add more vanilla bean, and if so, how many? Making my little gifts today…too late for Christmas baking but that’s ok.
    Thank you for all your wonderful recipes!! Haven’t been disappointed with any of them!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 1, 2021

      Hi Robin, we leave the vanilla beans in the jars. Once the vodka gets low, we add more vodka and keep the original vanilla beans. I hope that helps!

      Reply

  • Peggy
    November 29, 2021

    Last year Feb 29th to be exact my daughter was married. We had a great deal of vodka left over so I took it as a challenge to find a way to use it. When I found your recipe for Vanilla it was an aaah moment.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 30, 2021

      Aah perfect! Please share with us how it goes, I hope you’ll find a new favorite in this recipe.

      Reply

  • Barbara Weber
    November 26, 2021

    I havec5 green beer bottles with white closures..they take approx 3 c of vodka. Can I just use 2 c of vodka to cover 6 beans? I would like to make all 5 bottles to keep & gift.
    Also, when the bottle gets low, are you justvadfing more vodka or also more beans?
    Thank you!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 26, 2021

      Hi Barbara, yes, once the bottle gets low, we simply add more vodka to it.

      Reply

  • John
    November 23, 2021

    Hello Natasha,
    Thank you for the great recipes!
    I am looking forward to making the vanilla extract. My question is, if I use say 1/2 a bottle then add more vodka what is the “cure” time that topped off batch is ready for use?
    Thank you

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 24, 2021

      Hi John, I like to refill it when it’s about 1/4 gone so there really is no waiting time. There is no set time, its really when you’re comfortable with the color. It will have that vanilla flavor infused by the time you’re ready for your next baking project.

      Reply

  • Janet
    November 21, 2021

    Do you slice the bean down the centre…..and then scrap it? What do you do with the stuff (seed?) that you scrap?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 22, 2021

      Hi Janet, I do not scrape out the vanilla seeds but I put that into the jar. If I were using a high-grade bean, I would probably scrape out the seeds and use them for baking and then just add the rest of the pod into making vanilla.

      Reply

  • Thang
    November 21, 2021

    Hi Natasha.. I’m your fan from Malaysia.. Thank you for always sharing such a detailed steps on each recipes..
    Can I know whether I can make that vanilla extract using Cognac rather than Vodka?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 21, 2021

      Hello Thang, you’re always welcome and thank you too for your support. I haven’t tried using cognac for this recipe as I always just use vodka so I cannot advise how it would turn out.

      Reply

      • Carolina Burgos
        December 26, 2021

        I read you can use ‘Bourbon’ and ‘Rum’ .. it does give a different taste, but still very good.

        Reply

  • Sondra Gribble
    November 21, 2021

    Natasha, I bought the Avery labels 2 1/2 in but after I printed from your template and only 6 are useable, I then realized your template is set for 12 labels the Avery 2 1/2 in label are for 9 labels. Not sure what labels to get. Any suggestion?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 22, 2021

      Hi Sondra, these are the labels that I used (also linked in the post above). I don’t have a way to re-design these for a set of 9 labels, but you might be able to do something on the Avery website where you can build labels to print.

      Reply

      • Sondra Gribble
        November 27, 2021

        Thank you, I have since found the correct Avery labels with 12 per sheet.
        Thank you again !

        Reply

  • Lorraine
    November 18, 2021

    When you say “Split beans”, do you mean slice down the center to open the pod?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 19, 2021

      That’s correct!

      Reply

  • Monica
    November 17, 2021

    Hello,

    Can this be made in the Vodka bottle and then poured into the smaller bottles after it turns amber?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 18, 2021

      Hi Monica, a few of my readers have mentioned using one large bottle to make the vanilla, so I bet that could work! I hope you love this recipe!

      Reply

  • becca l.
    November 17, 2021

    thank you for sharing! will be making this vanilla. I’ve made vanilla before but with bourbon. I looked at the bottles you linked to, but some reviews left by others who have purchased them make me weary. They complain about the tops not screwing on, etc. Did you experience any problems with the bottle caps?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 17, 2021

      Hi Becca, I haven’t had that experience, fortunately. I recommend checking each once they arrive to be sure they screw on properly.

      Reply

  • Madeleine
    November 16, 2021

    Hi, how many times can you refill with vodka with the same vanilla beans? Thank you.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 16, 2021

      Hi Madeleine, I refill it slowly as it empties so I don’t have to wait for too long for it to darken in color. I refill a couple of times before the color becomes too light then I’ll add some beans.

      Reply

  • Dave
    November 15, 2021

    Can I just buy a bottle instead of making all of the recipe ?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 15, 2021

      Hi Dave, I don’t sell the made vanilla. You can make it following this recipe 🙂

      Reply

  • Faseeha
    November 15, 2021

    Is there an alcohol substitute? For alcohol free extract ?
    Thank you

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 15, 2021

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

      Reply

  • Amberly
    November 15, 2021

    Cannot wait to taste the Vanilla Extract!! I made it today!!! The vanilla beans smelled so good!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 15, 2021

      The most rewarding feeling once it’s all bottled up! I’m glad you gave this recipe a try!

      Reply

  • Janet
    November 15, 2021

    Oh Natasha, I am sooooo excited! I am in a gift exchange party where I have to make ten gifts all the same (good thing is I get ten gifts back from the other folks)! Anyhow….you just solved my dilemma of what to make! I love this idea! Who doesn’t love vanilla?? Thanks so much!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 15, 2021

      You’re so welcome, Janet. I hope they will all love this gift!

      Reply

  • Peggy Faucheaux
    November 15, 2021

    Made my first batch of vanilla today. I’m anxious to see how it comes out. Wished I would have started it earlier.
    Question??
    Do you use a laser printer to print your labels? When I bought my labels I noticed that the labels you use said for laser printers. Well I have an ink jet so I purchased the Avery 22830 for inkjet printers. Same Sure Feed Tech. 2 1/2″ round label. The top row and the bottom row lined up ok but the two rows in the middle did not.
    Any suggestions?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      November 15, 2021

      Hi Peggy, I’m not well versed in inkjet printers. Maybe they have instructions on the Avery site for your printer?

      Reply

  • Betty
    November 12, 2021

    Can vanilla paste be substituted for vanilla beans? If so, what would be the amount?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 12, 2021

      Hi Betty, unfortunately, that would not work well here. The paste is usually a substitution for vanilla extract but it isn’t normally used to make vanilla extract.

      Reply

      • Heather Taylor
        November 17, 2021

        My vanilla has floating cloudy substance in it. Reminds me of mold. What is it and do I need to start over??? It smells fine but I don’t understand what the floating/cloudy substance is?? Help!!

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          November 17, 2021

          Hi Heather, 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

        • Angela Su
          November 28, 2021

          Hello Heather and Natasha,

          I also have a floating cloudy substance that resembling mold or dust bunnies. Hopefully it’s just the membrane of the vanilla sticks. I have made 24 bottles as gifts and followed Natasha’s recipe instructions exactly. Purchased everything linked. Please let me know if you have received confirmation that the vanilla extract is okay! This is my first time making it. Thank you!

          Reply

        • Allison McLeod
          December 4, 2021

          Heather- I also have some floating pieces. I wonder if it could be wax from the vanilla beans? I used the exact grade beans and followed the recipe.

          Reply

          • Melissa
            December 13, 2021

            Same cloudy floating substance. It appeared at about 1 month.

  • Augustine
    November 12, 2021

    I’m looking forward to make this Can you link the bottles please?

    Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 12, 2021

      Hi Augustine, I have them linked in the recipe post. You can also find our favorite kitchen tools in our Amazon Affiliate Shop HERE.

      Reply

  • Roseann Ferguson
    November 11, 2021

    I see that amber-colored bottles are also available on Amazon. Would they be preferable to the clear bottles?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 12, 2021

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

      Reply

  • Antonella Maiolino
    November 10, 2021

    Is it possible to get a video of you making the vanilla extract?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 10, 2021

      Hi Antonella, I don’t have a video of this yet, but thank you for that suggestion!

      Reply

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