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Vanilla Extract Recipe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tools you’ll need for Homemade Vanilla Extract:

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

How to Make Vanilla Extract:

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

homemade-vanilla-extract-3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

homemade-vanilla-extract-12

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

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

For Creative Gifting:

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

How to Wrap a Gift With a Kitchen Towel:

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

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

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

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

4.93 from 204 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

  • 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

  • Divinia Mia M. Ira
    November 9, 2021

    Hi Natasha,

    I am an avid fun from the Philippines. Thank you for sharing this and will try to source out for the beans locally, same with the things needed. Such a good way to share as a gift.

    God bless and keep safe! Mwah! Mwah!

    Mia

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 9, 2021

      Hello Divinia, thank you for your support. Sounds like a good plan, I hope you love the recipe!

      Reply

  • Tracy
    November 9, 2021

    Thank-you so much, for not only the recipe but the gifting idea along with the labels! Those labels are beautiful and certainly saved me a lot of time! We are excited to see how it turns out:)

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 9, 2021

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed the process and the labels! These make the cutest gifts!

      Reply

  • Dana
    November 8, 2021

    I made the your vanilla extract recipe exactly on August 13th……they have still not turned a darker color (they’re very light/weak looking)…..I was planning on giving them as Christmas presents….will they be “aged” enough by then?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 8, 2021

      Hi Dana, it’s hard to say what is causing that, could be the type of beans or forgetting a step. Did you make sure to split the bean? You can also add another split bean to make it darker again.

      Reply

      • Dana
        November 29, 2021

        Hi Natasha – I did follow your recipe exactly…..I bought my vanilla beans online via Amazon. Do you think even if they are not dark that they are “cured”? I have also stored in a dark place. It won’t get as dark as store bought will it? Thank you so much for responding …..I have not been disappointed with any recipe of yours that I’ve made. God bless

        Reply

    • Al
      November 9, 2021

      You need to shake it every few days & store it in darker area not in the light

      Reply

    • Paula
      November 14, 2021

      Mine also did not turn a deep amber. It looked rather weak. I added another split bean in all my bottles and now, finally, they are a lovely deep amber!! (But I started this out in March!! 😀 )

      Reply

  • Casey Willett
    November 5, 2021

    Hi Natasha… Thank you for this. I made it for Christmas presents and it turned out beautifully. One questions. I want to make it with Rum. Is there any way to modify the labels ??? Thanks again

    Casey

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 5, 2021

      That’s so great! These make the best gifts! 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

  • Ruth
    November 4, 2021

    Hi Natasha! Is this recipe safe for children? It’s made with vodka so I’m wondering if the vodka is still potent after making the vanilla? Thank you Ruthie

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      November 4, 2021

      Hi Rutn, I haven’t heard of it being an issue because of the very small amounts used in baking and it’s usually baked after it’s added. I have put this vanilla extract in whipped cream many times and it adds a nice flavor. I have personally never been concerned about serving it to my children because it’s such a trace amount of alcohol.

      Reply

  • Kristen
    October 29, 2021

    Can you use the madagascar vanilla bean with this recipe instead of the grade B bourbon ones?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 30, 2021

      Hi Kristen, that should work! I peeked through the comments, and several of our experts have reported great results using Madagascar beans.

      Reply

  • mike
    October 13, 2021

    Just wanted to say that it’s often recommended to use dark colored bottles because UV light degrades the vanilla over time. That’s why the grocery store vanilla is in dark bottles.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 13, 2021

      Thank you for the tip, Mike!

      Reply

  • Kris Wagner
    October 9, 2021

    Hello, I started this in August of this year and now I am seeing stuff floating around in the vanilla. I presume it is the vanilla seeds from the pods. Do I need to worry about this? Will it effect the taste? Should I try and strain it? Any one else have this problem?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      October 10, 2021

      Hi Kris, if you are seeing little black specks, that is just the seeds from the vanilla bean and that is nothing to worry about. There is no need to strain it. Softer beans can cause that. It’s nice to see little flecks of vanilla in frosting.

      Reply

      • Kristine L Wagner
        October 10, 2021

        Thank you for taking the time to answer me question. I really enjoy your videos and recipes.

        Kris

        Reply

  • brenda williams
    October 8, 2021

    Natashas could you please make a down to earth southern moist coconut cake. I lost my mothers recipe that was so good you are the queen of baking. Thanks

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 9, 2021

      Thank you for your suggestion. I’ll try to add that to our list.

      Reply

  • Stephanie W
    October 4, 2021

    Hello- I am having a hard time getting my bottles to dry. Do you have to have them dry before adding the beans and vodka?

    Reply

  • Shana tucker
    September 22, 2021

    I love your recipe’s I have made many of them for my family and they are amazing 😁. Keep them coming I love your videos they are funny and it shows what a great and fun person. I wish u and your family all the best😊. Keep those videos coming.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 22, 2021

      Aww, that’s the best! Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I’m all smiles

      Reply

  • Francis Waiyowen
    September 13, 2021

    Hi Natasha, in Papua New Guinea nearly all liquor shops sell 45% alcohol including vodka. Would 45% alcohol be be okay for use? Thanks, Francis.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 15, 2021

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

      Reply

  • Debbie Cudmore
    September 10, 2021

    I am Canadian and have been unable to find 80 proof Vodka?? Would you be able to give something else I could use or where I could Possibly get such a High proof Vodka??? Thanks!!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 11, 2021

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

      Reply

  • Carol H Allen
    September 6, 2021

    Hi, what size printable labels did you use, some are 2 inches and some are 2 1/2 inches? Love your page and videos!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      September 6, 2021

      Hi Carol! We used the 2.5″ labels.

      Reply

  • Kathy
    September 4, 2021

    Hello Natasha,
    I have been a fan of yours for several years now. I love your recipes and videos and have made several of them (happy family).
    I have a few questions about the homemade vanilla extract. How do you know when to stop adding vodka? Common sense tells me when the color is no longer dark. I guess I want to know, if I add some vodka to the bottle and it’s a light color, then that particular bottle is done? Do you add vodka when the bottle is about 1/2 used? I apologize for these questions, I just wanted to be clear I understand.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      September 6, 2021

      Hi Kathy, I add a little more vodka as I use it up so I don’t have to wait to use it again. I refill when it’s about 3/4 or 2/3 full. You are correct, that you would refill until it’s too light which means is going to have less vanilla flavor. You can also add another split bean to make it darker again.

      Reply

  • Mariann
    August 31, 2021

    Love the recipe! I am having downloading the labels. I am using Word but they won’t print . Does anyone having any suggestions?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      August 31, 2021

      So glad you love it, Mariann! It seems to be working fine on my end, you can try using pdf instead

      Reply

  • Ebeling Kauffman
    August 31, 2021

    What did you call Bourbon Grade B? Thanks for the answer.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 31, 2021

      The Vanilla beans

      Reply

  • Tony
    August 29, 2021

    Can you provide a link to the kitchen towels that you used?

    Reply

  • Katherine
    August 26, 2021

    Just started the process today! Excited to see how it turns out! I ended up using 8oz bottles though… any chance you have labels that say 8 oz on them instead of 4oz? Your labels are so cute! Thanks

    Reply

    • Natasha
      August 26, 2021

      Hi Katherine, I don’t have any for 8 oz. I wish there was an easy way to change that.

      Reply

    • Tony
      August 29, 2021

      You can use Word to modify the pdf or PDFelement (my favorite way to modify PDFs.) PDFelement has a free trial period – no need to buy if you only need to modify this one PDF.

      Reply

  • Jimmy
    August 9, 2021

    I use 5 beans for each 8 ounce jar and it seems to work a lot better.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 9, 2021

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

      Reply

  • Sheriza Wadhwani
    July 27, 2021

    Hi!! I love this, made a whole bunch for Christmas gifts last year 🙂 I made mine in November and forgot about it until now. Will it be too strong?

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 28, 2021

      It should be fine, please update us on how it turns out if you try it!

      Reply

  • Wesley Martinez
    July 25, 2021

    Hi Natasha It’s me who’s been commenting on most of your videos on youtube and this would go so well on a twist cake vanilla extract would be good for the vanilla parts

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 25, 2021

      Hi Wesley, thanks for always watching and commenting on my videos, I appreciate it! That’s a good idea, thanks for sharing that with us!

      Reply

  • Melinda Davis
    July 6, 2021

    I just made this this morning and it already has a hint of vanilla. I’m so exited to see how it turns out.. Thanks for the recipe Natasha. I always look at your recipes first to decide what to make. So many of your recipes are absolutely delicious.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      July 6, 2021

      You are so welcome! I”m happy that you enjoyed this recipe, Melinda.

      Reply

  • Susan Jones
    June 27, 2021

    Hi. I will be trying this for the first time this week. Since I do a great deal of baking, especially during the holidays, can I just make the vanilla right in the vodka bottle for using myself if I adjust the amount of beans that I add? It seems a little silly to have so many little bottles in my cabnet. Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 28, 2021

      Hi Susan! I bet that could work! I would make sure the ratio of vodka to beans is right and you should be good to go!

      Reply

  • Paul Baker
    June 25, 2021

    Hi just a short note from down under , congratulations on a well done web site , concise instructions and videos make the kitchen a whole lot of fun keep up the good job.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 25, 2021

      Thank you, Paul! I’m so glad you’re enjoying my recipes and videos!

      Reply

    • anna
      January 15, 2022

      hi Paul, and to Natasha, you are the most precious lady, I have gone through all the questions, and you have answered all of them, not many do, thank you for that, I love your recipes everyone I’ve made came out perfect, I’m ready to make the donuts, and I’m going to make your vanilla, I’m 75 and still learning lol I always go to your channel because it is no fail blessings

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        January 15, 2022

        I’m so glad you’re enjoying my blog, Anna! Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

        Reply

  • Colette
    May 17, 2021

    Hi Natasha, can I use the naturally splitted vanilla beans for this recipe?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      May 17, 2021

      Hi Colette, I’m not sure what you mean. If they are already split in the center then there is no need to do it, but otherwise, I would split them.

      Reply

  • Stephanie
    May 11, 2021

    This was such a cute idea and I so appreciated all the links to products. I bought off your link, printed the labels and gave them as gift, reserving a few bottles for myself. However, I don’t think 2 months is enough brewing time. At 6 months, the homemade vanilla is still on the light flavor sided. The color looks right, but I recently made my homemade banana bread and did a side comparison of two tables spoons vanilla of mine and McCormick & Schmicks and mine just didn’t smell like the rich vanilla flavor of theirs. Should I double the amount or let brew for longer?
    Thanks and I love you and your videos!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      May 13, 2021

      Hi Stephanie, it could depend on the type of beans you are using as well in which case I would just add another split and halved bean.

      Reply

  • Valerie Brown
    May 10, 2021

    Hi Natasha, I love your channel and was excited to try the vanilla. I bought the vanilla pods on Amazon and used Smirnoff vodka. I thought that I had followed the recipe precisely, however, after 6 months it has a pronounced alcohol taste. Any ideas would be appreciated.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      May 10, 2021

      Hi Valerie, that alcohol taste won’t go away since it is the primary ingredient but it should have a lovely vanilla aroma by now. Also, be sure to use the same proportions of vanilla to vodka or add more beans for even more flavor.

      Reply

  • Valentina Shtrigel
    May 8, 2021

    Thank you Natasha for your amazing recipes. I’m wondering is there any reason you’re using plain Smirnoff vodka and not other brands such as Ciroc, Skye, etc.? Can we substitute?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 9, 2021

      Hi Valentina, those may work. Here’s what one of my readers wrote: “For those who are grain free people, Ciroc is a vodka made from grapes, unlike Smirnoff and most other vodkas. It’s a bit pricey, but worth it if you can’t/won’t do grains.”

      Reply

  • Gary
    May 3, 2021

    What size labels do you use?? 2 inch round are too small

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 3, 2021

      Hi Gary, unfortunately, there isn’t a way to make multiple sizes with the format we have. Click here for the exact 2.5″ labels that we used.

      Reply

  • Gary Brown
    May 3, 2021

    Natashas, On the labels what size do you use. I’d picked up from staples 2 inch round labels, 12 per sheet for $20.00, I printed the 12 labels on a blank paper for my wife before I try the labels and 2 inches looks too small.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      May 3, 2021

      Hi Gary, this is the exact label that I used.

      Reply

      • Gary
        May 3, 2021

        thank you

        Reply

  • Patricia Henry Dent
    May 2, 2021

    Hello Natasha, I love all your recipes and I am going to make the pumpkin pie next. Do you sell any of your homemade vanilla extracts because I would just like to purchase a few?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 3, 2021

      Hi Patricia, I do not sell it but it is so easy to make! I hope you try this soon 🙂

      Reply

  • heidi
    May 1, 2021

    Love the labels! but I’m using 8oz bottles is there any way to change the 4oz to 8oz?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 3, 2021

      Hi Heidi! That should work!

      Reply

  • Kathy Luczak
    April 27, 2021

    Can I re-use cleaned bottles from bought sauces? Or are the special bottles important for food safety?
    Thanks !

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 28, 2021

      I think that would work!

      Reply

  • Jeanette Brannen
    April 25, 2021

    I made the vanilla and I’m ready to use and give for gifts but do I take the vanilla bean out or leave it in to add more vodka? Thank you

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 25, 2021

      Hello Jeanette, this recipe really doesn’t expire. If you store it properly, you can keep using the beans and keep adding the ingredients to keep it going. You can always refill it as you use it.

      Reply

  • LIRAZ
    April 21, 2021

    HI!
    i love your recipe. do you have a good recipe foe making vanilla paiste?
    keep going with youers wounderful recipes.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 21, 2021

      Hello Liraz, good to know that you’re enjoying my recipes. I currently don’t have a vanilla paste recipe, I only have Vanilla Extract.

      Reply

  • Debbie Harbour
    April 9, 2021

    Hello Natasha, I have everything ready to make your vanilla recipe. Question, is it best to only make this 2 months ahead of time or can I make as gifts for Christmas, but make now? Thank you and I love all your recipes and videos.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 9, 2021

      Hi Debbie, it can take several months for the color and flavor to fully develop so yes, making it ahead is best!

      Reply

  • Paige
    April 9, 2021

    Hello! I am so excited to make this and have it ready for Christmas gifts! I did have a question about using it while pregnant because of the high alcohol content? Also do you think it would be alright to use in whipped cream? I have several kids but I am not sure how to feel about that?!
    Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      April 12, 2021

      Hi Paige, I haven’t heard of it being an issue because of the very small amounts used in baking and it’s usually baked after it’s added. I have put this vanilla extract in whipped cream many times and it adds a nice flavor. I have personally never been concerned about serving it to my children because it’s such a trace amount of alcohol.

      Reply

  • Diana
    April 1, 2021

    Do you have a video on how to make your homemade vanilla extract? Watching a video before I actually make it helps a lot.
    Thank you.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 1, 2021

      Hi Diana, I don’t have a video for this recipe at this time.

      Reply

  • Patti Schimmel
    March 24, 2021

    I am excited to make this for Christmas gifts this year. If I use 8oz bottles do I double the vanilla beans to 3 beans per bottle?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 24, 2021

      Hi Patti! I think that should work great!

      Reply

  • Toni McClinton
    March 22, 2021

    My first batch of vanilla extract! Can’t wait to taste it in a couple of months and give a gifts in time for homemade ice-cream 😋

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 22, 2021

      The perfect gifts! I hope everyone loves it!

      Reply

  • Christina A
    March 15, 2021

    Hello,
    I’m trying your vanilla extract recipe for the first time and I see the vanilla beans at the bottom, but when shaken I’m seeing floaties in there. The liquid is clear, but the floaties look like sea monkeys. Is this a normal thing? Has it gone bad? I’m using Amsterdam’s 80 proof vodka.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 16, 2021

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

      Reply

  • wendy orris
    March 9, 2021

    I made these last fall for christmas gifts. They turned out great. I used it for my cookie baking and am on my second bottle. I used the same vanilla beans and vodka that you did. I notice whenever you use it in your videos that yours is much darker in color. Do you use more than 1 1/2 beans per 4 oz bottle?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 9, 2021

      Hi Wendy, you can use more for a darker vanilla extract, but these proportions are sufficient. I did a deep-dive in research before posting this in addition to testing it myself, and it works very well, but it is a matter of preference. You can definitely add more if you prefer.

      Reply

  • Gary Paxton
    March 6, 2021

    When the extract has cured, what becomes of the alcohol content? Does it dissipate? Can you drive after using it (humor)?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 7, 2021

      Hi Gary, I’m honestly not sure about the science of what happens inside the bottle but the alcohol should not dissipate unless you use a cork lid or some kind of lid where it can evaporate which I do not recommend trying. Also, good pun! ha ha!

      Reply

  • Wiley
    March 6, 2021

    Hi Natasha-
    I love this recipe and the links. It is so easy and straightforward. It took all of 5 minutes to order everything. I did note the bottles you have linked are not available – but Amazon has a suggested replacement. I didn’t get enough beans for all 12 bottles, but reordered more beans. I hope to have these ready for Christmas. Thank for putting this together – very well done!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 6, 2021

      That’s so great! I hope you enjoy this process! They really make for the best Christmas gifts!

      Reply

  • Cheryl
    March 4, 2021

    Where do you buy your bottles for your vanilla extract? Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 4, 2021

      Hi Cheryl, we have them linked in the recipe, but you can also find them in our Amazon Shop Here under Kitchen tools.

      Reply

  • Francesca Domínguez Davies
    March 3, 2021

    Hi Natasha, I’m Francesca, from Chile.
    I still haven’t made my vanilla extract because I´m wondering if I could boil the vodka, in order to allow the alcohol to evaporate.
    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 3, 2021

      Hi Francesca, I haven’t of that so I am assuming the answer is no, otherwise, the beans could spoil if the alcohol isn’t there to protect them from bacteria growth, but I suggest doing a more thorough google search. I don’t have a great answer for that.

      Reply

  • Judith Campeau
    March 2, 2021

    I made this recipe as Christmas gifts. I took out my jar with the intent of making some of your cookies. The extract should be ready but upon tasting it, it taste very much like vodka with a hint of vanilla. Is that normal.? You also mentioned adding more vodka as it gets used, do you add additional vanilla beans as well?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 2, 2021

      Hi Judith, you can add more vanilla to improve the color and flavor but it isn’t necessary especially with the initial refills. It’s best to add the additional vodka as you go without waiting for an empty bottle since then you have to start over with the wait times to get the right flavor. I add more when the beans are above the level of the liquid.

      Reply

  • Elena
    February 28, 2021

    I give this recipe four starts because I have a dilemma with outcome. I see white and black speckles floating throughtout. Is this bad homemade vanilla extract or are these speckles safe? I made all 12 4oz bottles exactly as your recipe plus boiled all bottles in a big pot for safety. Thank Natasha in advance for responding to my concern. Love all your recipes 😇

    Reply

    • Natasha
      March 1, 2021

      Hi Elena, most likely those are the vanilla bean seeds and that is a normal occurrence with softer beans – they are released more easilly.

      Reply

    • Natasha
      March 1, 2021

      Hi Elena, most likely those are the vanilla bean seeds and that is a normal occurrence with softer beans – they are released more easily.

      Reply

  • Vicki
    February 24, 2021

    have you ever added orange or lemon zest to the vanilla bottles?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 24, 2021

      Hi Vicki! I haven’t tested this with zest, no. But that sounds interesting!

      Reply

  • Judith Ide
    February 22, 2021

    Do you have a video of you making vanilla? Would love to see it if you do.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      February 22, 2021

      Hi Judith, I don’t currently have a video tutorial, but thank you for the suggestion.

      Reply

  • Shannon
    February 21, 2021

    Hey there!
    I’m confused…your recipe says Bourbon vanilla beans?
    And use Vodka.
    I have never heard of Bourbon vanilla beans, only Madagascar, Mexican, Tahitian etc….

    P.S. I have loved EVERY yummy recipe you have posted!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 22, 2021

      Hi Shannon, these are made using a traditional Bourbon drying method. You can find the beans we used HERE and linked to the recipe.

      Reply

    • jp
      April 17, 2021

      “The term “Bourbon vanilla” refers to the vanilla beans’ provenance as being from the Bourbon Islands, most commonly Madagascar but also Mauritius and Réunion. The name comes from the period when the island of Réunion was ruled by the Bourbon kings of France and has no relation to Bourbon whiskey.”

      Reply

  • Kim
    February 16, 2021

    Does the variety of vanilla beans matter? Do they have a different flavor? Which is best to use? Tahitian Vanilla Beans or Madagascar Vanilla Beans What is your preference?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 16, 2021

      Hi Kim, we recommend using the ones we have linked in the recipe. We used these vanilla beans here.

      Reply

  • Jennifer
    February 11, 2021

    Hi Natasha! I have a question about the labels-I printed mine out and they look great, but they wrinkle and crease when I try and put them on the glass. How do you make yours lie so smooth on the glass? Thank you!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 12, 2021

      Hi Jennifer! I haven’t had that experience. I try to start with one corner and slowly apply the sticker.

      Reply

  • Hodi
    February 9, 2021

    Is there anything else I can use instead of Vodka?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 9, 2021

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

      Reply

  • Mohammed
    February 2, 2021

    I would like to skip the vodka, is there any thing non alcoholic which I can mix to make this incredible extract?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      February 2, 2021

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

      Reply

      • Mohammed
        February 6, 2021

        Hi Natasha,

        Appreciate the tip and the recipes you share. Keep up the good work. Cheers

        Reply

  • Eileene
    February 1, 2021

    Hello Thanks so much for sharing! I made this in Sept of ’20, added an extra bean to each jar. It does not seem as strong or as flavorful as my Watkins … Do I just need to wait longer or am I expecting something that it will never be – example apples & oranges. Thanks for your help

    Reply

    • Natasha
      February 2, 2021

      Hi Eileene, it can take several months for the color and flavor to fully develop.

      Reply

  • Kay Benedict
    January 27, 2021

    I started making my vanilla at Thanksgiving, per your recipe. I shake it every few days but it still looks like weak tea. Will it darken with time?

    Thank you!!!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      January 28, 2021

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

      Reply

  • Wendy Hamilton
    January 26, 2021

    Hi Natasha, I started making my own vanilla extract in September. I purchased 25vailla beans on Amazon and opened the package on December 22-2020, at the time I put some in vodka and some in spiced rum, both smell delicious. Today I wanted to make some more and when I opened the package which was stored in a dark cool cupboard with the package in a ziploc bag with the air removed, some of my beans have a yellowish dust on them and some have a black dust on them. Are any of them still useable? Can I cut off the yellow dust part and is the black dust normal, as they have only been open for approximately one month I really don’t want to waste them. They were a bit pricey. I truly value your opinion and appreciate your help. Thank you! Also they all smell good even the yellow parts. I’ve tried to add pictures but not sure how. Lol

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 26, 2021

      Hi Wendy, I haven’t seen that so you might have to do a little more google research. I wish I could help with that.

      Reply

      • Wendy
        January 26, 2021

        I messaged the company which was the one you had linked to, I’m hoping to hear back from them. I’ll let you know.

        Reply

  • Kathy
    January 26, 2021

    Why do you recommend not using a cork lid?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 26, 2021

      Hi Kathy, a cork lid can allow the alcohol to evaporate. I had a bottle that had a cork and had to wrap plastic wrap around it so the alcohol wouldn’t evaporate.

      Reply

      • kathy
        January 28, 2021

        I thought that might be the case so I did wrap the cork in plastic wrap. I ordered the cute little bottles you recommended but they won’t be here until April… I think you have created a demand! It’s a fun project to watch!

        Reply

  • Stacey Ellibee
    January 24, 2021

    I was thinking of making this a craft fair item where they could pick their dishtowel, cookie cutter then wrap their vanilla extract in it and package. With the contents being alcohol, do you have to do anything special to sell the extract. I would put a disclaimer for baking use only and keep out of the reach of children.

    Reply

  • Stacey Ellibee
    January 24, 2021

    Hello! I love this idea. I have wanted to make and give homemade vanilla for a few years now and keep forgetting to get it going in time for Christmas…with you labels that is not a big deal! I also love the dishtowel and cookie cutter packaging! I am wondering approximately how many times can you refill the bottle using the same vanilla beans? Do you refill it before it is completely empty? Thank you so much for the great idea!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 24, 2021

      Hi Stacey, you can keep refilling for as long as you like the color. I refill before it gets empty so it stays a deeper color and then you don’t have to wait to use it.

      Reply

      • Valery
        February 25, 2021

        Hi omg im a fan

        Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          February 25, 2021

          Hello, thank you for your support!

          Reply

  • Elizabeth Rivera
    January 24, 2021

    Hi Natasha. I made this recipe 2 months ago exact to the letter. I have a lot of clear clumps floating in there. Is that bad? Possible contamination?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 25, 2021

      Hi Elizabeth, that could be due to the type of beans. Also, make sure to use the right alcohol proof which helps combat any bacteria growth. Also, light and heat can cause extract to turn cloudy. Store it in a cool dark place. See the note that I added in the post about how to store vanilla extract which should answer your questions.

      Reply

  • JEMiller
    January 23, 2021

    I have the beans and vodka but I cannot locate a 10 oz bottle with lid. Can I use a larger glass container as long as I cover the beans? Thanks

    Reply

  • Laurie White
    January 23, 2021

    Hi Natasha! I love your food blog, videos and your website. Your family is precious. I thought I’d add a comment just for perspective on those who are asking how long this vanilla extract will last. I saw Ina Garten do a demonstration with exactly the same recipe. She uses a french close jar for her concoction and she said her’s is 35 years old! So I’m thinking you just keep adding vodka and vanilla beans as you use them up.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 23, 2021

      Thank you, Laurie! You’re exactly right! Stored properly, this really doesn’t expire. Keep adding the ingredients to keep it going.

      Reply

  • alexa
    January 22, 2021

    oh! im so happy i found you natasha i just love your bakings i love baking , im 66yrs old and no matter how old you are each day i learn something new and seeing your wonderful dishes and bake goods mmmmyummmy..thank you for the recipie of vanilla so expensive im gonna try this weekend to make it and give out for gifts my sisters,,since this stay home thing i love learning from you in everything thank you ,,,ah and also you make videos so funny your humor is great and love your fam i see ur lil girl very cute,,natasha and family have a bless day,,

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 23, 2021

      Aww, that’s the best! Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I’m all smiles

      Reply

  • Dieysy
    January 13, 2021

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

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 13, 2021

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

      Reply

      • Dieysy
        January 14, 2021

        Thank you, I will try that

        Reply

        • Natashas Kitchen
          January 14, 2021

          You’re welcome!

          Reply

  • Leah Link
    January 11, 2021

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

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 12, 2021

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

      Reply

  • Christine
    January 5, 2021

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

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 7, 2021

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

      Reply

  • Yvonne Cloutier
    January 5, 2021

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

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 6, 2021

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

      Reply

  • Kathy S.
    January 3, 2021

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

    Reply

  • Alissa Turner
    January 3, 2021

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

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 4, 2021

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

      Reply

      • Alissa Turner
        January 4, 2021

        Thank you so much!!

        Reply

  • Tess
    December 29, 2020

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

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 30, 2020

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

      Reply

  • Robert Souva
    December 24, 2020

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

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 25, 2020

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

      Reply

      • Donna
        November 11, 2021

        I had 12 bottles going since December. Are used the same Amazon beans. It’s still very light. Wondering if I should add more beans?

        Reply

        • Natasha
          November 11, 2021

          Hi Donna, 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

    • Patty
      December 30, 2020

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

      Reply

    • Rose Higginbotham
      January 13, 2021

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

      Reply

  • Sue Stanley
    December 23, 2020

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

    Reply

    • December 23, 2020

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

      Reply

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