Vanilla Extract Recipe
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!
Vanilla Extract Ingredients (makes 12 (4oz) jars):
18-20 vanilla beans
48 oz plain vodka* (80 proof works great)
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.
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).
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.
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 ;).
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.
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
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
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.
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
Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review
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!
Hello Divinia, thank you for your support. Sounds like a good plan, I hope you love the recipe!
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:)
You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed the process and the labels! These make the cutest gifts!
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?
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.
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
You need to shake it every few days & store it in darker area not in the light
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!! 😀 )
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
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!
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
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.
Can you use the madagascar vanilla bean with this recipe instead of the grade B bourbon ones?
Hi Kristen, that should work! I peeked through the comments, and several of our experts have reported great results using Madagascar beans.
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.
Thank you for the tip, Mike!
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?
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.
Thank you for taking the time to answer me question. I really enjoy your videos and recipes.
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
Thank you for your suggestion. I’ll try to add that to our list.
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?
As long as they are clean and sterilized they don’t have to be totally dry.
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.
Aww, that’s the best! Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I’m all smiles
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.
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.
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!!
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.
Hi, what size printable labels did you use, some are 2 inches and some are 2 1/2 inches? Love your page and videos!
Hi Carol! We used the 2.5″ labels.
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.
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.
Love the recipe! I am having downloading the labels. I am using Word but they won’t print . Does anyone having any suggestions?
So glad you love it, Mariann! It seems to be working fine on my end, you can try using pdf instead
What did you call Bourbon Grade B? Thanks for the answer.
The Vanilla beans
Can you provide a link to the kitchen towels that you used?
Hi Tony, you can find the kitchen tools that I use always in my Amazon Affiliate Shop
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
Hi Katherine, I don’t have any for 8 oz. I wish there was an easy way to change that.
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.
I use 5 beans for each 8 ounce jar and it seems to work a lot better.
Thank you so much for sharing that with me.
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?
It should be fine, please update us on how it turns out if you try it!
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
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!
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.
You are so welcome! I”m happy that you enjoyed this recipe, Melinda.
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!
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!
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.
Thank you, Paul! I’m so glad you’re enjoying my recipes and videos!
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
I’m so glad you’re enjoying my blog, Anna! Thank you so much for sharing that with me.
Hi Natasha, can I use the naturally splitted vanilla beans for this recipe?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.”
What size labels do you use?? 2 inch round are too small
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.
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.
Hi Gary, this is the exact label that I used.
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?
Hi Patricia, I do not sell it but it is so easy to make! I hope you try this soon 🙂
Love the labels! but I’m using 8oz bottles is there any way to change the 4oz to 8oz?
Hi Heidi! That should work!
Can I re-use cleaned bottles from bought sauces? Or are the special bottles important for food safety?
I think that would work!
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
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.
i love your recipe. do you have a good recipe foe making vanilla paiste?
keep going with youers wounderful recipes.
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.
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.
Hi Debbie, it can take several months for the color and flavor to fully develop so yes, making it ahead is best!
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?!
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.
Do you have a video on how to make your homemade vanilla extract? Watching a video before I actually make it helps a lot.
Hi Diana, I don’t have a video for this recipe at this time.
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?
Hi Patti! I think that should work great!
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 😋
The perfect gifts! I hope everyone loves it!
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.
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.
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?
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.
When the extract has cured, what becomes of the alcohol content? Does it dissipate? Can you drive after using it (humor)?
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!
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!
That’s so great! I hope you enjoy this process! They really make for the best Christmas gifts!
Where do you buy your bottles for your vanilla extract? Thank you!
Hi Cheryl, we have them linked in the recipe, but you can also find them in our Amazon Shop Here under Kitchen tools.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 😇
Hi Elena, most likely those are the vanilla bean seeds and that is a normal occurrence with softer beans – they are released more easilly.
Hi Elena, most likely those are the vanilla bean seeds and that is a normal occurrence with softer beans – they are released more easily.
have you ever added orange or lemon zest to the vanilla bottles?
Hi Vicki! I haven’t tested this with zest, no. But that sounds interesting!
Do you have a video of you making vanilla? Would love to see it if you do.
Hi Judith, I don’t currently have a video tutorial, but thank you for the suggestion.
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!
Hi Shannon, these are made using a traditional Bourbon drying method. You can find the beans we used HERE and linked to the recipe.
“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.”
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?
Hi Kim, we recommend using the ones we have linked in the recipe. We used these vanilla beans here.
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!
Hi Jennifer! I haven’t had that experience. I try to start with one corner and slowly apply the sticker.
Is there anything else I can use instead of Vodka?
Hi Hodi, I’ve heard people using glycerine to make it alcohol-free but don’t have any personal experience with that.
I would like to skip the vodka, is there any thing non alcoholic which I can mix to make this incredible extract?
Hi Mohammed, I’ve heard people using glycerine to make it alcohol-free but don’t have any personal experience with that.
Appreciate the tip and the recipes you share. Keep up the good work. Cheers
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
Hi Eileene, it can take several months for the color and flavor to fully develop.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
Why do you recommend not using a cork lid?
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Hi omg im a fan
Hello, thank you for your support!
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?
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.
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
Hi June, I got the bottles from Amazon. Here’s our Amazon affiliate link for the bottles here.
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.
Thank you, Laurie! You’re exactly right! Stored properly, this really doesn’t expire. Keep adding the ingredients to keep it going.
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,,
Aww, that’s the best! Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I’m all smiles
Hi, I just need to ask if there is a substitute for the vodka for people who can not use alcohol?
Hi Gieysy, I’ve heard people using glycerine to make it alcohol-free but don’t have any personal experience with that.
Thank you, I will try that
Hi Natasha I don’t have amber jars.
Do I need an amber jar to make vanilla?
Hi Leah, we use clear jars and amber is not necessary if you are storing them in a dark place like a cupboard.
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?!
Hi Christine, I think so but you might do a google search to double check.
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?
Hi Yvonne, you can refill it as you use it so it will last and last.
Just wondering where you found your tea towels that you used to gift wrap the bottles? I love the design and colors.
Hi Kathy, those towels are from Cost Plus World Market.
When you add more vodka to continue having a full bottle must you wait another 2 months?
Hi Alissa, waiting 2 months is not necessary if you continue to fill it as you go.
Thank you so much!!
Do i need to leave the seeds in the vanilla bean?
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.
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.
Hi Robert, if they are higher grade and extra-large that may work, otherwise your extract will be pretty light in color.
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?
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.
Robert, they have vanilla beans on Amazon pretty reasonable.
You may want to try these sometime…Grade B
I heard that true vanilla extract needs 1oz. Beans for 1 cup alcohol.
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. ☹
Oh bummer that’s no good. My guess is bad beans or not properly cleaned bottles.