DIY Vanilla Extract


With the holiday season just around the corner in full swing, I noticed quite a few recipes pop up for homemade vanilla extract. While I thought it was a great idea, I didn't give it too much thought since I  had no idea where I would even get vanilla beans.

On one of my daily trips to Trader Joe's last week, I did my usual stroll of each aisle to see what new items were in. There, in the baking aisle, in mass abundance, were vanilla beans! It took everything in me not to add them all to my cart, (like in that Snickers commercial) but did purchase enough to make some extract.
2 vanilla beans for $3.99 at Trader Joe's
Making the extract couldn't be simpler. Split vanilla beans lengthwise, throw them in a jar, add vodka and voila! Its the waiting 6-8 weeks for the final product that is the hard part. Which will be perfect because if the winter is going to be as bad as they say, I will have fresh vanilla extract for cakes and cookies while snowed in...
I used 3 vanilla beans per 8oz of vodka. It looks like more because some are cut in half. 
In keeping in line with DIYgift ideas, try this vanilla extract for your (patient) baking/cooking enthusiast. A little ribbon, and a fancy bag and your good to go. 'Tis the season!


  1. I had no idea it was so easy! Thanks for the idea! I love vanilla and use it ALL the time!

  2. You must do it! From what I have read so far, once you start it, you always have vanilla! Just replace with vodka and fresh vanilla beans every now and then!