homemade vanilla extract

I am a vanilla girl. Not to say I don’t adore chocolate…I just have a certain fondness for vanilla. I think it’s in how it is portrayed as such a “plain” flavor, yet it’s compounds produce a complexity all it’s own.

For instance,Ā  vanilla beans as we know them in their pods come from a type of orchid that must be pollinated by hand.

If humans ceased to exist would vanilla also?

I doubt it- I am sure there is some area where nature does it.. but most of the vanilla beans we get as consumers were a-hem artificially pollinated. (ie; by hand)

Vanilla works really well in spicy dishes, believe it or not. And, even in wine.

Same way chocolate loves chile and cinnamon.

Trust me.

I finally got around to making my own vanilla extract, my friend Kira inspired me. Next is butter. She totally made me want to do that, too.

Vanilla is amazing. And it makes a great perfume. Remember back in the 1990’s when vanilla was hot? That was also around the same time everyone was “into” angels. Just after the “grunge” period….I think vanilla and angels were the ultimate counteraction of some marketers out there.

Everything was vanilla.

And people wore angels and decorated their homes with them…

mmm, vanilla angel cakes.

There was never a chocolate perfume rage….

at least not yet…

chocolate would have worked well with grunge, I think.

But I think that was when coffee got trendy.

Food trends.

I’m still waiting on sun tea to make a comeback.

As I said, I love vanilla and have a collection of it. Now I’m going to finally make it.

the actual vanilla beans look like tiny specs of dirt… can you see them?

while I made this, I also added to my vanilla sugar jar…. that was something I made back when angels and vanilla were hot…

you can see a recipe using that here (mmm, vanilla sugar tea cakes )that’s a EARLY post.

Homemade Vanilla Extract


Recipe: Homemade Vanilla Extract

Summary: how to make your own vanilla


  • 3 vanilla bean pods
  • 1 cup vodka


  1. Slice each vanilla bean lenghthwise down the center and place in an 8oz sterile glass jar with a tight fitting lid. (brown glass preferred) Top with vodka. Allow to age in a dark place for 8 weeks, shaking every few days. Top with more vodka as needed.

Cooking time (duration): 5

Microformatting by hRecipe.


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  1. This is great! I was inspired to make this a little while ago as well when a friend brought back some vanilla from Madagascar. You can also add corn syrup to sweeten too šŸ™‚

    1. Oh my! I didn’t even think of corn syrup! And, how lucky are you to have a friend that brings back such wonderful treats! šŸ™‚ Thank you!!!

  2. I JUST made homemade vanilla a few weeks ago! I can’t wait to try it!! šŸ™‚ PS- I saw you on the list for the Food Blog Forum in Orlando! Yay! We will definitely meet up! šŸ™‚

  3. @mamakeith – You’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed the tip. And yes, I am very lucky to get those treats. She brought me back a basket of goods and spices with a note that said “in exchange for baked goods” lol. Just wanted to say that I just stumbled on your site and it’s great. Great recipes and I love the way you write – so entertaining!! A new favourite! Keep it up šŸ˜€

    1. šŸ™‚ Big smile! Thanks so much! It’s comments like yours that keep me rambling! LOL!Really… thank you- that made my afternoon, evening and night!

  4. Aww. You rock! I actually just bought a convection toaster oven so I think I will try those chicken parmesan bites of yours today or tomorrow šŸ˜€ Have a good night!

  5. Awww u mentioned me *blush* šŸ™‚ If u want it sweeter add some stevia šŸ™‚ or u know u can make ur own stevia syrup! All natural as well šŸ™‚ Butter is easy peasy šŸ™‚ but seriously nothing beats gettin out a tube of homemade fresh herb and garlic butter from the freezer slice some and topping it on top of a nice juicey steak! Dont even get me started on homemade flavoured butters on baked potatoes!! YUM

  6. I was wondering when do you add the vodka, all I saw was place the vanilla beans in a brown jar for 8 weeks.