Vanilla Extract



  • 1 cup vodka
  • 2-3 fair trade vanilla beans
  • 1 clean glass jar, tightly fitted lid

Pure vanilla extract always tastes better than imitation extract – but is often more expensive. The way around that puzzle is to make it yourself – it’s cheaper and the flavor will be more vibrant.

The prep time needed to make vanilla extract is minimal – 3 minutes tops. It can’t be used right away though, so be prepared to let the jar of vanilla extract sit in a cool, dark place, for at least 3-4 weeks before you use it.

Ensure that you have a clean jar with a tightly fitting lid. Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise starting the incision a ½ inch from each end. Drop the vanilla beans into the jar and pour at least 1 cup of vodka on top to infuse. Fully submerge the vanilla beans into the liquid and set aside. Shake the vanilla extract once a week while it’s developing.

The vanilla extract will start to darken and look like what we expect vanilla extract to look like within a week or so (see the photos below). When it’s ready, use in cookies and other baked goods, and for delicious spiced paleo pancakes.




About chelseaeva

recipe developer, nutrition guru, food policy geek.
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5 Responses to Vanilla Extract

  1. lucyfalls says:

    Had to leave a note to say I have never seen a recipe for vanilla extract before. So… cool!

  2. Pingback: Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal | pistachiojar

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  4. Mark says:

    What happens to the alcohol? In recovery, didn’t know booze was involved. I know you only use it in teaspoons at a time, but still, wonder about the alcohol content?

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