There are two things you should never skimp on when baking: real butter and vanilla extract. Making your own vanilla extract is as easy as 1-2-3—just follow Cissy‘s simple how-to!

You will need:

  • 3 whole vanilla beans per every 8 oz of vodka (about 10 beans for a fifth of vodka)
  • A bottle of vodka
  • Glass bottles or jars.


1. Flatten the vanilla beans with the back of your knife. Split the beans vertically down the center. Cut the beans into pieces if a whole bean will not fit in your container.

2. If you are using the entire bottle, remember to pour a little out before you drop the beans in. Otherwise, place the beans into your jar or bottle and fill with vodka until the beans are covered.

3. Store in a cool, dark place for a month, or until the vodka turns dark amber in color.

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  1. Well, making extract is easy but you have to be careful to make extract that matches the FDA requirements of single fold strength because that is what most recipes are counting on. The FDA states that 13.25 oz of beans must be used per 128 oz of 30% (80 proof) alcohol. This results in the single fold strength. So 1/5 of 13.35 is 2.67 oz. That equates to about 16 7 inch (5gm) beans.

    Your recipe for extract is about an oz. short of beans which will result in a weak result.


    Steve | 03.29.2012 | Reply

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