DIY Homemade Vanilla Extract

Jump to Recipe

I’m all about gift giving this time of year and this DIY Homemade Vanilla Extract is the perfect homemade gift! But if you end up keeping it for yourself, I promise not to judge 🙂

How To Make Homemade Vanilla Extract

Perhaps the easiest homemade gift of all times is homemade vanilla extract. It literally only needs 2 ingredients and then a big jar to put everything in. I order my vanilla beans in bulk from amazon to cut down on costs, and then load them up with alcohol, bourbon is my preference, and then let it marinate for a few weeks until it’s time to hand out some presents! Doesn’t get much easier than that!! Especially because any leftovers get to stay in my spice cabinet and used in my famous chocolate chip cookies!!

To make things even more festive – the end result gets divided into cute little Boston Round Bottles and then gussied up with some holiday paper! Done and done.  Throw on a cute little ceramic tag and you’re done.

DIY Homemade Vanilla Extract


  • 6 to 10 vanilla beans
  • 16 ounces alcohol either vodka, bourbon or brandy


  • Split each vanilla bean in half lengthwise and transfer to a large jar. Cover the beans with alcohol, making sure they are 100% covered.
  • Seal the jar with a lid or clasp and give it a swirl to mix things up.
  • Store the jar in a dark cabinet and let the beans infuse the alcohol for at least 3 weeks. Check on it occasionally and give it another swirl to mix it up.
  • Once the alcohol is infused, transfer the vanilla into small containers to keep or give out as gifts. You can keep the vanilla pods in the small containers or you can discard them. Use as needed.

Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe by What’s Gaby Cooking / Ceramic Tags from Fifty One and a Half


  1. I love the idea of bringing homemade kitchen gifts to my neighbors and friends. Usually I bake something, but this looks like a great idea for this year. Beautiful!

  2. Homemade vanilla extract is just the best! So easy as well, the only thing is planning ahead and making it with enough time to steep. I make mine with moderately priced vodka.

  3. Instead of using one big bottle, I put one split bean in each little jar and then filled with vodka. I hope that works!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating