Homemade Vanilla Extract from Growing Up Gabel @thegabels #recipes
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Vanilla extract is a pantry staple for most home cooks. Did you know that you can make homemade vanilla extract using only two ingredients?  After just a few months you can use your very own vanilla in all your favorite recipes like chocolate chip cookiescake, or  homemade chocolate truffles.

Homemade Vanilla Extract from Growing Up Gabel @thegabels #recipes

Like most home cooks I use a lot of vanilla extract.  I haven't checked the price on vanilla in a while because I've been making my own but I do remember that it was pretty expensive.  So a few years ago I decided to try making my own vanilla extract and it worked!  I scoured the internet looking at recipes and found a lot of different ways to make homemade vanilla.  The recipe seems to be pretty loose so I just kind of went for it.

All you need to make your own vanilla extract are some vanilla beans and vodka.  The ratio of alcohol to vanilla beans is totally up to you.  The more beans that you use, the stronger extract you will get.  I started this jar with just two beans, but a year later, I added about 6-8 more beans and my extract got a lot darker and stronger, which I love.

Homemade Vanilla Extract from Growing Up Gabel @thegabels #recipes

I started out using a high end vodka, but any cheap brand will suffice.  Just stick the beans in the vodka and let it sit.  It'll take a good 6 months to get nice and dark, but even after a few months you'll have a decent extract to use.  You can see the difference in the extract in the photo – the one on the left is taken a year earlier after I'd just added more vodka to the bottle.  I just keep adding vodka to the beans when I get low and so far, they've lasted for 2-3 years.

Just a note not to buy your vanilla beans at the grocery store. You need to buy them in bulk.  I bought mine on Ebay years ago but Amazon sells vanilla beans in bulk and even on Subscribe and Save. I don't recall what kind of beans I bought (Madagscar or Tahitian) so I'm pretty sure it's not a deal breaker on how your vanilla will turn out. I just went for the best price.

Iron Chef Mom 2013

This week's Iron Chef Mom is all about VANILLA!  So head over to our host, Mom on Timeout, and link up your favorite recipes that use vanilla. Remember, vanilla does not have to be the main ingredient – it just has to be in the recipe!

Iron Chef Mom 2013



This post is linked to Homestories A to Z , Savvy Southern Style and these other great parties!

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25 comments on “Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe: Iron Chef Mom

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  4. You have motivated me to try this! Thanks for sharing at Foodtastic Friday!

  5. Did you use Vanilla Vodka? Is so, would you recommend it? If not, the same question I guess. :o)

  6. I just love Homemade Vanilla and your recipe looks awesome! Hope you have a great weekend and thanks for sharing your tasty recipe with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  7. WOW! That’s awesome!

  8. I’ll be giving this a try. Although I just got to bake with Neilsen Massey and I love it.

  9. this sounds like a fun thing to do for mom’s night — and make a few kinds of extract. how simple- and practical!

  10. This definitely sounds like something fun to try!

  11. I’ve always wanted to try this! I made my own infused vodka with some raspberries and blackberries, but I haven’t tried the vanilla yet. 🙂

  12. Dana d on said:

    I get my beans from olive nation.com very good prices and excellent quality.

  13. How do you know when the beans aren’t “working” if you keep adding vodka?

    • If the vodka doesn’t start turning a brown color, or as dark of a brown as you want. I’ve personally never had that happen in 3 years. I just keep adding vodka and letting it all sit and I keep getting vanilla. 🙂

  14. I buy my vanilla beans in bulk for various recipes and always have a bunch leftover. I’m totally making this. Thanks for joining in at Teach Me Tuesday!

  15. You’ve made it look easy Camille. I swear I am going to order some beans and give this a try! Thanks for sharing this at the party this week! I’m featuring it on my Facebook page too 🙂

  16. I still haven’t made my own vanilla extract, but seeing your post has me inspired to give it a try!