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Pure Vanilla Extract Recipe

by Nick Makrides
Pure Vanilla Extract bottles.

Making vanilla extract at home is so easy. It requires a few ingredients and a bit of planning ahead, but it’s simply unmatched in quality!

Store bought vs Home-made.

I mean, yeah. You can buy really quality vanilla extract for sure. And in some cases, some vanilla extracts are more suited to some recipes than this home made version. Like Queen Pure Vanilla extract which is syrup based and is best for Pavlovas. But in cakes and cupcakes or macarons, you can definitely use your own vanilla extract. And it’s so easy and cheap to make!

Two Pure Vanilla Extract bottles. One made, one waiting.

What does it taste like?

There’s really nothing that matches the pure vanilla flavor you get from homemade pure vanilla extract. It tastes amazing, it’s strong in flavor which means you don’t need to use as much as some store bought brands. If you’re looking for a really good vanilla extract that is syrup based and great for using in meringues I recommend the Queen pure vanilla extract.

What are the ingredients I need? 

Ingredient photo for Pure Vanilla Extract

1 litre vodka (80 proof / 40% alcohol content) – Make sure your vodka has at least 40% alcohol content. It should specify on the bottle. It’s more expensive, but it’s what’s needed to make vanilla extract.

12 vanilla beans – I used B Grade bourbon vanilla beans

The tools you’ll need.

x4 250ml (8.5 fl.oz) Clip top bottles – I used the ones with a clip on lid. I love them because they have a rub top which creates a really great seal.

Knife (or scissors) and chopping board – to cut the vanilla beans

Let’s go through each step.

Preparing the bottles

Instructional Image For Pure Vanilla Extract 01

  1. Make sure your bottles are clean.
  2. Unclip the lid, add a couple drops of dishwashing detergent. Fill half way with warm water. Clip the lid back on and shake. Empty the bottle and then run under hot water until it runs clear. Empty the bottle and then turn upside down and allow to dry until completely dry.

Preparing the vanilla beans

Instructional Image For Pure Vanilla Extract 02

  1. Good vanilla beans will be slightly soft and bendy. If yours are dry and snap, that’s ok.

Instructional Image For Pure Vanilla Extract 03

  1. For bendy vanilla beans, carefully cut them down the middle in half

4Instructional Image For Pure Vanilla Extract 05

  1. Then cut in half as shown
  2. Giving you 4 pieces per full vanilla bean. For snappy vanilla beans, simply use scissors to cut in 1-inch pieces.

Putting it together

Instructional Image For Pure Vanilla Extract 05

  1. Simply add 3 full vanilla beans in each bottle.
  2. Fill with vodka leaving a little gap at the top.

Instructional Image For Pure Vanilla Extract 06

  1. Leave the bottle in a dry and dark place for 3 months before using. It will turn an amber color when it’s ready to use.

My Top Tips! 

  • Make sure you sterilize and clean out the bottles. Make sure you also allow them to dry completely before using.
  • Make sure you use good quality vanilla beans. I used Grade B Bourbon vanilla beans that I bought on amazon.
  • Make sure you leave your vanilla extract in a cool dry place to mature. Leaving it in a place with light will result in a cloudy looking vanilla. And unless it smells bad, it’s still good to use.

Extreme close up of Pure Vanilla Extract bottles

What can I use instead of vodka?

Look, if you’re afraid of the vodka or can’t use it for whatever reason, keep in mind, you use such a little amount in baked goods. And once added to say, a cake batter, the alcohol itself bakes off in the oven and you’re left with the vanilla flavor. So there’s no real risk. But again, if for whatever reason, you can’t use alcohol, replace it with food grade Glycerin.

Close up of Pure Vanilla Extract

Looking for recipes to use your home made Vanilla Extract?

 

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I hope you guys enjoyed this simple but delicious recipe with me. Please comment in the comments section below, or feel free to share with your family and friends on social media.

I’ll see you all on the following recipe. Happy baking!

N x

Pinterest image for Pure Vanilla Extract

Pure Vanilla Extract bottles.

Pure Vanila Extract Recipe

Serves 4

4.5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Course: Basics
Cuisine: French

Ingredients

Vanilla Extract

  • 4 cups vodka (80 proof / 40% alcoholcontent)
  • 12 vanilla beans Grade B Bourbon

Tools

  • 4 250ml (8.5 fluid oz)with clip top bottles
  • Knife


Instructions

Preparing the bottles

  • Make sure your bottles are clean. Unclip the lid, adda couple drops of dishwashing detergent. Fill half way with warm water. Clip the lid back on and shake. Empty the bottle and then run under hot water until it runs clear. Empty the bottle and then turn upside down and allow to dry until completely dry.

Preparing the vanilla beans

  • Good vanilla beans will be slightly soft and bendy. If yours are dry and snap, that’s ok. For bendy vanilla beans, carefully cut them down the middle in half, then cut in half as shown. For snappy vanilla beans, simply use scissors to cut in 1-inch pieces.
  • Putting it together
  • Simply add 3 full vanilla beans in each bottle and fill with vodka leaving a little gap at the top. Leave the bottle in a dry and dark place for 3 months before using. It will turn an amber color when it’s ready to use.

Notes

Storage
Pure vanilla extract be stored in an a dry and dark area to be allowed to rest and mature and is good for up to 12 months.

Nutrition

Calories : 590kcal
Carbonhydrates: 4g
Fat: 2g
Sodium: 2mg
Potassium : 2mg
Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclosure

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