Homemade Vanilla Extract is the Easiest Way to Improve Your Bakes

Photo by Magda Fou on Unsplash

Vanilla extract is key to making almost any kind of baked goods. If you want an even more intense and delicious flavor in your bakes, try making your own vanilla extract at home! 


  • 4 vanilla bean pods
  • 1 cup of alcohol, such as vodka, bourbon, brandy, rum, or single malt whiskey 


  1. Start by looking for really good quality vanilla beans that are plump and don’t look too dry and shriveled. This will yield more vanilla beans which will make your extract taste better. 
  2. Then, use a small knife to split the beans down the middle. Don’t cut them all the way in half, just enough so the caviar inside is exposed. 
  3. Put the pods into a jar and cover it with the alcohol.
  4. Leave it in a cool, dark place for at least 8 weeks, shaking the jar about once a week. If you want a stronger extract, let it sit for longer. 
  5. Then, you can strain the extract, or you can keep the pods in if you want to have your baked goods speckled with vanilla beans.
  6. Once the extract is gone, you can make another batch with the same pods since they are very strong. 
  7. Happy baking!