Home Made Vanilla Extract – A Perfect Gift for the Bakers on Your list

Vanilla Extract

The Perfect Holiday Gift for Bakers: Home made Vanilla Extract

As I handed this to a dear friend a few days ago her face lit up and she hugged me and said: “I will think of you each and every time I use this!”

THAT is what I was going for in making this gift from my kitchen this year: adding a little something special for my friends and family who bake at this time of year.

I used Beanilla and ordered their Madagasgar pods, which are about $1.00 each. You can go cheaper, but these are the most pungent beans, a plus if you’re making this late in the season – because they infuse their flavor quickly. You can choose another style – Tahiti beans are more floral; Mexican beans are more cinnamon-y.

Every site recommends a different amount of time for letting your beans steep – but most folks recommend 6 to 8 weeks minimum. But, don’t panic if you want to give these for Christmas – just attach a cut tag detailing when your extract will be most flavorful. I filled my jars at the beginning of November and the liquid is already getting dark and very potently vanilla.

Food bloggers are all over this fabulous idea. I was inspired by Food in Jars to make this gift. Pennies on a Platter has instructions as well as cute labels to print out. Alexandra of Alexandra’s Kitchen made her extract in the summer so it would steep until the holidays. Joy the Baker stashes her extract for eight weeks before using.

General ratio: 1 cup vodka for 2 beans. Slice your pods open lengthwise, stuff into your jars and fill with vodka. Then, be a hero to your favorite bakers!

Vanilla Extract

Gifts from Your Kitchen: Home made Vanilla Extract

— posted by Donna


  1. Faith says

    I’d love to try this next year! Already have it on my calendar to buy vanilla beans in September. Can I ask what brand of vodka you used?

    • says

      Hey Faith – I from what I know, the most important thing is to buy inexpensive vodka – “bottom shelf” vodka – and that way the flavor of the vodka will not compete with the vanilla. I just bought a large cheap bottle and it works fine. You are smart to start early – September should be perfect!

    • says

      Janet – Thanks for chiming in – I am pleased with the results using vodka, but your version sounds fab. Will try with rum when I run out of my current stash!

  2. Nellie says

    This looks awesome! Definitely want to try it! How would rum work instead of vodka? I guess I always just thought it was made with that. :)

    • says

      Hey Nellie – Any kind of alcohol will work – but beanilla and other sites recommend “bottom shelf” vodka because it will not add any flavors to the extract – letting the vanilla flavor shine. If you use rum, come back and let me know how you liked it – may try that next year!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *