I use vanilla extract in practically all of my homemade desserts and I have never been particular about the brand. If it’s vanilla, I will buy it. And if I can buy it in bulk, even better. But when I saw this recipe for homemade vanilla extract in the archives of one of my favorite food blogs, Tiny Test Kitchen, I had to give it a shot. The recipe is so simple with only 2 ingredients (that’s right, I said 2) and I would just need the patience to wait for the flavors to age and develop. So I dug deep and found the patience, which is never easy for me, and it was totally worth it!

Vanilla Extract Ingredients

makes 2 cups

2 cups vodka

7 vanilla beans

I split four of the vanilla beans lengthwise down the center. I then scraped the seeds out of the remaining three beans, discarded the inside and saved the pods for the mixture. I placed all of the beans in a glass sealable jar and poured the vodka directly over the pods until covered.

I sealed up the jar until airtight and shook it vigorously. I then placed it in a cool, dark place (cabinet above the fridge in my kitchen, right by my Zach’s lollipops) for 3 months.

I never really open that cabinet and that was my plan. I originally placed it in my pantry and realized that I would be staring at the steeping jar over and over again every single day. I like to snack throughout the day and that pantry is a revolving door. So I would have been staring at that jar, waiting for it to be ready, for 3 whole months. Not good! Occasionally, I did open the cabinet above my fridge in order to shake the jar. That’s what Tiny Test Kitchen told me to do…so I did it

And that’s it! Now you just have to wait 3 months and your vanilla will be ready. So that’s what I did. I waited for 3 months and used up whatever store-bought vanilla extract I had left.  And here are the results. Check out that golden caramel color.

One cool thing to know is when the vanilla is running low, you can just add more vodka, shake it up, and let the mixture steep and age again. It’s the never-ending well of vanilla extract! Why would anyone ever pay for vanilla extract again?!?