ManDIY: Homemade Vanilla

Please don’t freak out. I’m going to talk about Christmas for a minute. It’s 74 days away. I have a REALLY simple project that makes a great present, but it needs about 8 weeks to meld properly so you’ve got plenty of time.

Homemade Vanilla

My mother-in-law (Itzie) gave me a bottle of this and I have LOVED using it in cookies, cakes, and ice cream recipes. And it’s so easy!

You need 3 things: vanilla beans, glass bottle(s), vodka

1. Order vanilla beans. You need about 4 per bottle. I bought this pack of 16 on Amazon. If you find them cheaper somewhere, please let me know. When looking at retail stores I found the cost to be ridiculous.

2. You’ll need some glass bottles. I think olive oil bottles would work nicely. You could find all sorts of neat bottles in a thrift shop.  Itzie told me about this cruet at Wal-Mart for less that $3. (I didn’t know what a cruet was until I looked it up and Google told me “a small container for salt, pepper, oil, or vinegar for use at a dining table.”)

3. You will put 4 whole beans in each bottle. A whole bean looks like this:


4. I cut the beans in half so I would be putting 8 pieces into each bottle.

5. Then I took my knife and split the beans open. I did NOT cut all the way through. Just enough to encourage the flavor to seep out.


6. Put the 8 pieces of bean into the bottle. Cover with vodka. You can use any brand (even a cheap off brand). I used Effen.

Wait 8 weeks and it’s ready to go!


This is a bottle after 8 weeks. Yours will not appear this dark initially, but will darken with time.

Once you use the vanilla all you have to do is add more vodka, give it a few days to set and it’s ready to go again. The beans last up to 10 years!

In addition to baking, I’ve used this in Coke, mixed drinks and I plan to use it this morning when I make some of Lauren’s Playdoh to take camping with us. Order your beans and bottles, mix it up, and you can relax when the holidays arrive cause you’ll have a great homemade gift ready to go!


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