With the amount of French toast, pancakes, and waffles we make at The Lafayette House, we fly through pure vanilla extract. We like to use as many “real” ingredients for our guests as possible so we don’t mess around with the clear or imitation vanilla.
Sick of buying a small bottle every other trip to the grocery store, we researched how to make it ourselves.
We were surprised how simple to make it is!
With pure vanilla extract, you really only need two simple ingredients: whole vanilla beans and 35% and above alcohol. No artificial flavors or chemicals necessary!
Just follow these few quick steps to make your own homemade pure vanilla extract!
What you need:
- 10-12 whole vanilla beans
- 35% and above alcohol (we use vodka, but you can also use Rum, Brandy or Bourbon)
- 1 large Ball jar
Step 1 – Slice the whole vanilla beans in half and place in the large Ball jar.
Step 2 – Pour the vodka (or alcohol of your choice) over the vanilla beans. They should be completely submerged with liquid.
Step 3 – Finally, the hardest part: store in a dark space (make sure it’s room temperature) and wait 8-10 weeks. At least once a week, gently shake the jar to mix up the extract. When it’s ready, the extract should be a dark brown color.
I promise it will be worth the wait! Homemade pure vanilla extract definitely beats anything you could buy at the store.
As I mentioned already, we fly through vanilla so when we get through ¾ of the jar, we make another batch. That way, by the time we use the last drop we have a backup ready to go.
What’s your favorite recipe that calls for pure vanilla extract? Share your favorites in the comments!