Homemade Vanilla Extract

Update: Looking for instructions on making homemade vanilla? Keep reading! Instructions for making vanilla sugar are here. I’ll keep my eyes open for sales at Olive Nation so you can get the best deals on vanilla beans.

While I’m waiting for my fireplace primer touch-up to dry, I want to let you know that Olive Nation is having a vanilla sale through tomorrow (1/10/16) and you can get 20% off your order if you use the “VAN20” promo code! Now is the perfect time to start a batch of homemade vanilla extract for Resurrection Sunday baking or Mother’s Day gift giving.

By the way, if the fireplace is successfully finished tonight I’ll probably post a picture on my Facebook page. (Update: The fireplace pics are posted!) The how-tos will appear here on the blog in a few days.

Vanilla Bean Order by A Chat Over Coffee

My most recent order from Olive Nation included a great sale discount, free shipping, and a free sample of vanilla beans! The 8 oz of beans pictured here will be enough to make a gallon (128 oz) of homemade vanilla extract, enough extract to fill 32 4-ounce bottles. That’s a lot of wonderful gifts! | A Chat Over Coffee

I use Olive Nation’s plump and fragrant Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans to make my homemade vanilla. I just received an order of vanilla beans and they smell wonderful! I can’t wait to use them for homemade vanilla extract and vanilla sugar. Instructions for making homemade vanilla extract are at the bottom of the vanilla bean order page on the Olive Nation site.

Vanilla Bean Sample Size by A Chat Over Coffee

See how plump and fragrant these vanilla beans are? | A Chat Over Coffee

I split 40 vanilla beans, about a quarter of a pound, and add 1.75L of vodka to make about a half gallon of homemade vanilla extract. I let my extract steep in a 64 ounce Ball canning jar like this one. The Ball jars are also good for making vanilla sugar.

When I bottle my homemade vanilla I like to use these 4 oz bottles. They are a handy size for my personal use and for giving as gifts. I create labels for my vanilla extract using these Avery labels.


I bottle my homemade vanilla extract in 4 oz bottles. | A Chat Over Coffee

If you’ve never made vanilla extract before, Olive Nation offers a Vanilla Extract Making Kit that comes with everything you need, except the vodka (or rum).

And if you’d rather just order some high-quality vanilla extract, Olive Nation has that, too!

Vanilla beans ship free from Olive Nation in the continental U.S. and Olive Nation is also offering free shipping in the continental U.S. on orders over $50. Check the Olive Nation web site for all of the free shipping details.

Now you know about the sale! Be sure to check the “Today’s Deals” link at the top of the Olive Nation web site because at last check there was an offer for a free sample. Hopefully I’ll have a fireplace painting success story to share on Facebook tonight!

This post contains affiliate/referral links. If you click through and make a purchase I will receive a small referral fee but your price will not change. Your support helps me cover the costs associated with running this site, so thank you very much!

I moderate comments manually but will get them posted as quickly as possible. Please keep your comments kind and if you must disagree please do so without being disagreeable. Rude or inappropriate comments will obviously not be published.

Update: This post was shared at What’s for Dinner? #28.

25 responses to “Homemade Vanilla Extract

  1. You’re almost convincing me to make my own vanilla. The sticking point would be buying a bottle of vodka.

    Now do I understand this right, in order to see your fireplace I would have to go to Facebook? Why would you not want to put in on your blog too?


    • If you’re using commercial vanilla extract or over-the-counter medicines, you’re probably already ingesting alcohol in some form. I’m not a drinker, so my first trip to purchase vodka was both confusing and hilarious, but I survived.

      I’m planning a fireplace how-to post once the transformation is done. For now it is a lot quicker to share intermediate pictures on Facebook rather than edit them for publication here. I haven’t totally finished the fireplace yet, so today’s update was a shot of the finished brick color. Hopefully I’ll have before & after pictures early next week and the how-to post shortly after.


      • I do use commercial extracts, yes, that is not the problem. It would be the problem of being seen by others…we dress a certain way and it would be a poor example to be seen and then have my community judged. So I may just stick with the boughten extract…our store often runs buy one get one free from McCormack, or I go along with cousins to Sam’s Club and get it there. I do so like to do what I can myself, but I may just have to skip this and just imagine how good it smells.


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