Bold Baking Basics, Homemade Ingredients

How to Make Homemade Extracts: Vanilla Extract Recipe & More!

4.68 from 58 votes
Easily make Homemade Extracts including my pure vanilla extract recipe & many more!
Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe & more Homemade Extracts Recipes!

Hi Bold Bakers!

I love the idea of making DIY versions of ingredients that you thought you could only buy in a store. What I love even more is when the homemade version is just as good, if not better than store bought; that’s exactly what you get with these Homemade Extracts including my vanilla extract recipe. And there’s no doubt about it that there is something very satisfying about making and using them in your baked goods.

Did you know that for Homemade Extracts all you need is Vodka and your flavor and that’s it? So basically you can make any flavor your heart desires, like pure vanilla extract, as long as you have an alcohol or food safe vegetable glycerin substitute.

Do I have to use Alcohol to make extracts?

Yes, most extracts contain alcohol but you can use an alternative method in the recipe below that requires glycerine and water.

But store bought extract aren’t made on Alcohol!

Yes they are, and they usually use very low grade alcohol too.

Can you taste the alcohol?

Nope! No No No. It is used in such small amounts that you can neither taste it nor will it get you drunk. Also remember that during cooking the alcohol will burn off.

What is the difference between pure vanilla extract and Imitation vanilla extract?

Pure vanilla extract uses vanilla pods. Imitation vanilla extract has never seen a vanilla pod in its life. While some people say they can’t taste the difference, I believe that using good quality ingredients is essential to making any great baked goods. There’s no need for a substitute for vanilla extract when you can easily make the real thing and have it for months.

Do I have to use Vanilla Pods to make Vanilla Extract?

Yes, the pod and the seeds have all of the flavor. You can buy vanilla pods on Amazon, and you may also find good value in a store near you.

How long will Homemade Extracts last?

Indefinitely. Store them in labeled jars and keep them away from heat and out of direct sunlight. Buy the bottles I use on Amazon.

What are the benefits of making Homemade Extracts?

It’s so much cheaper to make your own than use store bought. Also some brands of store bought extracts contain low grade alcohol AND corn syrup. They can be a mixed bag of ingredients which is not what you want.

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When you first make your Homemade Extracts they will look like this, no color and clear.

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After 5 weeks or so they will change color, developed a much stronger flavor, and they will be ready to use in your baking.

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Homemade Orange Extract can be used in icing, buttercream, custards and batters like cupcakes.

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Homemade Lemon Extract will make a great addition to cakes, icing, and even frozen desserts like sorbet.

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Homemade Mint Extract can be added to whipped cream, frozen desserts like ice cream and sorbets and even on a bowl of fresh fruit for added flavor.

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I am a Pinterest nut and I came across the idea for Homemade Extracts here on  Just Putzing around The Kitchen. She did such a gorgeous job that I even purchased the bottles and labels she used hoping mine would look as good.


Get more of my Bold Baking Basics recipes here:

Watch The Recipe Video!

How To make Vanilla Extract and many more

4.68 from 58 votes
Easily make Homemade Extracts including my pure vanilla extract recipe & many more!Easily make Homemade Extracts including my pure vanilla extract recipe & many more!
Author: Recipe from 'Just Putzing around The Kitchen'
Easily make Homemade Extracts including my pure vanilla extract recipe & many more!Easily make Homemade Extracts including my pure vanilla extract recipe & many more!
Author: Recipe from 'Just Putzing around The Kitchen'

Ingredients

Vanilla Extract

  • 3 whole vanilla beans
  • Vodka (You can also use bourbon)

Mint Extract

  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • Vodka

Orange Extract

  • 1 large navel orange
  • Vodka
  • Lemon Extract
  • 1 large lemon
  • Vodka

Almond Extract

  • 10 raw almonds , chopped (unsalted, untoasted)

Instructions

  • Cut your vanilla beans in half, then split open each half to expose the vanilla seeds on the inside of the pod.
  • Place cut vanilla beans inside your glass bottle.
  • Add vodka, filling up to the neck of the bottle.
  • Seal tightly and store bottle in a cool, dry place.
  • Every few days, tilt your bottle upside down to gently mix the liquid inside.
  • After 5-6 weeks, you have extract! (If you leave in your vanilla beans, when you start running low, just add more vodka and wait a little.)
  • To make Mint Extract:
  • Stuff mint leaves into your glass bottle.
  • Using a chopstick, skewer, or other poking device, lightly bruise/crush the leaves inside the bottle.
  • Add vodka, filling up to the neck of the bottle.
  • Every few days, tilt your bottle upside down to gently mix the liquid inside.
  • After 5-6 weeks, you have extract! (I’m not sure if, like vanilla extract, you can just leave the mint leaves inside. Since it’s leafy plant matter which disintegrates more easily, it may be a good idea to take it out. My leaves went from a vibrant green in the beginning to kind of a dull brown by the end so I took them out just to be safe – I poured my mint extract into another container through a sieve and discarded the mint leaves, then poured the filtered extract back into the bottle.)
  • To make Orange Extract:
  • Peel thin strips of zest from ½ of your orange.
  • Place zest into your glass bottle.
  • Add vodka, filling up to the neck of the bottle.
  • Every few days, tilt your bottle upside down to gently mix the liquid inside.
  • After 5-6 weeks, you have extract! (I think with citrus peels the acid (and alcohol bath), it’s probably safe to leave the peels inside the bottle like a vanilla bean for re-fill purposes. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, take it out!)
  • To make Lemon Extract:
  • Peel thin strips of zest from your lemon.
  • Place zest into your glass bottle.
  • Add vodka, filling up to the neck of the bottle.
  • Every few days, tilt your bottle upside down to gently mix the liquid inside.
  • After 5-6 weeks, you have extract!
  • To make Almond Extract:
  • Chop your raw, unsalted almonds small enough to fit in your jar.
  • Place chopped almonds into your jar.

Recipe Notes

Replacing Vodka: just substitute the alcohol called for in any extract recipe with three parts liquid vegetable glycerin and one part water.
You can also replace Vodka with Bourbon.

 

 

 

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Comments & Reviews

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nsleeder
Member
nsleeder
1 month ago

Congratulations on your happy event to come – the baby kind ( -: How wonderful that you got your book to print and distribution before yet another reason to loose sleep. I have followed you for about 4-5 months now and you are my “GO TO” for any recipe within your range of expertise ! LOVE that your photos and videos are so skillfully filmed – and your confident clear instructions are well done. Also really appreciate that you format your recipes so simply with a thumbnail image of the finished product and there is NO mystery or scavenger hunt… Read more »

Sharon
Member
Sharon
1 month ago

How many times can you refill with alcohol using the same vanilla beans. What is the ratio of number of beans to ounces of alcohol.
Thank you!

Member
Sue Van Thiel
3 days ago

I want to make vanilla- so after sitting 5 wks do you take the vanilla beans out?

SuzetteG316
Member
SuzetteG316
4 days ago

I am so eager to make my own extracts! But I do have a question. I plan on making making mint, vanilla, lemon and orange extracts. So my question is, when I have used about half of each bottle, should I add in some more vodka to the bottle to top it off (keeping in there the original rinds and vanilla pods) or should I use up what I have in the bottle and then add more vodka to the existing ingredients or simply start all over again once it’s gone with fresh ingredients as well as the vodka?
Thanks!!

Angela Smith
Guest
Angela Smith
4 days ago

Wanting to try your recipe for making Homemade Vanilla Extract using Mexican Vanilla Beans. What size bottle should I use for 3 bean pods?
Thanks!
Angela

Gopika
Guest
Gopika
26 days ago

Hi, the extracts look really good! I make my own vanilla extract. Would you know how to make butterscotch extract? I don’t want to buy the synthetic stuff available in the market.
Thanks

Momiss
Guest
Momiss
29 days ago

What about cherry? Do the cherries need to be dry?

Jaeanne
Member
1 month ago

Hi Gemma,

Thank you for all you teach us. I love learning from you and of course to listen to your beautiful accent.
My question to you today is in making your recipe for lemon extract, is it 1 large lemon for a
4 oz. bottle?

Jae

Heather
Guest
Heather
1 month ago

Gemma,

Hopefully this doesn’t post twice, but it didn’t seem to work the first try. You said that we can reuse the vanilla beans to make more extract. Do you know how many batches one set of beans will make? I don’t know how far the flavor will stretch, per say. Would you recommend only making two batches, or more? Thank you in advance.

ToniSwanson
Member
ToniSwanson
1 month ago

Hi Gemma, do you have a recipe for making a Banana Essence? I can not seem to find that anywhere and I am struggling to make Banana Buttercream with real bananas because even though it tastes great, it does not look good, it looks like it has split or curdled or something so I was hoping to use a banana essence. would you have any suggestions ?
Thankyou

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About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for a FREE profile and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new dessert recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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