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Pin-Tested! Homemade Vanilla Extract

Regular readers will know that we are huge Pinterest fans. Every visit, I find something new and different to inspire us; whether it be a craft project, recipe, an amazing up-cycling project or a beautiful holiday destination. It's like the perfect, endless, glossy magazine full of amazing images. I am aware, of course, that some of these glorious images must have teams of designers behind them, and that not everything that we see on there has been thrown together on a kitchen table, in the way you and I might!

There are a few pins that I come across again and again, and each time a little voice in my head says 'I wonder if that really works?' Well, there is only one way to find out! Welcome to our series of Pin-Tested; where Craft Invaders try out crafty pins that inspire us, and find out how easy it is to recreate that pin at home.

There are lots of pins on Pinterest for making home-made extracts, and each one recommends using a different base spirit. Since we couldn't establish which one would give the best result, we decided to make 3 batches; Brandy, Irish Whiskey and Vodka.

Home made Vanilla Extract is super easy to make at home. This DIY tutorial show all the steps for this easy recipe. Results are far superior to shop bought, plus we test out 3 different spirits you can use so you dont need to!

 

The process itself is super simple.

Simply split or cut up some good quality Vanilla pods, and add to your spirit base, ensuring the pods are totally immersed in the spirit. We used Madagascan beans, which have what most of us would consider the traditional vanilla flavour.

 

We used 3 large pods per jar, and approximately 100-150mls of spirit. Simply cut the pods into lengths that will sit easily within the spirit, place in a clean, glass jar, and pour the spirit over the top. Some recipes add a little water or sugar at this stage, but we didn't.

Home made Vanilla Extract is super easy to make at home. This DIY tutorial show all the steps for this easy recipe. Results are far superior to shop bought, plus we test out 3 different spirits you can use so you dont need to!

Home made Vanilla Extract is super easy to make at home. This DIY tutorial show all the steps for this easy recipe. Results are far superior to shop bought, plus we test out 3 different spirits you can use so you dont need to!

 

Pop the jars in a dark, cool cupboard, taking them out a couple of times a month (or whenever you remember) to give them a shake. The general consensus is that you need to leave it to steep for 4-6 months. We have just started using ours and it's about 5 months old.

We are really pleased with our results. We are using our home made extract as a direct substitute to shop bought in recipes (my daughter used it today in her Valentine Cupcakes shown below) and it has a lovely concentrated vanilla flavour. We are keeping ours in the jars we made it in, with the vanilla pods, so it can continue to mature. And as for the one we like best? We had a family vote, and we all agree that the Brandy base smells and tastes the nicest, so that's the one we would recommend!

 

Home made Vanilla Extract is super easy to make at home. This DIY tutorial show all the steps for this easy recipe. Results are far superior to shop bought, plus we test out 3 different spirits you can use so you dont need to!

 

If you have enjoyed this Pin-tested Post, why not check out our Pin-Tested! Bleaching Pine Cones and our Pin-Tested! Homemade Firelighters Posts.

We test making vanilla extract using 3 different alcohol bases - find out which we think is the best spirit for making vanilla extract!

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39 Comments

  • Reply Fabric Scraps Turned into Gorgeous Gift Bags - NIKKI FRANK-HAMILTON

    […] Homemade Extracts from Craft Invaders: Christmas Extract, Homemade Vanilla Extract […]

    January 13, 2017 at 10:23 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Thank you so much for featuring our extracts Nikki, we’ll have to do a swap – I can send you some over and you could send me one of your gorgeous gift bags!

      January 13, 2017 at 10:42 pm
  • Reply Nikki Frank-Hamilton

    I love this. Christmas is coming up and this would make a lovely addition to a gift basket. I’ve never tried to make my own, so I appreciate that you tested out the best ways to make vanilla extract. I really love a concentrated Vanilla taste in baked goods, and the aroma throughout the house is a definite plus! Thanks for sharing!

    October 18, 2016 at 1:38 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      Vanilla is such a wonderful aroma isn’t it, we had lots of fun making our own. Got loads of things infusing in spirit atm – trying coffee beans in vodka which tastes amazing already after just a couple of days!

      October 23, 2016 at 11:10 am
  • Reply Michelle

    MMmmmm, I’m just imagining brandy infuses vanilla extract. Sounds really interesting. I’d love to make my own vanilla extract, but it’s almost impossible to find the pods here in South Africa. Thanks for the tips on getting them on Ebay Sarah, I’ll have to try that.
    Michelle recently posted…Making a TokoLeena to Scare the Monsters Away – Int’l Bloggers ClubMy Profile

    October 18, 2016 at 7:43 am
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      If they’re not readily available then they’d make a great gift – vanilla sugar is ridiculously easy to make too Michelle if you get your hands on some – literally just split the pod and leave it to infuse in sugar!

      October 23, 2016 at 11:07 am
  • Reply Linda at Mixed Kreations

    I’ve been wanting to try and make my own homemade vanilla extract some time. It would make a great gift for my mom, she uses a lot of vanilla. Few weeks back I was looking for a vanilla bean for another recipe I wanted to try. Thinking it as a bean (like a pinto bean) not a pod. I sure was surprised when I seen the price, $10 for one pod. Well I didn’t buy it. I’m sure I can find it less expensive elsewhere and maybe even get more then one pod.
    I guess it’s to late now to make it for her for Christmas this year if it takes 4-6 months. But if I get busy finding some pods I can have it made by Mother’s day. Thanks for sharing your review!
    Linda at Mixed Kreations recently posted…Craft And Recipe Roundup – June And JulyMy Profile

    August 20, 2016 at 11:15 pm
    • Reply Sarah - Craft Invaders

      I don’t know if you know Linda, but it grows on an orchid – I did look once to see if I could purchase a plant but couldn’t find them for sale anywhere. I bought my pods of Ebay and found they were much more reasonable than in the shops – especially if you were buying a few at once :)

      August 21, 2016 at 11:25 pm
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