Gifting 101: Homemade Vanilla Extract


Hello friends!

Can we just take a moment to step back & notice how all of a sudden it’s nearly the fourth week in November. Where did the whole year go? Literally it feels like this year passed me by in one (long, apparently) blink of an eye. We’ve reached that time of year I love the most. Suddenly it is acceptable to be wrapped up in overly large scarves, to wear cozy polo neck jumpers, to stomp around in our winter boots, and to snuggle up under a blanket by the fire every night. Frankly, how could you not love this time of year? 


I’ve already started to mentally prepare myself for the holidays to come. I’ve been stocking up on holiday scented candles, I’ve been scouring the internet for holiday table decoration ideas, & I’ve started to get my gift giving thoughts in order. Just little bits & bobs, tokens of love and appreciation. So far, I’ve stocked up on vanilla beans & vodka, with the intention of brewing up a big batch of homemade vanilla extract for my loved ones. The man that checked my ID for the vodka would have a hard time swallowing that, buy hey, you win some, you lose some. 

I have a few other holiday gifting ideas in the works, but I’m kicking things off with this homemade extract. It literally takes five minutes to whip up a batch, it’s thoughtful, & it’s so so impressive.

Happy gifting, friends! 

Print this recipe. 

Makes 1 cup | recipe by passionate baker


  • cute bottles or jars
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 3 whole vanilla beans


  1. Using a sharp knife, split the vanilla beans vertically down the centre and scrape out the seeds.
  2. Place both the seeds and the hollowed out vanilla beans into a sterilized bottle.
  3. Pour the vodka over the vanilla and tightly close the lid before giving it a good shake.
  4. Store the bottle in a cool, dark place for at least six weeks before using (I always pop a date on mine just to be sure!).


The recipe scales up very easily, just use three vanilla beans per cup of vodka! When the bottle starts to run low, simply add more vanilla beans and top it up with some more vodka. Vanilla extract will last indefinitely.

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