DIY: Homemade Vanilla Extract


Last week I baked my Christmas Fruit cake inspired from the English traditions of Nigella’s book How to be a Domestic Goddess. They turned out to be phenomenally good that they did not survive till the Christmas eve. Barely had I baked the cake and done with shooting them in a hurry, they were sliced while still warm and sent off to my family and friends. While a part of the cake went along with my hubby dear on an extended work related trip, other quarters were packed off and gifted to my family to be relished during the holiday season. The remains of the cake that stayed with me did not last longer either as I sought an instant gratification in the mere few slices I relished for my supper.

I did intend to post that recipe here today. Hardly had I seen off my husband, an urgency brought me the woes of travel with my little one and I was left in the dark to post no Fruit cake for Christmas here. The camera and the card which hosted all those treasured photographs of my cake stayed back home, miles away from where I am currently. But then lady luck played the Santa’s charm when I discovered that my post for homemade vanilla extract would be apt as Christmas gifts for your family and friends. Oh yes, for sure I made some gorgeous vanilla extract last month, scraping off all those seeds and freshness off the vanilla pods, dunked them into a bottle of vodka to permeate and mature into that million buck extract.

A couple of years ago, on our getaway trips to Munnar and Kodai, I had seen vanilla pods on sale at dirt cheap prices of Rs. 10 a pod. I hadn’t bothered stocking them then, because the vanilla essence at 20 bucks lasted for years and seemed worthy. It’s only after I got a few bottles of pure vanilla extract from Munnar, did I sense the bliss of using pure, fresh and natural extract. Making mine at home is not just easy, but indeed satisfying.

Homemade Vanilla Extract


5-6 Vanilla Beans
1 Bottle of Vodka, but you can also use Rum or Brandy too


Using a knife, split the bean into half. Scrape the vanilla beans into the bottle of vodka. Alternatively, use them into desserts, like puddings, custards and ice creams. Scrape off as much flesh as you can from the bean. Don't discard the skin. Instead place the entire bean into the bottle. Place about 4-5 vanilla beans pieces in each bottle for an intense flavoured vanilla extract. Close bottle and store in a cool, dry place for at least 2 months. Give the bottle a vigorous shake every week or so.

Now that’s what I call a realm of goodness in a bottle! Bottle them, label them and they'll make good for gifting this season!


  1. Vanilla pods just for 10rs, omg..Will ask my sister to get some for me.. Homemade vanilla extract,just speechless.

  2. Gorgeous pics..!!! And wow...vanilla pods at rs 10?? I have yet to dwell in the luxury of getting pods here in mlore..May be if I search a little harder I shall find them!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

  3. Vanilla Pods !!! Wow !! Its amazing post...

  4. Wow looks great...and kudos to ur effort :)

  5. 10 Rs? Anyway it commendable making the extract at home. It would never have occurred to me to do so.

  6. Radha, the vanilla pods I used for this homemade extract weren't the 10 bucks one. I paid a bomb!

  7. I really love to do my own vanilla extract. Really useful tips and tricks I discovered here. Many thanks Malika. Your effort be worth in my kitchen. ;)
    Also, I wrote an entire article about importance of vanilla in our lives:) Feel free to check my website here: