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DIY Vanilla Extract

Ever wondered how to make your own vanilla extract?

Here's the way I do it.

The extract I am pouring in this picture was a wee bit "young." Unfortunately I didn't have a couple of months to let it sit prior to the photo shoot :). The final product will be much darker than what you see here. 

This tutorial first appeared in the March/April 2013 issue of Simply Gluten Free Magazine—the hottest Gluten Free Lifestyle mag on the shelves. Look for it at Whole Foods, Barnes & Noble, and soon at Safeway and Target!

Or you can subscribe at Simply Gluten Free Magazine.

Thank you SGF for featuring my vanilla extract DIY!

Reader Comments (10)

Wow, did you take that amazing picture Lex?

May 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlisa

I'm with Alisa, how did you do that? When is your online photography tutorial? xo

May 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie

Ha! Thanks Maggie and Alisa. It'd be so fun to do a "wing it" food photography tutorial. That's about how I do it :). I always shoot with my 2 sec or 10 sec timer. That way the camera is perfectly still at the "click" time and I have time to race around the table and pour. xoLexie

May 3, 2013 | Registered CommenterLexie

I'm looking for a way to make an alcohol-free vanilla extract. Any ideas?

May 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichaela

Hi there Michaela ... take a look at Amy's method ... found here: http://simplysugarandglutenfree.com/homemade-sugar-free-alcohol-free-vanilla-extract/


May 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

Looks awesome, Lexi. I really need to try this. Pinning!

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn

In other tutorials that I've read on this it mentions you can refill the bottles when they get low and start over. Have you done this or do you start completely over with new beans each time? And if you do reuse the beans any tips or is it just the same as instructed here, maybe with just a little longer of a extraction process? Thanks!

May 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLee

Hi Lee,

Yes, I do add more alcohol as the extract is used up. I will occasionally add a new bean or three, too—leaving the old ones in there. Great question and thanks for asking :)


May 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

Where did you find these jars? They're gorgeous. (And are they BPA free?)

May 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulienne


I found these at Hobby Lobby I think. They are glass (which is BPA free :) and the tops are ceramic and the rings are rubber. Have no idea if the rubber is BPA free ... but the extract does not come into contact with anything but the glass. Hope that helps.


May 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

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