The essence of vanilla

May 20, 2012

Today is World Baking Day.  I came across World Baking Day on Twitter and thought that I would participate 🙂

Unfortunately I am out of baking stuffs so I thought I would do something baking related.

Last December I saw a picture on Tania‘s blog of her home made vanilla essence.  A few weeks ago I came across a post on Pinterest about making home made vanilla essence/extract and voila an idea was born.

I decided to make some home made vanilla essence that I can give as gifts.


  • Vanilla pods
  • Vodka
  • Glass containers

I found the sweetest little glass bottles at the Consol store in Woodmead, 20 bottles cost me R25!


  • Wash your bottles in warm soapy water and rinse well.
  • Slice your vanilla pods length wise and then slice each half length wise again.  The vanilla ‘caviar’ or seeds may come out of the pods when you cut them, just scrape them up with your knife and pop them in the bottles.

  • If your bottles are short then cut the pieces in half.
  • Place 2-3 pieces (depending on bottle size) of vanilla pod in each bottle.

  • Pour vodka into each bottle.  It would be ideal to use a funnel* but if, like me you dont have one then just pour really carefully and slowly.
  • Place the lid on the bottle and store the bottles at the back of a cupboard for 3-4 months before using them.

See how the colour has changed, thats after an hour or so, just imagine how rich it will be after a few months!

So, Im going to leave these in my pantry for a few months and then I will tie a pretty ribbon around the neck of the bottle and maybe a home made card and give them as gifts 🙂

*Ruby gave me the great idea of turning a piece of tin foil into a make shift funnel, great thing about this idea is that you can make the funnel as small or as large as you need 🙂

Note: All the photos in this post were taken by my amazing husband!


9 Responses to “The essence of vanilla”

  1. Wendi said

    Can I reserve a bottle please

  2. i’ve been wanting to make vanilla for ages – thanks for the recipe!

  3. Jeanette said

    Very very cool!! You clever person

  4. […] 1 teaspoon vanilla (This was the last time I will use store bought vanilla, from now on I will be using my home made vanilla extract) […]

  5. […] 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (I used my home made extract) […]

  6. […] (I’ve been so busy lately I haven’t taken many photos outside of my recent shoot for my wife’s blog post about making vanilla essence). I thought this would be a great chance to do that and I was […]

  7. […] set on her blog when her post is done but I thought I’d share these few as a preview (Update: Gina’s post is up at You Cook What? so go take a look at her recipe for vanilla […]

  8. […] set on her blog when her post is done but I thought I’d share these few as a preview (Update: Gina’s post is up at You Cook What? so go take a look at her recipe for vanilla […]

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