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Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe

Make Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe using Vanilla Beans and Vodka only. Learn How To Make Vanilla Extract as a Best Gift Idea in just a Few Minutes.

Vanilla Extract in a mason jar with Instant pot
Quick Homemade Vanilla Extract

Add it to our brownies and peanut butter cookies, make super yummy vanilla crescents, Nutella cookies, or a great quick and easy coconut chia pudding, bread pudding, or sugar-free chocolate chips.

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You can add a few drops to our no-bake chocolate ripple cheesecake or eggnog popsicles.

Or make a beautiful quick gift for your loved one exactly when you need it. 

Extra quick homemade vanilla extract

Want to make vanilla extract at home but don’t want to wait for six months? 

Not a problem.

I have a solution.

Our quick and easy sugar-free vanilla extract is done in an Instant Pot in less than an hour compared to 6 months waiting time.

Would you not want that?

Making your own vanilla extract our way will blow your mind with how simple it is.

Entirely gluten-free, low-carb, and great for all of your keto desserts.

With a few easy steps, learn how to make homemade extract in the shortest time possible.

Why make homemade vanilla extract?

Making a batch of vanilla extract at home is a big help.

  1. You know exactly what you have placed in. So many store-bought vanilla extract bottles contain a vanilla imitation mixed with additional artificial ingredients.
  2. Your homemade vanilla extract tastes the best.
  3. The price is incomparable to the ready-made store-bought ones.
  4. Done in under an hour compared to the 6 to 12 months of steeping.
  5. No need to wait a few months before using the vanilla extract.
  6. There is no sugar added as might be in some store-bought brands.
  7. Lasts forever.
  8. Possible to refill. It acts almost as a tale about the cup that never gets empty.
  9. A few batches of vanilla extract are a great gift that keeps on giving.
How To Make Sugar-Free Vanilla Extract in an Instant Pot
Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract is a great gift

Making your extract a few months before the holidays is perfect, as you can use it as a gift.

Filled into a beautiful container and wrapped up with a few cookies, it is a great gift idea for your loved ones.

Is vanilla extract the same as vanilla essence?

Even though both essences and extracts are interchangeable because of their similarity in flavorings, those two are made differently.

Pure vanilla extract is made from pure vanilla beans compared to the essence made synthetically and sometimes does not even contain vanillin.

Most of the time, the extract is much more powerful as it is made naturally.

Essence is mostly chemically produced to imitate vanilla flavor and color.

How To make Vanilla Extract
Quick Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract vs. vanilla essence

Most of the time, the extract is much stronger as it is made naturally.

Essence is mostly chemically produced to imitate the best flavor of the vanilla extract and color. 

Calories in vanilla extract

The only calories you get from vanilla extract are those from the alcohol used. In our case, it is vodka. And a teaspoon of vanilla extract contains ten calories.

Remember that one teaspoon usually goes into the whole cookie or a cake recipe dough, which is still split into servings.

Is vanilla extract gluten free?

Our vanilla extract is entirely gluten-free, containing only alcohol and vanilla beans.

Different methods to make vanilla extract.

To make the best homemade vanilla extract, you can choose two ways:

  1. Natural infusion – Let it infuse in vodka or alcohol for at least 8 weeks, better 6-12 months. Shake once a week to make sure the infusion keeps working. Vanilla will be ready fully in 6 months.
  2. Pressure cook – Using Instant Pot for 45 minutes. 

As you know, I own an Instant Pot, and most of you do, too, so I have decided to make vanilla extract with this easy way. 

What do you need for homemade vanilla extract recipe?

To make your own homemade vanilla extract takes 2 ingredients only.

Whole vanilla beans and alcohol. Bottle of vodka and Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans to be exact in our case.

Instant Pot Homemade Vanilla Extract recipe
Instant Pot Vanilla Extract

Easy homemade vanilla extract in an Instant Pot

Kitchen gadgets needed

Ingredients needed

*Exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.

Instant Pot Vanilla Extract Ingredients needed.
Homemade Vanilla Extract

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT VANILLA EXTRACT RECIPE

First step: Prepare vanilla beans

Split vanilla beans in half lengthwise to ensure all the little beans are opened up. Scrape out the vanilla beans once they are all sliced, and cut the vanilla beans into half to fit into your mason jar.

Pure Vanilla Extract cutting beans
Slicing beans

Second step: Fill Mason jars

Depending on how many mason jars you will use and how much vanilla extract you would like to have, split all the beans into Mason jars evenly.

I usually calculate for every mason jar – three vanilla beans per 1 cup of vodka.

How To make Vanilla Extract
Filling up the jars

Third step: Vodka

Make sure you get better quality with vodka or any other alcohol you would like to use. This is very important since the vanilla extract will be used for your baking, and of course, you would like to have the best quality possible.

Homemade Vanilla Extract vodka choice
Using best alcohol

Fourth step: Add vodka

Once you have segregated all of the vanilla beans into the mason jars you’re going to use, add one cup of vodka to each. Do not fill up your mason jars fully with vodka. Otherwise, the pressure in an instant pot might break your glass once it starts pressurizing.

One cup for the jar is more than enough.

Make sure vanilla beans are completely submerged in the alcohol.

Close your jars fully. I’m speaking from my own experience, as one of the Mason jars I have made the vanilla extract in was not closed properly.

The pressure in an Instant Pot filled the jar with liquid aka water and therefore, I could have thrown the whole content.

Vanilla Extract Recipe poring vodka to mason jars
Pouring vodka to jars

Fifth step: Instant Pot 

Prepare your Instant Pot by placing the metal stand and filling it with at least one cup of water.

Instant Pot Homemade Vanilla Extract recipe preparing instant pot
Setting up Instant Pot

Sixth step: Fill

On the stand, place three of the mason jars fully closed and close the lid of an instant pot.

How To Make Sugar-Free Vanilla Extract in an Instant Pot
Placing jars into the pot

Seventh step: Start your Instant Pot

Switch the instant pot on pressure for 45 minutes at the highest.

Some recipes call for 30 minutes, and some for one hour or more.

I have found out that 45 minutes is enough to give you the beautiful dark brown intensive extract you are looking for.

Quick and Easy Sugar-Free Vanilla Extract
Switching on Instant Pot

Eighth steps: Collect

Once your 45 minutes is over, let the pressure of an Instant Pot release slowly and wait for an extra 10 to 15 minutes. Open your Instant Pot gently and if you wish, either let the jars in or take them out but do not open them.

You will see that the vodka will still cook for half an hour.

Let the Mason jar stop cooking. Let the extract sit and cool down a bit, and only then open it.

Vanilla Extract finished in instant pot
Taking our ready made vanilla extract

Tips and tricks for vanilla extract making:

  • Vodka quality– try to get the best quality you can. Ultimately, you or your loved ones will eat everything you have added this vanilla extract to. 
  • 70% proof and more alcohol – To avoid vanilla extract going bad in a few months or years, pick the brand with the highest amount of alcohol. 
  • Close the jars fully – the pressure in an Instant Pot can fill the jar with liquid and your extract will become bad.
  • Cooking Jars – use only the glass jar specially made for cooking. The pressure inside the Instant Pot and alcohol is so high that glass not designated for cooking will break. 
  • Dark bottles for storing – same as olive oil, to retain the quality for a long time, make sure to use dark brown glasses to store your sugar-free vanilla extract. 
  • Once your extract is done and taken out of the instant pot, you can leave it inside the see-through mason jar with vanilla beans for a few days to allow the vanilla extract to age and the infusion to continue. Later, you can fill one dark brown jar with all the vanilla extracts without the beans, which you can use throughout the year. I usually take all the beans out. If needed, I will add one or two fresh beans.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

What vanilla beans are the best for homemade extract?

To make a vanilla extract, in general, different varieties of vanilla beans works and would give you the perfect extract.

But if you insist, grade A beans are better quality of the vanilla beans as grade B is.

Regarding different types of vanilla beans, Madagascar vanilla beans, Mexican vanilla beans, or Tahitian vanilla beans are the top quality vanilla beans, especially for vanilla extract.

Can you use double-fold vanilla or grade b vanilla?

You can certainly use the double-fold count, which means that your extract will double in sweetness and strength.

Double fold means twice the amount of vanilla beans per cup of alcohol needs to be used. Please do not assume that you can cut on time of the pressure cooking or steeping as it will still give you a single fold.

If you use grade B vanilla beans, I suggest using the double-fold version to get the most out of the beans.

Where to buy vanilla beans?

If you have a known and reliable supplier of good vanilla beans, purchase them there. Otherwise, Amazon has got quite a few great options. Just make sure the vanilla beans are the top and read exactly what grade and where the beans come from.

What is the best alcohol to make sugar-free vanilla extract?

Good quality pure vodka without flavoring is mainly used to make vanilla extract.

You might also use brandy, rum, or bourbon, but vodka has the least flavor.

All those alcohols contain 0 carbs and are okay to use in a keto lifestyle.

Vanilla extract carb count is 0.

Vanilla Extract in a glass bottles for use
Gift jars
How much alcohol in vanilla extract?

It is so easy to scale this recipe.
For every cup of alcohol, three large beans or 6 to 8 smaller beans. In other measurements, 3 large vanilla beans per 8 ounces of alcohol.

What jars to use for Instant Pot vanilla extract?

To make your vanilla extract in an Instant Pot, you must choose only the canning quality jars. Any other jars will break at that pressure, especially when alcohol is included.

My most popular brands are Mason jars or Karr, or any other canning quality glasses you have around.

Can you make vanilla extract directly in an Instant Pot without jars?

Making your vanilla extract directly in an Instant Pot without Mason jars or any other jars is also possible, which is something I have been thinking of before.

I have chosen to make them in separate jars for better handling, easier later storage, and faster clean-up afterward.

But you can, without a problem, pour vodka directly into the Instant Pot with beans and cook it there.

How to refill vanilla extract?

All vanilla extract is stored in a big dark brown Mason jar. 

Use the small dark brown glass bottle on the kitchen counter. Once that gets empty, you can fill that up and add extra vodka into a big jar to store for later.

This gives you a few months for the vanilla extract to work its magic again. All you have to do is rotate.

Old vanilla beans can be removed from time to time, and you can again split each vanilla bean and add it into the jar for that extra strength.

Into vodka, can I add the vanilla beans to make stronger extract?

Yes, you can add more or double the amount of vanilla beans. This is called double fold, and your result will be much stronger and sweeter extract. You might need only half of the amount every recipe is called for.

Can you make non-alcoholic vanilla extract?

You can use food-grade vegetable glycerin for vanilla extract without alcohol, but I have yet to try it in the Instant Pot.

Does vanilla extract go bad?

Once you follow the instructions and store your jar properly, your vanilla extract should always be perfect.

In some instances, it might, which is always a case where either some water was added by mistake or a really bad quality of alcohol. There could also be a case where vanilla beans were at fault from the beginning.

Therefore, I insist on important points to watch out for: 

  • Make sure your lid is fully closed. 
  • Refrain from filling the jar full with vodka. 
  • After a few days, take out the old vanilla beans to ensure you have a pure liquid.

Does vanilla extract expire?

If made correctly, the vanilla extract does not have an expiry date. They are supposed to be perfect for the rest of your life. You must refill with the vodka or alcohol chosen and sometimes add fresh vanilla beans to infuse the extract even more.

How to store vanilla extract?

The best way to store your vanilla extract is in a glass jar at room temperature. The best is in your cupboard or pantry directly.

I usually keep all of my vanilla extracts in a big dark brown glass mason jar and only take an amount I will use for the next few months into a smaller dark brown glass jar.

Can you make vanilla sugar?

Yes, you can make your sugar-free vanilla sugar, which I did before I used to make my own vanilla extract.

I simply placed powdered sweetener into a smaller glass jar and slice one bean in half. Place the vanilla beans in a glass with sugar. Once a day, I used to shake the whole jar.

Leave the vanilla beans in and after a few month I had a beautiful flavorful keto vanilla sugar. For bigger jars, add more vanilla beans.

To refill, the same rules apply with adding more sugar every time your jar gets used.

Recipes that fits well:

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Instant Pot Homemade Vanilla Extract recipe
Vanilla Extract

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Yield: 3 Cups

Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe

Vanilla Extract in a mason jar with Instant pot

Make Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe using Vanilla Beans and Vodka only. Learn How To Make Vanilla Extract as a Best Gift Idea in just a Few Minutes.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

    1. Split vanilla beans in half lengthwise to ensure all the little beans are opened up. Scrape out the vanilla beans once they are all sliced, and cut the vanilla beans into half to fit into your mason jar.
    2. Depending on how many mason jars you will use and how much vanilla extract you would like to have, split all the beans into Mason jars evenly.
    3. Make sure you get better quality with vodka or any other alcohol you would like to use.
    4. Once you have segregated all of the vanilla beans into the mason jars you’re going to use, add one cup of vodka to each.
    5. Prepare your Instant Pot by placing the metal stand and filling it with at least one cup of water.
    6. On the stand, place three of the mason jars fully closed and close the lid of an instant pot.
    7. Switch the instant pot on pressure for 45 minutes at the highest.
    8. Once your 45 minutes is over, let the pressure of an Instant Pot release slowly and wait for an extra 10 to 15 minutes. Open your Instant Pot gently and if you wish, either let the jars in or take them out but do not open them.

Notes

  • Vodka quality– try to get the best quality you can. Ultimately, you or your loved ones will eat everything you have added this vanilla extract to. 
  • 70% proof and more alcohol – To avoid vanilla extract going bad in a few months or years, pick the brand with the highest amount of alcohol. 
  • Close the jars fully – the pressure in an Instant Pot can fill the jar with liquid and your extract will become bad.
  • Cooking Jars – use only the glass jar specially made for cooking. The pressure inside the Instant Pot and alcohol is so high that glass not designated for cooking will break. 
  • Dark bottles for storing – same as olive oil, to retain the quality for a long time, make sure to use dark brown glasses to store your sugar-free vanilla extract. 
  • Once your extract is done and taken out of the instant pot, you can leave it inside the see-through mason jar with vanilla beans for a few days to allow the vanilla extract to age and the infusion to continue. Later, you can fill one dark brown jar with all the vanilla extracts without the beans, which you can use throughout the year. I usually take all the beans out. If needed, I will add one or two fresh beans.

Nutrition Information

Yield

3 Cups

Serving Size

1 Cup

Amount Per Serving Calories 490Total Fat 0gCarbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 0g

Did you make this recipe?

Mention @lowcarb_nocarb or tag #lowcarb_nocarb on Instagram or our Facebook Support Group.

First Published: March 21, 2020
Last Updated: October 28, 2022

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Denise

Tuesday 13th of December 2022

Zusanna, I forgot to scrape out the beans. Does that mean it won’t be any good?

Zuzana

Tuesday 13th of December 2022

And even if you would have put a whole beans in, the pressure cooker together with alcohol will take everything out of vanilla. It could be a bit lighter, and might take few more days to fully absorb, but it will.

Denis

Tuesday 13th of December 2022

Susanna, I forgot to scrape out the beans. Does that mean it won’t be any good?

Zuzana

Tuesday 13th of December 2022

No worries Denise, it should all work fine. If you have sliced the bean across, it should all be taken in.

Kimberly

Wednesday 23rd of November 2022

Hi! You say to scrape the caviar out. Do you add it to the Mason jar or put it in a separate container for a later use? Thanks 🙂

Zuzana

Thursday 24th of November 2022

I have added it into the jar for stronger flavor.

Megg

Monday 7th of November 2022

Pretty sure there's a typing error in this line for the word starting with a 'C'... Might want to edit...

Can you use double-fold vanilla or grade b vanilla? You can certainly use the double-fold <>, which means that your extract will double in sweetness and strength.

Zuzana

Tuesday 8th of November 2022

Thank you so much Megg. Repaired.

Jaime

Thursday 20th of October 2022

I don't have an Instant Pot, but I do have a pressure canner. Do you think it would work using that instead?

Zuzana

Thursday 20th of October 2022

It should work Jaime.

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