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It may sound kinda crazy, but vanilla extract makes a wonderful gift. Expecially for someone who has it all.

It’s one of the easiest things to make and it can be given any time of year.

But what’s so great about it, is that the process for making the homemade vanilla extract recipe is the same for so many different baking extract flavors.

Not only are these homemade extracts recipes thoughtful, but they are amazingly inexpensive, making them a win for everyone.

But there is a catch! These homemade extract recipes take at least 4 weeks to up to 6 weeks to marinate and for the flavors to meld together so they taste their very best. While you can easily make these as a last-minute quick gift, you will want to write the “Use After Date” on the bottle so your gift recipient knows when to start using them.

If you are going to be making these homemade extract recipes early on, you can look for sales and deals to make your out of pocket costs even less.

These homemade extracts recipes will be a treasure for the foodie in your life this year and they will love using the organic extracts.

This post is part of our 30 days Homemade Christmas series. 30 gifts that are easy (and cheap) to make, but also something you’ll be proud to give.

Each Homemade gift has to meet 5 stipulations in order to maximize your money and make it easy for a busy mom to do:

  1. Easy to obtain supplies –  Supplies are things you might already have on hand or are easy to find at Walmart or a craft store so you can get them in the same day you want to make it.
  2. Easy to make –  Supplies are easy to work with or use so that anyone could do it… not caustic… so you could do the craft with your kids.
  3. Quick to make –  It can be made in 30 minutes or less so it’s possible to make this gift in the middle of the night with products most likely already have on hand. (Note: The 30 minute guide is your “hands on” time, dry time is excluded. This project does not require any dry time, but it does have “marinating” time, so you’ll wanna start it asap.)
  4. Cheap to make – You should be able to make the project without spending more than $10.
  5. Substantial – Each gift is “big” enough that you’ll feel confident giving it alone and not having to add a gift card to it.
    BONUSES:
    Multiple uses –
      Multiple gifts can be made out of the same supplies giving you options to use up all the supplies you buy.
    Saving Money Double Bonus: Try to think about what you already have on hand to upcycled and save more money.

So are you ready to learn how to make vanilla extract? Let’s get busy making ALL these homemade extracts recipes.

how to make vanilla extract

Homemade Extract Recipes & Supplies:

  • 2 oz Clear Glass Bottles 12 pk (or 24 pk) (for gifting extracts: 1 bottle for each variety you are doing and for each person you are giving the gift to)
    NOTE: The glass bottles shown are from Big Lots, $4 for 4 jars.
  • Labels (or $1.97 @ Walmart)
  • Vodka (Don’t get the cheapest variety, nor any flavored variety. You can find a cheaper vodka for around $14.99 for a 1.75 L bottle and that will work fine)
  • To make an Alcohol Free variety get Food Grade Glycerin instead of Vodka
  • Organic Oranges, Lemons, & Limes
  • Vanilla Beans (I bought mine at Sprouts Grocery Store, 2 beans for $10)
  • Zester or Vegetable Peeler(or Knife)
  • Funnel

I openly admit that it is AWKWARD for me to go to the liquor store. I don’t know what I’m doing, and all those expensive glass bottles make me nervous. Thankfully the clerk was super helpful, because I wanted to choose a variety that was non GMO.

I also checked my Ibotta App while I was standing in front of the wall of Vodka to see if there were any bonus rebates available. I was able to get $3 off.

After you learn how to make vanilla extract today, you’ll be surprised at why you haven’t made it before!

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homemade extracts recipes

How To Make Vanilla Extract & More Extra Flavors Directions:

Before we begin, I want to talk about colored glass. You see I was under the assumption that Vanilla Extract had to be stored in a brown container. Then, I happened to look in my cabinet and found two different varieties, in different colored bottles!

Storing your vanilla in a dark colored jar will help it stay more flavorful for longer. I like to make a BIG batch and keep it in a large jar, then pour it into these little jars to give as gifts.

homemade extracts recipes

How To Make Vanilla Extract

  1. First, with a knife cut 1 vanilla bean down the length of the bean to reveal the seeds inside just don’t cut all the way through to the other side. Then cut the bean in thirds to make short sticks.
  2. Place the cut beans inside a jar: 1 whole vanilla bean per 2 oz jar.
  3. Fill the jar with vodka using a funnel.
  4. Add the lid and label.
  5. Shake the bottle every couple of days to keep the mixutre brewing.

After 4-6 weeks your vanilla will smell divine, and add that same rich and delicious flavor to your baked goods.

If you give this to someone before the 4-6 weeks are complete, just add the “best date to use” on the gift tag.

What does it cost?

Total Cost Per Jar of Homemade Vanilla Extract: $4.63 (jar, label, vodka, vanilla bean)

homemade extracts recipes

How To Make Organic Lemon, Lime Or Orange Extracts

While Vanilla Extract is definitely the star of the show, these other extracts will make your baking pantry smile big.

If you’re making each individual jar (and not a big batch to divvy up later), then you only need the peel from one fruit in each 2oz jar.

I think it’s fun to know what these extracts are commonly used in.

Lemon Extract can be used in Lemon Poppyseed Muffins, Lemon Pound Cake and Lemon Sugar Cookies.

Orange Extract is used in cakes, bread and even Copycat Orange Chicken.

Lime Extract is yummy in cheesecakes, frostings, muffins and to add a zing to your daily smoothies.

  1. You will want to create this extract in a mason jar as you will need to remove the peel before gifting and it will be harder to get them out of those little jars! (This is different from how to make vanilla extract. You leave the vanilla beans in the jars.)
  2. Make sure you have bought “organic fruit” for this gift.
  3. Wash fruit and pat dry.
  4. With a sharp knife or zester, carefrully peel the fruit only grabbing the zest or yellow (green or orange) part of the rind.
    NOTE: you do not want any of the white part (the “pith”) because it will make your extract taste bitter.
    (Go here to find more information about zesting)
  5. Add the zest from the one pound of fruit to a large mason jar.
  6. To the mason jar, add 1 & 1/2 cups of vodka (or more if needed) to cover the zest. (This recipe will make at least six 2 oz jars.)
  7. Seal the lid and shake well.
  8. Shake the bottle every couple of days to keep the mixture marinating.
  9. After 4-6 weeks, strain the mixture removing the zest and pour the extract into your 2 oz glass jars.
  10. Add label and gift!

What does it cost?

  • 2 oz Clear Glass Bottles 12 pk (or 24 pk) @ $11.99 = $1 per bottle
  • Labels 7¢ @ Amazon, 13¢ from Walmart
  • Vodka (You can find a cheaper vodka for around $14.99 for a 1.75 L bottle) @ $14.99 = 50¢/per 2 oz jar
  • 1 lb Organic Lemons @ $4.99 = 83¢/per jar (price may vary in your location)
  • 1 lb Organic Oranges @ $1.47/lb = 83¢/per jar (price may vary in your location)
  • 1 lb Organic Limes @ $3.28 = 55¢/per jar (price may vary in your location)

Lemon Extract – Total Cost Per Jar: $2.46 (jar, label, vodka, lemons)

Lime Extract – Total Cost Per Jar: $2.18 (jar, label, vodka, limes)

Orange Extract – Total Cost Per Jar: $2.46 (jar, label, vodka, oranges)

homemade extracts recipes

How To Make Other Extract Variations

Once you learn how to make vanilla extract you’re going to want to make more extracts recipes. All you need is the vodka and the baking extract flavors.

Here are some other extracts recipes you can make:

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how to make vanilla extract

More Gifting Ideas:

Now that you have learned how to make vanilla extract, the process is very similar to other gifting ideas including infused vinegars and oils!

These make great gifts too:

homemade extracts recipes

What’s The Total Cost?

When we learned how to make vanilla extract, we knew the vanilla extract was going to be the most expensive extract. It is still a great gift to give! Plus, the cost of making the extract is so much cheaper than buying it. The cost of a 2 oz bottle of pure vanilla extract from my local grocery store is over $7, and you can make it for less than $5. Those savings add up!

Vanilla Extract Total Cost Per Jar: $4.63 (jar, label, vodka, vanilla bean)

Lemon Extract – Total Cost Per Jar: $2.46 (jar, label, vodka, lemons)

Lime Extract – Total Cost Per Jar: $2.18 (jar, label, vodka, limes)

Orange Extract – Total Cost Per Jar: $2.46 (jar, label, vodka, oranges)

So as you can see, not only is this homemade vanilla extract recipe easy, but the same process can be used to make many other extracts.

Plus, these homemade extracts recipes will be treasured by your family and friends because they were made speical by you.

YOUR TURN: How to make vanilla extract was really easy, wasn’t it?!! Let me know in the comments below what other baking extract flavors you are going to make for gifts!

homemade extracts recipes
Did you know that this homemade vanilla extract recipe is just one of the extracts that you can make for gifts this year? Plus, these homemade extracts recipes are frugal to make! When you learn how to make vanilla extract, you\'re also learning how to make all the baking extract flavors! Let get extract making!
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