DIY Vanilla Extract


Here’s one way to  ensure your vanilla extract is certified gluten free vanilla extract. Make it yourself—it’s so easy!

Here's one way to ensure your vanilla extract is certified gluten free vanilla extract. Make it yourself—it's so easy!

How to Make Gluten Free Vanilla Extract

There is no other scent quite as intoxicating and seductive as that of the vanilla bean. Capturing the essence of this precious fruit for use in baking is remarkably easy to do at home—DIY and gluten-free. With two ingredients and a little patience, you are on your way to making pure vanilla extract. Quality vanilla beans may be sourced from finer cooking stores and online. At, you will find a wide selection of Mexican, Madagascar, and Tahitian beans both in Grade A (for baking, drinks, and desserts) and Grade B (for extract making). And then there is always Orgain Organic Sweet Vanilla Bean, 11-Ounce Container (Pack of 12) Amazon.

Gluten Free Vanilla Extract

Gluten Free Vanilla Extract


    You will need:
  • Glass bottle
  • Grain-free, potato-based, unflavored vodka (35%+ alc/vol)*
  • Vanilla beans


    Step 1:
  1. Five beans are required per 1 cup (250 ml) of alcohol. Use a knife to split each bean in half, leaving about ½ inch at each end intact.
  2. Step 2:
  3. Place vanilla beans in bottle and cover completely with vodka. Close and store in a cool spot, giving the bottle a gentle shake every 2-3 weeks.
  4. Step 3
  5. After two months, the extraction process is nearly complete and you may begin to use the extract. Remove beans, strain (if desired), and bottle to give away as gifts—or keep it all to yourself!

What Celiac Authorities Say About Distilled Alcohols

Most authorities say that people with celiac disease can safely consume distilled alcoholic beverages, even those crafted using gluten grains. That’s because the distillation process supposedly removes all of the gluten protein molecules responsible for a reaction. However, the Celiac Sprue Association does not necessarily agree. When it comes to distilled alcoholic beverages, the association recommends celiacs consume only spirits crafted from non-grain sources and in dedicated gluten-free facilities.

More Good Stuff


Alisa May 3, 2013 - 5:12 am

Wow, did you take that amazing picture Lex?

Maggie May 3, 2013 - 1:44 pm

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

Lexie May 3, 2013 - 3:24 pm

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

Michaela May 4, 2013 - 12:51 am

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

Lexie May 4, 2013 - 2:31 am

Hi there Michaela … take a look at Amy's method … found here:


Carolyn May 11, 2013 - 9:32 pm

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

Lee May 14, 2013 - 11:42 am

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!

Lexie May 14, 2013 - 12:55 pm

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 🙂


Julienne May 28, 2013 - 4:13 pm

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

Lexie May 28, 2013 - 4:16 pm


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.



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