In just a few short month’s fall will be here and it’s time to get ready for fall baking.  I’ve always been a fan of Vanilla Sugar but always hated paying for it.  Recently I watched “Kelsey’s Essentials” on The Cooking Channel.  She was getting ready for holiday baking and making some holiday treats that she used homemade vanilla extract and vanilla sugar in her recipes.  So I started researching and found with just a little prep work I could make my own in about 2 month’s. That would put me at about the middle of October which is perfect, so I set off for Penzey’s to get some vanilla beans.  The only other ingredients I needed was some sugar and some Vodka.  So simple!

I only need 3 ingredients, sugar, vodka and Madagascar vanilla beans.


Penzey’s recommended Madagascar vanilla beans over Mexican vanilla beans when making extract and sugars so that’s what I’m going with.


As soon as you open the container the aroma of vanilla hits the air.  The kitchen suddenly smells like holiday baking.


You’ll have to excuse my shadow, but I needed a flash to show the inside seeds of the beans.  Take a sharp knife and slice through the center, leaving the ends intact.  I’m going to open the bean to expose the inside but not scrape out the seeds.


I didn’t have a fancy bottle and I liked the little vodka bottle so I’m just going to insert 2 of the vanilla beans inside the bottle with the vodka and securely seal the lid.


My honey jar holds exactly 3 cups of sugar, perfect!  Insert the last split vanilla bean into the jar and pour 3 cups of sugar around the bean.


Give the extract and sugar a good shake every now and then.  Put them in your pantry to do their magic.  It should be ready in 2 month’s.  I’ll keep you posted.



Thought I’d snap a photo of the the color going on this morning.  It’s been 2 days now.


Vanilla Extract

2 Madagascar Vanilla Beans, split
1 cup Vodka

Split the vanilla beans with a sharp knife down the center leaving the ends intact.  Place beans in a glass jar, fill with vodka and place tight fitting lid.  Shake the jar from time to time and store in cool dark place for 8 weeks or longer.

Vanilla Sugar

1 Vanilla Bean, split
3 cups Sugar

Split the vanilla beans with a sharp knife down the center leaving the ends intact.  Place beans in a glass jar, fill with 3 cups sugar and place tight fitting lid.  Shake the jar from time to time and store for 8 weeks.