small bottle of alcohol free vanilla extract on the counter with vanilla beans

Homemade Vanilla without Alcohol

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Let’s talk about something sweet and delicious, homemade vanilla! There’s nothing quite like the rich, fragrant aroma of vanilla, and when it’s homemade, it’s even better. This recipe is for vanilla without alcohol too! I love making my own flavorings and seasonings and nothing store bought even comes close to homemade vanilla.

How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract without Alcohol

Homemade vanilla extract

Whether you’re a baker, a cook, or just a lover of all things sweet, homemade vanilla is a must-have ingredient in your pantry. So, let’s dive in and explore the wonderful world of homemade vanilla together! We have made vanilla extract from scratch for years, but we only recently learned how to make vanilla without alcohol.

There are a few reasons why someone might want to make vanilla extract without alcohol:

  • Some people choose to avoid alcohol for religious or personal reasons and prefer to use non-alcoholic ingredients in their cooking and baking.
  • Some people may have health conditions or take medications that don’t allow them to consume alcohol, so they prefer to use an alcohol-free vanilla extract.
  • Using glycerin or vinegar instead of alcohol can give the vanilla extract a slightly different flavor profile, which some people may prefer.

We also love making vanilla powder for recipes. In addition, they can be used for other uses such as vanilla bean soap. We even use our homemade vanilla extract in our homemade bug spray.

Vanilla syrup for coffee

We also love making vanilla-infused syrup for coffee. It’s amazing how great it tastes in a cup of joe. So get yourself some vanilla beans and try making all kinds of things out of them because it’s tons of fun. Vanilla Bean Loaf is another favorite recipe we use vanilla in. And we love to make vanilla sugar too. It makes us feel extra fancy.

vanilla beans on the counter top

Where do vanilla beans come from anyway? They seem so exotic and untouchable. They really are pretty amazing. They grow in tropical regions so we don’t see them growing in Oklahoma.

Vanilla beans are grown on a type of orchid plant called Vanilla planifolia. The plant is native to Mexico and Central America, but it is now grown in other parts of the world, including Madagascar, Tahiti, and Indonesia.

The vanilla orchid plant grows as a vine, and it requires a specific climate and growing conditions to produce high-quality beans. The plant needs warm, humid conditions with plenty of rainfall, and it requires support in the form of a trellis or other structure to climb on.

Once the vanilla orchid plant reaches maturity, it produces small, fragrant flowers. However, these flowers must be hand-pollinated within 12-24 hours of opening, or they will not produce vanilla beans. After pollination, the flowers develop into long, thin green pods that grow for several months before they are harvested. Don’t you wonder how anyone ever figured out how to do it? I sure do!

The harvested vanilla pods are then dried and cured for several months, during which time they develop their characteristic flavor and aroma. This process involves carefully heating and sweating the beans, then letting them rest and age to develop their full flavor. The result is the sweet, fragrant, and highly prized ingredient that we know as vanilla.

vanilla beans steeping in glycerine

Where can I get vanilla beans

Vanilla beans can be purchased from a variety of places. Here are a few options for where to buy vanilla beans:

  • Specialty food stores: Look for gourmet or specialty food stores in your area, as they may carry high-quality vanilla beans. Some examples of stores that carry vanilla beans include Williams Sonoma, Sur La Table, and Whole Foods.
  • Online retailers: There are many online retailers that sell vanilla beans, including Amazon, Beanilla, and Vanilla Products USA. When buying online, be sure to read reviews and check the seller’s reputation to ensure you’re getting high-quality beans. There is a lot of variation in quality among sellers.
  • Spice shops: Some spice shops may also carry vanilla beans, as they are often used as a flavoring for baked goods and desserts.

When purchasing vanilla beans, look for plump, moist beans with a strong aroma. Avoid beans that are dry, brittle, or have mold or discoloration. It’s also important to store your vanilla beans properly in an airtight container in a cool, dry place to keep them fresh and flavorful.

Vanilla beans bulk grade b

Grade B vanilla beans are a lower grade of vanilla beans that are typically used for their seeds rather than their whole bean. They are also sometimes referred to as “extract grade” beans because they are often used to make vanilla extract.

The grading system for vanilla beans is based on a number of factors, including the length, appearance, moisture content, and flavor of the beans. Grade A vanilla beans, also known as “gourmet” or “prime” beans, are the highest quality and are usually reserved for use in cooking and baking where the whole bean is featured, such as in custards or ice cream.

Grade B vanilla beans, on the other hand, may be shorter, thinner, or have more blemishes or splits than Grade A beans, which makes them less visually appealing for use in cooking or baking. However, they still have a high concentration of flavorful seeds, which makes them ideal for making vanilla extract, vanilla sugar, or other recipes where the seeds are scraped out of the pod.

While Grade B vanilla beans may be considered a lower grade, they are still high quality and can be a great value for those who want to use vanilla beans in their cooking or baking but don’t want to pay the premium price of Grade A beans. We always use Grade B vanilla beans for our purposes.

For more extract ideas, check these out:

freshly made vanilla extract and a bottle to put it in

How does glycerine extract vanilla bean flavor?

Glycerine is an effective solvent for extracting flavor compounds from vanilla beans and other sources because it is highly soluble in water and has a neutral flavor and aroma, which means it won’t interfere with or mask the natural flavor of the vanilla. Additionally, glycerine has a long shelf life and is stable at room temperature, making it a convenient and practical choice for extracting and preserving the flavor of vanilla beans.

How to make vanilla extract

bottle of alcohol free vanilla extract on the counter
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Homemade Vanilla Extract without Alcohol

Sweet, fragrant vanilla extract for flavoring recipes that does not use alcohol to extract the flavor from the vanilla beans.
Prep Time5 minutes
Steeping Time180 days
Total Time180 days 5 minutes
Course: Seasoning Mix
Cuisine: American
Keyword: glycerine, vanilla beans, vanilla extract
Servings: 1 cup
Author: Christina


  • 3/4 cup vegetable glycerin
  • 1/4 cup distilled water
  • 6 vanilla beans
  • Glass jar


  • Mix the distilled water and the vegetable glycerin together.
  • Pour into your jar and set aside.
  • Cut open your vanilla beans the long way. Then cut them in half.
  • Put the vanilla beans inside the jar with the liquid, close the lid, and swirl around, so the beans get completely covered.
  • Let sit in your cupboard for 6 months; the longer, the better. Swirl around every couple of days.
  • For a stronger vanilla taste, leave the vanilla inside for a year. You can also leave some or all of the vanilla beans inside your glass container while you use your vanilla extract as well.

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