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Minneapolis, MN

Welcome to Flock of Broads. Here you will find the musings of five smart gals affectionately called "The Flock", all currently based in Minneapolis, MN. From pie crusts to parties, beard oil to Beyoncé, fashion to fat pants, we cover life as we know it and even a few things in between. Pull up a chair and stay a while.

DIY: Homemade Vanilla Extract

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DIY: Homemade Vanilla Extract

Angie Enger

I am not what some would call a DIY-er. I don't quite have the patience for it. I would, however, call myself a baker. A pretty decent one at that. I like putting my own touch on recipes and using high quality ingredients...which gets expensive. My Nana made the best cookies I have ever had, even long after her passing. She never - I repeat never - used imitation vanilla extract. Buying real vanilla extract is pricey, so when I saw how easy it is to make your own I was actually determined to go for it. Unfortunately, this came around in December, when most of us do the majority of our baking. It takes three months for homemade vanilla extract to really ferment properly. 
Don't be kicking yourself in December when the cool kids are baking with their fancy homemade vanilla extract- Take 10 minutes to bottle up the vanilla beans of your choice now, and by the holidays you'll be happily baking with some damn good vanilla extract (trust Nana - it makes a HUGE difference) for all your loved ones (and don't forget yourself)! 


  • Airtight glass jar(s)  
  • 3-5 vanilla beans
  • Alcohol - I used vodka (doesn't have to be expensive, but at least some that you would drink, not that Fleischman's crap) - or brandy or whiskey if you want something a little different
  • Cutting board + knife

The rule of thumb here is  3 - 5 vanilla beans per 8 ounces of alcohol.
You will need at least one month for the extract to infuse, but a few months is even better! I started mine in August so it would be ready for holiday baking! 



Step 1.
Cut your vanilla beans lengthwise


Step 2.
Put vanilla beans into glass jar, following the 3-5 beans per 8 oz alcohol rule


Step 3.
Pour in designated amount of vodka


Step 4.
Seal. Shake it {like a polaroid picture}

Step 5.
I used a glass marker to write the type of vanilla beans I used, plus the date so I can track when the extract will be ready. Shake that baby up every so often. Your homemade vanilla will be ready for baking or gifting in no less than one, but ideally three months. Enjoy!