Homemade Vanilla and Cinnamon Extracts

You may have seen examples of how to make homemade vanilla extract before. But how about cinnamon extract? Christmas is coming up, and these are the best gifts! Simple, creative, and thoughtful. And at just a little over $3/bottle, very cost efficient!

Here’s what you need (this recipe makes about 60 bottles):

(3) 1.75 liter bottles of vodka

(1) 16-oz bag of cinnamon sticks (I bought 2.5-inch sticks from HERE)

50 vanilla beans (I bought Madagascar Bourbon beans from HERE)

(60) 4-oz glass bottles with corks (I bought mine at Michaels)

Labels/ribbon for your bottles (I printed out THESE adorable labels on Style Me Pretty, and then just printed out blank circle labels for the cinnamon extract from a template HERE. You’re probably more creative than me, though, so you could do something cuter!)

First, assemble all your ingredients:

homemade vanilla extract ingredients

Next, cut each vanilla bean in half, and then slice lengthwise:

cutting vanilla beans

These are the vanilla beans I bought:

vanilla beans

And the cinnamon sticks:

cinnamon sticks

Next, put 4 vanilla bean halves (for a total of 2 full vanilla beans) into each bottle and pour enough vodka to cover the beans and come nearly to the top. Leave a little room for your cork so that it doesn’t touch the vodka:

making vanilla

Next, stick on a label, put on a ribbon and voila! You have this beauty:

homemade vanilla extract

For the cinnamon extract, place 3 cinnamon sticks in each bottle and cover with vodka just as you did for the vanilla:

homemade cinnamon extract

And here is the beautiful finished product right after assembly:

homemade vanilla and cinnamon extract

 

Here’s what they look like after 2 days:

homemade vanilla and cinnamon extracts

Every few days, give the bottles a shake to keep things mixed. Ideally, these will steep for 6-8 weeks, but I usually make them a few weeks before Christmas and then when I give them as gifts, let people know that the longer they sit, the better. Once the vanilla is gone, add more vodka and let it steep again for at least 6 weeks. You should be able to get another batch out of those beans. When the cinnamon runs out, just pop in a few more cinnamon sticks (remove the old ones), and fill with vodka again, and you’re good to go!

Wondering what to do with cinnamon extract?

*Stir it into applesauce for a yummy cinnamon flavor!

*Use it in baked goods to add a whole new dimension of cinnamon taste!

*Add a splash to your coffee, hot cocoa, or tea for a cinnamon-y surprise!

 

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Comments

  1. Julian says

    Where did you get the glass bottles from? Any idea what they are called? I am looking into making batches of this stuff throughout the year. Those bottles looks awesome. Plus the triangle shape can allow for a nice Tetris style of organization.

    Sorry for the double-message. :(

    • radlandon says

      I got them at Michael’s–I don’t know what they are called, but they were 4-oz bottles with corks. Hope that helps!

  2. Dannie says

    Thanks for another great gift idea! Do you have to remove the cork to shake/stir it? I wondered since you had said to not let the cork touch the vodka when filling the jars.

    • radlandon says

      No, I just shake with the cork on. You just don’t want it seeping into the cork if you fill it too high, but shaking is fine!

  3. Kathryn says

    I just found this (as fall approaches). If you’re giving gifts in bulk you may ywant to check out ordering bottles online. I get mine at Sunburst Bottle. I use 4oz amber Boston arounds for the vanilla to protect it from the light. I’ve also used clear Quadra bottles and they’re very pretty.

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