How to Make Blueberry Extract for Baking (Two Ingredients)

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Add a punch of blueberry flavor to your next pie, ice cream, or batch of scones with this homemade blueberry extract for baking! It seriously could not be easier and costs much less than the expensive stuff sold online!

photo of homemade blueberry extract with frozen blueberries on a marble backdrop.

Note: This recipe was updated in April 2024 to reflect an important change. I now recommend using dried berries instead of fresh or frozen ones for the safest infusing process and the strongest blueberry flavor. If you want to use fresh or frozen berries, please read the safety tips below. (New photos coming soon to reflect the updated method!)

Love making your own extracts? I have a bunch of extract recipes to help you have fun playing in the kitchen. Try this vanilla extract, lavender extract, or cinnamon extract today!

Home cooks should always have a great selection of homemade extracts to play with. They’re a great way to ramp up the flavor of the fresh ingredients in your bakes without the additives found in commercial products, like propylene glycol, natural flavors, added sugars, or preservatives.

Plus, making homemade extracts couldn’t be easier. You need just two simple ingredients and a little patience!

This blueberry extract recipe and the printable label are currently available in my ebook DIY Extracts!

What you’ll love about this recipe:


  • EASY – This homemade blueberry extract is incredibly easy to make. You simply need to add the ingredients to a jar, shake, and wait.
  • INEXPENSIVE – With just a little vodka, you can turn your berries into an extract you can use again and again!
  • LOW EFFORT – Although this recipe requires a fair amount of passive time, there’s minimal hands-on time.

Equipment

You’ll only need a few simple everyday tools to make your own blueberry extract for baking. Try to repurpose what you have for a zero waste kitchen!

  • Mason jar
  • Narrow funnel
  • Small strainer
  • Amber glass jar (or other storage bottle)
frozen blueberries and vodka for blueberry extract.

Ingredients

  • Blueberries: Although you can make this extract with fresh or even frozen berries, I highly recommend using dehydrated blueberries. They will ensure your extract is shelf-stable, as the liquid from fresh or frozen berries can dilute it too much. If you want to use fresh or dried berries, you should use a very high-proof alcohol (180-proof or higher).
  • Vodka: For dried berries, choose 100-proof vodka for a really clean tasting extract. If using fresh or frozen berries, be sure to use 180-proof alcohol like Everclear.
large ball jar full of blueberry extract.

How to Make Blueberry Extract

  1. Add your berries to a mason jar. Feel free to crush the berries with the butt of a wooden spoon (if applicable).
  2. Cover with alcohol.
  3. Shake daily and store in a cool, dry place for 4-5 weeks.
  4. When the extract has a strong aroma of fresh blueberries, strain out the berries and store the extract in your final storage jar. For an even stronger extract, restart the process by adding more berries to the strained extract. Let it cure for another 4-5 weeks before straining out the berries and bottling the extract for storage. (I prefer to use amber glass bottles.)
blueberry extract to be strained in a glass jar.

Tips & Variations

  • This recipe makes enough for 1 cup of extract, which may be more than you need. For half a cup (4 fl oz), use just under 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries or 1/4 cup of dried berries and 4 ounces of alcohol. For 1/4 cup of extract (2 fl oz), use just under 1/4 cup fresh berries or 1/8 cup dried berries and 2 oz of vodka.
  • Freeze-dried blueberries are a great substitute for dehydrated blueberries! (I’ll share my tutorial for dehydrating blueberries soon.)
  • For better results, let your blueberry extract sit as long as possible to extract the most flavor. I recommend following the double infusion method mentioned in the recipe whenever possible.
  • Once you get the basic recipe, you can make fruit extracts with other dried fruits as well! It’s great with dried blackberries, dried strawberries, etc.

Storage

Extracts should be stored in a dark glass bottle to avoid sunlight. Keep your jar in a dark place like a cupboard. Extracts have a shelf life of approximately one year.

How to Use Blueberry Extract

Use blueberry extract to enhance the blueberry flavor in your favorite baked goods! I prefer to use it with fresh or frozen blueberries; it just makes that flavor even more noticeable.

Try replacing vanilla extract with blueberry extract to make:

  • Blueberry waffle batter
  • Berry scones
  • Muffins
  • Blueberry Crumble Bars
  • Blueberry yogurt
  • Whisk into blueberry icing
  • Blueberry cream cheese
  • Blueberry pie
  • Berry popsicles
  • Homemade cakes
  • Blueberry white chocolate cookie recipe
  • Enhance your berry smoothie
  • Mix into Greek yogurt with fresh berrries
blueberry extract recipe for baking on a marble background.

FAQs

Does this blueberry extract for baking taste like storebought blueberry extract?

Most of the blueberry extracts on the market add a natural flavor blend, giving them a stronger blueberry flavor than this extract can allow. Without those natural blueberry flavors, this extract still has a lot of flavor, but it won’t be quite as in-your-face as the commercially made products.

Most home bakers will enjoy the high quality of this DIY extract. It still offers great flavor, even if it’s less intense than the artificial stuff. That’s kind of the point.

Does the blueberry type matter?

Although there are many types of blueberries, they all make delicious extracts. Feel free to use whichever blueberries you can find. If you’re really into farm-to-table, you could even make extracts with different blueberry varieties to compare the flavors.

Can you use frozen blueberries to make extract?

I’ve recently updated this post (April 2024) to reflect some important changes. It’s safer to make your blueberry extract with dried or freeze-dried berries whenever possible. These have already had the moisture removed, so they’ll just add a rich blueberry flavor without diluting the alcohol.

Once the fresh or frozen berries are infused, the liquid will dilute the alcohol and can cause your extract to grow mold or bacteria. You will also get a stronger, more concentrated flavor using dried berries.

However, I’ve definitely made this extract with fresh and frozen blueberries! In this situation, I recommend only using very high-proof alcohol (at least 180-proof; I recommend Everclear) to make sure the extract stays safe. Otherwise, it would be best to store this extract in the fridge.

blueberries in vodka for blueberry extract.

Related Recipes

blueberry extract recipe for baking on a marble background.
blueberry extract for baking homemade

Blueberry Extract for Baking

Add a punch of blueberry flavor to your next pie, ice cream, or batch of scones with this homemade blueberry extract for baking! It could not be easier & costs much less than the stuff from the store!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Curing Time 28 days
Total Time 28 days 5 minutes
Course Appetizer, Baking, Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 48 servings
Calories 13 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries, or 3/4 cup fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup vodka (100-proof), Everclear or 180-proof alcohol for fresh or frozen berries

Instructions
 

  • Add your berries to a mason jar. Feel free to crush the berries with the butt of a wooden spoon.
  • Cover with alcohol.
  • Shake daily and store in a cool, dry place for 4-5 weeks.
  • When the extract has a strong aroma of fresh blueberries, strain out the berries and store the extract in your final storage jar. For an even stronger extract, restart the process by adding more berries to the strained extract. Let it cure for another 4-5 weeks before straining out the berries and bottling the extract for storage. (I prefer to use amber glass bottles.)

Notes

The approximate yield for this recipe is 8 fluid ounces or one cup of extract. The nutritional facts are based on a 1 teaspoon serving.
NOTE: For a safe infusion, it’s best to use dried berries and a high-proof vodka (I use a 100-proof vodka, which has 50% alcohol).
If you want to use fresh berries, be sure to use Everclear or something with a similarly high alcohol content (90% alcohol). Frozen berries should be thawed first to weep off any excess moisture and be stored in Everclear like fresh berries.
Freeze-dried blueberries can be used interchangeably with dehydrated blueberries in this recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tspCalories: 13kcalCarbohydrates: 0.3gProtein: 0.02gFat: 0.01gSaturated Fat: 0.001gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.003gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.001gSodium: 0.1mgPotassium: 2mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 0.1mgIron: 0.01mg
Keyword blueberry, homemade extract
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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hi!
    I want to make this over the weekend and use in an order due on Wednesday, I know it should sit for 4-5 weeks but will be flavorful for a sitting for a few days?

    1. Imani, Thanks for your question! Although the extract will likely smell like blueberries after 5 days, I don’t think it will be strong enough to notice in your recipe. Another option is to use dried blueberries to avoid any fresh juices from watering down the vodka but even in this situation, it still won’t be strong after this short period of time. Extracting is a bit of a slow process.

    1. Good question. I haven’t tried that! They might not have a ton of flavor after being soaked in alcohol for a while, but you can certainly try. If you do, please report back!

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