12 Easy Homemade Extracts for Your Spice Cupboard

Elevate your baking with these 12 pure, flavorful homemade extracts! Learn how to preserve the essence of your harvest to save money, give the best homemade gifts, and get creative in the kitchen!

collage of homemade extracts.

I’ve been making my own extracts for years now and never want to go back! It’s amazing how easy it is to extract flavor from fresh ingredients. I find it really fun to have a collection of bottles to choose from whenever I want to add flavor to my muffins, scones, and more.

Plus, once you have extracts on hand, you can easily use them to make flavored sugar cubes! These can easily be dehydrated for a really fun handmade gift or to sweeten your teas and more. They’re also great for flavoring homemade whipped cream, pudding, cream cheese, and so much more!

Why you’ll love making your own homemade extracts

  • USE THE HARVEST – Homemade extracts are an excellent way to preserve the full flavor essence of your harvest bounty, without letting anything going to waste.
  • GET CREATIVE IN THE KITCHEN – The best part about having a variety of extracts on hand is that it opens up a world of creative possibilities in the kitchen! Whether it’s sunny lemon, warm vanilla, or spicy cinnamon, you’ll find yourself experimenting with different flavors in all your dishes.
  • ADD TONS OF FLAVOR – These homemade flavor extracts tend to have a purer, more robust flavor compared to store-bought options and none of the flavor oils or food colorings!
  • SAVE SOME MONEY – Many of the extracts at the grocery store are either artificial (imitation extracts) or extremely expensive! Homemade extracts are really concentrated in flavor so you generally just need a few ounces of alcohol for each one. This can be much cheaper in the long run!
  • GREAT HOMEMADE GIFT – Just add a bit of baker’s twine to your jar (these little 2-ounce bottles would be perfect) and make a homemade label! Your little jars and bottles will look amazing in a gift basket and will be especially appreciated around the holiday season. If you want to get extra fancy, you could even add some wax seals to your bottles.
simple & from scratch

Learn how to make 15 delicious extracts!

In my ebook DIY Extracts, you’ll learn everything you need to know to make 15 homemade extracts to add tons of flavor to every bake.

12 Easy Homemade Extracts

bottle of bourbon vanilla extract on a wooden table.

Bourbon Vanilla Extract

This homemade vanilla extract uses richly flavored Madagascar vanilla beans (also called Bourbon vanilla beans) that cure in Bourbon whiskey for up to a year! It’s a potent blend perfect for adding tons of flavor to your cakes, cupcakes, and more. You will definitely taste the difference between your own vanilla extract and store-bought vanilla extracts!

You can also use high-proof vodka and any kind of vanilla beans (Grade A or Grade B beans)! Each one has a subtly different flavor. I especially like Mexican vanilla beans for their classic vanilla flavor and the more floral Tahitian vanilla beans to use in creme brulee, pudding, and other more delicately flavored recipes.

how to use

This extract is delicious in my vanilla muffins, and you can use your leftover fresh vanilla bean to make this vanilla bean paste, my homemade vanilla sugar, this vanilla simple syrup (you could use the extract for this recipe as well), or even this vanilla sugar scrub!

lavender extract on a marble table.

Lavender Extract

Made by infusing dried lavender buds with unflavored vodka, this homemade lavender extract adds an herby, floral note to your recipes. It pairs especially nicely with lemon and is delicious in cookies, cake, ice cream, and bars. 

When preparing this extract, go ahead and make some of these dried lavender recipes at the same time! I love this lavender sugarlavender simple syrup, and lavender liqueur in my summer drinks and bakes.

how to use

Try it in the glaze for these lemon lavender muffins or add a small amount to meringues, sugar cookies, shortbread, and more.

spoonful of homemade cinnamon extract for baking.

Cinnamon Extract

Made with cinnamon sticks and high-proof vodka, the warm, comforting aroma of this cinnamon extract adds a lovely hint of spice to your favorite recipes. It pairs well with fall flavors like apple, pumpkin, and pecan, as well as staples like oats and maple syrup.

how to use

You’ll love it in these apple crumble scones and pumpkin pudding cups, and it would also make a great addition to these dark chocolate truffles! If you’re in the cinnamon spirit, you should also give this cinnamon infused honey a try.

coffee extract for baking in a mason jar.

Coffee Extract

Make this coffee extract with your favorite kind of coffee. I highly recommend organic coffee beans as conventional coffee is one of the most chemically treated ingredients. Specialty stores and local co-ops typically have bulk coffee bean dispensers.

To make this extract, simply crush the coffee beans until they are coarse, add to a mason jar, and cover with vodka. After shaking the jar daily for 3-4 weeks, strain your extract with a cheesecloth or coffee filter and bottle it in an airtight container. Your extract should have a rich, dark brown color.

how to use

The rich, toasty notes of coffee extract pair especially well with chocolate. Add a few tablespoons to your chocolate cake batter, brownie batter, or cookie dough for a deep, bitter twist. This is another extract that would go well with the dark chocolate truffles.

glass of homemade cardamom extract recipe.

Cardamom Extract

This homemade cardamom extract recipe is one of my favorites on this entire list! Why? Well, it’s ready in just 3 days, which is a mere fraction of the other recipes. Plus, it can be used as a vanilla extract substitute! It adds a really interesting flavor without being too in-your-face.

Make sure to use the highest-quality green cardamom pods you can find for the best results! The vodka, on the other hand, doesn’t have to be anything fancy.

how to use

Chai lattes are not the only thing cardamom is good for! It goes well with fall flavors, summer berries, and more. If you like cardamom, you’ll also want to try this cardamom syrup

bottle of homemade mint extract.

Mint Extract

Homemade mint extract is a delicious way to use up that fresh mint from your herb garden. Make sure to chop the fresh mint leaves into small pieces to increase the surface area, resulting in a faster infusion. Try various types of mint for different flavors, such as chocolate mint, spearmint, and peppermint.

how to use

Mint is another delicious extract to combine with chocolate. Add it to chocolate chip cookies, brownies, hot chocolate, lemonade, iced tea, and ice cream. Peppermint extract is perfect for holiday candy!

jar of homemade lemon extract.

Lemon Extract

This homemade lemon extract adds a bright, summery flavor to your muffins, cakes, icings, and scones. Its natural tartness is the perfect contrast for sweet bakes and desserts.

One important thing to note is that since the peels are used in extraction, citrus fruits should be organic to avoid any waxes or pesticides. Always make sure to wash them well first. Place the lemon peels in a glass jar and cover with vodka.

how to use

This extract is wonderful in the dough and glaze of these lemon white chocolate scones as well as these lemon lavender muffins. While you’re at it, give this honey lemon sugar scrub recipe a go!

bottle of homemade orange extract.

Orange Extract

The first time I made orange extract, I found myself adding it to everything – scones, icing, cookies, iced tea, ice cream, hot chocolate, and more. It adds a bright, tangy, refreshing twist to your bakes, which can help balance out a rich dessert.

Large organic oranges work best for this recipe. I typically use navel oranges, but you could also use blood oranges or mandarins. Use a vegetable peeler or sharp knife to remove the skin.

how to use

This homemade orange extract would be delicious in these walnut orange date scones. Try a blood orange extract for the dough and glaze of these blood orange scones. If you enjoy blood oranges, you also love this homemade blood orange syrup.

jar of homemade lime extract.

Lime Extract

Lime extract works best in cakes, pies, and ice cream, but the possibilities are endless! Cocktails, mocktails, sauces, and salad dressing would also be great recipes for your lime extract. 

Simply zest the peel into a glass container, add about 8 ounces of vodka for every 3-4 limes, and let it infuse in a dark, cool place for at least a couple of weeks.

how to use

Use it to make lime icing, pound cake, muffins, and, probably the most popular choice, key lime pie.

Blueberry Extract

This blueberry extract seriously could not be easier to make. It’s best to use dehydrated blueberries for a safe infusion; fresh or frozen blueberries can add too much moisture and dilute the extract.

how to use

Blueberry extract is incredibly versatile. Add it to waffle batter, scones, muffins, yogurt, cake, cookies, smoothies, and popsicles. You can even substitute it for vanilla extract for a tart and fruity twist. Two of my favorite ways to use this extract are in homemade blueberry cream cheese and blueberry icing for vanilla cake!

Try it in this apple blueberry crumble recipe and these blueberry crumble bars. If you have some blueberries leftover, make this blueberry simple syrup for cocktails!

white dish of homemade strawberry extract.

Strawberry Extract

Homemade strawberry extract is the perfect way to add a pop of berry flavor to homemade ice cream, whipped cream, cookies, and more. For best results, use dried strawberry slices, as they add a stronger flavor.

how to use

Most fruit extracts are best used in addition to your fresh ingredients. They aren’t as potent as artificial flavorings, so they aren’t strong enough to make a whole recipe taste like strawberries through and through.

Consider adding a teaspoon of this extract to your strawberry buttermilk scones to add the fresh berry flavor directly to the dough.

small jar of blackberry extract.

Blackberry Extract

Add a boost of fresh blackberry flavor to your homemade scones, muffins, and more with this blackberry extract recipe. Just like other fruit extracts, be sure to use dried blackberries for the most concentrated flavor.

how to use

This recipe doesn’t have the same intense flavor you get from blackberry flavoring, so it’s best used alongside fresh or dried berries in recipes.

Tips & Variations

  • Keep it simple, and use what you have on hand! Grab a mason jar, some cheap vodka, and give it a whirl. You can always splurge on fancier bottles and alcohol when you get more experience.
  • Use dehydrated or freeze-dried fruit for fruit extracts. I have made extracts with fresh fruit, but they don’t get quite the same punch of flavor. Dehydrated fruits have already had the liquid removed, so they have extra concentrated flavor.
  • To make citrus extracts, you want to make sure you only get the citrus peels and none of the bitter white pith. I always recommend using organic citrus to avoid preservatives and waxes.
  • Use a neutral-tasting alcohol like vodka or Everclear for most extracts. Bourbon or spiced rum are great for pure vanilla extract, though!
  • Keep them out of direct sunlight (especially if using clear bottles) in a cool, dark place at room temperature. Sunlight can degrade the flavor oils over time. I like to keep my extracts in my spice cupboard or pantry.
  • Use your nose. The best way to know when extracts are ready is when you smell the fruit or spice before the alcohol! Some take just a few days while others can take up to a year.

Related Recipes

pin for homemade extract recipes.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.