Homemade Almond Extract is super easy to make at home and only requires 2 ingredients! It is great for flavoring frostings, putting it in fresh cherry pie, making homemade cookies, the sky is the limit!  We use apricot kernels which are used to flavor amaretto, marzipan and almond extract.


  • ½ cup of Bitter Apricot Kernels (you will need 1½ cups in total in order to change them twice)
  • 14 ounces of Rum or Vodka

You'll also need a pint sized jar or larger.


  1. To start, preheat your oven to 200°F and roast the kernels for 20 minutes, being careful not to burn.
  2. Crack the kernels lightly and whilst still warm add to the alcohol.
  3. Let this sit for 2-3 weeks, then strain and repeat the first 2 steps with fresh kernels.
  4. Leave for another 2-3 weeks, strain and repeat the first 2 steps for the final time.
  5. Store in a cool dark place and shake the jar occasionally. Allow the extraction to take place until the taste is to your liking! The longer it extracts the richer the flavor will be. It is normally ready after a few months.
  6. When it's ready, simply strain and use! 


☆ Kernels can be blanched if desired but leaving the skins in tact will provide a greater depth to the flavor.

☆ Some of the alcohol will be absorbed by the kernels, you can just top up with more alcohol as required.

VanillaPura Pro
Tagged: almond extract


Hi Linda! You don’t need to change the vodka each time you change out the kernels, you may need to top it up to 14 fl oz each time though as the kernels may absorb some of the vodka. Happy extracting!

— VanillaPura pro

This is a question, I have my extract changed out 3 times, should I change the vodka each time or use it for all of my cracked kernels when I am ready to let them set for the last time. Thank you!!

— Linda

Hi Cathy, I had the exact same question when I found out that you could use apricot kernels to make almond extract!

Apricot kernels just happen to yield an extract with a finer almond flavor. The same compounds that give almonds their flavor are found in apricot kernels but in a stronger concentration.

— VanillaPura Pro

I would also like to know why we are to use apricot kernels to make almond extract. Why not use almonds?

— cathy

Your articles on vanilla beans are excellent. I just read the one on receiving the vanilla beans in cold weather and hot weather. It was throughout and very helpful. The illustrations are terrific.
I have been making extracts for many years but am always learning something new from your site. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge of the vanilla beans.

— linnanne

Thank you for sharing another method Karen!

— VanillaPura Pro

Found this recipe online from Cheryl Savona-Carothers:


Since my cookie recipe was so quick and easy today, I finally had time to make more Almond Extract. Most of you already know how to make it, but if some of our new members want to make it, I’m showing you how.😊

Almond Extract is super easy to make. You just need the alcohol of your choice, being between 80-100 proof and bitter apricot kernels. You can purchase Bitter Apricot Kernels on Amazon. The recipe is 1 cup of bitter apricot kernels to 1 cup of alcohol. Then you let it brew for 10-12 weeks. That’s it!

You just blanch the bitter apricot kernels in boiling water, then let them soak for 30-45 minutes. This makes removing the skins very easy. This part is a little bit of a pain in the patootie, but it’s worth the work to have crystal clear extract. Leaving the skins on will make your extract cloudy and that can cause bitterness.

— Karen

When making almond extract, can I remove the brown skins on the apricot kernels prior to soaking in vodka? I do not want a brown looking extract.

— Chrustina

Hello, let me see if I can answer some of these questions. I use bitter apricot kernels in 12-16 ounces of 80-100 proof vodka for a clean flavor. Roast your kernels in the oven on 200° for twenty minutes. You do not need to soak the kernels prior. Add to the alcohol, give it a good shake, and let it sit a month, then repeat with new kernels. I change them out 2 or 3 times until the almond flavor gets good. You can use either bitter or sweet apricot kernels and they can be bought online. You can also use the kernels from apricot or any stone fruit pits, if you have the time, its tedious, but works. Its important to roast before using.

— Starlette

Everyone are asking questions that are not answered here. So I searched the net and came up with this info on using the fruit pits to make extracts. Not sure if it’s ok to post links, but hopefully this will help answer any doubts about using the pits.

— Barb

To answer some questions. Nid Apricot kernels are what has the known Almond flavoring we are use too. Commercial extract uses the apricot kernels. Using Almonds doesn’t give the flavor you are use too. As for Cynide, there’s not enough in your extract to cause an issue. You’d have to consume a lot.

— Sandra Fenter

It would be nice if someone would answer the questions in the comments. I realize this section is for “comments”, but there are some really good, valid questions. Please consider responding to your consumers. Thank you.

— Becky

How do apricot pits make almond extract

— Margie

Where can I buy apricot pits?
Do I just use the kernel & throw away the shells?
How long till it’s done?

— Christine Schmidt

Hi- I gathered apricot pits this summer when making jam. They’ve been sitting until now and the pits are dried. If I crack them open now can I still use the dried seeds to make almond extract after they’re well dried?

— Judy

What does extract look like when it’s finished? Mine looks clear & watery?

— Julie Matheus

My dad just brought me 500 apricot pitts. He is worried about me using them cause his wife said the pitts have cyanid in them. Do I need to prepare them in a way to make sure they are safe? Or does soaking in vodka kill the bad stuff???
Sorry if it sounds scary, I was a bit concerned as I never heard of that before, so now I’m worried.

— Melissa

Is there a distinction between bitter apricot pits and sweet apricot pits? Which should we choose? TIA

— Karen Osburn

Do you soak the apricot kernels 1st? Thank you. I have kernels but I don’t know to prepare them.

— Michele Helton

Can I make almond extract with bourbon?

— Sharon

If we are making an almond extract, why then are we using apricot pits)

— Norma Cusanek

Hi, Aimee. I did change out my pits after 3 weeks twice, so at 3 weeks then 6 weeks. I’m letting mine go for 6 months as someone in the group suggested.

— Carol

I’m also waiting for an answer to Aimee. Do you need to replace the apricot seeds at any time during processing?

— Day Patsy

Do I have to change out the apricot pits am during the 2-3 month extraction process?

— Aimee

Hi Rhonda!
So good to hear from you. We can’t wait to hear what you think of the beans you just ordered! We have plenty of members on our Facebook group who have experience making almond extract with peach pits. I would post in the group about that and several people would love to help you out. :)

— VanillaPura

Hello, so happy I seen you guys on Facebook.
I join the last or so of September. I’ve tired making vanilla extract with vodka and one with Bourbon, It’s been about a year and they are not good and I’ve already found out why from you wonderful vanilla loving people… MY beans were old …. So I’ve order with the co-op Madagascar , Mexican, Hawaiian and. Sri-lanky . I repurpose a lot of jars so just need to go to Costco to get my spirits and I’m ready to go! My question here is peach pits can I make almond extract out of peach pits I have a tree that never holds the peaches long enough to ripen, I end up with peach ground cover , So I have tons of peach pits!!

— Rhonda

Hi Sandi!
We do not offer apricot kernals. A lot of our group members in our Facebook group, Making Vanilla Extract by VanillaPura purchase theirs on Amazon or through other sites. :)

— VanillaPura

Where can you buy apricot pits?

— Sandi Perry

Can you use a variety of pits for the same 1/2 cup to make the extract?

— Ruth

When you say 1/2 c pits, are you talking about the pit (stone) that is found when the fruit is removed or the pit inside the stone when you crack it open?

— Pam Reiger

Question… do you know how many ounces of kernels that you got from the 1/2 cup of Apricot Pits? Thanks

— Marlene Whelan