MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WCCO) — Enjoying your favorite scoop of ice cream or bakery treat could soon cost you more dough.

In recent years, the price of vanilla began skyrocketing for some local businesses in the Twin Cities that rely on the ingredient.

The owner of one popular local bakery in the Twin Cities tells WCCO-TV two years ago, he was paying about $45 for a gallon of vanilla. This year, he is paying close to $310 just for one gallon. That prompted him to slightly raise prices on some items.

The cost of vanilla has soared due to high demand and low supplies in Madagascar, where much of the world’s crop is grown.

Experts blame the sudden popularity of all-natural ingredients for the spike. Storms and weak crop-security on the island nation didn’t help either.

The vanilla shortage is forcing Queen of Cakes in Edina to look for solutions in alternative ingredients to keep their cakes sweet and their prices low.

“As far as a real vanilla extract, a true vanilla extract, it’s out of our price range. We would be paying 10 times what we were paying three years ago,” said Terri Leckas, co-owner of Queen of Cakes.

Ice cream shops are feeling the impact as well.

“I just feel very challenged by the price of vanilla now, because I want to have this ice cream be accessible for everyone. But at the same time, I need to keep my costs down too,” said Barb Zapzalka, owner of Pumphouse Creamery.

At-home bakers will also feel the price pinch. The vanilla you buy at the grocery store to make bars and cookies is impacted by all of this as well.

According to one cooking publication, the harvest of vanilla beans began last month in Madagascar, so we will have to wait a while to see how good this year’s crop was and if those prices start to go down.

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