Vanilla extract substitutes?

Vanilla extract is so expensive right now and I don't use nearly enough to justify buying a whole jar of it. Has anyone found any suitable substitutes (besides vanillin--blech!) for it in baked goods?

  • Posted by: Alyssa
  • November 25, 2018


Smaug November 27, 2018
One more- Bourbon vanilla extract $8 for 4 oz. ( that's a lot of cookies). They also have something called (I think) vanilla flavoring, which from a brief glance at the ingredients seems to be vanilla extract with sugar- Lord knows why- but it is real vanilla.
Smaug November 27, 2018
sorry, that's at Trader Joe's
HalfPint November 26, 2018
Good vanilla extract is available for less than $20. Like Smaug posted, sites like Amazon, Ebay, and Etsy have vanilla extract for less than that. I would also suggest buying a couple of vanilla beans and steeping them in some rum or vodka. I've been doing this for the last 10 years. The process is dead simple: drop beans into alcohol and let steep for 3-4 weeks. The extract lasts almost indefinitely and I simply replenish either the beans and/or the alcohol. I don't even remember the last time I bought vanilla extract. I bought about 1lb of vanilla beans for $15 a few years ago from Ebay which I am still using up today (yeah I went a little overboard because the price was so good).
ButterSugarFlowers November 26, 2018
Dark rum!
PieceOfLayerCake November 25, 2018
In my opinion....nothing replaces real vanilla....and chocolate chip cookies aren't nearly the same without it.
Nancy November 25, 2018
Some options.
1) If you use so little, buy the real thing. It keeps up to 4 year in pantry.
2) omit. Sometimes you won't (much) notice it's missing.
3) make homemade from vanilla beans steeped in vodka or brandy.
Smaug November 25, 2018
Not in a general sense- other than more expensive forms of vanilla. Some recipes you can rebalance using things like almond extract, rum, lemon oil, but it's usually going to be a fairly radical departure, it's between you and your conscience. How much are they charging, anyway? I buy the giant bottle at Cosco and don't have to do it very often; when I'm feeling extravagant I use vanilla paste, which I expect to pay through the nose for.
Alyssa November 25, 2018
It's about $20 on sale for organic vanilla at my co-op. Not something I want to pay for just to have some chocolate chip cookies every once in a while.
Smaug November 26, 2018
You can do better than that on Amazon, though you always pay a lot for small quantities. It does keep quite well.
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