Is Vanilla Extract Gluten-free? (And What Brands To Buy)

Is vanilla extract gluten-free? Pure vanilla extract is naturally gluten-free, but if you’re extremely sensitive to gluten, you may want to find one that’s tested and labeled as gluten-free. I’ve included a list of brands below!

What is vanilla extract?

Vanilla extract is a popular ingredient in baking. It is extracted from vanilla beans as a liquid and comes with a very unique taste and aroma.

Vanilla extract not only gives pastries and sweets a robust flavor but also brings out the flavors of the other ingredients. Normally, this extract comes in different qualities.

While some low-quality brands are cheap and readily available, the best quality brands can be quite costly.

As we stated earlier, vanilla extract is made from vanilla beans which are naturally gluten-free. In the manufacturing process, vanilla beans are added to water and alcohol to produce the vanilla extract. By the way, if you’re vegan, you might want to check out my post on Is Vanilla Extract Vegan?

As such, some people might worry that some gluten may find its way to the extract if gluten-grain-containing alcohol is used.

However, most manufacturers argue that any alcohol produced through the distillation process contains no gluten and is safe for celiacs. Some companies go the extra mile by using alcohol produced from non-gluten ingredients. That way, they eliminate the chances of your vanilla extract containing gluten.

If you’re still worried about it, there are brands of vanilla extract that are produced without alcohol.

That said, to ensure that the vanilla extract you bought has no gluten, it is always safe to read the labels.

What kind of vanilla to avoid

I’d recommend only using high-quality vanilla extract.

Pure vanilla extract, though expensive, shouldn’t contain traces of gluten. On the other hand, other cheap imitations are probably made from alcohol that is not distilled. To make matters worse, some low-budget manufacturers even use flavors and additives which contain gluten.

Gluten-free Vanilla Extract Brands

Let’s look at top vanilla extract brands that are labeled as gluten-free right on their packaging! The following information is accurate as of 4/21/2022.

Companies can change their recipes and production methods at any time, so always check the bottle. Also, note that I’m referring to products here that are pure vanilla extract – not flavoring.

  • Nielsen-Massey – not only is this labeled as gluten-free, but all of their products are certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). The standards to be certified gluten-free are stricter than the FDA’s standards to label a product as gluten-free.

    Their pure vanilla and flavor extracts are produced using 100% sugar cane alcohol and their organic pure vanilla extract uses organic sugar cane alcohol.

    Their facility is also free of the top 8 allergens, so this is a fantastic company to buy from if you have other allergies!

    Nielsen-Massey provides a wide selection of natural vanilla extracts. They source vanilla beans from different places like Africa and Europe to make the best quality vanilla extract. In addition, they only use distilled alcohol when manufacturing their vanilla extracts.

  • Simply Organic – I love this company and their products. But you have to be careful with which of their products you get. Their pure vanilla extract is certified gluten-free.

    It has a new design, and the one on Amazon does not. I’m not sure if the old bottles are also certified gluten-free.

    I have an old bottle of flavoring (bought accidentally) and that doesn’t say gluten-free anywhere on the bottle. They say on their website that they don’t test for gluten in their products – only those that are certified gluten-free.

  • McCormick – this one is manufactured with distilled alcohol and is also the easiest to find. You should be able to find it in any store that carries vanilla extract!

    This extract also contains zero inorganic products and is made with just natural ingredients. Lastly, the manufacturers were very thoughtful when packaging this extract. It comes in a nice functional bottle which reduces your chances of making a mess in the kitchen and wasting your extract.

  • Blue Cattle Truck Trading Co. – Blue Cattle Truck Trading Co. produces one of the most popular vanilla extracts on the market. The manufacturer uses the highest quality Mexican vanilla beans to make this extract.

    The rich and creamy flavor of the extract has a spicy, woody richness to it. This is typical of any Mexican vanilla extract.

    More importantly, there are no chemicals, additives, flavonoids, or cane sugar in this vanilla extract.

  • Singing Dog – the one I just linked to is their alcohol-free version. The ingredients are: Water, Glycerin, Organic Vanilla Bean Extractives. The ingredients in the alcohol-based one (found here) are: Water, Alcohol (35%), Vanilla Bean Extractives.

    The company says on its website that it takes the initiative to keep its factory and equipment gluten-free and safe.

    The beans utilized in all of its products are from Indonesia. As a result, you get a rich, distinctive flavor that brings fruity and spicy elements to every recipe you use it in. Indonesian vanilla is known for its cinnamon and prune flavors.

Now if you find yourself having a craving, be sure to check out one of these gluten-free treats that contain vanilla!

Since I listed some recipes with oats, you might be asking Are Oats Gluten-free? If so, hop on over and check it out.

I hope this helped answer your question! Have any others? Leave them below and I’d be happy to answer them for you!