• Top 10 Best Vanilla Extracts in 2021 (Simply Organic, Rodelle, and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Vanilla Extracts in 2021 (Simply Organic, Rodelle, and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Vanilla Extracts in 2021 (Simply Organic, Rodelle, and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Vanilla Extracts in 2021 (Simply Organic, Rodelle, and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Vanilla Extracts in 2021 (Simply Organic, Rodelle, and More) 5

Top 10 Best Vanilla Extracts in 2021 (Simply Organic, Rodelle, and More)

Vanilla extract is an ingredient used in many baking recipes because it helps to add a nice aroma and brings out the flavors of other ingredients. Since vanilla extract can affect the flavor of your recipes, it's important to choose a good quality vanilla extract.  


Want to know how to choose the best vanilla extract for you? Check our buying guide to know what needs to be considered before you decide to buy one. We picked Nielsen-Massey's vanilla extract as our number one product because it's a pure, hand-selected vanilla extract that comes in an amber glass bottle to preserve the freshness. Read on to check other suggested products in our top 10 list, too! 

  • Last updated: 03-05-2021
  • 439 views
Table of Contents

Top 10 Best Vanilla Extracts

Check out our top ten picks for vanilla extracts, all of which are highly rated by reviewers! They vary in ingredients, flavors, and packaging sizes. 

1

Nielsen-MasseyMadagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract

$19.95

Amount4 fl. oz.
Vanilla bean typeMadagascar
IngredientsWater, 35% alcohol, sugar, vanilla bean extractives
2

Simply OrganicPure Vanilla Extract

$17.98

Amount4 fl. oz.
Vanilla bean typeMadagascar
IngredientsVanilla bean extractives in water, alcohol
3

RodellePure Vanilla Extract

$15.98

Amount8 fl. oz.
Vanilla bean typeMadagascar
IngredientsVanilla bean extractives, 35% alcohol, water
4

McCormickAll Natural Pure Vanilla Extract

$8.14

Amount1 fl. oz.
Vanilla bean typeMadagascar
IngredientsVanilla bean extractives, water, 41% alcohol
5

WatkinsBaking Vanilla With Pure Vanilla Extract

$10.97

Amount11 fl. oz.
Vanilla bean typeMadagascar
IngredientsWater, sugar, glycerin, vanilla extract, alcohol natural flavors, fruit juice
6

Native VanillaPure Vanilla Extract

$12.99

Amount4 fl. oz.
Vanilla bean typeTahiti
IngredientsVanilla bean extractives, alcohol, water
7

FlavorganicsOrganic Vanilla Extract

$17.71

Amount4 fl. oz.
Vanilla bean typeNot specified
IngredientsWater, 35% organic alcohol, organic vanilla bean extractives
8

Blue Cattle Truck Trading Co.Pure Mexican Vanilla Extract

$38.95

Amount16.7 fl. oz.
Vanilla bean typeMexican
IngredientsVanilla bean extractives in purified water, 35% alcohol
9

HeilalaPure Vanilla Extract

$14.57

Amount1.69 fl. oz.
Vanilla bean typeMadagascar
IngredientsVanilla bean extractives in water, 35% alcohol
10
Amount4 fl. oz.
Vanilla bean typeTahiti
IngredientsWater, vanilla bean extractives, 35% alcohol

Compare the Best Vanilla Extracts

Image
1
Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract 1

Nielsen-Massey

2
Simply Organic Pure Vanilla Extract 1

Simply Organic

3
Rodelle Pure Vanilla Extract 1

Rodelle

4
McCormick All Natural Pure Vanilla Extract 1

McCormick

5
Watkins Baking Vanilla With Pure Vanilla Extract 1

Watkins

6
Native Vanilla Pure Vanilla Extract 1

Native Vanilla

7
Flavorganics Organic Vanilla Extract 1

Flavorganics

8
Blue Cattle Truck Trading Co. Pure Mexican Vanilla Extract 1

Blue Cattle Truck Trading Co.

9
Heilala Pure Vanilla Extract 1

Heilala

10
LorAnn  Tahitian Vanilla Extract 1

LorAnn

Name

Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract

Pure Vanilla Extract

Pure Vanilla Extract

All Natural Pure Vanilla Extract

Baking Vanilla With Pure Vanilla Extract

Pure Vanilla Extract

Organic Vanilla Extract

Pure Mexican Vanilla Extract

Pure Vanilla Extract

Tahitian Vanilla Extract

Features

An All-Purpose Vanilla Extract

100% Organic Vanilla Extract

Sustainably-Grown Vanilla from the USA

Mini Bottle of Vanilla With an Easy-Pour Spout

A Low-Alcohol Vanilla for Baking

Ethically-Sourced and Hand-Picked Vanilla Beans

Organic Vanilla Extract Made in the USA

Mexican Vanilla Bottled in America

Sweet, Cold-Pressed Vanilla Extract

A Floral and Fruity Double-Fold Vanilla Extract

Price$19.95$17.98$15.98$8.14$10.97$12.99$17.71$38.95$14.57$15.99
Amount4 fl. oz. 4 fl. oz.8 fl. oz.1 fl. oz. 11 fl. oz.4 fl. oz.4 fl. oz.16.7 fl. oz.1.69 fl. oz.4 fl. oz.
Vanilla bean typeMadagascarMadagascarMadagascarMadagascarMadagascarTahitiNot specified MexicanMadagascarTahiti
IngredientsWater, 35% alcohol, sugar, vanilla bean extractivesVanilla bean extractives in water, alcoholVanilla bean extractives, 35% alcohol, waterVanilla bean extractives, water, 41% alcohol Water, sugar, glycerin, vanilla extract, alcohol natural flavors, fruit juiceVanilla bean extractives, alcohol, waterWater, 35% organic alcohol, organic vanilla bean extractivesVanilla bean extractives in purified water, 35% alcoholVanilla bean extractives in water, 35% alcoholWater, vanilla bean extractives, 35% alcohol
Link

How to Choose a Vanilla Extract - Buying Guide

There are many factors to consider when it comes to choosing the right vanilla extract. We recommend keeping these points in mind while shopping.

Check All the Ingredient Lists

Check All the Ingredient Lists

The most important thing when choosing a vanilla extract is to make sure that it's actually an extract, not a flavor!


Vanilla extract is made with whole vanilla beans soaked in water and ethyl alcohol, whereas vanilla flavor is made with vanilla bean extractives and propylene glycol. So, vanilla extract has a stronger scent and aroma than vanilla flavor.


Some vanilla extracts may contain sugar and corn syrup to soften the flavor of the alcohol and act as a stabilizer. Keep in mind that the fewer ingredients there are on the label, the purer the extracts are.  

Choose Between Pure Vanilla or Imitation Vanilla

Choose Between Pure Vanilla or Imitation Vanilla

If you want a high-quality vanilla extract, look for "pure vanilla" on the label. For a vanilla extract to be called "pure," it must contain at least 35 percent of alcohol and 13.35 ounces of vanilla beans per gallon.


"Imitation vanilla" is usually made with vanillin derived from wood pulp, and it has a different flavor than vanilla made from vanilla bean extractives. It also contains water, synthetic alcohol, corn syrup, and caramel coloring.

Choose Between Pure Vanilla or Imitation Vanilla

Unlike pure vanilla extract, imitation vanilla can sometimes give your food a bitter aftertaste. However, it's a good option if you need an affordable alternative.


One way to differentiate between pure vanilla and imitation vanilla is to check the color of the extract. Pure vanilla has a dark brown color, whereas imitation vanilla has a clear or caramel color.   

Consider Double-Fold or Triple-Fold for a More Concentrated Extract

Consider Double-Fold or Triple-Fold for a More Concentrated Extract

Most vanilla extracts are single-fold, meaning they contain about 100 vanilla beans per one gallon of alcohol. Single-fold vanilla extracts are widely used by home bakers. 


Double-fold and triple-fold vanilla extracts are made using twice and triple the number of vanilla beans. These are a great option for recipes that call for a strong flavor or people who like an intense vanilla aroma. Since they're more concentrated, you can use a little bit less to make the bottle last longer, too!

Decide Among Madagascar, Mexican, Tahiti, and Indonesian Vanilla Beans

Decide Among Madagascar, Mexican, Tahiti, and Indonesian Vanilla Beans

Madagascar vanilla, also known as Bourbon vanilla, is the most popular type. Its classic, creamy, and rich flavor complements all recipes.


Consider Tahiti vanilla for a fruity and floral flavor and scent. It has fewer seeds and has a higher water and oil content than Madagascar vanilla beans. We recommend pairing it with fruits and frozen desserts.


If you want to add a hint of spice to your recipe, consider Mexican vanilla. It offers a smooth and spicy flavor with a woody scent. On the other hand, the Indonesian vanilla has sweet, smokey, and strong vanilla flavors. With this combination, it's great for recipes that use caramel or dark chocolate. 

Make Sure It's Not Made from Tonka Bean Extract

Make Sure It's Not Made from Tonka Bean Extract

Some vanilla extracts made in Mexico and other Latin American countries are actually made from tonka beans. Tonka beans are a legume that belongs to the pea family. They have a sweet aroma with a hint of spice that is reminiscent of vanilla. 


Many Mexican vanilla extracts are often made with chemicals and contain very little or no alcohol. Although they're listed as "pure" on the label, there is a strong chance that they're not a pure vanilla extract. If you like the aroma and taste of Mexican vanilla beans, choose a vanilla extract that's bottled in the USA

Opt for Amber Glass Bottles for Preventing Quality Loss

Opt for Amber Glass Bottles for Preventing Quality Loss

Vanilla extract has a long shelf life, but it can lose an aroma and flavor over time, especially if it's improperly stored. To maintain its best quality, you need to keep it away from sunlight and heat.


An amber glass bottle is the perfect packaging choice since it helps to keep the vanilla extract away from ultraviolet light, which is the main cause of oxidation and degradation. Plus, glass is safe to use because it doesn't leach chemicals into the extract. 

Looking for the Best Boxed Baking Mixes?

Looking for the Best Boxed Baking Mixes?

Boxed mixes are an excellent way to make delicious desserts with minimal effort. Check out our favorite baking mixes that will save a lot of time in the kitchen!

Summary

When you're looking for a vanilla extract, keep in mind its origin of vanilla, ingredients, and packaging. Make sure to choose one that's made from vanilla beans, not tonka beans! If you're looking for a more concentrated flavor, consider double-fold or triple-fold extracts.


Consider "pure vanilla" for a rich, high-quality vanilla flavor, but "imitation vanilla" is also fine for an affordable option. Now you're ready to find your favorite vanilla extract. Good luck with your search!


Author: Apinya Masuda


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