Does Vanilla Extract Have Sugar? (Answered)

We often associate vanilla extract with sweet foods like cakes, pies, cookies, and ice cream. But, does vanilla extract on its own contain added sugar?

This article simply covers the topic of whether there is sugar in vanilla extract. Let’s get into the information!

Sugar In Vanilla Extract?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), sugar, including invert sugar, is an optional component of vanilla extract. Many pure vanilla extracts are made with just vanilla bean extractives in water and alcohol with no added sugar.

However, there are some extracts that have added sugar. Unfortunately, vanilla extract is one of those products where some have added sugar whereas others do not.

Below you will find popular vanilla extract brands, whether they have added sugar, and a list of their ingredients. In summary, most products listed do not have added sugar but a couple of them do have it.

Vanilla Extract BrandAdded Sugar (Yes or No)?Ingredients
McCormick Pure Vanilla ExtractNoVanilla Bean Extractives in Water, and Alcohol.
McCormick OrganicNoVanilla Bean Extractives (Organic) in Water and Organic Alcohol.
Watkins Original Gourmet
Baking Vanilla
YesWater, Sugar, Propylene Glycol, Vanilla Extract (Water, Alcohol, Extractive Of Vanilla Beans), Alcohol, Artificial Flavors, Caramel Color.
Badia Vanilla Pure ExtractNoWater, Alcohol, and Extractives of Vanilla Bean.
Simply Organic Pure Madagascar VanillaNoOrganic Vanilla Bean Extractives in Water, Organic Alcohol.
Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla ExtractYesWater, Alcohol (35%), Sugar, and Vanilla Bean Extractives.
Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract – No Sugar AddedNoWater, Alcohol (35%), and Vanilla Bean Extractives.
Morton & Bassett Pure Vanilla ExtractNoWater, Alcohol (35% Min) and Vanilla Bean Extractions.
Spice Islands Pure Vanilla ExtractNoWater, Alcohol, Extractives of Vanilla Beans
Great Value Pure Vanilla ExtractNoVanilla Bean Extractives in Water, Alcohol (41%).
Good & Gather Pure Vanilla ExtractNoVanilla Bean Extractives In Water, Alcohol.
Stonemill Pure Vanilla ExtractNoWater, 41% Alcohol, Vanilla Bean Extractives.

Ingredients can change at any time and without notice. Be sure to read the product label at the store for the most up-to-date and accurate ingredient information.

How Much Sugar In Vanilla Extract

If a vanilla extract contains sugar, it will generally not have a lot of it. The USDA’s FoodData Central is a database that provides nutritional data on thousands of foods. It indicates that the sugars in vanilla extract are about .5 grams for a teaspoon and about 1.6 grams for a tablespoon.

Considering most recipes that use vanilla extract call for a tablespoon or less of it, it does not provide a meaningful amount of sugar for most people to be concerned about it.