Short answer, yes.
Pure vanilla extract is gluten free. That is a fact. There is no place for gluten to hide or lurk. Unfortunately, there’s an abundance of misinformation regarding the gluten free status of pure vanilla extract.
In the United States, legal criteria must be met to be labeled pure vanilla extract. The FDA standard of identity includes vanilla bean extraction in a distilled alcohol. Distilled alcohol is gluten free, of course. The distillation process prevents protein from vaporizing into the final distillate. The only other permitted ingredients are: water, glycerin, propylene glycol, sugar, invert sugar, glucose, and corn syrup. The other ingredients can be added to enhance the perceived flavor qualities and to speed up the extraction process.
If you’ve ever extracted vanilla beans in plain water, you know it takes forever. I’d suggest using vodka or any other distilled alcohol if you want to make your own. Here’s a lovely post on how to make vanilla extract. It takes a while to make though, so buying ready to use vanilla extract is the way to go if you want to bake right now. Nielsen-Massey, McCormick, Watkins, Lochhead, Tone’s, Durkee . . . any brand that you see labeled as pure vanilla extract is gluten free.
Ready to bake? Check out some of my favorite gluten free recipes here.