You won't believe how easy it is to whip up your own vanilla syrup! With just a few basic ingredients and just 5 minutes, you can create a delicious homemade simple syrup perfect for adding sweet vanilla flavoring to your favorite coffee drinks, cold beverages, and desserts.
I love a good Starbucks copycat (check out my vanilla scones, sweet cream cold foam, and pumpkin cream cold brew), but what I don't love is the high price tag and not-so-great-for-me ingredients. So I've created the perfect Starbucks vanilla syrup dupe at home.
The recipe is super simple--just using vanilla extract, water, and sugar-- no fancy vanilla pods or vanilla bean paste required!
And this recipe is super versatile my friends-- use this syrup for all your favorite beverages, including fancy cocktails to impress your gal pals at the neighborhood happy hour or as a delicious sweetener for whipped cream!
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Ingredients You'll Need
You only need three simple ingredients and a couple of steps to make your own homemade syrup. Here's the list:
- White granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract (use the real stuff, not imitation)
We're making a basic simple syrup for this recipe, using equal parts white sugar and water.
To make the syrup, combine the water and the sugar in a small saucepan and give it a stir. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat and bring it to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce the temperature to medium heat and simmer the syrup for 1 ½ to 2 minutes until the sugar dissolves and the liquid looks completely clear. Give the mixture a stir to make sure you don't feel any sugar granules or grittiness. There should be no color to the syrup at this point either.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. The vanilla needs to be added off the heat so that it doesn't evaporate and lose its flavor.
Use the syrup immediately for hot beverages or let it cool and transfer it to an airtight jar or container for later use.
The vanilla syrup can be stored in an airtight container, pump dispenser, or glass bottle for about 3-4 weeks at room temperature. Perfect for coffee bars and bar carts!
This syrup will also keep for a super long time when it's kept in the fridge. I store my cold syrup in a glass mason jar for up to two months in the refrigerator door. I like having a batch of chilled syrup on hand for cold foam, cold coffee, and whipped cream.
- Flavored syrups are the best way to add flavor and sweetness to any hot or iced coffee, iced tea, cocktails, or any of your favorite drinks without the grittiness of granulated sugar.
- Unleash your inner barista and make sweet vanilla cold foam for topping cold brew coffees. The foam on top is so creamy and dreamy, it tastes like vanilla ice cream. It's the best way to drink a cold coffee, in my humble opinion.
- Brushing or spraying cake layers with a thin layer of vanilla syrup is a great way to add extra moisture and flavor to any cake.
- It makes a great gift for the coffee lover in your life! Simply package your homemade vanilla coffee syrup in a glass jar and attach a pretty label, and you've got yourself a super cute DIY gift everyone will love!
- Add the vanilla extract after cooking the syrup for maximum vanilla flavor.
- Make sure to cook the syrup until the sugar is completely dissolved, or else they syrup will be gritty. The syrup liquid will be very clear and when you stir the mixture, no granules of sugar will be felt on the bottom of the pan.
- When adding syrup to cold foams or heavy cream that will be whipped, make sure the vanilla syrup is very cold. This will help whatever you're whipping and frothing get a lot of volume!
Substitutions and Variations
- Use brown sugar in place of white cane sugar: The cooking process is totally the same. Brown sugar contains molasses, giving your syrup a sweeter, deeper, and smokier flavor, but it might mute the vanilla a bit. Feel free to add more vanilla extract or use a whole vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste for a more intense vanilla flavoring.
- Change up the flavor: Swap the vanilla extract for any other flavoring, like maple, peppermint (only use about ½ teaspoon and add more if needed), cake batter, or whatever extracts look good to you at the grocery store, go for it!
- You can totally swap out the vanilla extract and use a vanilla bean pod or vanilla bean paste instead! The quantity of vanilla paste to vanilla extract would be the same, so it's an equal swap.
- 1 cup of white granulated sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Add the water and the sugar to a small saucepan. Stir to combine.
- Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture begins to boil.
- Turn the heat down to medium and simmer for 2 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is clear.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. The syrup can be used immediately for hot beverages or chilled for iced drinks.
- Vanilla bean paste can be used in place of vanilla extract. The amounts are an equal swap.
- Take the syrup off the heat before adding the vanilla extract, otherwise the vanilla flavor will evaporate.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 34Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 0g