Learn to make an easy homemade vanilla coffee syrup recipe
Have you ever wondered how to make vanilla syrup for coffee? It's an easy process that only requires 3 ingredients. This DIY coffee syrup is flavored with vanilla bean paste to give your coffee a rich and delicious vanilla taste! This at-home version of vanilla sweetener is even better than Starbucks. You'll be able to enjoy your favorite coffee drinks like cold brew, lattes, and iced coffee with a splash of vanilla syrup.
There's something so simple yet delicious about vanilla-flavored coffee. It's almost as if vanilla and coffee were made to pair together!
Since vanilla is such a beloved coffee flavoring, I was determined to find the best way to make homemade vanilla coffee syrup. A syrup that was rich, delicious, and full of vanilla bean seeds.
You can use this sweetener to make all of your favorite Starbucks drinks at home including the blonde vanilla latte, vanilla sweet cream cold foam, London fog tea latte, and so many others.
It's the ultimate coffee syrup recipe that can be paired with many coffee flavors and drinks! Any coffee lover has to try this recipe.
What You'll Learn In This Recipe
I love teaching my readers new skills in the kitchen. With this recipe, you'll learn a few new tricks that will be helpful including:
- What simple syrup is and how it can be used in your own kitchen.
- How to properly store coffee syrup to ensure it lasts for a long time.
- Some fun and easy vanilla flavored coffee drink recipes.
For more cooking knowledge sent straight to your inbox, be sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter.
What Is Simple Syrup?
Simple syrup is a one-to-one mixture (equal parts) of water and sugar that is cooked down into a liquid sweetener.
A basic simple syrup is generally made with granulated sugar. However, you can experiment with making simple syrups with other types of sugar.
You may also hear about rich simple syrup. This is a variation that uses two parts sugar to one part water. This ratio of water to sugar results in a sweeter and thicker simple syrup.
Simple syrups can be used in many ways around the kitchen including:
- To sweeten coffee (both hot and iced coffee)
- To sweeten drinks such as cocktails, lemonade, and tea
- Brushed on top of cake layers to keep them moist
- Added to marinades for a touch of sweetness
- Any time you need to add a touch of sugar
Vanilla Bean Syrup Ingredients
Now that you know what simple syrup is, let's talk about the ingredients you'll need to make this vanilla coffee syrup recipe.
Surprisingly, it only requires three basic ingredients including:
- Granulated Sugar: The first part of any simple syrup is, of course, sugar. This recipe just uses basic granulated sugar. However, you can also use other types of sugar in simple syrups like in this Starbucks copycat brown sugar syrup recipe.
- Water: In order to help the sugar turn into a liquid sweetener, water is required. The sugar becomes dissolved in the water as it cooks.
- Vanilla Bean Paste: The type of vanilla bean paste you use will determine the taste of the simple syrup. I'd suggest purchasing a high-quality vanilla paste, like Rodelle, to ensure the sweetener tastes really delicious.
Tools & Equipment You'll Need
Luckily, you won't need very many tools to make vanilla simple syrup for coffee. This recipe only requires:
- Small saucepan: This will be used to cook the simple syrup.
- Whisk: To incorporate the vanilla bean paste into the simple syrup.
- Reusable bottle: I typically use plastic squeeze bottles or a glass jar. However, you could also make your own DIY coffee shop syrup by purchasing a tall glass bottle and a coffee syrup pump. This would look so cute on a coffee bar!
Be sure whatever type of reusable bottle you purchase has been thoroughly sterilized. This will ensure the homemade syrup lasts.
How To Make This Recipe
If this is your first time making coffee syrup at home, you'll be surprised at how quickly this recipe comes together.
Mise En Place
Before you begin to make this recipe, I'd suggest measuring out all of your ingredients, as well as taking out all the equipment you'll need.
This is what we refer to in the culinary world as mise en place. It's a fancy French word meaning 'to put in place.' It allows chefs to set up and be ready for the cooking process in order to stay organized.
Cook The Simple Syrup
Once you've measured all your ingredients, it's time to combine the granulated sugar and water. Next, heat the mixture up on the stove over medium heat until the sugar dissolves in the water.
Keep an eye on the sugar water throughout the cooking process so you can remove it from the heat as soon as it is done cooking. This should only take about 1 - 2 minutes.
Finally, whisk in the vanilla bean paste to the simple syrup until well combined.
Through recipe testing, I found that the vanilla taste was more prominent by adding in the vanilla paste after cooking the simple syrup. Cooks Illustrated conducted a similar test with baked goods and found some desserts had a more intense vanilla flavor by adding in the vanilla after cooking.
Cool Syrup & Transfer To A Jar
Allow the vanilla bean syrup to cool to room temperature. Then, transfer it to a clean reusable bottle.
The syrup can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator for up to one month. A clean storage bottle is key to making the syrup last a long time!
I've found that the vanilla flavor intensifies the longer it sits. I prefer to wait 24 - 48 hours before using the simple syrup in my coffee.
Recipe Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can absolutely make a double batch of this coffee syrup recipe. It should last at least one month in your refrigerator which will give you plenty of time to use it up!
If you'd like to store the syrup at room temperature, double the amount of sugar in the recipe below. Instead of ½ cup of granulated sugar, use 1 cup of sugar. This rich simple syrup will be able to last on the counter at room temperature.
It's really up to you to decide how much coffee syrup you like in your drinks. Start with ½ tablespoon of syrup and increase as needed to achieve your desired sweetness level.
Vanilla extract will give the coffee syrup a more alcohol-like taste. I found through recipe testing that the vanilla bean paste gave a much richer and more delicious taste. I'd suggest sticking to vanilla bean paste for this recipe to avoid anything tasting like artificial flavors.
Drinks To Make With Vanilla Syrup
Looking for ways to use homemade vanilla bean syrup in your morning coffee? Try out some of these fun and delicious drink recipes:
- Make a Starbucks-inspired Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew.
- An Iced Vanilla Latte is a simple and refreshing treat - especially in the summer.
- Looking for a hot coffee drink? Try this Vanilla Latte using blonde espresso.
- Use the vanilla syrup to sweeten your Vanilla Iced Chai Latte.
- Flavors of vanilla and coconut marry together perfectly in this Vanilla Coconut Latte.
- For an extra simple recipe, add a little syrup to your favorite cold brew, French press, or espresso machine coffee. There's nothing fancy required for this syrup to taste good!
Vanilla Coffee Syrup Recipe (3 Ingredients)
- Add sugar and water to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat just until all the sugar has dissolved, about 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla bean paste. Allow the mixture to cool in the saucepan.
- Transfer syrup to a cleaned reusable bottle and seal tightly with a lid.
- Use syrup immediately, or store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.