Make this sweet and delicious Vanilla Simple Syrup from scratch with just three ingredients -a great way to sweeten and flavor coffee, tea, cocktails and so much more.
No DIY coffee bar is complete without a bottle of vanilla simple syrup. This easy-to-follow Starbucks copycat recipe will show you how to make vanilla simple syrup at home to drizzle on all of the things.
The rich natural flavor in this simple syrup is fantastic in baked goods as well as added to cocktails. You’ll find plenty of ways to use this stuff, but if not -no worries!
Vanilla simple syrup has a great shelf-life and will last you a while. Ready to learn how to make DIY vanilla simple syrup for coffee and tea? Let’s do it!
📝 Ingredients & Equipment
With just 3 basic ingredients, this vanilla simple syrup comes together in a cinch!
- Vanilla Extract: flavors the syrup perfectly with sweet and caramel-y vanilla flavor. For the best flavor, use a quality pure vanilla extract.
- Water: Water adds liquid to the syrup and as the sugar dissolves it thickens the liquid into a syrup. For the best taste, use distilled water.
- Granulated Sugar: Finely granulated sugar or caster sugar is best for simple syrups, as the sugar granules are very small and will dissolve easily.
- Recommended tools: We recommend using a small saucepan with a pour spout for making simple syrups. A fine mesh strainer is also important if you are using fresh ingredients. Airtight syrup jars are also key for storing your syrups safely.
📖 How to Make Vanilla Simple Syrup for Coffee or Tea
Follow these step-by-step instructions to make vanilla syrup for coffee, tea, etc:
1️⃣ Step One: Bring water to a boil.
In a small saucepan, add water and bring to a simmering boil over medium-high heat.
2️⃣ Step Two: Dissolve the sugar.
Next, add granulated sugar to the boiling water and stir until the sugar is dissolved and there are no visible sugar granules.
3️⃣ Step Three: Add vanilla extract.
Once the sugar is fully dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat, add the vanilla extract and stir. Let the vanilla simple syrup cool completely before storing.
4️⃣ Step Four: Cool and store.
Once cool, pour the syrup into a sanitized jar with an airtight lid for storage.
👉 Recipe Tips
- High quality vanilla extract will result in the best tasting syrup. Do not use imitation vanilla extract for simple syrup.
- It’s important that the vanilla be added to the syrup AFTER it’s been removed from the heat. Otherwise, the vanilla flavor will quickly cook off.
- To avoid bacterial growth during storage, be sure to use clean, sanitized jars to store simple syrups.
- Start with the recommended amount of vanilla and add more to your liking.
No, vanilla extract and vanilla syrup are not the same. Vanilla syrup is sugar dissolved in water and then flavored with vanilla extract. Meanwhile, vanilla extract is simply the solution from soaking vanilla beans in ethyl alcohol.
By definition, yes. Vanilla extract is water, ethyl alcohol, and vanilla beans, so it does have alcohol content. That said, adding a small amount of vanilla extract to a bottle of syrup amounts to trace the amount of alcohol, especially when diluted.
For a 16 ounce cup of coffee or tea, we recommend starting with 1 to 2 tablespoons of vanilla syrup, tasting it, and then adding more to your liking.
If you prefer a sweetener without refined sugar, granulated sugar can be replaced with honey, agave, coconut sugar, or date sugar. You could also use a zero-calorie sweetener.
Brown sugar can be used, but the additional molasses and larger sugar granules will slow down dissolving and will also change the flavor profile of the syrup. The syrup will have a slight caramel taste and a deeper flavor.
Yes. In a saucepan bring sugar, water, and the seeds and the pod from a vanilla bean to a boil, stirring continuously until the sugar is dissolved (1 to 2 minutes). Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to cool before removing the vanilla bean and storing it.
Vanilla and French vanilla are two totally different things. Vanilla is simply a flavor. French vanilla on the other hand refers to vanilla ice cream that contains egg yolks, giving it a richer flavor.
- To make sugar-free vanilla simple syrup…
In a small saucepan, bring water and keto granulated sweetener to a simmering boil. Whisk well to combine. Simmer the liquid for 5 to 10 minutes or until the sweetener granules dissolve. Remove from heat immediately, stir in vanilla extract and let cool for at least 10 minutes before storing.
- To make vanilla simple syrup with brown sugar…
Follow the recipe as is but simply use brown sugar in place of granulated white sugar. Simple syrups made with brown sugar add deep, caramel flavor to coffee, tea, and cold drinks.
- To make cinnamon-sugar simple syrup…
You can either boil whole cinnamon sticks with the water and sugar or stir 1 to 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon into the syrup once you remove it from the heat.
☕ How To Use Vanilla Syrup
Looking for delicious ways to use this vanilla simple syrup. Try using vanilla simple syrup in one of these tasty ideas!
- Keep things simple and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of vanilla syrup to your coffee, tea or cold brew.
- Make a honey almond milk cold brew with vanilla simple syrup. In place of honey or in addition to honey, you can use vanilla simple syrup to sweeten and add flavor to cold brew coffee.
- Make an iced vanilla matcha drink by replacing the pineapple ginger syrup in this pineapple matcha drink with vanilla simple syrup.
- Make a pumpkin pie cold brew by sweetening cold brew with vanilla simple syrup and then topping the cold brew with a layer of velvety pumpkin cream cold foam.
- Replace regular simple syrup with vanilla simple syrup in this 3-ingredient pink drink and it will taste like a strawberry shortcake! 🙂
- Stir vanilla simple syrup into sparkling water to make your own vanilla soda or add a splash of syrup to ginger ale or cola for a boost of vanilla flavor.
- Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla simple syrup to your favorite sweet cocktails. Mix with vodka, pineapple juice and grenadine to make an “upside down pineapple cake cocktail” or add vanilla syrup to a basic screwdriver (vodka & OJ) to make a delicious creamsicle cocktail.
🧊 How to store
The high sugar content in simple syrup is a natural preservative making it a great “make once, enjoy for months” treat. The more sugar to water ratio, the longer homemade simple syrups keep. Here’s how to to safely store homemade vanilla simpe syrup:
- Room temperature storage: Simple syrup can be stored in a jar with an airtight container at room temperature in a cool, dark place for up to one month.
- Refrigerator storage: To make your syrup last even longer, store it in the refrigerator and enjoy it for up to three months.
- Freezer storage: Simple syrups can be frozen and thawed for later use. Try freezing simple syrup into ice cubes that can then be thawed for individual use.
🥄 More homemade simple syrup recipes
- Traditional Simple Syrup
- Homemade Blueberry Simple Syrup
- Brown Sugar Simple Syrup
- Keto Simple Syrup
- Homemade Sage Simple Syrup
3 Ingredient Vanilla Simple Syrup
- 3/4 cup Sugar granulated white
- 3/4 cup Filtered Water
- 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
- In a small saucepan, add water and bring to a simmering boil over medium-high heat.
- Next, add granulated sugar to the boiling water and stir until the sugar is dissolved and there are no visible sugar granules.
- Once the sugar is fully dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat, add the vanilla extract and stir. Let the vanilla simple syrup cool completely before storing.
- Once cool, pour the syrup into a sanitized jar with an airtight lid for storage.