Starbucks vanilla syrup is simple to make and so delicious! Make this homemade vanilla coffee syrup recipe in under five minutes with only three simple ingredients. Perfect to add a touch of sweetness to your favorite coffee drinks, homemade espresso creations, or iced tea!
Making your own coffee syrup at home is a great way to save a little cash and ditch the long lines at Starbucks! A cup of coffee doesn't have to break the bank! Not to mention making your own vanilla syrup is as easy as boiling water!
What is Starbucks Vanilla Syrup?
Starbucks vanilla syrup is a liquid sweetener used to add sweetness to many of their beverages, like iced lattes, iced coffee, cold brew, and more. While this coffee syrup can be used for for hot drinks, it is especially perfect for cold drinks. Since the sugar is already dissolved, it will mix into iced drinks effortlessly. Unlike granulated sugar, which has a tendency to just sink to the bottom of cold beverages.
Essentially this is a simple syrup recipe, which is a mixture of sugar and water, with the addition of vanilla. At Starbucks, the vanilla syrup is similar to their classic syrup, just with the addition of vanilla flavor.
When you see just how simple and cheap this vanilla syrup recipe is to make, you'll never want to spend the outrageous prices on that bottle of syrup from your local Starbucks store ever again. Even the coffee syrups at the grocery store are way overpriced for what they actually are. Save your money and make this coffee syrup right at home in your own kitchen!
Three Simple Ingredients
This copycat Starbucks vanilla syrup recipe only calls for three ingredients, granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and water, making this a very simple recipe with ingredients you likely already have on hand.
Note: I also tried making a version of this syrup with vanilla bean paste. It worked, but it leaves specks of vanilla bean floating in the syrup. It was tasty and unique, but is unlike the Starbucks version. The same is true for whole vanilla bean. It's just not necessary nor cost effective. Personally, I preferred the version made with vanilla extract instead, especially if you're looking for a true copycat recipe.
How to Make Starbucks Vanilla Syrup
You can make this homemade syrup recipe on the stovetop or in the microwave. Either way this liquid sugar is so quick and easy to make, from start to finish in less than five minutes!
- Add the sugar and cold water to a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer until the sugar dissolves
- Then remove from heat. This whole process takes only a few minutes. The sugar usually dissolves just as the mixture comes to a full boil.
- Once dissolved, stir in the vanilla extract. Then allow the syrup to cool to room temperature before storing for later use.
- To make this syrup in the microwave, simply combine the cup of sugar and water in a microwave safe measuring cup.
- Microwave on HIGH power one minute at a time until the sugar dissolves, stirring after each minute.
- It should take about 2-3 minutes to dissolve the sugar, times may vary depending on the strength of your microwave.
- Once the sugar is dissolved, remove the measuring cup form the microwave and stir in the vanilla extract. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature and then store for later use.
How To Use Starbucks Vanilla Syrup
One pump of syrup at Starubucks is equal to 1 tablespoon. Use this information to make your own Starbucks copycat recipe at home.
Below are a few Starbucks drink recipes that use vanilla syrup which you can easily recreate. One of my favorites is the Iced Caramel Macchiato! It is so simple to make and uses vanilla syrup!
Iced Vanilla Latte Recipe
- Pour 2 shots freshly brewed espresso into a 16 ounce glass.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons vanilla syrup.
- Then add about 1 cup of ice to the glass.
- Top with 2% milk, or your milk of choice.
Iced Caramel Macchiato Recipe
- Add 2-3 tablespoons vanilla syrup to a 16 ounce glass.
- Add about 8 ounces of 2% milk, or milk of choice to the glass.
- Top with ice leaving room for espresso.
- Pour 2 shots of freshly brewed espresso on top of the ice.
- Drizzle caramel sauce on top.
Iced London Fog Tea Latte
- Brew Earl Gray Tea in 1 cup of hot water.
- Pour over ice in a 16 ounce glass.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons vanilla syrup.
- Top with 2% milk, or milk of choice.
Other ways to use vanilla syrup:
- Make vanilla sweet cream or sweet cream cold foam.
- Moisten your homemade cakes by brushing some of the syrup on each layer before frosting.
- Sweeten your homemade cocktails.
- Toss some of this simple syrup with freshly cut fruit for a fruit salad.
- Cinnamon-Vanilla Syrup: Add one cinnamon stick to the saucepan along with the sugar. The cinnamon flavor will infuse as the mixture heats.
- Salt: A pinch of salt can enhance the flavors in your syrup but isn't absolutely necessary.
- Classic Syrup: Omit the vanilla to make a Starbucks Classic Syrup.
- Brown sugar syrup: Swap the white sugar with brown sugar and you've got a whole new depth of caramel-like flavor!
- Make it sweeter: If you want this syrup even sweeter, change the ratio of sugar. Instead of equal parts water to sugar, try 1 cup water to 2 cups of sugar. The benefit to this would be you would need less of the syrup to achieve the same amount of sweetness and there is less of a possibility of watering down your drink if you tend to use a lot.
- Add even more vanilla! I've seen recipes that include up to 1 ½ tablespoons of vanilla! Feel free to taste and adjust the amount of vanilla based on your preferences.
You must refrigerate this syrup. Store the vanilla syrup in a clean, airtight container, like a mason jar or food safe glass jar with a pump. Refrigerate for about 2-3 weeks.
Discard the syrup if it looks cloudy, like mold is growing, or has an off smell. It will not have quite as long of a shelf life as commercially made varieties since there are no preservatives.
- No need to overcook the syrup: Heat the mixture just until the sugar dissolves. You'll know it's dissolved when the mixture goes from cloudy to a clear syrup. This usually happens just about the time the mixture comes to a full boil.
- Half or double the recipe: If you don't think you need this much syrup, or if you think you'll need more, it's easy to halve or double the recipe. Simply use equal parts sugar and water in whatever amount you see fit.
One pump of vanilla syrup at Starbucks is equal to 1 tablespoon.
The ingredients in Starbucks vanilla syrup are: sugar, water, natural flavor, potassium sorbate, and citric acid.
Yes, Starbucks vanilla syrup is gluten-free.
More Starbucks Copycat Recipes You'll Love
If you enjoyed this homemade vanilla syrup recipe, be sure to check out my other Starbucks recipes!
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Starbucks Vanilla Syrup Recipe
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place sugar and water in a microwave-safe measuring cup.
- Cook on HIGH for 2-3 minutes, stirring after each minute, just until the sugar dissolves.
- Remove from the microwave and stir in vanilla extract.
- Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally, just until the sugar dissolves.
- Once dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Vanilla syrup will keep 2-3 weeks, if refrigerated.
- 1 "pump" of Starbucks syrup is approximately 1 tablespoon.
- Feel free to add more vanilla if you want a stronger vanilla flavor.
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