This Vanilla Simple Syrup Recipe is the perfect Starbucks Copycat and perfect for coffee, mixed drinks, Italian sodas and more! Learn how to make vanilla syrup in the comfort of your own home without needing to buy Torani or other. See below for our sugar free instructions.
Vanilla Simple Syrup is popular year-round. It is mostly used for coffee, and sometimes cocktails/ mocktails, but we love to use it in Italian Cream Sodas (try mixing raspberry with it- our favorite!). We also like adding it to hot chocolate for a little more depth of flavor.
This was inspired by my Peppermint Syrup, Lemon Simple syrup, Caramel Syrup, Cinnamon Dolce Syrup and our Brown Sugar Syrup recipes on this site, and pairs well with our Oat Milk Hot Chocolate and add a splash to our Peanut Butter Overnight Oats. Or add it to our Nature's Cereal!
Why Homemade Syrup?
The most obvious: it costs less. A lot less. Homemade syrup is very cheap to make. Also: It's extremely easy to make homemade syrup and they only use basic ingredients. For me the biggest reason is that there are only 3 ingredients, and one of them is water! I don't like putting all the preservatives and food dyes in my body when I can help it. I also like that I can add a little extra (or less!) vanilla and tailor it to my particular liking.
Make your Vanilla Syrup with just 3 easy ingredients! Follow our tips on each ingredient for best results.
- water - I used filtered, but regular tap water works great too.
- sugar - regular, granulated white sugar. We tested this recipe with a few other types of sugar and sweeteners and kept coming back to regular granulated sugar. It yields the best results in both taste and texture.
- vanilla - pure vanilla is HIGHLY recommended for this recipe. It does make a big difference in something like this where the vanilla is the prominent flavor. We also tested this recipe with imitation vanilla and while it was fine, the vanilla flavor lacked depth.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Vanilla Simple Syrup
Use these process shots to help get the results you are wanting. The pictures can help with texture and be a visual guide for best results.
1. Place water in a small saucepan (I used a 1.5 quart size) over medium high heat. Pour in the sugar.
2. Using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, stir until sugar dissolves. Once sugar is dissolved, do not stir again.
3. Bring the sugar water to a boil then boil for 1 minute (still not stirring).
4. Remove from heat (still not stirring) and let sit 1-2 minutes, then stir in the vanilla.
Hint: Don't make this on high heat. Be patient and use medium high heat. It won't take much longer and will allow for plenty of time for the sugar to dissolve before it starts boiling.
We love switching things up when we're in the kitchen. Try any of these variations for something a little different.
- French Vanilla - use a French Vanilla extract instead of regular pure vanilla.
- Vanilla Spice- add a pinch of cinnamon and an even smaller pinch of cloves for an aromatic vanilla spice syrup.
- Vanilla Pancake Syrup - use 1 ½ cups sugar instead of 1 cup. Follow the rest of the directions and ingredients as stated.
- Vanilla Bean Paste - use ½ Tablespoon vanilla bean paste for an even richer flavor.
- Sugar Free - substitute in 1 cup of zero/low calorie sweetener, such as allulose. When making sugar free, do Not bring to a boil. Heat over medium heat until steam begins to rise. Stir in the vanilla, then allow to cool to room temperature, then place in the fridge. The syrup will thicken as it cools.
See this Peppermint Syrup on my website.
Ways to Use Vanilla Simple Syrup:
There are so many different ways to use vanilla simple syrup. Here are some of our favorites and fan favorites:
- Hot Chocolate - try it with our Oat Milk Hot Chocolate
- Latte- make a vanilla latte or add it to our caffeine free Pink Beetroot Latte
- Other Cold Coffees or cold brews
- Drizzle it over some Greek yogurt and Homemade Granola
- Use it to make Italian Sodas
- Add it to your favorite soda for a creamy vanilla flavor- we love it in root beer
- Drizzle it over some mixed berries or Nature's Cereal
- Mixed drinks, cocktails, and mocktails
- Make our pancake variation and pour it over pancakes and waffles and french toast.
- Brush it over a freshly baked vanilla cake
- Sweeten up your favorite herbal tea with it
- Experiment using it as a sweetener replacement in things like smoothies and oatmeal.
Learn From Us
One time while making this, I forgot the cardinal rule of adding vanilla- do not add vanilla to anything that is still boiling! I added the vanilla before removing it from the heat and it quickly boiled up. Doing this can lead to a decreased amount of vanilla flavoring, always make sure your syrup has been removed from the heat before adding the vanilla.
Store in the refrigerator for about a month. After a month or so, it will start to crystalize.
We do not recommend freezing this recipe.
Don't stir the syrup too much. Once the sugar is dissolved, there is no reason to keep stirring. Stirring while it's boiling will result in syrup that crystalizes over time.
Vanilla Simple Syrup (Coffeehouse)
- ¾ cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Place water in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Add sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Don't stir again once the sugar is dissolved.
- Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and (still don't stir) let it sit for 1-2 minutes. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Pour into jar. Let sit undisturbed at room temperature for 1-2 hours, until it's no longer warm. Move to the refrigerator.
- This is a coffeehouse syrup. For pancake syrup, increase the sugar to 1 ½ cups and follow the other ingredients and instructions.
- Wait until the boiling sugar water has been removed from the heat and sat for 30-60 seconds before adding the vanilla for best results.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. After a month, the syrup will start to crystallize.
- We do not recommend freezing this recipe.
- Since vanilla is the highlight of this recipe, we strongly recommend using a high quality pure vanilla.
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, stir water and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Don't stir again. Bring to a boil and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
Heat water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute. Remove from heat. Stir in pure vanilla extract.
The one from simply scrumptious eats! It tastes amazing and is quick and easy to make.
No. Simple syrup is mixture of sugar and water boiled together to form simple syrup. You can add vanilla extract to it to flavor it like vanilla. Vanilla extract has no sugar and little or no water. It is vanilla bean extractives and alcohol and definitely not a syrup.
It depends on the flavor of simple syrup. The 2 most popular uses are cocktails and flavored coffees.