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Homemade Vanilla Syrup

Homemade Vanilla Syrup

Have you seen the price of those bottles of fancy flavored syrups?!  They are ex-pen-sive.  Especially when you consider what is in them – water, sugar, & flavoring.  Oh, and preservatives & needless additives – that must be why they’re so pricey.  Instead of spending an arm & a leg on a bottle of vanilla syrup, use that salvaged arm to stir up some home-made!

Vanilla Syrup

I’m a little bit obsessed with homemade gifts. Partly because it is really difficult to shop with 3 children in tow. Partly because it is difficult to know what someone wants specifically. Partly because I hate the idea of getting a person something they won’t use & don’t like. Partly because I have a frugal streak & making things is often less expensive than buying something. Mostly, though, because I want the person receiving the gift to know how much they mean to me. I feel that if I use my hands to put time, effort, thought, and a little sweat into something, it will better reflect my heart.  This vanilla syrup, presented in a glass bottle with a bow, is a great gift to give – for all of the above reasons!  Plus, it tastes REALLY good :)

Using just 3 ingredients, which you probably have in your pantry right now, plus water, this recipe takes only 15 minutes of active cook time & is so easy, you’re almost guaranteed to not screw it up.  Always a bonus in my book.

Recipe adapted from Paula Deen.

Vanilla Syrup Simmering

You’ll start by mixing your sugars & water in a saucepan & heating it until you reach a simmer.  Then cook it for 10-15 minutes.  Be careful not to cook your sugar too much or it will start to become candy, instead of stay a syrup.  If you’re unsure, cook it a little less rather than more.  Also be careful not to let it boil over – very sticky to clean up!  Let it cool, add your vanilla, and Voila!  Homemade Vanilla Syrup in a flash (well, in a simmer).

Vanilla Coffee Syrup

This syrup is great in coffee or espresso beverages, or I’ll share with you my favorite way to use it in a few days – Homemade Cream Soda!  Tasty, tasty.

Homemade Vanilla Syrup

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 1 Liter

Homemade Vanilla Syrup

A simple & inexpensive recipe for homemade vanilla syrup. Great for flavoring coffee or espresso beverages, to pour over pancakes, or for homemade cream soda. Makes a great gift, too!


  • 3 1/2 c. Water
  • 3 c. granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 c. Light Brown Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Vanilla Extract


  1. Gently stir water & sugars together in a medium saucepan, over medium heat. Bring to a simmer & cook for 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from heat & cool completely. Stir in vanilla & enjoy!


Store at room temperature in an airtight jar or container. Makes a great gift!


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{ 15 comments… add one }

  • Ann July 3, 2014, 8:10 pm

    Hey! I really want to try this syrup soon and was wondering how much vanilla beans should i use to replace the vanilla extract? And if i use vanilla beans without any extract, will the flavor still be as strong? Thanks!

    • Alecia Stanley July 22, 2014, 11:24 am

      @Ann – the basic rule when subbing vanilla bean for extract (and vice versa) is 1 vanilla bean = 1 tsp extract. I’ve never made this recipe with a bean instead of extract, but I think it would be delicious to try!!! If it were me, I would probably start with 2-3 whole vanilla beans (slit down the center to expose the seeds), drop in the pan with the sugar & water & let them boil. Taste it & if needed, you could split the bean open & scoop some of the seeds into your syrup, which should intensify the flavor over time (or keep the pods & all in your syrup). Keep in mind that the vanilla bean has a much more intense flavor than extract, so your finished product will taste much fresher & full-bodied — though the quality of the bean you buy (& extract) will determine a lot of that too. If you try it, please let me know how it turns out!!!

  • Allison April 6, 2014, 12:21 am

    Would it make much of a difference if I used dark brown sugar instead of light?

    • Alecia Stanley July 22, 2014, 11:15 am

      @Allison – Yes, the flavor will be different. I used dark instead of light before & the flavor, as expected, is more rich in the caramel notes. It is still good & a bit more pungent, in my opinion. I prefer the light brown sugar, but the dark was definitely still good!

  • Bethany January 25, 2014, 12:17 pm

    Sounds wonderful! Do you know How long it lasts? Can you freeze it?

    • Alecia Stanley January 27, 2014, 10:16 am

      It should last at least 2 weeks in a clean, sealed, glass or plastic container. Obviously, it will last longer if you refrigerate it. I’ve never tried to freeze mine, but I don’t see any reason that you couldn’t! Let me know if you do & how it turns out.

  • Olivia December 22, 2013, 11:49 pm

    Is the syrup supposed to be watery?

    • Alecia Stanley December 24, 2013, 8:43 pm

      @Olivia – yes! It is the same consistency of the Torani syrups. A little thinner than pancake syrup, but thicker than water :).

  • DeAtra November 14, 2013, 7:50 pm

    How much does it make, approximately?

    • Alecia Stanley November 27, 2013, 1:34 pm

      It makes about 1 liter of syrup.

      • DeAtra November 27, 2013, 7:29 pm

        Thanks. I made this stuff, and it is amazing!!! My Mom loves this in her morning coffee:) (My Dad just likes his plain, but it’s just bitter that way I find:) It’s way better than the Starbucks’ syrup and cheap. (Don’t tell my sister that, she works at Starbucks:)

        • DeAtra November 27, 2013, 7:35 pm

          What’s your next recipe? Whatever it is, I’m sure it will be amazing:)

          • Alecia Stanley November 28, 2013, 5:57 pm

            Thanks, DeAtra!! I’ve got lots more recipes to post – be sure to subscribe to the newsletter so you never miss one :)

  • Marcia August 21, 2013, 9:43 pm

    Yummy! All made and ready for breakfast tomorrow. Any chance you have a good homemade maple syrup recipe? I don’t care for store bought pancake syrup and pure maple syrup is expensive.

    • Alecia Stanley August 21, 2013, 9:58 pm

      @Marcia – so glad you made this syrup!! Hope it makes your breakfast sweeter :).

      Hmmm – I’ll have to do some research & look for a pancake syrup recipe. I think I have one from years & years ago. I actually prefer powdered sugar instead of syrup on my pancakes. Good idea, though!

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