Vanilla simple syrup is a delicious and versatile liquid sweetener perfect for cocktails, coffee, baked goods, and so much more!
Why you'll love it
Vanilla simple syrup is an easy and delicious way to sweeten and add vanilla flavor to just about anything. It is great for drinks and desserts alike.
You can customize it by changing up the kind of vanilla you use and/or the water to sugar ratio. The recipe can be easily multiplied or divided any way that you need so it is ready for any occasion.
There are only three ingredients needed to make this vanilla syrup. Let's do a quick overview of what you need to know about them.
- Sugar - You need to use granulated sugar. If you have vanilla-infused sugar, that is also great, too. Brown sugar does not work unless you want to make vanilla brown sugar syrup which is delicious, but an entirely different flavor profile.
- Vanilla - There are so many ways to incorporate the vanilla into your simple syrup. The most convenient way is to use vanilla extract. If you want to give it a more complex vanilla flavor, you can use whole vanilla beans. Vanilla bean paste is another delicious way to add vanilla plus speckles of vanilla bean.
- Water - Any kind of syrup typically uses a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. If you want to thicken the syrup you can add more sugar, keep in mind it will also make it sweeter. Thinner syrups use more water and also makes it less sweet.
How to make
Making vanilla simple syrup is incredibly easy and takes only a few minutes.
- Add the sugar and water into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and turn the heat to medium.
- Stir well until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
- Add in the vanilla extract and stir well.
- Transfer to an airtight container.
Note: If you are using vanilla beans, scrape the vanilla beans into the sugar and stir together before adding in the water. Add the scrapped vanilla bean pod to the mixture as it cooks to further infuse the vanilla flavor.
To prolong the shelf life of the vanilla simple syrup, you should store it in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. You can keep it in at room temperature for at least a week if kept in an airtight container.
Ways to use
You can add the syrup to so many things. It is great in cocktails like passion fruit mojitos or a morning drink like your homemade cold brew. You can even use it to sweeten and flavor desserts like vanilla cake.
There are so many ways to add more flavor to your syrup. You can include other extracts, or even spices like chai spice and pumpkin spice to make a pumpkin spice syrup. It is very versatile and works well with many different flavors.
Adding citrus zest or fresh herbs is a fun way to add flavor while cooking the syrup. just make sure to strain it when transferring to your airtight container.
It is also a great base for making something like the blackberry syrup.
If you need a thicker syrup, increase the amount of sugar. Start with a few tablespoons and allow it to cool. The syrup thickens as it cools, so waiting until it is at least room temperature is the only way to know exactly how thick it is.
If you want a classic simple syrup, you can omit the vanilla entirely.
Vanilla Simple Syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Add the sugar and water to a heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat on medium.
- Stir continuously until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat.
- Allow the mixture to come to room temperature before adding the vanilla extract and transferring to an airtight container.