This easy vanilla iced coffee recipe features a homemade vanilla bean syrup that takes your iced coffee to the next level with its rich, aromatic vanilla flavor. The homemade syrup is combined with cold brew coffee, french vanilla creamer or dairy-free milk, and ice transforming your regular iced coffee into a coffee shop-worthy drink perfect for any season!
Why You’ll Love this Vanilla Iced Coffee Recipe
This recipe is incredibly delicious, simple and best of all, budget-friendly! For all my coffee lovers out there, this classic recipe is for you. I’m not usually a fan of syrup or sweeteners in my coffee, but I make an exception for this drink. The vanilla syrup, so seemingly simple, adds tons of flavor that I just can’t get enough of.
Here’s are a few more reasons why we love this drink and you will too!
- Aromatic, Sweet Vanilla Flavor: The homemade vanilla bean syrup infuses aromatic vanilla into every sip for a flavor that tastes like a drink from your favorite coffee shop.
- Fully Customizable: Add more syrup for a sweeter coffee or more cold brew for a bolder drink. That’s the beauty of homemade iced coffee…you can make it taste exactly the way you want!
- Quick and Easy: Once the syrup is made, this iced coffee takes less than 2 minutes to assemble, because we all need our coffee ASAP in the morning! 😆
- Dairy-Free: Use plant-based milk and creamer to make this recipe vegan and dairy free.
- Budget-Friendly: Why pay 5 or 6 dollars, when you can make your own coffee at home for a fraction of the price?!
This easy homemade vanilla iced coffee comes together with just a few simple ingredients. I’ve tried to keep it as straightforward as possible while still delivering that *premium* vanilla flavor. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Granulated Sugar: This is for the simple syrup!
- Real Vanilla Bean, Vanilla Bean Paste, or Pure Vanilla Extract: Infuses aromatic vanilla flavor into the syrup.
- Cold Brew Coffee or Brewed Drip Coffee: Provides a smooth, robust coffee base. Chilled coffee works best. You can use store-bought or make your own.
- Oat Milk: I used oat milk for creaminess without dairy.
- Ice: Can’t have iced coffee without it.
- Unsweetened Vanilla Creamer: Adds more vanilla flavor. I used Nutpods French Vanilla Creamer. I absolutely LOVE this creamer and it kind of makes this into a French vanilla iced coffee. It doesn’t have any sugar in it, so I can control how sweet the iced coffee is by adding more homemade vanilla syrup as needed.
Substitutions & Add-ins
What I love about coffee recipes like this one, is how customizable they are. You can swap in your favorite type of plant-based milks, creamers or coffee. Here are some ideas:
- Plant-Based Milk: For a nutty flavor, use almond milk instead of oat milk. Any unsweetened plant-based milk like soy will also work.
- Coffee Ice Cubes: Make coffee ice cubes with leftover coffee to add more flavor and to prevent the coffee from becoming watery as they melt.
- Unsweetened Creamer: Swap the creamer for vegan heavy cream or coconut cream.
- Store-Bought Syrup: Substitute store-bought vanilla coffee syrup if you don’t have time to make the homemade version.
Cold brew coffee and vanilla syrup are readily available at most grocery stores, in the refrigerated section and coffee aisle respectively. Check for major brands like Starbucks for cold brew and Torani or Monin for syrup.
Coffee beans to brew your own can also be found in the coffee aisle. If you can’t find what you need locally, both ingredients can easily be ordered online.
- Small pot or saucepan: For making the homemade vanilla syrup.
- Glass mason jar or airtight container: For storing leftover vanilla syrup.
- Coffee maker (or Espresso Machine): If brewing your own hot coffee to chill. A French press also works well.
- Tall serving glass: For assembling and enjoying the iced coffee.
- Ice cube tray: For making regular ice or coffee ice cubes!
☕️ *Ingredient Quantities are in the Recipe Card Below!*
STEP 1: Make the vanilla simple syrup. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water and vanilla bean. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
STEP 2: Once boiling, remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and pour the syrup into a jar. Let cool completely.
STEP 3: Make the iced coffee. In a glass filled with ice, add vanilla syrup to taste. Pour in cold brew or cooled coffee.
📌 TIP: Brew bold, strongly flavored black coffee using your preferred method like a French press or traditional coffee maker. Allow it to cool slightly at room temperature, then refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours. The chilled coffee concentrate can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week. Or add a double shot of espresso using an espresso maker to make this into an iced vanilla latte.
STEP 4: Add milk or dairy-free milk to taste, starting with 2-4 tablespoons. Then, add in 2-4 tablespoons of the unsweetened vanilla coffee creamer. Stir and enjoy!
This vanilla iced coffee is delicious all year round. In the morning, pour it over ice in a tall glass for a cold, creamy start to your day. It’s also a great afternoon pick-me-up or after dinner treat if you use decaf coffee.
I definitely recommend making a batch of your own vanilla syrup on the weekend, so you can quickly assemble this iced coffee anytime. Just store the syrup and combine it with cold brew and coffee creamer when your coffee craving hits.
Store leftover vanilla syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Add more sweetener to taste: 1/2 tbsp of the homemade vanilla syrup is about 1 pump of Starbucks syrup, so adjust the amount based on how much you prefer.
- Make it decadent with whipped cream: Top with dairy-free whipped topping for a fun sweet treat perfect for summer.
- Sub vanilla creamer for more oat milk: No creamer on hand? You can use more oat milk (or milk of choice) instead.
- Add more cold brew to taste: Prefer bold coffee? Add more to taste!
More Delicious Simple syrup Recipes & Coffee Drinks:
- Oat Milk Matcha Latte
- Gingerbread Simple Syrup
- Starbucks Copycat Brown Sugar Syrup
- Hazelnut Oatmilk Shaken Espresso
- Strawberry Simple Syrup for Coffee
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