A batch of homemade vanilla simple syrup is one of the most useful things to have in your kitchen. With its sweet, fragrant vanilla flavor, this syrup can instantly elevate drinks, desserts, pastries and any treat you can think of! I’ve tested numerous methods to land on what I think is the perfect simple recipe for infused vanilla syrup that anyone can easily whip up at home. In this post, I’ll share my ideal ratio of ingredients, steps for making, tips for customizing, and endless ideas for using this versatile syrup. Read on for the full guide to crafting the perfect vanilla simple syrup!
The Simple Ingredients
One of the best aspects of homemade vanilla syrup is that you likely already have the three essential ingredients on hand. All you need is:
- Sugar – I prefer white granulated sugar, but you can also use coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey or other liquid sweeteners.
- Water – Plain tap or filtered water is fine. The amount controls the thickness.
- Vanilla – Use vanilla beans for intense flavor or extract for convenience.
That’s it! Once you have these three basic ingredients, you’re ready to make a delicious vanilla-infused simple syrup in just a few easy steps.
Recipe for Perfect Vanilla Simple Syrup
Through plenty of trial and error, I’ve landed on the ideal ratio and process for making smooth, luscious vanilla simple syrup:
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly as it heats up to ensure the sugar dissolves completely.
- Once dissolved, increase heat slightly and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Let it bubble for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat. Add in the split vanilla bean and vanilla extract, submerging them fully in the hot syrup.
- Allow the syrup to infuse as it cools down. For the strongest flavor, cover and let it steep for at least 2 hours or chill in the fridge overnight.
- Remove the vanilla bean and use a spoon to scrape any seeds back into the syrup.
- Strain the finished vanilla simple syrup through a mesh sieve or cheesecloth before bottling. Funnel into a glass jar or bottle.
- Store the vanilla syrup in the fridge for up to 1 month. Shake before use as the flavor intensifies over time.
Tips for Customizing Your Syrup
The wonderful thing about homemade vanilla syrup is that it can be tweaked and customized in so many ways. Get creative with these variations:
- Flavor with different vanilla bean types like Madagascar, Tahitian or Mexican.
- Use vanilla bean seeds and extract together for over-the-top vanilla flavor.
- Infuse spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves or black peppercorns.
- Sweeten with honey, coconut sugar, maple syrup, agave or other liquid sugars.
- Stir in citrus zests like lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit.
- Swap the water for fruit juice, coffee, tea, coconut milk or other liquids.
- Flavor with almond, peppermint, rosewater, lavender or other extracts.
The possibilities are endless for crafting your own unique vanilla simple syrup!
Uses for Vanilla Simple Syrup
A batch of infused vanilla syrup is one of the handiest ingredients you can make. It has tons of versatile uses:
- Sweeten up coffee, tea, hot chocolate, milk, lemonade, cocktails and more
- Drizzle over pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, yogurt, overnight oats
- Mix into milkshakes, smoothies, cakes, cookies, pies and ice cream
- Flavor sugar cookies, sugar scrubs, whipped cream, or frosting
- Add to sauces, puddings, creme brulee, fruit desserts
- Refresh plain seltzer, club soda or sparkling water
Anywhere you want extra vanilla flavor and sweetness, this syrup does the trick! Add to anything, anytime.
Homemade vanilla simple syrup is incredibly easy to make with just sugar, water and vanilla. My perfected recipe infuses maximum vanilla bean flavor. With just a few easy tips, you can fully customize your syrup. And it has endless uses for elevating drinks, desserts, pastries and more. I hope you’ll give this useful vanilla syrup a try soon. Enjoy!