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It’s time to get sweet and cozy with this homemade vanilla latte recipe!
With only three simple ingredients, you can make a coffee shop-quality bev right in your own kitchen.
The combination of hot coffee, creamy frothed milk and sweet vanilla syrup is truly heavenly. It’s a great way to elevate your morning coffee into something truly special.
I can’t think of a better way to start the day!
What is a Latte?
A latte is a popular espresso-based drink that consists of espresso and steamed milk, topped with a small layer of frothed milk.
The word “latte” is derived from the Italian caffè latte, which means “milk coffee.” The balanced combination of rich espresso and velvety milk makes it a popular choice among coffee enthusiasts.
What’s in this Creamy Vanilla Latte Recipe
You’ll need only three basic ingredients to create this rich and creamy drink:
- Strong coffee or espresso. Don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy espresso maker. Simply brew a cup of strong coffee in a drip coffee maker or using coffee pods. If you still want the espresso experience without an espresso machine, try using instant espresso powder mixed with boiling water.
- Milk. Most coffee houses default to 2% milk for their lattes. You could also use whole milk or nonfat milk, both of which will work well in this recipe. Using heavy cream would yield a super rich and frothy latte.
- Vanilla syrup. Premade vanilla simple syrup is easy to find in most grocery stores or on Amazon. And if you’re looking to reduce your sugar intake, buy the sugar free variety. Both varieties have a really nice vanilla flavor that blends beautifully with milk and coffee. If you’d like to take the extra step and make your own vanilla syrup from scratch, scroll down for my homemade vanilla syrup recipe.
How to Make a Homemade Vanilla Latte
Brew the coffee
Brew your coffee of choice, whether it’s in a drip coffee maker, a Keurig or an espresso machine.
Steam the milk
If you have an espresso machine, you can use the steamer wand to steam your milk. If not, use a saucepan to gently warm the milk until you see steam and tiny bubbles on the surface.
Once your milk is nice and steamy, stir in the vanilla syrup.
Froth the milk
If you have an espresso machine, go ahead and use the wand to froth your milk. I have an espresso machine, but I actually prefer to froth milk using a handheld milk frother.
If all else fails, seal the steamed milk in an airtight container (such as a mason jar with a lid) and shake it vigorously for 20-30 seconds.
Create the latte
Pour your strong coffee or espresso into a mug. Then, pour the milk over the coffee. Simple!
How to Make Homemade Vanilla Coffee Syrup
Although not as simple as using prepared vanilla syrup, making your own homemade syrup is still pretty easy.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 whole vanilla bean or 2 Tbsp. of pure vanilla extract or 2 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste
Here’s what to do:
- In a saucepan, combine water and sugar.
- Add the split vanilla bean or vanilla extract to the mixture.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
- Once the sugar is dissolved, reduce the heat and let it simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let the rich simple syrup cool to room temperature. If using a vanilla bean pod, remove it and strain the syrup.
- Transfer the homemade vanilla bean syrup to a bottle or jar and store it in the refrigerator.
Use your easy vanilla syrup to flavor your favorite coffee drinks or as a drizzle over ice cream.
Variations and Substitutions
1. Iced Vanilla Latte: Cool your brewed coffee or espresso to room temperature. (Alternatively, start with cold brew coffee.) Then, pour the latte ingredients over ice for a refreshing twist on this cozy beverage.
2. Dairy Free Vanilla Latte: Swap in your choice of plant-based milk alternatives like almond milk, oat milk or coconut milk for a delicious coffee beverage without the dairy.
3. Maple Vanilla Latte: Infuse the flavor of pure maple syrup into this easy recipe by replacing one of the tablespoons of vanilla syrup with maple.
When you make this easy vanilla latte recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more recipes for the coffee lover, try these:
- Salted Caramel Mocha Hot Coffee
- Easy Coffee Jello Recipe (with Condensed Milk)
- Homemade Mocha Macchiato
- Irish Cream Breve Recipe
- Iced Mocha Macchiato (Starbucks Copycat)
Easy Vanilla Latte (Homemade Hot Coffee Recipe)
- 3 oz. brewed strong coffee or espresso
- 4 oz. milk
- 2 Tbsp. vanilla syrup
- Brew the coffee or espresso. Pour into a coffee mug.
- Warm the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it steams and tiny bubbles form. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla syrup.
- Pour the milk into a tall glass. Using a handheld frother, froth the milk. (Alternatively, seal the milk in a mason jar with a lid and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.)
- Pour the milk over the hot coffee. Enjoy warm.