The vanilla latte recipe is warm and cozy, pairing espresso with milk and homemade vanilla syrup! The ideal drink for any coffee lover.

Vanilla latte

Love a good latte? Here’s a tasty variation to try: the Vanilla Latte! This spin on the classic features homemade vanilla syrup with the traditional espresso and milk. We’ll have you know this isn’t a Starbucks copycat. This is a delicious, classic latte like the ones you can get in a café in Italy, flavored with a lightly sweet, vanilla-scented essence. It’s outrageously cozy, especially in the fall and winter: though of course you can drink it anytime!

Looking for the iced version of this drink? Go to Iced Vanilla Latte.

What’s in a vanilla latte?

A Vanilla Latte is a coffee drink made with espresso, steamed milk, and vanilla syrup. It’s easy to make vanilla syrup at home: all you’ll need is a few minutes, some sugar, and vanilla extract. Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this drink:

How to make a vanilla latte: basic steps

This vanilla latte recipe is almost the same as a basic cafe latte: the only difference is that you’ll add vanilla syrup when steaming or frothing the milk. Otherwise, it’s the same basic concept. The most tricky parts are finding a great espresso method and steaming or frothing method. Here’s what to do:

  • Step 1: Make a double shot of espresso (see the methods below).
  • Step 2: Steam or froth the milk with the vanilla syrup (see the methods below).
  • Step 3: Pour the steamed vanilla milk into the espresso.
Vanilla Syrup
Vanilla syrup is quick to make at home!

Making espresso at home

Before you make any latte, you’ll need a great method for homemade espresso. You don’t need a countertop espresso machine, but it is nice because it makes the highest quality espresso. Here are the methods we recommend:

Vanilla latte

Steaming milk vs frothing

The other thing you need for this vanilla latte recipe? Steamed or frothed milk! If you’ve got an espresso machine you can steam it, otherwise you’ll need to use one of the frothing methods below. Use whole milk for the best vanilla latte: is has the richest flavor and best frothy foam topping. If you’d like, you can use oat milk for a vegan latte; it’s the best non-dairy milk for frothing. Here’s what to know:

  • Steam the milk (espresso machine): If you’ve got an espresso machine, this is the way to go! It’s a bit technical, but the result is rich, creamy microfoam. Go to How to Steam Milk.
  • Froth the milk (without a machine): There are several ways to froth milk. The best method is a hand frother, but you can also use a French press or whisk. Go to How to Froth Milk.

Variation: iced vanilla latte

A popular variation on this drink? The Iced Vanilla Latte! This drink is even easier because you don’t need to steam or froth the milk. We like to give it a little shake in a ball jar to get it foamy before adding to the espresso and vanilla syrup. It’s ultra delicious: head over to this Iced Vanilla Latte recipe.

Iced vanilla latte

More latte recipes

There seems to be a latte recipe for every moment and season! Here are a few of our favorite lattes featuring both coffee and tea:

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Vanilla latte

Vanilla Latte


Description

The vanilla latte recipe is warm and cozy, pairing espresso with milk and homemade vanilla syrup! The ideal drink for any coffee lover.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 espresso shots (2 ounces)
  • 4 ounces (½ cup) fresh whole milk or oat milk* (double for two servings when steaming)
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla syrup

Instructions

  1. If not made already, make the vanilla syrup.
  2. Make the espresso: Make the espresso using an espresso machine, manual espresso maker, French press, or Moka Pot. Go to How to Make Espresso for instructions.
  3. Steam or froth the milk and vanilla (double batch): Add the vanilla extract to the milk. Steam the milk with an espresso machine, or heat and then froth the milk using your method of choice (milk frother, French press, whisk or covered jar). It’s easiest to steam or froth 1 cup of milk for 2 drinks, so use 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. Go to How to Steam Milk or How to Froth Milk for details on each.
  4. Serve: Pour the milk into the center of the espresso, ending with light foam (using half the steamed or frothed milk for 1 drink).

Notes

*Whole milk works best; milk that is a few weeks old may not froth. You can also use oat milk for a vegan latte.

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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