Starbucks Vanilla Latte Copycat

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Make Starbucks Vanilla Latte at home in a few minutes with just 3 ingredients! This popular drink is easy to make, especially if you have a Nespresso machine.

Starbucks Vanilla Latte drink in a clear glass mug.

Recipe Highlights

  • Starbucks Vanilla Latte is a coffee drink made with espresso, steamed milk, and vanilla syrup. It’s a latte with vanilla syrup.
  • This drink cannot be made without espresso so an espresso machine or Nespresso is necessary to recreate this drink at home.
  • Store-bought or homemade vanilla syrup can be used to make this drink. Starbucks sells vanilla syrup at their locations if they have extra in stock.
  • This copycat recipe makes a grande (16 ounces) Vanilla Latte.

RELATED: Starbucks Blonde Vanilla Latte Copycat

Vanilla Latte at Starbucks

Vanilla Lattes are one of the most popular drinks at Starbucks and have been for many years. A Latte is made into a Vanilla Latte with vanilla syrup, which sweetens and flavors the drink.

Vanilla syrup is added in pumps according to the size of the drink. Short drinks get 2 pumps of vanilla syrup, tall gets 3, grande has 4, and venti has 5 pumps.

As with all lattes at Starbucks, 2% milk is used unless you request otherwise. For dairy-free, there is almondmilk, soymilk, oatmilk, and coconutmilk.

The espresso used at Starbucks is their dark roast espresso.

Starbucks hot lattes come in 4 drink sizes: short, tall, grande, and venti. Short and tall use 1 shot of espresso, and grande and venti both use 2 shots.

A popular customization is the Skinny Vanilla Latte, which replaces 2% milk for nonfat and the regular vanilla syrup for sugar-free vanilla syrup. The vanilla syrup is the only syrup that’s sugar-free at Starbucks.

RELATED: Starbucks Iced Vanilla Latte Copycat

Using a Nespresso

You can’t make a Vanilla Latte without espresso. The easiest way to make espresso at home is with a Nespresso machine.

For a 16 ounce drink, like for this copycat recipe, you’ll need 2 Nespresso espresso pods, which will make 2 espresso shots.

Use 2 single-shot espresso pods instead of trying to get 2 shots from 1 pod. If you run the machine through the same pod a second time, it will water down the coffee taste.

To recreate Starbucks taste at home, use Starbucks Signature Espresso Roast pods. Starbucks pods are actually made by Nespresso and are available for both Original and Vertuo Nespresso machines.

My Nespresso Pick

Photo Credit: amazon.com

Nespresso machines are the easiest way to make espresso at home. This Vertuo machine is around $200 and makes espresso and brewed coffee.
SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

Ingredient Notes

Starbucks Vanilla Latte copycat recipe ingredients in measuring cups on a table.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Starbucks Vanilla Latte recipe two step instructions.

For full ingredients and instructions, scroll down to the recipe.

  1. Put vanilla syrup and espresso into a cup.
    Pull 2 shots with your espresso machine or use 2 Nespresso espresso pods.
  2. Add steamed or frothed milk.
    Use an electric milk frother or use the steam wand on an espresso machine to steam or froth milk with a thin layer of foam.
My Milk Frother Pick

Photo Credit: williams-sonoma.com

Perfect for making lattes at home since it can hold up to 3 cups of milk. Also makes cold foam!
SEE PRICE ON WILLIAMS SONOMA
Starbucks Vanilla Latte copycat drink with the steamed milk being poured into the cup.

Expert Tips

  • 2 espresso shots are used in a grande Vanilla Latte at Starbucks. Use blonde roast espresso pods if you want to make a Blonde Vanilla Latte.
  • Too much foam will turn a latte into a cappuccino. A big difference between a latte and a cappuccino is the amount of foam. A latte should have steamed milk and a light layer of foam.
  • The best milk frother for this recipe is one that can create more than 1 cup of frothed milk, like the Breville milk frother which can froth up to 3 cups of steamed milk.
  • Nespresso Aeroccino froths milk, but it doesn’t hold enough milk to make a grande size latte. Running the Aeroccino twice will end up with much more foam than you need.
  • To froth milk without a milk frother, heat milk on low heat then pour it into a French press. Place lid on the French press and pump the plunger until milk increases in volume. Get step-by-step instructions, see How to Froth Milk for Lattes in a French Press.
  • Milk will increase in volume when steamed or frothed. Use 1 cup of cold milk to get 1 ½ cups of steamed milk.
  • Making homemade vanilla syrup is super easy, taking only 5 minutes with 3 ingredients.
  • To assemble the drink the Starbucks way, add the syrup into the cup first, then espresso, followed by the steamed milk.

Questions You May Have

What is in a Starbucks Vanilla Latte?

All grande Starbucks lattes start with the basic latte recipe which is 2 shots of espresso plus 2% steamed milk. A Vanilla Latte adds pumps of vanilla syrup to sweeten and add flavor.

Can I use a different espresso?

Yes, you can use any espresso you like, although Starbucks uses their Signature Espresso Roast to make a Vanilla Latte.

Can I make a vegan-friendly Vanilla Latte?

Yes, replace the 2% dairy milk with a plant-based milk like oat milk, coconut milk, soy milk, or almond milk.

Can I get vanilla syrup at Starbucks?

Yes! But, only if they have extra in stock to sell. Just ask the barista if they have any available for purchase. Only syrups with barcodes can be sold and those include Classic syrup, caramel, and vanilla.

What is a Skinny Vanilla Latte?

Skinny Vanilla Latte has less calories than a regular Vanilla Latte and it’s made with nonfat milk and sugar-free vanilla syrup.

Starbucks Vanilla Latte copycat drink in a large glass mug.

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Starbucks Vanilla Latte Copycat

Author: Jee Choe
Make Starbucks Vanilla Latte at home in a few minutes with just 3 ingredients!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Drinks
Yield1 servings (16 ounces)

INGREDIENTS
 

  • 2 tablespoons vanilla syrup
  • 2 shots espresso (Starbucks Signature Espresso Roast)
  • 1 ½ cups steamed 2% milk

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Put vanilla syrup and espresso into a cup.
    Pull 2 shots with your espresso machine or use 2 Nespresso espresso pods.
  • Add steamed or frothed milk.
    Use an electric milk frother or use the steam wand on an espresso machine to steam or froth milk with a thin layer of foam.

NOTES

  • 2 espresso shots are used in a grande Vanilla Latte at Starbucks. Use blonde roast espresso pods if you want to make a Blonde Vanilla Latte.
  • Too much foam will turn a latte into a cappuccino. A big difference between a latte and a cappuccino is the amount of foam. A latte should have steamed milk and a light layer of foam.
  • The best milk frother for this recipe is one that can create more than 1 cup of frothed milk, like the Breville milk frother which can froth up to 3 cups of steamed milk.
  • Nespresso Aeroccino froths milk, but it doesn’t hold enough milk to make a grande size latte. Running the Aeroccino twice will end up with much more foam than you need.
  • To froth milk without a milk frother, heat milk on low heat then pour it into a French press. Place lid on the French press and pump the plunger until milk increases in volume. Get step-by-step instructions, see How to Froth Milk for Lattes in a French Press.
  • Milk will increase in volume when steamed or frothed. Use 1 cup of cold milk to get 1 ½ cups of steamed milk.
  • Making homemade vanilla syrup is super easy, taking only 5 minutes with 3 ingredients.
  • To assemble the drink the Starbucks way, add the syrup into the cup first, then espresso, followed by the steamed milk.

NUTRITION

Calories: 290 | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 198mg | Potassium: 590mg | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 361IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 431mg | Iron: 2mg
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