A foamy Starbucks Vanilla Latte is my forever favorite coffee drink and I’m thrilled to make it at home for a fraction of the cost of a coffee shop drink! This perfect breakfast-in-bed treat is also super easy to make for yourself before work with just milk, espresso, and vanilla syrup.
I can’t start the day without my coffee. Hot or iced will do, but I need it.
It didn’t used to be this way but as soon as a drive-thru Starbucks was built on my way to work about 18 years ago, the obsession started. And as you can imagine, it got to be an expensive habit pretty quickly.
So when I started working full-time and at home on Smells Like Home in 2019, I began making my iced lattes at home to save money and time.
And since that first iced latte, I’ve made it part of my job to teach YOU how to make your own, too. I want you to know how to make a latte at home that’s just like one of the most popular Starbucks drinks.
So let’s all skip the long line at the Starbucks drive-thru and get to making my favorite vanilla latte at home!
This simple vanilla latte recipe is so decadent and flavorful with just 3 ingredients I bet some of you are already using in your morning coffee. You can thank me later as you add this hot latte with lots of foamy milk to your at-home caffeine routine!
No fancy espresso machine required!
This is your basic shopping list for this vanilla latte recipe, but you can find all the measurements and steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.
As usual with any coffee drink, feel free to tweak my recipe to your own tastes and dietary needs.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Brewed hot espresso
- Milk — any kind works here! No need to alter this recipe for dairy-free milks either, like oat milk or almond milk!
- Vanilla syrup
What is the Difference between a Latte and a Cappuccino?
Cappuccino and lattes are both coffee with milk and foam on top, but how are they different?
Traditionally, a cappuccino is made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk. Sometimes you can even see all the layers in a clear mug.
A latte however, has more steamed milk than a cappuccino, and with just a little foam on top. The milk is also gently mixed into the espresso before the milk foam is added.
How to Make Starbucks Vanilla Latte at Home
Here are the quick steps to making the perfect copycat Starbucks vanilla lattes at home. You’ll find the full list of steps in the recipe card below so be sure to keep scrolling down!
STEP 1: First, heat and froth the milk! You can use an electric milk frother or in a small pot on the stove top and whisk it by hand.
STEP 2: Now, pour in the vanilla simple syrup and then add the hot espresso on top of the syrup.
STEP 3: Finally, pour the hot frothy milk into the mug and dollop with a little more foam! This goes so so well with a big piece of crumb cake, a big blanket, and a good book!
More Amazing Latte Recipes
Once you get the basics of how to make a latte, the options are endless! You can even make Iced Vanilla Lattes, Raspberry Vanilla Iced Lattes, or Iced Mocha Lattes for those hot summer mornings without a trip in your sweltering car to the drive-thru.
Just like Starbucks, you can be a barista in your own kitchen with almost no equipment and your favorite flavors!
Sometimes I need a new flavor, and these caramel brûlée lattes are sticky-sweet in just the right way. Top them with smashed caramel candies for the best dessert coffee.
What to Serve with Vanilla Lattes
Sometimes you need a sweet treat before noon. I’m always down with this idea!
A traditional cinnamon sour cream coffee cake is one of the best breakfast dishes. It’s filling but not too sweet with just a touch of cinnamon.
If you love vanilla, I highly recommend you make these French vanilla sablés ASAP. Don’t be afraid of the fancy name — these crunchy butter cookies are so simple.
If you love a classic sugar cookie recipe, look no further! Pan-banging sugar cookies are some of my favorite Christmas cookies you’ll crave all year.
- 2 shots of brewed hot espresso (approximately 2 oz)
- 2 oz vanilla syrup
- 8 oz milk (any variety - cow, coconut, soy, oat, almond, etc.)
- To froth the milk: For this, you can use an electric milk frother or heat the milk in a small sauce pan on the stove and whisk until it's frothy.
- To make the latte and assemble: Pour the vanilla syrup into a 16 oz coffee mug or heatproof coffee glass. (See Note below.) Pour the espresso into the syrup and stir to combine.
- Pour the hot frothy milk into the glass and dollop with some of the milk foam. Serve while still hot with crumb cake or cookies on the side, of course.
You can either brew the espresso directly into the mug or glass if you have an espresso machine or make the espresso on the stove top with a Moka pot and pour it into the mug or glass when finished brewing.
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Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine
Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Maker with Aeroccino Milk Frother by De'Longhi
Nespresso Capsules VertuoLine, Espresso, Bold Variety Pack, Medium and Dark Roast Espresso Coffee, 40 Count Coffee Pods, Brews (VERTUOLINE ONLY), 1.35 Ounce , 10 Count (Pack of 4)
Bodum Pavina 2.5-Ounce Double-Wall Thermo Glasses
Bialetti Moka Stove Top Coffee Maker
illy Classico Espresso Ground Coffee, Medium Roast
Zulay Original Milk Frother Handheld Foam Maker
Breville Milk Cafe Milk Frother