In this post, I discuss eight amazing alternatives to vanilla syrup for your coffee, tea, and other homemade recipes.
8 Vanilla Syrup Substitutes
1. Pure Maple Syrup
Pure maple syrup is a natural sugar that is tapped from the sap of maple trees especially the red, black, and sugar maple trees. The harvested sap has a high moisture content which is evaporated to make a concentrated dark-brown syrup.
Pure maple syrup is rich in sugar, minerals, and calories. A tablespoon of maple syrup contains about 52 calories and 13 grams of carbohydrates and no fats, fiber, or proteins. The minerals include manganese, copper, zinc, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron.
Maple syrup is an excellent alternative to vanilla syrup especially when you want to stay away from the processed sugar in vanilla syrup. Pure maple syrup has no additives or preservatives and can last up to three years.
We recommend avoiding pancake syrups or “maple-flavored” syrups as they are synthetic imitations of the pure product and they contain chemicals, little nutritional value, and may clump in your coffee.
When adding maple syrup to your coffee, add a tablespoon of syrup to the mug and then pour hot coffee. Stir and you may also top with some warm milk.
You can swap pure maple syrup for vanilla extract when baking or making ice cream.
A lot of coffee shops use chocolate sauce to make a mocha. You can purchase chocolate sauce or simply add cacao powder or shredded dark chocolate to hot coffee for a deeper flavor. Cacao powder is not sweet so you may want to go for dark chocolate powder if you want a sweet drink.
You can also make a chocolate ganache for coffee, baking, and other recipes. Pocket chocolate is a popular candy that is infused with coffee for a caffeine high.
Keep in mind that chocolate adds to the overall caffeine content in your coffee.
3. Almond Extract
Almond extract is quite potent and a little of it adds a rich nutty flavor to the coffee. Like vanilla extract, pure almond extract is made using alcohol and water. The extract is made up of alcohol, almond oil, and water.
Surprisingly, pure almond extract tastes nothing like almond nuts as it is safely extracted from bitter almonds that are considered unsafe to eat. as whole nuts.
The almond extract may be unsafe for persons who are allergic to nuts. Almond flavor is an artificial product that mimics the pure extract.
Almond extract is widely used in pastries and ice creams. You can add almond extract to coffee the same way you would use pure vanilla extract by adding a half tablespoon in the cup or a full tablespoon on the grounds before brewing.
You can also top your shakes with almond extract but be sure to use it sparingly as it has an intense flavor.
Can You Drink Almond Extract?
Almond extract is quite potent and it is likely unsafe to drink on its own as it has a high concentration of bitter almond oils. Even a tiny drop on your tongue will make you pucker.
However, a small amount of almond extract as an ingredient in recipes or a topping in drinks and pastries is enriching. Almond extract is also unsafe for someone with a tree nut allergy.
How Much Alcohol is in Almond Extract?
Pure almond extract contains at least 32 percent of alcohol.
4. Natural Honey
Natural honey is a healthier substitute for vanilla syrup as it has a lower glycemic index than the sugar in vanilla syrup. Honey provides a host of health benefits such as antioxidants, healing properties, and antibacterial and antifungal benefits. It can also fight sore throat and digestion problems.
You can use honey when baking or in your hot and cold coffee.
5. Vanilla Bean Paste
Vanilla bean paste is made by mixing the flecks that are scraped from vanilla beans with vanilla extract. It can also be made by mixing ground vanilla beans and vanilla extract. Sweeteners such as corn syrup and preservatives may be added to the paste.
Vanilla bean paste is an equal substitute to vanilla extract such that you need an equal amount to what you would normally use with vanilla extract. However, it has a shorter lifespan than pure vanilla extract and that’s why sometimes, preservatives are added.
Some people prefer using vanilla paste instead of the extract or powder as the paste gives some black specks on pastries. Vanilla paste is most suitable for food items with a high liquid content such as creams and custards.
In coffee, you can add a half tablespoon of the paste in ground coffee before brewing.
6. Vanilla Powder
Vanilla powder is more potent than vanilla extract and you should add about a quarter of what you would normally use with vanilla extract. For example, if a recipe requires a tablespoon of vanilla extract, use a quarter tablespoon of vanilla powder.
Vanilla powder is suitable for dry-baked items as it mixes well with other dry ingredients and retains its flavors even in high temperatures and longer periods of baking.
The best way to add vanilla powder in coffee is to mix it with the ground coffee before brewing. A teaspoon of vanilla powder for eight ounces of coffee is a great way to start.
For cold brew, steep the powder with the ground coffee for the duration of the brew.
Vanilla powder is an excellent alternative to vanilla extract as it has no alcohol. The powder is made by crushing dried vanilla beans.
Vanilla sugar powder is a vanilla powder that is sweetened with regular sugar and usually used as an alternative to regular sugar. Vanilla sugar powder is more soluble in liquids than regular vanilla powder.
7. Fiori Di Sicilia
Fiori Di Sicilia is a herbal extract that is rich in flavors that are commonly used in pastries. Some of the flavors include vanilla, citrusy and herbal notes.
Fiori Di Sicilia adds a flowery and herbal flavor to your pastries and cocktails and you can use it in any recipe that requires vanilla extract.
Fiori Di Sicilia is a bit pricey and usually hard to find in the stores. Your best bet is to buy it online. You may want to stay away from the oddly cheaper brands as they are likely to be imitations or watered-down “extracts”.
8. Pure Cane Syrup
Pure cane syrup easily dissolves in hot and cold drinks and is popular in making cocktails such as martinis, margaritas, and dessert cocktails. You can use cane syrup instead of vanilla syrup in iced coffee, frappes, and hot coffee.
Pure cane syrup is also a popular ingredient for sweetening French vanilla and regular vanilla syrups.