Starbucks Vanilla Iced Latte Recipe: The Best Copycat
Home Grounds crew is partial to the soothing combination of coffee and vanilla. So when we found the Starbucks iced blonde vanilla latte, we couldn’t wait to develop a Starbucks copycat recipe for this refreshing drink. This cold coffee drink pairs a bright medium roast coffee with frothed milk, the warm flavors of vanilla syrup, and velvety whipped cream. It’s an iced latte that’s great for any time of year.
Keep reading to learn how to make the best Starbucks iced blonde vanilla latte, and skip the lines at your local Starbucks.
Iced Vanilla Latte Ingredients and Other Things You’ll Need
- Cold brew ice cubes
- 2-½ ounces homemade vanilla syrup
- 3 ounces medium-roast espresso
- 6 ounces whole milk
- Espresso machine
- Milk frother or French press
- One 20-ounce glass
At a Glance
16 fluid ounces
For the Vanilla syrup
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups water
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 vanilla beans, scraped
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream or sweetened condensed milk
- Pinch of salt
- One small saucepan
- Fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth, optional
At a Glance
For the Stabilized Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon gelatin
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- Mixing bowl and whisk, chilled
AT A GLANCE
1-½ cup stabilized whipped cream
You can use regular coffee beans to make this Starbucks Iced Vanilla Latte, but Starbucks has recently opted to brighten its iced coffee recipe with a blonde roast espresso. And we can’t help but agree.
Coffee lovers will notice that the Starbucks Blonde Roast is far from a true light roast. It is much closer to a medium roast, so look for a medium or medium-light roast bean to replicate the flavors at home (1).
The Starbucks Blonde Roast is a blend of Latin American and east African coffees. The flavor is sweeter, with a creamy body and notes of bittersweet chocolate and candied apple (2).
Cold Brew Ice Cubes
The classic Starbucks iced vanilla latte uses regular ice cubes, and you are welcome to do the same in this iced latte. However, Home Grounds prefers cold brew iced coffee cubes for the intense coffee flavor they add to iced lattes and other cold drinks.
How to Make a Copycat Starbucks Iced Vanilla Latte
An iced vanilla latte is one of the most refreshing coffee drinks to enjoy on a hot summer day. It’s one of Starbucks top drinks, along with the ever-popular iced caramel macchiato, but we think you can do even better at home! This Starbucks Iced Vanilla Latte copycat recipe adds cold frothed milk and stabilized whipped cream for an extra decadent iced coffee treat.
1. Make the Cold Brew Ice Cubes
Make cold brew concentrate using a 1:4 ratio of coffee grounds to water. Steep the mixture for 16 hours at room temperature, then filter out the ground coffee. You can also use leftover hot coffee or store-bought cold brew poured into ice cube trays.
Pour the cold brew concentrate into an ice cube tray and place it in the freezer until frozen.
Pro Tip: Avoid putting your cold brew into the fridge during the 16-hour steep for the best flavor. Room temperature water allows for better extraction.
2. Make the Vanilla Syrup Recipe
Combine 2 cups of room-temperature water and 2 cups of granulated sugar in a small saucepan. Bring this up to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat once the sugar has dissolved.
Into the same saucepan, add 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract, 2 scraped vanilla beans, ¼ cup of sweetened condensed milk, and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine and let simmer at low heat for 20 minutes.
You can strain your vanilla syrup through cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve if you want a smoother texture.
Pro Tip: After making this Iced Starbucks Iced Vanilla Latte recipe, you’ll have some homemade vanilla syrup left over. To store it, strain the vanilla syrup into a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid and keep it in the fridge.
3. Pull the Blonde Espresso Shots
Use an espresso machine to brew three ounces of espresso. This is equivalent to a double shot. You can pull the espresso directly over your cold brew ice cubes to save time.
If you don’t have an espresso machine, prepare three ounces of strong coffee using a Moka pot, Aeropress, or French press.
Pro Tip: If you want to replicate Starbucks flavors perfectly, pick up a bag of their Blonde Espresso Roast to brew at home. However, any high-quality light-medium or medium espresso roast will work. Look for coffee with a similar cup profile.
4. Froth the Cold Milk
Froth 6 ounces of cold whole milk in a milk frother.
A French press works just as well if you don’t have a milk frother. Add the cold whole milk to the French press, then froth the milk by moving the French press plunger up and down to incorporate air. You can use the same technique with a non-dairy alternative, like almond milk, but it may be more difficult to achieve the proper texture.
Pro Tip: To get rid of larger bubbles, gently tap and swirl the French press on the countertop after every five or six pumps.
5. Make the Stabilized Whipped Cream
Combine 1 teaspoon of plain gelatin and 1 tablespoon of cold water in a small bowl. Stir until the gelatin has dissolved and the mixture thickens. Then, heat this gelatine mixture in the microwave in five-second increments until the mixture liquefies.
Combine 4 tablespoons of powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1 cup of whipping cream, and a pinch of salt in a chilled mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Add the liquid gelatin to this whipped cream base and stir to combine again. Whip air into the mixture using an electric mixer or whisk.
Pro Tip: You can store the leftover stabilized whipped cream in the fridge in a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid. Alternatively, you can pipe the whipped cream onto a parchment paper-lined baking tray and freeze individual portions.
6. Assemble the Iced Starbucks Blonde Vanilla Latte Recipe
Fill a 16-ounce glass with as many cold brew ice cubes as you’d like. Pour three ounces of espresso on top, then add 2-½ ounces of the homemade vanilla syrup and the frothed cold milk. Top your iced vanilla latte off with a dollop of whipped cream.
Now, enjoy your iced vanilla latte!
Interested in making a custardy, creamy, and decadent Starbucks copycat drink? Here’s how to make caramel brulee latte at home!
This delicious copycat Iced Starbucks Iced Vanilla Latte is a beautifully balanced drink. The bright espresso, sweet vanilla syrup, and creamy milk together create something more than a run-of-the-mill iced coffee. Pair your iced blonde vanilla latte with a brownie or blueberry muffin for an indulgent breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up.
Did you make this Starbucks Iced Vanilla Latte? Let us know in the comments below, in our Home Grounds Facebook group, or follow us on Instagram.
Yes, you can use soy milk in this iced vanilla latte recipe. However, soy milk has a lower fat content than whole milk, so it may take longer to froth. For the best vegan frothed milk, Home Grounds suggests using oat milk. The texture, mouthfeel, and foam are the most similar to whole milk.
Yes, you can use store-bought vanilla syrup. When looking at the various options, read through the ingredients list carefully. Brands like Torani, Ghirardelli, and Monin are good choices, as they’re consistently highly rated and use quality ingredients.
You can froth milk without a French press using a chilled mixing bowl and whisk or an electric mixer. You can also add cold milk to a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake it to froth. However, a French press works best because the fine mesh in the filter helps incorporate air without creating large bubbles.
- Starbucks Blonde Espresso Launches in U.S. Stores. (2018). Starbucks Stories. https://stories.starbucks.com/press/2018/starbucks-blonde-espresso-launches-in-u-s-stores/
- Starbucks®. (2022). @Starbucks; Starbucks. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/2122186/whole-bean