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How To Make Vanilla Iced Coffee

Refreshing, creamy, lite and SO EASY to make that you’ll be wondering why you have been paying so much for a Starbucks Iced Vanilla Latte or a McDonald’s Iced Vanilla Coffee! Just a few easy steps in how to make vanilla iced coffee and you’ll be brewing your iced coffee recipe in no time at all! 

glass of vanilla iced coffee on table

Why This Recipe Works

  • Easy
  • Fast
  • Uses What You Already Have At Home

Here’s How It’s Done

STEP 1. 

Chill the coffee. (See Info Below for coffee chilling methods).

jar of liquid on table

STEP 2. 

Pour the coffee over PLENTY of fresh ice. 

woman with jar of ice

STEP 3. 

Add vanilla syrup and milk. Stir. Enjoy! (See this website for vanilla syrup recipe or buy a commercially prepared french vanilla) 

bottle of vanilla on table

Here’s What You’ll Need: 

  • 16 oz ice
  • 6 oz fresh coffee
  • Vanilla coffee syrup (see my recipe for this)
  • Milk (go for whole milk)
  • Large Cup
  • Spoon
  • Drink shaker, large cup or Mason Jar with Lid if using hot coffee

 

PRO TIP AREA

COOLING THE COFFEE 

This recipe begins with cool coffee. Here are the best ways to have cool fresh coffee. 

  1. Pour freshly brewed coffee into a large container (with a lid) of ice (work quickly so that the ice doesn’t all melt into your coffee). Put the lid on and give it a good shake for 10 seconds. Pour the coffee immediately into your iced coffee cup. 
  2. In the same vein, if you don’t have a container with a lid, prepare two large cups of ice. Pour the fresh coffee back and forth between the two cups 2-3 times to quickly cool the coffee and then pour over the ice you have prepared for your drink. 
  3. Brew fresh coffee in the morning and place it right into the fridge. Use it for your iced coffee within 4 hours. 
  4. Allow fresh coffee to cool slightly, pour it into a mason jar, put the lid on and place it into the freezer laying on it’s side (more surface area is exposed to the cold freezer this way). Pack a zip lock bag filled with ice cubes around the mason jar. Allow to cool in the freezer. DO NOT FORGET ABOUT IT! (ask me how I know). Check every 30 minutes until chilled. 

PERFECT COFFEE ICE: 

Want to make REALLY perfect iced coffee? Make your own coffee ice cubes so that as they melt, you are adding MORE coffee to your drink rather than watering it down! 

There’s nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day! It’s like coffee ice cream without all of the calories and guilt!

All you will need is an ice cube tray, coffee and a freezer. 

OR you could try one of these specialty cubes that are available from Amazon. These large round ice balls don’t melt as fast as our typical homemade ice cubes and are perfect for this iced coffee or for drinks like adult beverages! 

(this photo is a link to Amazon. I’m an affiliate and if you purchase through this link then Loaves and Dishes will receive a commission. Amazon commissions help support the work we do here at Loaves and Dishes). 

SWEETER COFFEE:

To sweeten your coffee (if just adding the vanilla syrup isn’t enough), you’ll want to make a simple syrup. It’s easy to do and I have the instructions right on this website. 

Conversely, you can always add more vanilla syrup and that will sweeten your coffee as well. 

Do NOT just add spoonfuls of sugar because it isn’t likely to melt and that will give your coffee a sweet crunch rather than a smooth and creamy sweetness. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What Kind Of Coffee Works Best? 

Any coffee that you enjoy will work just fine! Personally, we really love iced Aldi brand Organic Honduras Coffee (white and teal label). It has hints of chocolate and vanilla while being super smooth and rich. 

We also really love the Mexican Organic coffee from the bulk bin at Whole Foods but our store doesn’t carry it anymore plus, it’s VERY expensive. 

Can I Just Put Vanilla Extract In My Coffee? 

You can put vanilla extract directly into your coffee but it’s likely that you won’t taste much vanilla that way. 

Making your own vanilla syrup using sugar (or your favored sweetener) or store bought vanilla syrup carries a stronger vanilla flavor and adds a tad of sweetness to the iced coffee that you won’t be sorry about either! 

How Do I Make My Coffee Taste Like Vanilla? 

The best way to make your coffee taste like vanilla is to add some vanilla flavor enhancers to your coffee. 

Follow this list to achieve your results: 

  • Start with a freshly brewed great tasting coffee. 
  • Add a quality vanilla syrup (you can make your own, there are instructions on this site). 
  • Cool your coffee by one of the methods I mention in this article. 
  • Add whole milk instead of cream in your coffee (not cream, skim or other liter milks). Of course, if you are intolerant to dairy, vegan or have special dietary needs, then use whatever milk works for you. 
  • Make sure you have PLENTY of fresh ice in the glass and don’t reuse the ice that you cooled the coffee in. 

Is Iced Coffee Just Cold Coffee? 

Yes and No. You can use the coffee you usually drink to make iced coffee but if you want a really good iced coffee, then it is a little more involved than just chillin regular coffee. 

That said, it isn’t hard to do. Just check out the easy to follow recipe located below. 

Can I Refrigerate Coffee To Make Iced Coffee? 

Yes, it is one of the methods for making iced coffee, however, this requires some preplanning. 

If you don’t have time to wait for coffee to chill in the refrigerator, simply use one of the quick chill methods listed above in the “Pro Tips” section. 

You CAN simply brew an extra pot of coffee, pour it in a pitcher or jar in the morning and set it in the fridge and let that be your iced coffee pitcher for the day. 

That said, don’t just keep coffee indefinitely for iced coffee, it won’t be good. Make a fresh pot each day.

What’s the Best Way to Make Iced Coffee? 

The VERY BEST way to make iced coffee is to…

  • Use a specialty ice mold and freeze coffee into the ice mold, to ensure that ice isn’t melting into your drink. 
  • Make sure your coffee is fresh.
  • Try the most creamy milk you can find. 
  • Use the best quality vanilla syrup possible, make your own if you can. 

Do I Use Cream for the Milk In My Iced Coffee?

No, cream is just too thick and it leaves a filmy residue on your lips in an iced coffee. You will be much better off just using milk or half and half. 

Do I Have To Make a Cold Brew for My Iced Coffee?

No, you don’t. Just use the coffee you usually drink and you’ll be doing great!

jar of liquid on table

Tips and Tricks for Vanilla Iced Coffee

  • Use fresh coffee for this recipe. 
  • If you know that you are going to be drinking iced coffee throughout the day, brew an extra pot in the morning and put it in a pitcher in the refrigerator for yourself to drink out of. Make sure to use fresh coffee each day. 
  • Not sure if you will be wanting some throughout the day? Then just brew one cup at a time (hello keurig users) and use the quick cool method of pouring over fresh ice in a mason jar and giving it a good shake. 
  • If you need your iced coffee sweeter than listed, do not simply add sugar to the cup. Melt sugar in an equal amount of water heated a little on the stove or in the microwave (only heat enough so that the sugar will dissolve). 
  • Use a quality whole milk for maximum creaminess in your coffee, but don’t use cream. It’s too thick and wants to cling to your lips when you drink it in a greasy type of film. 
  • This recipe requires quite a lot of ice if you are chilling your coffee by that method. Just be forewarned. 

If You Enjoyed This Recipe, You Might Also Enjoy These Drink Recipes…

Fresh Squeeze Lemonade

Southern Sweet Tea

Iced Tea

Hey, Would YOU Help Me Out A Little? 

Please leave a 5 STAR comment in the comments section at the bottom of this page. That helps others to find the recipes at Loaves and Dishes! Thank you!

glass of vanilla iced coffee on table

How To Make Vanilla Iced Coffee

Refreshing, creamy, lite and SO EASY to make that you’ll be wondering why you have been paying so much for a Starbucks Iced Vanilla Latte or a McDonald's Iced Vanilla Coffee! Just a few easy steps in how to make vanilla iced coffee and you’ll be brewing your iced coffee recipe in no time at all!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: beverage
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make vanilla iced coffee
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 servings
Calories: 139kcal
Author: Wendi Spraker

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Ice maybe more depending on your coffee cooling method.
  • 1 ½ Cups Coffee cooled, fresh, maybe more or less depending on the size of your iced coffee cup.
  • 2 Tbs Vanilla Syrup more or less depending on your preference.
  • 3 Tbs Whole Milk more or less depending on preference.

Instructions

  • Fill a tall drinking glass completely with ice. Fill glass half way with cooled coffee.
  • Add the vanilla syrup to the glass.
  • Fill to 1 inch below the glass rim with more cooled coffee.
  • Add the milk.
  • Stir and enjoy!

Notes

  • Use fresh coffee for this recipe.
  • If you know that you are going to be drinking iced coffee throughout the day, brew an extra pot in the morning and put it in a pitcher in the refrigerator for yourself to drink out of. Make sure to use fresh coffee each day.
  • Not sure if you will be wanting some throughout the day? Then just brew one cup at a time (hello keurig users) and use the quick cool method of pouring over fresh ice in a mason jar and giving it a good shake.
  • If you need your iced coffee sweeter than listed, do not simply add sugar to the cup.
  • Melt sugar in an equal amount of water heated a little on the stove or in the microwave (only heat enough so that the sugar will dissolve).
  • Use a quality whole milk for maximum creaminess in your coffee, but don’t use cream. It’s too thick and wants to cling to your lips when you drink it in a greasy type of film.
  • This recipe requires quite a lot of ice if you are chilling your coffee by that method. Just be forewarned.
PRO TIP: For coffee that doesn’t water down as the ice melts, make ice cubes out of coffee to use for your iced coffee!
Ways to Cool Fresh Brewed Hot Coffee:
  • Pour freshly brewed coffee into a large container (with a lid) of ice (work quickly so that the ice doesn’t all melt into your coffee). Put the lid on and give it a good shake for 10 seconds. Pour the coffee immediately into your iced coffee cup.
    In the same vein, if you don’t have a container with a lid, prepare two large cups of ice. Pour the fresh coffee back and forth between the two cups 2-3 times to quickly cool the coffee and then pour over the ice you have prepared for your drink.
  • Brew fresh coffee in the morning and place it right into the fridge. Use it for your iced coffee within 4 hours.
  • Allow fresh coffee to cool slightly, pour it into a mason jar, put the lid on and place it into the freezer laying on it’s side (more surface area is exposed to the cold freezer this way). Pack a zip lock bag filled with ice cubes around the mason jar. Allow to cool in the freezer. DO NOT FORGET ABOUT IT! (ask me how I know). Check every 30 minutes until chilled.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
How To Make Vanilla Iced Coffee
Amount Per Serving
Calories 139 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 5mg2%
Sodium 73mg3%
Potassium 234mg7%
Carbohydrates 31g10%
Sugar 32g36%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 73IU1%
Calcium 65mg7%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Wendi J Spraker

Tuesday 4th of August 2020

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