French vanilla coffee is a rich, full-bodied coffee with a sweet and creamy taste. Popular in the United States, it is often simply referred to as ‘French Vanilla’.

The name of the drink refers to vanilla beans, which are the best ingredient to give this kind of coffee its flavor.

However, there are multiple ways to make French vanilla coffee at home.

And if you’re not familiar with this type of coffee, here’s more about it, what makes it different, and how to make it at home.

What is French vanilla coffee?

French vanilla coffee is coffee made with vanilla syrup, vanilla extract, or vanilla coffee creamer to flavor the coffee with vanilla. The French vanilla flavor also comes infused with coffee beans, giving you a vanilla-flavored coffee once brewed.

French vanilla coffee is a creamy, rich, and flavorful type of coffee that you’ll love for its sweetness and balanced flavor.

And in case you’re wondering, French vanilla and vanilla are the same things. They’re used interchangeably with the big coffee chains, which I’ll discuss below!

Now that you know what it is, let’s get into how you can make this coffee at home:

How do you make French vanilla coffee at home?

French vanilla coffee can be made using various techniques. Have a look below for some of the most common ways to make French vanilla coffee at home:

  • You can buy vanilla-infused coffee beans.
  • Try adding a tiny amount of vanilla extract to your coffee.
  • Add (homemade) vanilla syrup to your coffee.
  • Finish your brewed coffee with a splash of vanilla coffee creamer.

These are some options to make French vanilla coffee at home easily. Below, I’ll show you the different ways to infuse the flavor into your coffee.

After that, I’ve listed the different ways on how the big chains make their French vanilla coffee and how you can make their coffee at home.

How do you infuse French vanilla flavor into coffee?

The best way to infuse French vanilla flavor into your brewed coffee is by adding a tiny amount of vanilla extract to your cup after brewing.

I suggest adding just a tiny amount to boost the flavor of your coffee with French vanilla.

You don’t want to add too much vanilla extract to your coffee, as this will be too overpowering and will take away the coffee flavor altogether.

If you want to learn more about the exact amount to add to your favorite coffee, you can check out this article where I go in-depth about the vanilla extract and coffee combination.

Another great way to make vanilla-flavored coffee at home is by adding French vanilla coffee creamer to your coffee.

I have a great recipe that uses just three ingredients, so you can easily make amazing coffee creamer at home. Check out the recipe here!

French vanilla creamer.

A great way to enjoy French vanilla coffee is in the form of a latte. I’ve made an easy recipe that includes a homemade French vanilla syrup so that you can make your latte (or different coffee) with your favorite sweetener.

You can check out the complete guide here so that you can give this recipe a try yourself.

Below, I’ll talk about what French vanilla coffee beans are and if they’re worth a try.

What are French vanilla coffee beans?

French vanilla coffee beans are coffee beans flavored with artificial or natural flavors. These coffee beans come in light roasts, medium roasts, and dark roasts.

Medium roasted and dark roasted coffee beans next to each other.
Medium roast on the left. Dark roast on the right

Depending on the sweetness level you like, you can choose the coffee roast you prefer. The lighter the roast, the more subtle and sweet the flavor will be.

I prefer a medium roast for most coffees, and if you like a balanced cup of coffee with the taste of vanilla, I suggest checking out this medium roast coffee bean flavored with vanilla.

This is a great way to get a no-fuss but a very tasty cup of coffee flavored with vanilla notes.

I’ve listed a few great options for at-home French vanilla coffee like the big chains do below:

How do big chains make French vanilla coffee?

French vanilla is so popular that you’ll find it in almost every coffee shop in America. But how do the big chains make their vanilla coffee, and can you make it at home?

Big chains like McDonald’s, Dunkin’ donuts, Tim Hortons, and Starbucks all make their own version of French vanilla coffee. Have a look below for the way they differ:

Which store? How is it made? Can you make it at home?
McDonald’s Made with French vanilla syrup Yes, with French vanilla syrup
Dunkin’ Donuts Made with French vanilla syrup Yes, with French vanilla syrup or French vanilla coffee beans
Tim Hortons Instant coffee powder Yes, with instant coffee powder or ground coffee
Starbucks Made with vanilla syrup Yes, with vanilla syrup

As you can see, all chains make their French vanilla coffee differently. Although they all have a unique flavor, most of them use French vanilla syrup to sweeten their coffee.

Now let’s have a look at how you can make the French vanilla coffee at home from the various chains:


You can easily make French vanilla coffee like McDonald’s at home using a homemade vanilla syrup.

However, if you don’t want to go through the trouble of making the syrup at home, you can buy a bottle of Torani French Vanilla Syrup on

You can also check out the McCafe French Roast K-Cup Coffee Pods (also on These coffee pods will provide you with a sweet cup of coffee in just a few seconds!

Dunkin’ Donuts

If you want the taste of Dunkin’ donuts French vanilla coffee, you can check out their flavored coffee beans on

The flavored coffee will give you the taste of French vanilla without adding any additional sweeteners.

If you prefer using coffee pods, Dunkin’ Donuts French Vanilla Coffee K-Cup Pods will give you that great flavored cup of coffee within no time!

Tim Hortons

There are multiple ways to get a cup of coffee flavored with French vanilla from Tim Hortons. Have a look below for your options to make it at home:


Starbucks makes their vanilla coffee with vanilla syrup. If you want to make this coffee yourself, you can get one of the following options below:

You can also make yourself a batch of vanilla syrup, which will boost the flavor of your daily coffee. Have a look below for some great vanilla-flavored coffees you can make at home:

French vanilla coffee recipes to try

Now that you know how to make this delicious and sweet coffee at home, you might be wondering about some great recipes to try.

The following recipes all use the vanilla syrup that you can easily make at home with the 5-minute recipes provided:

The above-listed recipes all have that unique vanilla flavor that is refreshing and tastes sweet at the same time.


Along with the different ways the big chain makes French vanilla coffee, you can easily make this coffee at home with some vanilla syrup, extract, or vanilla coffee creamer.

In this article, I’ve shown you the different ways of making French vanilla coffee at home, using homemade ingredients.

I’ve also listed the various ways you can make the coffee at home and have it taste just like your favorite chain.

I hope this article has helped you on your quest to make Your Dream Coffee at home. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below!

Picture of Jeffrey, Author at Your Dream Coffee

On my coffee blog you will find everything you need in order to start brewing coffee at home. Ranging from the basics; to the newest coffee recipes everybody talks about! You can learn more about me here.

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