Make this easy and flavorful brown sugar syrup at home for mornings when you don’t have time to drive by the coffee shop. Its rich sweetness is the perfect accompaniment to your favorite coffees and teas.
I love a morning coffee shop coffee or tea. Whether it’s hitting up my local coffee shop or swinging through the Starbucks drive thru, it’s a great way to start my morning. Or get my second wind in the afternoon.
But doing that daily is not the best habit. It does add up after a while.
That’s why I like making homemade vanilla coffee syrup and keeping it on hand for dressing up my coffee at home. And once I became hooked on the Starbucks brown sugar syrup, I knew I had to come up with a homemade version of that, too.
COPYCAT STARBUCKS BROWN SUGAR SYRUP
I think we can probably all agree that the fall and holiday seasons are historically the best seasons to go to Starbucks, right?
I mean, we all know that everyone goes bananas for the pumpkin spice and peppermint drinks. I feel like introducing the pink drink was the first big step in them giving everyone a drink to go nuts over year-round. Introducing their brown sugar syrup was the second.
I love the rich sweetness of the brown sugar syrup and how good it is in both hot and iced drinks. But I don’t always have time to run to Starbucks and honestly, going daily would be a pretty expensive habit to have.
So I decided it was time to make my own copycat of the brown sugar syrup at home. This homemade version has that same deep, molasses-y flavor of the original and is easy to add to any drink you like.
I also used a 2:1 sugar-to-water ratio in this syrup because I wanted it to be nice and thick. Is it possible for a syrup to be luxurious? Because that is totally the word that comes to mind here.
HOW TO MAKE BROWN SUGAR SYRUP
If you have made any sort of simple syrup before, you already know the basics of making this brown sugar syrup. You’ll never believe how easy it is!
Ingredients you’ll need
To make this brown sugar syrup, you will need:
- Dark brown sugar
- Cinnamon sticks
- Pure vanilla extract
If you are out of brown sugar or only have light brown sugar on hand, you can make dark brown sugar using my brown sugar substitute instructions.
You can also learn how to soften brown sugar if yours has hardened in the pantry.
Even though this is called “brown sugar syrup,” one of the key ingredients is cinnamon sticks. The warmth of the cinnamon complements the rich molasses notes of the dark brown sugar for a flavor pairing that is out of this world.
If you want, you can substitute vanilla bean paste for the vanilla extract. You could also use a split vanilla bean; add and remove it at the same time as the cinnamon sticks.
Making this recipe
Grab a medium saucepan and whisk together the brown sugar and water over medium heat. Add the cinnamon sticks and bring the mixture to a boil.
Stir often to dissolve the sugar. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer the syrup. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Take the pan off the heat and let the syrup cool. Remove the cinnamon sticks and stir in the vanilla. Then pour it into a jar and store it in the refrigerator.
If you’re planning to use this brown sugar syrup for an iced drink, I recommend letting it chill in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours before using it. If you’re using it in a hot drink, feel free to use it right away!
Keep this brown sugar syrup stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
How long will it keep? Well, if you keep it in a clean container and only touch it with clean utensils, it can last almost indefinitely.
If you see anything growing on the surface of the syrup or along the side of the jar, or if the syrup smells “off” when you open it, discard it immediately.
If you’re planning to gift a jar of this syrup to a friend or family member, I would recommend telling them that it is good for up to a month just to be on the safe side.
So how can you use your homemade brown sugar syrup?
Obviously you can add it to any hot or iced coffee or lattes. You can even make your own iced shaken espresso at home using this syrup! Top it with vanilla sweet cream cold foam to make it extra fancy.
Don’t forget about teas! If you have some homemade chai concentrate on hand, you can combine it with a bit of this syrup and your favorite milk for an amazing homemade chai latte.
And there are always cocktail options! If you love a classic old fashioned, try it with this rich brown sugar syrup for a bit of a twist on the traditional recipe.
I think this brown sugar syrup would also be great as part of a hostess or housewarming gift. Add a jar of it to a basket with some of your favorite coffee beans, a mug, and a milk frother for an adorable at-home barista kit.
Brown Sugar Syrup
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the brown sugar and water. Add in cinnamon sticks. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Reduce heat and simmer for about two minutes or until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Remove from heat and cool completely. Remove cinnamon sticks and stir in vanilla extract. Pour syrup into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator.