Learn how to make homemade Vanilla Milk in 2 minutes with just 3 simple ingredients. It’s seriously yummy and a nice alternative to plain milk. And it’s lower in added sugar than the store-bought version so you can really taste the vanilla!

vanilla milk in two cups with red paper straws.

My girls love those shelf-stable containers of vanilla milk available at the store and Starbucks, but they are pretty pricy and very sweet—and I have discovered that this flavored milk is so easy to make at home. This was also a helpful option when my son didn’t like the taste of plain milk, but I wanted the protein-rich drink as an option. This is so yummy and easy to make, with a burst of real vanilla flavor.

This drink for kids is so quick and easy, and I have to admit I was shocked by how good it is. I don’t regularly drink milk on its own, but this makes me kind of want to. (Same with my other Flavored Milks.) This is great as a healthy snack to make at home, or to pair with mini muffin recipes, Cheese Crackers, Graham Crackers, or any easy toddler meal. Or with a favorite cookie such as my Baby Cookies or Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies.

I typically make this with whole dairy milk, but it works with any milk you like to have on hand.

(Find more about milk for toddlers, too.)

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Ingredients You Need

To make this recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients on hand. (You probably have all of them already!)

ingredients in vanilla milk on counter.
  • Milk: You can use whole dairy milk or a favorite nondairy milk such as almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, or a mixed-nut milk. Milks with fat in them will be creamiest.
  • Maple syrup or honey: This is an easy way to sweeten the milk and have it blend right in. Agave nectar would also work well here.
  • Pure vanilla extract: Be sure to use pure vanilla extract, not artificial vanilla, for the best natural flavor. (In baking, I often use one or the other, but since there are so few ingredients here, this ingredient really impacts to how it tastes.) You can use alcohol-free vanilla extract if you prefer.
vanilla milk in measuring cup with whisk

Step-by-Step Instructions

The process for this flavored milk is so easy! Just add the ingredients to a measuring cup, whisk to blend, and serve up.

You don’t even need a blender and you could use a fork if you don’t have a whisk.

Best Milk for Vanilla Milk

I prefer to make this with whole milk since I think it tastes best (and kids need fat for proper development), but you can use whichever kind of milk you prefer. It will work with plain, unsweetened nondairy milk, though you’ll need to taste it and adjust the vanilla and sweetener since nondairy milk can vary widely in terms of flavor.

To make this dairy-free, use a plain unsweetened nondairy milk of your choosing.

cups of vanilla milk with dinosaur

Frequently Asked Questions

Is vanilla milk and normal milk the same thing?

Vanilla milk has vanilla extract or vanilla paste added to it for a more intense flavor than plain cow’s milk or nondairy milk.

Can I put vanilla extract in my milk?

Yes, I used vanilla extract in this recipe to give it the rich vanilla flavor. It’s an easy addition to make a very flavorful milk recipe.

How does vanilla milk taste?

Vanilla milk often tastes like melted vanilla ice cream. And if you use whole dairy milk, it is rich and super creamy, with natural flaovr.

How to Store

You can make this vanilla milk right before you serve it or stash it in the fridge in an airtight container or jar for up to 3 days. Shake before serving for the best texture.

Best Tips for Success

  • Use honey or agave instead of the maple syrup in this vanilla milk if you prefer. You can make sweet vanilla milk or less sweet, according to your preference.
  • Use whole milk or any type of milk your family prefers including low-fat milk or skim milk.
  • To make this dairy-free, use plain unsweetened nondairy milk of your choosing. It will work with plain, unsweetened nondairy milk or lactose-free milk, though you’ll need to taste it and adjust the vanilla and sweetener since nondairy milk can vary widely in terms of flavor.
  • Warm the homemade vanilla milk recipe slightly in a small mug to make it into a hot vanilla milk or warm vanilla milk.
  • Serve it in a straw cup, an open cup, or a smoothie cup.
  • You can use alcohol-free vanilla extract if you prefer.
  • You may also like Chocolate Milk, Strawberry Milk, and Banana Milk. And my Healthy Hot Chocolate.

I’d love to know what your kids think of this recipe, so please comment below to share.

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vanilla-milk-in-cups-with-red-straws

Best Vanilla Milk

You can cut this recipe in half to make a smaller ½ cup serving.
4.94 from 15 votes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Snack
Calories 174kcal
Servings 1

Ingredients

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Instructions

  • Add the ingredients to a measuring cup and stir with a whisk.
  • Add to a cup and serve cold.

Notes

  • Use honey or agave instead of the maple syrup if you prefer.
  • Cut the recipe in half to make a smaller portion.
  • Use whole milk or the type your family prefers.
  • Dairy-free: Use a plain unsweetened nondairy milk of your choosing.
  • You can use alcohol-free vanilla extract if you prefer.

Nutrition

Calories: 174kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 106mg, Potassium: 341mg, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 395IU, Calcium: 284mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

This post was first published August 2020.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My 1 year old would NOT drink milk and he hates yogurt. I wanted to try something else and he LOVED it! He drank the whole cup! Thank you for this recipe. I hadn’t even thought about changing it up to help him drink milk.

  2. 5 stars
    I made it to try to entice my breastfed toddler to start drinking a little milk. Well, I tried it myself and think that it tastes good, though when I gave it to him he started crying like he had been betrayed 😅 (I think he thought the cup had water). Oh well, we’ll keep trying. He’s got a sweet tooth so I imagine he’ll accept this concoction easier than just straight milk.

  3. 5 stars
    No, if you check it out they are consuming 35% alcohol or 70 proof (very mild for actual liquor)! It takes at least 5 oz to feel the effect, perhaps a bit less for a child.. The 1/2 teaspoon the recipe calls for equals 0.0833333 oz. Put the 1/2 teaspoon in a shot glass if you want to see how little alcohol we are actually talking about. And, as she told you all, you can use alcohol-free if you are really concerned! Thank you for sharing a wonderful recipe!!! By the way, these foods also contain alcohol :
    burger rolls – 1.28% ABV
    rye bread – 0.18% ABV
    banana (ripe) – 0.2% ABV
    banana (very ripe with dark sections) – 0.4% ABV
    pear (ripe) – 0.04% ABV
    cherry yoghurt – 0.02% ABV

  4. It’s irresponsible to post this recipe without noting that vanilla extract contains alcohol. This is exactly like putting a half teaspoon of rum in their drink.

    1. It’s not straight alcohol and you are welcome to use alcohol-free vanilla if you prefer. Thanks for the comment!

  5. almost all commercial extracts contain alcohol as a solvent. A good method would be heating the milk to evaporate it

      1. almost all commercial extracts contain alcohol as a solvent. A good method would be heating the milk to evaporate it

      2. Thanks for voicing your concerns, but in this recipe, we’re talking about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon, not shots of it. If you prefer not to use it, you don’t have to.

    1. No, if you check it out they are consuming 35% alcohol or 70 PROOF – genius! It takes at least 5 oz to feel the effect. The 1/2 teaspoon the recipe calls for equals 0.0833333 oz. Do some research before you start criticizing others! And, as she told you all, you can use alcohol-free if you are really concerned!

      1. 5 stars
        I have been drinking this since I was a child.

        My mom made it for us.

        Those of you that are complaining about alcohol are insane! Please, get a life!

  6. 4 stars
    I made this exactly how it was supposed to. It was yummy, but it needed a little less syrup and a little more vanilla. It was still delicious though!!!

  7. 5 stars
    My al;most 2-year old LOVED this! He keeps yelling “leelee dunk!!” (vanilla milk). We used a little less than 1tsp of maple syrup and it was still super yummy! We’ve tried it both cold (blended with a couple of ice cubes) and warm. Both are a huge hit!

    1. I am so glad to hear that! My kids think it tastes like melted vanilla ice cream:)

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