'Tis the season for all things sweet and festive! This Sugar Cookie Syrup is an easy-to-make simple syrup that tastes just like homemade Christmas cookies. It can be used in coffee and cocktails and so much more!
Did you know that you can turn nearly any flavor into a simple syrup? I've made syrups flavored like bubblegum, pumpkin spice, candy corn, and so much more.
But I'm extra excited to share this holiday simple syrup with you today! This Sugar Cookie Syrup tastes just look Christmas cookies and has so many delicious uses.
I was inspired to make it by Starbucks' 2021 holiday drink the Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte (I share my at-home recipe for it here!), but have about a million other ideas for how you could use this yummy syrup.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
You'll love this sugar cookie syrup recipe because it will bring cheer into everything you do this holiday season!
It's incredibly easy to make with just 5 ingredients, one of which is water!
You can keep a jar of the syrup in your fridge throughout the holiday season and have it ready to go any time you want to add a little cheer to your day. I provide lots of ways you can use the syrup below.
Plus, you can put the syrup in a pretty jar and tie a bow around it and it makes the perfect holiday gift.
There are only 5 ingredients in sugar cookie syrup and one of them is water! Here's everything you need:
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Butter extract
- Almond extract
How to Make Sugar Cookie Syrup
The process is quite simple and if you've ever made a simple syrup before, you'll know exactly how to do it. If this is your first time, follow everything below and see just how easy homemade syrups are.
To start, put water and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring mixture to a boil.
Once water is boiling, lower heat and let the mixture simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture has thickened a bit.
Remove from heat and add vanilla extract...
And almond extract...
And stir it all together.
Pour syrup into a mason jar or bowl and place in fridge to cool completely before using.
Syrup will continue to thicken as it cools. But it will instantly smell like fresh baked Christmas cookies!
And when you taste it, you'll see how the three extracts come together to make a syrup that tastes just like a sweet buttery, vanilla-packed sugar cookie. It's like a little bit of holiday heaven in a jar!
How to Use
There are SO many ways to use this sugar cookie syrup and no wrong way to use it! Here are some of my favorite uses:
- Coffee Mix-In: Adding this syrup to coffee is one of the easiest and best ways to use it! You can simple stir in a little bit of it to your hot or iced coffee in lieu of sugar. Or you can make a fancy coffee drink.
You can even use it to make a copycat version of Starbucks' Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte!
- Cocktails: This sugar cookie syrup also makes for some fun holiday cocktails and I'll certainly be experimenting more as the season goes on. So far, I think it pairs best in a vodka soda as the sugar cookie flavor truly shines. But this syrup paves the way for so many sugar cookie cocktails!
- Homemade Soda: If you prefer to go sans alcohol or want to make a fun mocktail for kids, simply add a little of the syrup into plain soda water and you have an instant sugar cookie soda!
- Pancake, Waffle, and French Toast Topping: Talk about a fun holiday breakfast! Instead of topping your pancakes, waffles, and french toast with maple syrup, use a little bit of this syrup instead. I also recommend adding on some fun red and green sprinkles for an extra festive feel.
- Ice Cream Topping: This syrup is especially taste when drizzled over vanilla ice cream.
- Oatmeal and Yogurt Topping: Another fun breakfast idea is so top your plain oatmeal or yogurt with this syrup.
- Cake Moistener: Simple syrup is often brushed onto cakes to act as a moistener and add some flavor. This syrup would add a fun holiday flavor to a vanilla cake, but would also be delicious on chocolate cake.
- Cocktail Rimmer: I always keep simple syrup in my fridge to use when I'm garnishing my cocktail rims. Brush a little bit of this syrup on the rim of a cocktail glass and you can easily adhere sugar, sprinkles, or crushed candy canes to the glass for all kinds of festive cocktails.
How to Store
You should always store your homemade syrups in the fridge in an airtight container. When stored properly, the syrup should stay fresh for at least a month.
I generally store my simple syrups in mason jars. You can use 16 oz. mason jars or the smaller 8 oz. jars I used in these photos. However, note that this recipe does make slightly more than a cup of syrup.
You can even get lids with spouts for them to make syrup pouring super easy.
Can I Use Real Butter Instead of Extract?
When I was planning out this sugar cookie syrup, I knew I wanted it to have a buttery flavor to mimic actual cookies. I initially tried it with real butter and it was absolutely delicious.
But there is an issue with using real butter in a syrup that's going in an iced drink. Once the syrup cools, the butter will separate from the syrup and harden a bit.
You can whisk it really well to reconstitute the mixture for the most part, but when you add it to the iced drink, it will start to separate again and be a bit grainy.
It's still absolutely delicious, but it doesn't have the best visual appeal. Which is why I opted to use butter extract instead.
If you're planning to use the sugar cookie syrup warm (like on pancakes and in hot drinks), you can certainly use real butter and just re-heat the syrup and whisk before using.
If you're planning to use the syrup in cold drinks and on ice cream, you can use real butter if you don't mind it getting grainy, but I think butter extract makes for a nicer experience!
What If I Don't Have Butter Extract?
If you don't have butter extract and don't want to use real butter, you can leave it out and this syrup will still be quite delicious.
The butter flavor certainly adds to the sugar cookie taste of this syrup, but the vanilla and almond do make a delicious cookie flavor, so you may not miss the butter too much!
How to Adjust Flavor
I experimented a lot with the amount of extracts to add to the syrup to get my ideal sugar cookie flavor. But you can certainly do your own experimenting to find the flavor you like best.
A little bit of almond extract goes a long way and I didn't want the almond flavor to be too overpowering, so I only added ⅛ of a tsp. You can add more or leave it out altogether if you're not a fan of the almond flavor.
How to Make More
This recipe makes slightly over a cup of sugar cookie syrup, but it's super easy to make more by simply doubling or tripling the ingredients.
It's great to make a big batch of it if you're planning to serve it in cocktails at a holiday party or if you're going to use it in your coffee every morning of the holiday season.
Where to Buy
If you don't want to make your own sugar cookie syrup, there are a few options for purchasing similar syrups pre-made. It's not as popular a simple syrup flavor as other flavors and I haven't tried any of them myself, but here are a couple options:
More Simple Syrup Flavors
Once you make this sugar cookie syrup, you're going to want to have a jar of flavored simple syrup in your fridge at all times (I always have at least four jars!).
Here are some of my favorite recipes for flavored simple syrup:
- Pumpkin Spice
- Candy Corn
- Candy Cane
- Pink Peppercorn
- Holiday Spice
I hope this sugar cookie syrup helps add a little extra holiday spirit to your season!
But I also wouldn't blame you if you kept a jar of this in your fridge in the spring and summer, too! After all, is there really an off-season for sugar cookies?
Sugar Cookie Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp butter extract
- ⅛ tsp almond extract
- Put water and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring mixture to a boil.
- Once boiling, lower heat and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture has thickened a bit.
- Remove saucepan from heat and add vanilla, butter, and almond extracts and stir.
- Pour syrup into a mason jar or bowl and place in fridge to cool completely before using. Syrup will continue to thicken as it cools.
- If you don't have butter extract, you can melt 1 Tbsp unsalted butter into the syrup. But note that when the syrup cools, the butter will harden and get a bit grainy. You can also make the syrup without the butter extract and it will still be tasty!
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