Make this delicious McDonald’s Iced Coffee recipe at home in under 5 minutes with this easy copycat recipe. With just a few basic ingredients, you can recreate your favorite iced coffee anytime – and it tastes just as good, if not better, than the one at your local coffee shop!
There’s nothing better than that first sip of morning coffee – except maybe a refreshingly cool iced coffee on a hot summer day.
Because we like to make our own delicious iced coffee drinks, we created this recipe that we think is even better than the one you buy from the golden arches but comes without the hefty coffee price! This is a basic recipe that can be altered by using different flavors of syrups.
- Coffee. Use McDonald’s coffee for the exact coffee flavor of McDonald’s brew. McDonald’s uses Medium Dark Roast Arabica beans. A stronger brew will give you a more robust flavor that won’t be diluted from the ice cubes. You can also make Homemade Cold Brew using McDonalds brand coffee grounds.
- Sweetener. Simple syrup is used to add sweetness. Use plain simple syrup for a plain iced coffee or vanilla simple syrup for a hint of vanilla flavor. You can also use Torani vanilla syrup. I suggest making homemade simple syrup using equal parts water and sugar. It lasts in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Milk. Use whole milk, heavy cream, or half and half for the ultimate creaminess.
- Ice. Use large ice cubes as they melt slower, or coffee ice cubes.
- Optional Toppings. Top with Vanilla Cold Foam, Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam, or a little whipped cream for an extra treat.
See the printable recipe card for exact measurements and a complete list of ingredients.
Step 1: Brew Coffee. Start by brewing your coffee a bit stronger than usual. Let it cool to room temperature. (If you are in a hurry, pop it in the fridge for about 15 minutes). I recently purchased a coffee maker with an “Iced Coffee” setting that brews coffee over ice. This has been a game-changer for me – I love it!
Step 2: Make Simple Syrup. Combine 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1 cup of boiling water in a saucepan or jar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
Step 3: Assemble Iced Coffee. Fill a tall glass two-thirds with ice cubes. Pour the cold coffee over ice. Add vanilla simple syrup and milk or cream.
Step 4: Stir. Give the mixture a good stir with a spoon or straw. Give it a taste, and if you would like it sweeter, add more vanilla simple syrup. Enjoy!
Substitutions & Variations
Change the flavor of this McDonald’s vanilla iced coffee by trying one of these fun variations:
- Syrup Flavors. Try different flavor syrups – chocolate syrup, hazelnut syrup, or caramel syrup.
- Milk. Swap out the milk or cream with almond, soy, oat, or coconut milk for a dairy-free version. You can also use nonfat milk or light cream.
- Sweetener. Replace simple syrup with maple syrup, honey, or agave syrup.
- Spiced. Add a dash of cinnamon on top.
- Iced Coffee Float. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- Use McDonalds’ brand coffee for the best flavor. If possible, grind beans just before brewing.
- Brew your coffee stronger than usual to counteract the dilution from the ice cubes.
- Start with less sweetener and adjust to taste.
Coffee Shop Drinks
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McDonalds Iced Coffee Recipe
- 1 cup strong brewed coffee cooled
- 1-1½ cups ice cubes
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons vanilla simple syrup *recipe in Notes below
- Fill a tall glass ⅔ full with ice cubes. Add the cooled coffee, vanilla simple syrup, and milk.
- Stir the coffee with a spoon or straw. Taste it, and if you prefer it sweeter, add a bit more vanilla simple syrup. Enjoy!
- Use Premium Roast (Medium Dark Roast) McCafé coffee beans for the best flavor.
- Increase or decrease simple syrup amount depending on how sweet you want your iced coffee to be.
- Use a sugar substitute in the simple syrup to make it sugar-free.