What sweetener is in Starbucks sugar free vanilla syrup?

Starbucks offers a variety of syrup flavors to customize drinks, including sugar free versions of some of their most popular syrups. One of their most popular sugar free syrup offerings is the sugar free vanilla syrup. Customers choose this option as a way to enjoy the sweet vanilla flavor without the added sugar. But what exactly is the sugar free vanilla syrup made of? Which artificial sweetener does Starbucks use to provide the sweetness without the calories and carbohydrates of real sugar? This article will explore the ingredients in Starbucks sugar free vanilla syrup to find out exactly what sweetener they use.

Exploring Sugar Free Syrup Options

When creating sugar free versions of syrups, coffee shops and food brands have a few artificial sweetener options to choose from. Some of the most common sugar substitutes used in sugar free syrups and other products include:

  • Aspartame – Brand name Equal, aspartame is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. It’s made up of phenylalanine and aspartic acid.
  • Sucralose – Brand name Splenda, sucralose is made from sugar but processed to remove calories. It’s about 600 times sweeter than sugar.
  • Acesulfame potassium (Ace-K) – About 200 times sweeter than sugar, Ace-K is often blended with other sweeteners.
  • Saccharin – One of the oldest artificial sweeteners, saccharin is 300-400 times sweeter than sugar.
  • Stevia – Unlike other sugar substitutes, stevia is natural and comes from a plant. The sweet compounds extracted are 200-300 times sweeter than sugar.
  • Xylitol – A sugar alcohol, xylitol looks and tastes like sugar but has fewer calories. It has about the same sweetness as regular sugar.

These sugar substitutes allow food and beverage companies to create low-calorie or calorie-free versions of sauces, syrups, and other products that would traditionally be high in sugar. When choosing a sweetener, companies consider the sweetness, cost, aftertaste, and how the substitute will interact with other ingredients.

The Sweetener in Starbucks Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup

So when it comes to the sugar free vanilla syrup at Starbucks, which non-nutritive sweetener do they use?

After reviewing the ingredients lists for Starbucks sugar free vanilla syrup posted online and looking at responses from customer service representatives, the verdict is in.

Starbucks uses sucralose in their sugar free vanilla syrup to provide the sweetness without sugar.

Sucralose, with the brand name Splenda, is an artificial sweetener made from sugar but processed to remove the calories. The end product is about 600 times sweeter than sugar, making it an incredibly potent sweetener. Even small amounts of sucralose provide enough sweetness to rival sugar but with no carbohydrates, calories, or blood sugar impact.

Some key facts about sucralose in Starbucks sugar free vanilla syrup:

  • Made from sugar but processed to remove calories
  • 600 times sweeter than sugar
  • Adds sweetness without calories or carbs
  • Won’t raise blood sugar levels

Sucralose is heat stable, so it works well in heated syrups and sauces. And it mixes and dissolves easily, an important factor for syrups added to hot coffee and espresso drinks. The FDA has approved sucralose as a general purpose sweetener and set an acceptable daily intake level. While no food additive is completely free of concerns, sucralose has been extensively studied and is considered a safe sugar substitute.

So for customers looking for the Starbucks sugar free vanilla flavor with less sugar, the sucralose provides the desired sweetness along with a taste similar to sugar. This allows customers to customize their drinks to avoid sugar without sacrificing the delicious vanilla syrup flavor.

Nutrition Information for Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup

Understanding the sweetener used is helpful, but looking at the full nutrition information shows the impact of using sucralose rather than regular sugar in the vanilla syrup.

Here is the nutrition info for 2 tablespoons (30ml) of Starbucks sugar free vanilla syrup:

  • Calories: 5
  • Total fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 25mg
  • Total carbs: less than 1g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: less than 1g

Comparing this to the nutrition for regular Starbucks vanilla syrup shows the reductions by using sucralose as the sweetener:

  • Regular vanilla syrup has 50 calories, 13g sugar, and 12g carbs per 2 tablespoons
  • Sugar free cuts the calories, carbs, and sugar to almost nothing

This means syrup flavors can be enjoyed without spiking blood sugar or adding extra carbohydrates, calories, and weight. For anyone monitoring sugar for health or wellness reasons, the sugar free version allows enjoying Starbucks vanilla flavor while keeping sugar in check.

Taste and Use in Drinks

In addition to the nutrition benefits, Starbucks sugar free vanilla syrup aims to provide the same great taste as the regular vanilla syrup.

The sucralose mimics the sweetness of real sugar, while added vanilla flavors like extract provide the distinctive vanilla taste. When added to coffee, tea, and espresso beverages, the sugar free vanilla syrup offers sweetness with creamy, aromatic vanilla notes.

The syrup can be used in both hot and iced drinks for sweetness in every sip. Some popular ways to enjoy Starbucks sugar free vanilla syrup include:

  • Vanilla lattes
  • Vanilla cappuccinos
  • Vanilla americanos
  • Iced vanilla coffees
  • Vanilla mochas
  • Vanilla chais

The sugar free vanilla syrup pumps seamlessly into any beverage. Use it instead of regular syrups or other sweeteners to add flavor without extra calories, carbs, or sugar.

Availability of Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup

The sugar free vanilla syrup is available at most Starbucks locations. But be sure to check with your specific Starbucks to see if they carry it.

Some key tips for finding and ordering Starbucks sugar free vanilla:

  • Check if your Starbucks has it before ordering
  • Ask at the register if they offer sugar free vanilla syrup
  • Say “sugar free vanilla” when ordering your drink to get the lower calorie option
  • Order on the app and select sugar free vanilla as your syrup choice
  • Ask for extra pumps if you want more sweet vanilla flavor

The sugar free vanilla syrup may be kept behind the counter, so you may need to specifically request it when ordering. But it’s a menu regular at most locations.

Starbucks even offers sugar free vanilla as one of the featured flavors in their customizable syrup bottles sold at grocery stores. So you may find the bottles on shelves when shopping if your local Starbucks doesn’t carry it.

Other Sugar Free Syrup Options

In addition to sugar free vanilla, Starbucks has expanded their line of sugar free syrup flavors. Some other sugar free syrup choices at Starbucks include:

  • Sugar free cinnamon dolce
  • Sugar free caramel
  • Sugar free mocha
  • Sugar free hazelnut
  • Sugar free white chocolate mocha
  • Sugar free cinnamon almond

These allow even more variety for customizing low sugar drinks. Pair them with coffee, espresso, tea, and Starbucks refreshers to add sweetness and flavor without extra calories or carbohydrates.

Starbucks also offers sugar free cinnamon powder and sugar free chocolate powder to add a touch of flavor. These can be sprinkled on top of foamed milk in lattes and cappuccinos for a low carb, low sugar boost.

Making Your Own Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup

While Starbucks sugar free vanilla is convenient when grabbing coffee on the go, you can also easily make your own sugar free vanilla syrup at home. This allows you to control the ingredients while still getting the delicious sugar free vanilla taste.

Here is a simple recipe to make sugar free vanilla syrup:

Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup Recipe


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup Splenda or other sucralose-based sweetener
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (optional)


  1. Heat water in a small saucepan until just simmering.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in Splenda until dissolved.
  3. Add in vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste.
  4. Transfer to a glass jar or bottle.
  5. Let cool completely before using or storing.
  6. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
  7. Shake before using to blend flavors.

The sugar free vanilla syrup can be adjusted to taste by using more or less sweetener. Start with 1 cup Splenda and add more to get the desired sweetness.

You can also experiment with different sugar free sweeteners like stevia, monk fruit, or erythritol blends. The homemade vanilla syrup works great in coffee drinks, over desserts like ice cream, and more.

Pros and Cons of Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup

Switching to sugar free vanilla syrup has some important benefits, but there are also some drawbacks to consider:


  • Fewer calories and carbs
  • No blood sugar spike
  • Still enjoy sweet vanilla flavor
  • Easy swap for sugar in drinks and recipes
  • Avoid “sugar crashes” from high sugar intake


  • Artificial sweetener aftertaste
  • Not considered natural
  • May cause digestive issues in some people
  • Doesn’t satisfy cravings for real sugar
  • May not be available at all locations

The pros seem to outweigh the cons for many people looking to reduce sugar without losing the flavors they enjoy. But be aware of the potential downsides.


Starbucks sugar free vanilla syrup uses sucralose to provide the sweet vanilla taste without any sugar. This allows customers to customize their favorite drinks with the flavors they love while avoiding extra calories, carbohydrates, and blood sugar spikes.

The sugar free vanilla syrup offers the aromatic, creamy taste of vanilla with no bitterness or aftertaste from the artificial sweetener. While not a “natural” product, sucralose has been approved for use as a general purpose sweetener. The sugar free syrup can be requested at most Starbucks locations to effortlessly make your go-to order healthier.

Or try making your own sugar free vanilla syrup at home using Splenda or another sucralose-based sweetener. The homemade version allows you to control the quality and customize the sweetness level.

So for coffee lovers and vanilla fans trying to cut back on sugar without sacrificing flavor, Starbucks sugar free vanilla syrup provides the perfect solution. Enjoy all the sweetness with none of the sugar negative as a tasty treat.

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