Frostings & Sauces

Vanilla Sauce

November 28, 2014

This is the easiest vanilla sauce recipe ever! It contains only 3 ingredients and goes perfectly on just about anything sweet!

Easy 3-ingredient vanilla sauce |

Erez and I usually agree on most things. Not when it comes to choosing between vanilla and chocolate. I usually prefer chocolate (obviously), while he goes the more traditional route. The only time I really prefer vanilla is when we’re picking out ice cream.

When I made this cake for a party, as always, the cake itself just wasn’t enough for me and I wanted to add a little something to it. Although the cake is fantastic alone, the bar is constantly being raised among my sweet, demanding friends ever since the moment they tagged me as the baker of the group. I just have to pull something extraordinary out of my sleeves every single time in order to please them. Erez wouldn’t agree with me, though; he says that what I consider to be just ok will surely satisfy his hungry friends, and that I shouldn’t sweat it. He’s probably right. He always is. That’s pretty annoying.

So I ended up making some chocolate sauce to serve with the cake. It took only 2 minutes for the first comment: “You should have made a vanilla sauce instead.” This was followed by, “You were crazy to think that chocolate would actually go well with that.” Was I? I agreed with the first thought, though. Vanilla did sound much better.
That was 2 years ago.

A while ago, I made the cake once again, only this time with a vanilla sauce. No one even mentioned the cake. They all asked about the sauce. They took a spoon, dug into the jar, and ate it as-is. Their eyes were rolling back in pleasure.

With just 3 simple ingredients, this is the easiest vanilla sauce recipe in history. You’ll find yourself making it over and over again. It goes perfectly with just about everything: cake, pancakes, waffles, crepes, bread pudding, ice cream, and a few other things I shouldn’t even mention I added it to.
You can even drink it straight from the container. Just kidding. Please don’t. Don’t be like me.

All you need for this marvelous sauce is to heat together three simple ingredients for a few minutes, and voila! Although letting it simmer for 10 minutes should be enough for it to thicken, I sometimes leave it for longer. It’s so effortless that I once forgot about it and left it on the stove for over 20 minutes (luckily on very low heat). And no, I’m not trying to point out that I’m a bad example, but that’s how I learned how thick and wonderful this sauce can get over time.

Easy 3-ingredient vanilla sauce |


– I usually use pure vanilla extract for this. Don’t use artificial. If you prefer using a vanilla bean, substitute the extract with 1 split and seeded vanilla bean. Cook the mixture with both the pod and seeds, and once the mixture is ready, discard the pod.
– For a richer, thicker sauce, you can add butter to the recipe – up to 1 stick/113g. Sometimes I add it, sometimes not. I like both versions.
– For a thicker consistency, you can add about 1 tablespoon cornstarch. If you do, you’ll have to whisk the mixture constantly until it’s smooth, or it can get lumpy.

Vanilla Sauce
Yields: About 2 cups
This is the easiest vanilla sauce recipe ever! It contains only 3 ingredients and goes perfectly on just about anything sweet!
  • 2 cups (480 ml) heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup (65 g /2.3 oz) granulated sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean - read above post)
  • Optional: up to ½ cup (1 stick/113 g) butter for more flavor and a thicker, creamier consistency
  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens, 10-15 minutes (or keep cooking until desired consistency).
  2. Drizzle sauce over cakes, pancakes, waffles, bread puddings, and more. Serve warm or slightly cool (the sauce will thicken as it cools).
  3. Sauce will keep in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to a week.


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  • Reply
    November 29, 2014 at 11:31 am

    שבוע טוב שירן
    קודם כל אני עם ארז 🙂 גם אני מעדיפה וניל
    זה קרם וניל שאני לא מכירה, כי את מבשלת פה את השמנת המתוקה – חייבת לנסות
    תודה על החידוש!!

  • Reply
    Jess @
    November 30, 2014 at 10:15 am

    This vanilla sauce looks amazing! Love it Shiran!

    • Reply
      November 30, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      Thanks Jess!

  • Reply
    pamela higgins
    June 4, 2016 at 8:32 am

    can you reheat it a day later

    • Reply
      June 5, 2016 at 6:08 am

      Yes Pamela, you definitely can!

  • Reply
    Coach Cheryl
    September 19, 2016 at 1:21 am

    I used swerve instead of sugar, Delish!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    I made this with condensed milk and a vanilla bean. OMG amazing.

  • Reply
    February 20, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Hi Shiran, what’s the difference between Vanilla beans and vanilla extract. I tried Vanilla Sauce in Malaysia and am in love with it. I would like to make the tastiest, best, most flavoursome vanilla…I have searched and it seems vanilla beans are harder to get hold of than vanilla extract. in addition vanilla beans seem to be more expensive…I was wondering does it make a huge difference in the taste?

    • Reply
      February 22, 2017 at 5:02 am

      Hi Khaleel, yes, there’s a difference in taste and vanilla bean has the best vanilla flavor, but if it’s hard for you to find, using pure vanilla extract tastes really good, too.

  • Reply
    March 2, 2017 at 2:44 am

    By “seeded”, do you mean remove the seeds from the pod but leave them in the mixture?

    • Reply
      March 5, 2017 at 10:03 am

      Yes, exactly. You need to add the seeds to the mixture.

  • Reply
    April 24, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    how do you make it not liquidly?

    • Reply
      April 29, 2017 at 9:25 am

      Hi Catherine, the sauce should have the consistency of a thick liquid.

  • Reply
    June 17, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    HI Shiran, just found your site. I have gained five pounds just READING, can’t wait to try a few recipes! Beautiful job summarizing and then detailing recipes, great photos! My new “go to”! Do you have a clever trick to get the flavor of simmering vanilla beans/pods, without the black flecks? Thinking of making crème patisserie (spell check keeps replacing word!) and vanilla sauce (not together…sugar overload!). I always use pure vanilla extract, but in ice cream LOVE the richness and little flecks. In pastry creams, not so much liking the look of black pepper! I’m looking for a new source for clear vanilla since I used mine all up.

    • Reply
      June 19, 2017 at 4:45 am

      Thank you Nanette! If you’re using vanilla pod, I’m not sure how you can avoid those black flecks. Personally I like their look. Otherwise, I use vanilla extract.

  • Reply
    August 16, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    Just a theory.
    Could you add cinnamon to spice up the flavor?

    • Reply
      August 17, 2017 at 2:07 pm

      You can definitely try. Sounds good to me!

  • Reply
    August 23, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Do you need to cook it

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