Skip the coffee shop and save tons of money by learning How To Make Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam at home! This homemade copycat Starbucks cold foam recipe adds delightfully rich flavor and a dramatic ombré effect to any iced coffee or tea drink that you add it to.
About This Recipe
With inflation running rampant this year, I’ve dedicated myself to learning how to be my own barista to keep my budget in check. As it turns out, making coffee shop drinks at home (entirely from scratch!) is easier than you might think.
Aside from knowing exactly what’s going into your caffeinated bliss (i.e. no more artificial ingredients, preservatives, or colors), there’s also no more absurd upcharges for wanting to use plant-based or organic milk — HOORAY!
Once you make a batch of this sweet cream cold foam, you can easily make a copycat Starbucks vanilla sweet cream cold brew by adding a dollop to your favorite iced coffee drink, all for a fraction of the cost you’d pay in shop.
Aside from being rich, delicious, and a superbly convincing dupe for the coffee shop favorite, this vanilla sweet cream cold foam recipe is:
- Budget-Friendly. Going to Starbucks and ordering a grande vanilla sweet cream cold brew will cost you just shy of $4 before tax and tip. Making it at home costs just over a dollar per serving. Put the tip you would’ve paid in your piggy bank because you earned it!
- Quick & Easy. Stir together the vanilla sweet cream ingredients and keep it in the fridge for when a coffee craving strikes. To turn it into cold foam, simply froth it up with your hand frother and add to your iced beverage. All in, you won’t spend more than about 3 minutes of active time to make this Starbucks favorite at home.
- Made With Just 3 Ingredients, and they’re all easy to procure!
Ingredients & Substitutions
As promised, this sweet cream cold foam recipe requires just 3 simple ingredients. Here’s what to grab:
- Heavy Cream - Slightly lower fat whipping cream will also work.
- 2% Milk - Surprisingly, lower fat milks tend to make better cold foam. In fact, if you order a plain cold foam-topped drink from Starbucks, it’s typically made from only 2%! Feel free to swap in either non-fat or whole milk depending on what you have on hand.
- Vanilla Syrup - I prefer using my homemade vanilla syrup because it is made with just sugar, water, and vanilla. Feel free to swap in your favorite store-bought brand for convenience.
While some coffee shop-style drinks require a bit more barista gear, I’m happy to report that this sweet cream foam isn’t one of them. All you’ll need to grab is:
- Mason Jar - Or any other lidded container for keeping your unfrothed vanilla sweet cream in the fridge.
- Milk Frother - I love my little $10 handheld milk frother because it does the job without taking up precious counter space in my apartment kitchen. If you’re ready for a splurge, you can also purchase a countertop milk frother that’ll make both hot or cold foam at the touch of a button for about $40. If you don’t want a unitasker in the kitchen, try using an immersion blender instead.
How To Make Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam
Once you learn how to make Starbucks cold foam at home, you’ll never want to go back to paying for it! Here’s how it’s done:
Step 1: Make Vanilla Sweet Cream. Add ingredients into a jar and stir to combine. Store in the fridge until you are ready to froth.
Step 2: Make Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam. Add about 3 tablespoons* of the sweet cream mixture into a glass or pitcher with tall sides. Using a frother, froth ingredients together until thick and foamed, about one minute making sure to move the frother to the bottom, top and sides of the vessel.
Note: You can add more or less sweet cream according to your taste preferences and how many drinks you’re making!
Step 3: Add To Iced Coffee. Top your cold brew, iced americano, iced coffee, or even iced tea with a generous dollop of the vanilla cold foam. Just like at Starbucks, most of the froth will float on top, but some of the sweet cream will leech into your coffee for a beautiful, streaky, ombré look.
While this copycat Starbucks vanilla sweet cream cold foam is delightful and delicious, there’s plenty more flavors and customizations to explore. Here are a few of my favorite variations:
- Swap in a different flavor syrup. Vanilla is great and all, but you can also make cinnamon, lavender, honey, brown sugar, or dang near any other flavor sweet cream you can think of!
- Make it vegan by swapping in canned coconut cream (NOT sweetened cream of coconut) and your favorite plant-based milk.
- Put it on a hot drink for fun temperature contrasts.
- Make the vanilla sweet cream mixture ahead to save time in the morning. All you’ll need to do is froth it!
- Pour the cold foam on top of your iced drink for the prettiest presentation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Nope, but they’re similar! Sweet cream is simply the cream, milk, and vanilla mixture before frothing. You’re welcome to add that to your coffee drinks as is; it’ll be super tasty, but won’t sit atop the beverage. To turn it into vanilla sweet cream foam, simply froth it until pillowy and luscious.
If you were to order from Starbucks, plain cold foam is made from frothing just 2% milk until it turns into a milk moustache-worthy consistency. The Starbucks vanilla sweet cream recipe calls for milk, cream, and vanilla syrup. Take it a step further and whip the vanilla sweet cream to make a flavored, sweetened cold foam.
Unlike hot steamed milk foam, cold foam won’t “melt” quite as readily, meaning it’ll stay perky atop your cup of cold java for a longer period of time. Not only does it make for an aesthetically pleasing coffee drink, it also wins major texture points by adding a lovely mouthfeel.
More Coffee House Favorites
As always, I love seeing your creations and hearing from you! If you try this recipe for Starbucks-style Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam, please share your creation with me on social media! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest - for more delicious recipes sent straight to your inbox, sign up for my newsletter!
Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam
- Large Container
Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- ½ cup 2% Milk
- ¼ cup Vanilla Syrup
- Add the heavy cream, milk and vanilla syrup in a container and stir to combine.1 cup Heavy Cream, ½ cup 2% Milk, ¼ cup Vanilla Syrup
- To make the cold foam, add the vanilla sweet cream into a glass or pitcher with tall sides. Using a frother, froth ingredients together until thick and foamed, about one minute making sure to move the frother to the bottom, top and sides of the vessel.
- Add vanilla sweet cream cold foam on top of cold brew coffee with ice.Cold Brew
Optional VariationsThe best part about making your own vanilla sweet cream is you can make it exactly to spec without paying any extra surcharges. How great is that?!? Here are a few ways to customize this Starbucks copycat recipe to your needs:
- Swap in an Iced Americano for the cold brew coffee.
- Make it decaf by using decaffeinated coffee beans. OR, if you’re super sensitive to caffeine, make it completely caffeine free by using roasted chicory in place of coffee.
- Use a different flavor syrup to flavor your sweet cream. Feel free to get whimsical with it!
- Make it vegan by swapping in coconut cream and the non-dairy milk of your choice.
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