Making vanilla sweet cream cold foam at home is so much easier than you might think. All you need for this easy Starbucks copycat recipe are a few simple ingredients and a handheld milk frother. Whip the cream mixture up in minutes and top your favorite cold brew.
Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam
How is cold foam made? Starbucks uses a special machine to froth a mixture of vanilla, cream, milk and sweetener to create a sweetened whipped cream texture.
It sits on top of your favorite iced beverage (kind of like the pumpkin cream cold brew) and slowly seeps into it as it sweetens it and makes the drink extra creamy. The Starbucks vanilla sweet cream cold brew is a signature drink with this topping!
Vanilla Sweet Cream vs Cold Foam
Cold Foam: Starbucks makes this by whipping/frothing cold nonfat milk on high speed for a frothy, unsweetened coffee topping.
Sweet Cream: This creamer is made with a mix of heavy cream, milk, and vanilla and poured into iced coffee or cold brew to make it sweet and creamy.
Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam: This recipe is the combination of the two above. It's essentially the same ingredients as the sweet cream, but whipped at high speed to give your cold brew and iced coffee a whipped, sweet and creamy flavor.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Heavy cream or cashew cream: Both are great options for this recipe and gives it a creamy texture. We used coconut cream to keep it dairy-free and vegan. If you have half and half on hand you can swap the cream and milk for more of that since it's pre-mixed cream and milk.
- Almond milk or skim milk: Most people don't know milk with less fat froths much easier, which is why we recommend a skim milk or almond milk. An oat milk or coconut milk will work as well and whole milk works too if that's all you have on hand. You could even make your own homemade oat milk!
- Vanilla: We used a vanilla extract because that's what we typically have on hand and know most people already have this. You could use a vanilla bean paste as well. It's so great to see the little flecks of vanilla in the cold foam recipe.
- Sweetener: We opted for maple syrup, however, a monk fruit sweetener is a great low-carb and keto option and simple syrup (store bought or homemade) works well too. Dissolve sugar in water over the stove with a little vanilla to make a homemade vanilla syrup.
How to Make Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam
Blend: Mix the cream, milk, vanilla extract, and sweetener in a tall, skinny glass. Use a handheld frother to blend the mixture well on high speed for at least one minute, until it thickens and froths well.
See notes if you don’t have a frother.
Taste and serve: Taste the sweet cream cold foam and adjust the sweetness to your liking. Top your favorite cold brew or iced coffee and enjoy!
How to Make Cold Foam Without a Milk Frother
Not everyone has an electric milk frother, so here are a few options so you can make this at home no matter what appliances (or lack thereof) you have.
- French press: Pour the ingredients into a french press and move the handle up and down vigorously until it starts to foam
- Mason jar: Add everything to a mason jar with a lid and shake it really well until foamy and it reaches a velvety texture.
- Immersion blender: This is essentially an extra larger frother, often used to blend soups in pots. If this is all you have it will likely work. You may need to double the recipe to create more volume because the blender needs to be fully submerged to work properly.
- Creamer with no foam: Mix the ingredients in a jar or stir well with a spoon to combine.
What makes Starbucks cold foam so thick?
Starbucks' cold foam is made thick and creamy through a process of aerating and frothing the milk or cream. To create a thick texture, the milk and cream mixture is aerated using a milk frother or a similar device. This introduces air into the mixture, causing it to expand and become frothy. The frothed mixture is then whipped further to increase its volume and create a dense, velvety texture. The combination of aeration, whipping, and carefully layering the cold foam on top of the drink helps to achieve the signature thick and velvety texture of Starbucks' cold foam.
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Serving and Storing
This recipe makes enough vanilla sweet cream cold foam for up to 2 cups of coffee. However, if you want a large coffee or just like a lot of cream, you can do the whole batch on top of one.
To store: pour any leftover foam into a jar with a lid and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Froth again before serving.
Which Coffee to Use
Homemade vanilla sweet cream cold foam is typically served on top of a cold brew coffee. You can brew really strong coffee at home and chill it in the fridge or you can even use store-bought cold brew coffee. Add a little monkfruit sweetener or simple syrup to the coffee first if you want it sweeter.
Can I use iced coffee instead? Iced coffee is another great option to serve with sweet cream. You can even top other iced drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.
Dairy-free: We tested this recipe over 3 times to get a great dairy-free option. Use coconut cream and almond milk for a dairy-free and vegan option. You could even make your own homemade oat milk!
Keto/Low carb: Use a monkfruit sweetener rather than maple syrup or a simple syrup.
This recipe is naturally gluten-free!
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More Copycat Starbucks Recipes
If you couldn't tell we love a good copycat for Starbucks drinks: cold drinks, hot drinks, sweet cream foam, you name it. Next time you're looking for an easy recipe that tastes like it came from your favorite coffee shop, check out our library of drink recipes.
Especially this time of year, one of our favorite coffee drinks is the iced pumpkin spice latte and the best cold brew is hands-down this copycat pumpkin cream cold brew. The creamy foam on top is dairy-free and the perfect addition to this fall-flavored drink.
Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam
- 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or full fat coconut cream
- ⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk or skim milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or monkfruit sweetener more or less too taste
- Handheld Frother see notes for other options
- Mix the cream, milk, vanilla extract, and sweetener in a tall, skinny glass. Use a handheld frother to blend the mixture well on high speed for at least one minute, until it thickens and froths well. See notes if you don’t have a frother.
- Taste the the sweet cream cold foam and adjust the sweetness to your liking. Top your favorite cold brew coffee or iced coffee.
- For just a creamer with no foam: mix the ingredients in a jar to combine
- If you don’t have a handheld milk frother: Pour the ingredients into a french press and move the handle up and down vigorously until it starts to foam. You could also add everything to a mason jar with a lid and shake it really well until thick and foamy.
- Keto/Low Carb: swap a few teaspoons of monkfruit sweetener for maple syrup.
- Homemade vanilla simple syrup: boil water and granulated sugar until the sugar dissolves. Stir in vanilla and allow it to cool before blending.
- To store: pour any leftover foam into a jar with a lid and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Froth again before serving.