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Sweet Cream Cold Foam Recipe

Learn how to make a copycat version of Starbucks’ drink with my Sweet Cream Cold Foam Recipe!

Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam on top of Cold Brew at Home

This summer I tried Starbucks’ sweet cream cold brew for the first time.

Technically I had an iced American with vanilla sweet cream since I needed it to be decaf.

Anyway, I thought it was delicious. If you’re an iced coffee lover, you need to try this!

Today I’m sharing my DIY version of the Starbucks vanilla sweet cream, plus how to easily turn it into a salted caramel sweet cream!

I’ll also show you how to make cold foam for coffee.

Okay, let me show you how to make my Starbucks copycat recipe!

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What's the difference between sweet cream and cold foam?

 

What’s the Difference Between Sweet Cream and Cold Foam?

Sweet cream is basically a blend of cream and milk that’s whipped until it’s slightly thickened. It adds a wonderful creaminess and froth to your iced coffee, but it mixes with the drink better than whipped cream. So whereas whipped cream will just sit on top of your drink, the sweet cream will meld with the coffee.

Cold foam, on the other hand, is simple milk that’s been sweetened and frothed. Starbucks uses skim milk (AKA fat free milk) mixed with vanilla syrup to make their cold foam. When frothing cold milk, low-fat or nonfat milk tends to froth up more, and it will hold that froth longer than whole milk.

However, I prefer a creamy coffee drink, so I’m willing to sacrifice frothiness for creaminess. So I prefer to use whole milk. 

But you’ll have to decide if you would rather have a really frothy drink, or a creamier drink.

Starbucks does use the term sweet cream and cold foam interchangeably, which can be confusing. But in general, sweet cream contains cream, cold foam is made with just milk.

I’ll show you how to make the cold foam first, then the sweet cream and variations. 

Ingredients for making Starbucks cold foam at home.

Cold Foam Ingredients:

The ingredients for cold foam are exactly the same as sweet cream, minus the cream!

Milk: Like I said, skim milk will froth better than whole milk. But whole milk will lend more creaminess. It’s up to you to decide which is right for you! 

Maple Syrup: Again, I prefer to use maple syrup to sweeten my cold foam. However, feel free to make the above sweetener substitutes. 

Vanilla Extract: Please use pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavoring!

Pouring milk into a small measuring cup.

Cold Foam Recipe:

The process for making cold foam is basically the same as for the sweet cream.

Place all of the ingredients in a small glass or measuring cup.

Whipping with a hand held frother.

Using a handheld milk frother, whip this mixture until it increases in volume and gets nice and frothy.

Pouring cold foam over iced coffee.

Immediately pour that over your iced coffee.

I’ll have instructions for an iced Americano and French press cold brew after the sweet cream instructions…

Ingredients for vanilla sweet cream cold foam.

Sweet Cream Ingredients:

First, let’s chat ingredients.

Whipping Cream: Of course I recommend using grass-fed/organic whipping cream if you can find it at your grocery store. Feel free to substitute heavy cream.

Milk: The milk helps to keep the sweet cream cold foam from getting too thick. I use whole milk, but feel free to sub what you have on hand.

Maple Syrup: I like to sweeten this with maple syrup, but you could also use a simple syrup, homemade vanilla syrup, caramel syrup, sugar, or even Starbucks’ vanilla syrup.

Vanilla Extract: You only need a few drops of this. If you go overboard, the vanilla extract will be overpowering. You could substitute vanilla bean paste to make this feel extra fancy. Omit this if you use a vanilla syrup. 

How to make vanilla sweet cream step by step instructions.

How to Make Sweet Cream Cold Foam

Place the cream, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a small glass or measuring cup.

Whipping with a hand held frother.

Using a handheld frother, whip the cream mixture until in increases in volume and thickens slightly.

This can also be done with a traditional blender, or an immersion blender. 

Sweet cream cold foam whipped to the consistency of soft whipped cream.

Resist the urge to whip it too long otherwise it will thicken too much. Then it will sit on top of your drink instead of mixing nicely.

Pour the sweet cream foam over your coffee, and watch the magic happen.

Note: I definitely use less vanilla syrup/maple syrup than Starbucks, which can get quite sweet.

Feel free to increase the amount of sweetener if you prefer.

Pulling a shot of espresso with an espresso machine.

Iced Americano

Now I like to pour this over an iced Americano. I’ll have instructions for that first, then I’ll show you how to make cold brew coffee in a French press.

If you own an espresso machine or Nespresso machine, pull a shot of espresso.

You can also make espresso strength coffee in a French press, Aeropress, or using your preferred method.

Making an iced Americano at home.

Fill a jar halfway full of ice.

Pour the hot coffee over some ice in a glass or mason jar.

Fill the glass with cold water until it’s about 2/3 full.

And that’s how you can make an iced Americano at home.

Ingredients needed to make French press cold brew at home.

French Press Cold Brew Recipe:

But, if you prefer cold brew, I’ve got you covered!

Here’s my homemade French press cold brew coffee recipe:

Making cold brew in a French press.

To make 1 serving of cold brew, place 1 ounce of coarsely ground coffee beans in a French press. If you don’t own a coffee grinder, some grocery stores have a grinder and you can adjust the fineness of the grind.

Pour 1 cup of water that’s either cold or room temperature on top.

Making cold brew in a French press.

Stir it well, put the lid on (without plunging down), and set aside for 10 to 20 hours. 

You could stir this together the night before to have it ready for your iced coffee in the morning. 

Making cold brew in a French press.

After the coffee has “brewed” for 10 to 2o hours, plunge the French press down.

Pour the coffee over some ice in a glass.

Note: feel free to double, triple, or quadruple this recipe to fit your needs.

So that’s how to make your own cold brew coffee at home!

Just remember: 1 ounce of coffee to 1 cup or water for 10 to 20 hours.

Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew at Home

How to Make Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew:

To put everything together and make a vanilla sweet cream cold brew, fill your cup about half full of ice. 

Pour the cold brew on top.

 

Make the vanilla sweet cream cold foam as described above.

Pour that over the cold brew.

Dance a happy dance as you watch the sweet cream and coffee marble.

Adding a pinch of salt to make salted caramel sweet cream cold brew.

How to Make Salted Caramel Cold Brew:

It’s incredibly easy to turn the vanilla sweet cream cold foam into a salted caramel cold foam.

Are you ready for it?

Just add a pinch of sea salt!

I use Redmond Real Salt, but you can use what you have on hand.

This is my favorite version because I’m a sucker for that blend of sweet and salty.

 

So that’s how to make a sweet cream/cold foam iced coffee/cold brew at home! Which version do you think you’ll try first?

More Homemade Starbucks Drinks:

Here are some of my favorite recipes for homemade Starbucks drinks!

Cold Coffee Drinks:

Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Espresso

Homemade Frappuccino

Mocha Frappuccino Recipe

Hot Coffee Drinks:

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Mocha Latte

Oat Milk Latte

Dirty Chai Latte

Homemade London Fog Latte

Recipe Card:

Sweet Cream Cold Foam at Home
5 from 1 vote
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Sweet Cream/Cold Foam Recipe

Learn how to make Starbucks sweet cream and cold foam with this easy recipe!
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword Coffee
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 192 kcal
Author Erica Kastner

Ingredients

For the Cold Foam

  • 4 tbsp milk see note
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or sweetener of choice
  • 3 drops vanilla extract

For the Sweet Cream

  • 3 tbsp whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or sweetener of choice
  • 3 drops vanilla extract

For the Salted Caramel Sweet Cream

  • 3 tbsp whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or sweetener of choice
  • 3 drops vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch sea salt very small pinch

Instructions

For the Cold Foam:

  1. Place all ingredients in a small glass or measuring cup. Using a hand held frother, beat the mixture until it increases in volume and gets quite foamy. Pour it over your iced coffee and enjoy!

For the Sweet Cream:

  1. Place all ingredients in a small glass or measuring cup. Using a hand held milk frother, beat the mixture until it increases in volume and thickens slightly. Do not over-beat or it won't marble with your coffee and it will just sit on top.
  2. Pour over your iced coffee and enjoy!

For the Salted Caramel Sweet Cream:

  1. Follow the directions for the sweet cream, except add a pinch of sea salt before whipping.

Recipe Notes

  • Nonfat milk will produce better foam. Whole milk will produce a creamier drink.
Recipe Rating




Barbara S.

Wednesday 22nd of September 2021

I obviously haven't tried it yet, but it looks scrumptious, Erica!!! I've bookmarked it already!!! Thank you!!

Erica Kastner

Friday 24th of September 2021

Thank you, Barbara! Hope you enjoy! :)

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