This Starbucks-inspired vanilla sweet cream is so easy to make at home, with ingredients you probably already have on hand. It's so creamy, slightly sweet, with just a hint of vanilla - a perfect addition to your homemade cold brew!
I'm not a frequent Starbucks goer, but I do think it's fun to keep up with the seasonal beverages and try out whatever new players they're adding to their coffee lineup.
One fateful summer day, I popped into Starbucks to grab an iced coffee with cream when the barista asked me if I wanted to try it with their new sweet cream. Never one to turn down a barista-endorsed addition, I agreed, and I don't want to be dramatic when I say this, but that cup of cold brew CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER.
It was so satisfyingly creamy, sweet - but not too sweet, with just a hint of vanilla. I like the idea of coffee flavorings, but I want my coffee to still taste like coffee, you know what I'm saying? Flavorings and coffee need to get along nicely and not compete with or overpower one another. Starbucks vanilla sweet cream cold brew does this so perfectly!
I was hooked. I wanted it to be a regular part of my life. Thus, I knew I had to create a homemade version.
Starbucks Sweet Cream
This is a true copy cat recipe. Starbucks does it so well! Per their website, their vanilla sweet cream contains:
- Vanilla syrup
Nothing complicated. Very doable without an industrial kitchen.
How to Make Vanilla Sweet Cream
To make vanilla sweet cream, you'll need to first make the vanilla syrup. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and heat over medium, stirring constantly. The goal here is just to dissolve the sugar - no need to boil or cook down. It will take about 2 minutes. Once the sugar dissolves, remove from the heat and add the vanilla.
Bam! You have vanilla syrup.
Add your vanilla syrup along with the cream and milk to a medium jar or other vessel with a tightly fitted lid. Secure the lid and invert 10 times to combine. You don't want to shake this as shaking will create lots of bubbles. Just gentle inverting will get the job done.
Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew
Of course, if you want to recreate the whole vanilla sweet cream cold brew experience, you'll need some homemade cold brew.
Fill a glass with ice and pour in the cold brew, leaving room for the cream. Top with creamer to your liking and enjoy!
I use roughly 1/4 cup creamer per 1 cup cold brew, but use whatever you like!
Storage + Making Ahead
Homemade sweet cream will keep in the fridge up to 7 days, but the texture and flavor is best within 2-3 days. Be sure to invert the sweet cream a couple of times before using if it's been sitting in your fridge.
The vanilla syrup will keep for 1 month in the fridge, so you can always make a batch of that ahead and add the cream and milk when you're ready to use.
Vanilla Sweet Cream (Just Like Starbucks!)
- 3 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup milk (whole or 2%)
- Make the vanilla syrup: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the water and sugar. Heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves completely - this will take about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.Make the sweet cream: Add the vanilla syrup along with the cream and milk to a medium jar. Secure the lid and invert the jar 10 times to combine. Be sure not to shake it as bubbles will form. Use within 2-3 days for best results.