Starbucks Sweet Cream (What is it Plus a Simple Recipe)

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Homemade Starbucks sweet cream

If you are a Starbucks regular and you have not tried their sweet cream you are missing out on one of the most popular add-ons.

This article discusses everything about sweet cream and how to make it at home in a simple 3-step recipe.

What is Sweet Cream?

Starbucks sweet cream is a mixture of heavy cream, 2% milk, and vanilla syrup. It has a comparable texture to breve (half-and-half). Every Starbucks store makes its own sweet cream in-house. You can add sweet cream to cold coffees, teas, and hot drinks.

Jump to Recipe

How to Make Starbucks Sweet Cream at Home

This simple sweet cream recipe uses simple ingredients that you can buy at a grocery store. Instead of buying coffee creamer, you can make a batch of sweet cream at home and store it in the fridge. Starbucks uses one liter of heavy cream, 600 ml of 2% milk, and 350 ml or 13 pumps of vanilla syrup.


  • Measuring cup
  • A tablespoon
  • A storage or mason jar with a lid

Sweet Cream Ingredients

  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup of 2% milk
  • 1/3 cup of vanilla syrup
Sweet cream ingredients


Step #1. Pour all the ingredients into a storage jar

You can use homemade vanilla syrup or vanilla extract. The vanilla syrup adds sweetness whereas vanilla extract gives sweet cream a deeper natural flavor. See all the differences between vanilla extract and vanilla syrup here. Use simple syrup if you do not have vanilla.

My favorite vanilla syrup is Maison Routin 1883 which comes in a glass bottle with an inner spout for easy pouring. This syrup is excellent in smoothies, pastries, tea, and coffee. It adds a delicious, natural flavor that will make you forget your favorite coffee shop.

Best vanilla syrup for homemade sweet cream

You can replace 2% milk with skim milk or plant milk such as coconut milk

Step #2. Stir with a spoon to mix the ingredients

Alternatively, pulse the mixture in a blender or whisk it for 10 seconds.

Step #3. Storage

Cover the jar and put the sweet cream in the fridge where it can last up to four weeks. It’s best practice to label homemade food items that go in the fridge as you are likely to forget the date that you made them. Be sure to stir refrigerated sweet cream before using it.

How to Use Homemade Sweet Cream

You can use homemade sweet cream as a milk alternative or froth it cold and use the foam to top your cold drinks like Starbucks. Frothing sweet cream is super easy and you can use any frother that does not heat up the cream.

You can froth your sweet cream with a handheld frother, French press, or immersion blender. You can also use an electric milk frother that makes cold foam. You can tweak your cold foam recipe to add other coffee syrups and sauces for a tasty spin.

Sweet cream pairs so well with cold brew coffee and iced coffee.

If you are a sucker for ice cream, you can make it at home by whisking sweet cream and cornstarch.

Which Starbucks Drinks Have Sweet Cream?

You can also add sweet cream to any drink. Currently, Starbucks vanilla sweet cream cold brew and vanilla sweet cream nitro cold brew come with a dab of sweet cream on top of the coffee.

Technically, all most drinks with flavored cold foam have sweet cream in them as the foam is made with sweet cream.

Can You Order Sweet Cream in the Starbucks App?

Unfortunately, the Starbucks app does not have the option to add sweet cream to your favorite drink unless the drink already comes with sweet cream on the standard menu.

Therefore, you can only add sweet cream to your drink when ordering in person at the store.

Can You Order a Hot Drink with Sweet Cream?

Yes, you can order a hot drink with a splash of sweet cream. Since Starbucks uses sweet cream as an add-on, most stores will not allow you to order a full cup of sweet cream for example as a substitute for milk in lattes.

Similarly, most stores are against steaming sweet cream citing potential damage to the steam wand. Steam wands suck vanilla sugar and can be damaged if not purged and cleaned thoroughly.

Therefore, most stores will serve you cold sweet cream with a hot drink, which is not a problem unless you prefer an extra-hot drink.

Sweet cream vs Sweet Cream Cold Foam

Sweet cream cold foam is simply frothed sweet cream. Sweet cream cold foam has a velvety, foamy texture, unlike the runny sweet cream. You can use both in hot and cold drinks although the cold foam is more of a topping whereas sweet cream is usually mixed into the drink.

Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam vs Whipped Cream

Vanilla sweet cream cold foam has lower fat content than whipped cream. Vanilla sweet cream is made of 2% milk, vanilla, and heavy whipping cream whereas whipped is made of heavy cream and vanilla at Starbucks.

Whipped cream has a wider use and is more suitable in hot drinks, frappuccinos, and pastries than sweet cream foam which tastes better in cold coffee.

Sweet Cream Cold Foam vs Cold Foam

At Starbucks sweet cream cold foam is different from cold foam. Sweet cold foam is stiffer as it has heavy cream in it whereas cold foam is runny as it’s made with nonfat milk and vanilla.

Starbucks makes vanilla sweet cream (not foam) in bulk as it can be added into drinks as a milk substitute unlike regular cold foam which is primarily a topping that is made when you order

How to Make Starbucks Sweet Cream at Home

Recipe by PatrickCourse: Drinks, Toppings, WhitenersCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy, Beginner Level


Prep time


Calories per Serving


Total time



This three-step recipe shows you how to make sweet cream like Starbucks. Sweet cream can last up to seven days in the fridge. Use it as a milk alternative in coffee, baking, and smoothies. You can also froth it to make sweet cream cold foam for your coffee.


  • 1 cup of heavy cream

  • 2/3 cup of 2% milk

  • 1/3 cup of vanilla syrup


  • Pour. Add all the ingredients into a mason jar
  • Stir. Use a spoon or stirrer to mix the ingredients
  • Storage. Replace the cap, label the jar, and put the sweet cream away in the fridge


  • A splash of sweet cream is 1-2 ounces so this recipe gives you about eight servings. You can also add more than a splash of sweet cream into coffee or tea.
  • You can also make cold foam with this cream by whisking or blending it.


Patrick is first a coffee lover and then a trained barista. His bucket list includes sky diving and sipping on Java in the Himalayas.

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