photo of hand pouring a jar of vanilla sweet cream cold foam over a glass of iced coffee

About This Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam

This vanilla sweet cream cold foam is a copycat recipe of Starbucks’ popular drink topping! If you’ve never tried it before, you’re in for a treat. Why?

Think of vanilla sweet cream cold foam as very similar to whipped cream. However, it is not whipped as much, making it softer and creamier than traditional whipped cream. As a result, it’s also much easier to stir into your drink! And doing so still leaves a layer of cream on top of the drink for you to sip on.

The cold foam is also spiked with vanilla syrup, boosting any coffee or drink recipe with sweetness and flavor!

photo of iced coffee with cold foam before stirred

Why You Should Make The Recipe

Here are all the reasons to make this copycat Starbucks recipe:

Vanilla sweet cream cold foam is a fun, easy recipe to switch up your morning coffee routine.

I love finding new ways to switch up my morning coffee routine. Whether it’s trying new recipes like dalgona coffee or adding new flavors like in this iced pistachio latte, it keeps things fresh and exciting!

This recipe is a “Starbucks barista approved” copycat of Starbucks’ popular ingredient.

Full disclosure: I did not develop this recipe myself. Instead, I was inspired to search for it online after watching a TikTok in which a Starbucks barista ranted against the ingredient. He claimed that adding vanilla sweet cream cold foam to your drink was a rip-off. Why? It was basically whipped cream watered down with milk. He advised customers to skip the ingredient, and just ask for whipped cream instead (as whipped cream is free!).

Intrigued, I decided to Google the recipe to confirm if it was indeed just “watered down” heavy whipping cream and milk. This Reddit thread written by a Starbucks barista confirms it. The barista also shared their recipe for single serve vanilla sweet cream cold foam, which I’m sharing a modified version of below.

Making vanilla sweet cream cold foam at home will save you money!

I mentioned a TikTok earlier where a Starbucks barista ranted against people ordering cold foam. He specifically advised people to order whipped cream instead. Why? At Starbucks whipped cream is a free topping. But cold foam adds an additional $1.25 to your drink! And when you’re already paying $4 to $5 for the drink, that’s QUITE the markup.

So, I’d like to take that a step further. I’m a big fan of making creative coffee drinks at home (see: my recipes for Dalgona Coffee, Iced Pistachio Latte, and Vietnamese Egg Coffee) to save money. Because you can buy the ingredients for everything in bulk, it ends up much cheaper than spending the $5+ everyday to buy a drink at Starbucks!

gif of hand pouring sweet cream cold foam over iced coffee

Ingredients and Substitutions

Now that I’ve convinced you to make the recipe, here’s everything you need:

Shopping List For Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam Recipe

  • heavy cream
  • 2% dairy milk
  • vanilla syrup
  • coffee or espresso drink of your choice

And let’s talk about some key ingredients and their potential substitutions:

Milk

You need 2 Tablespoons 2% dairy milk.

The Best Kind of Milk For Making Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam

Starbucks typically makes their drinks with 2% dairy milk unless otherwise specified. If you’re looking to recreate more classic Starbucks drink experience, I recommend using 2% dairy milk!

That being said, I also found another TikTok in which a Starbucks barista claimed that Starbucks Cold Foam is made with nonfat milk. He claimed that nonfat milk foams better than 2% milk!

However, according to this Reddit thread, there’s a distinction between Starbucks Cold Foam and Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam. Baristas make Cold Foam with nonfat milk, and and Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam with 2% milk.

Vanilla Syrup

You need 1 Tablespoon vanilla syrup.

The Best Kind of Vanilla Syrup For Making Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam

According to Starbucks baristas, Starbucks uses Fontana Vanilla Syrup in their beverages. Which is confusing to me, because they also apparently sell this Starbucks Naturally Flavored Vanilla Syrup online? I’m pretty sure that it’s just repackaged Fontana Vanilla Syrup, though. In any case, if you want to stay true to the Starbucks experience, use Fontana Vanilla Syrup or Starbucks’ Naturally Flavored Vanilla Syrup!

I, on the other hand, am not that committed. I’ve used Monin, Torani, and even my own homemade simple syrup (spiked with Nielsen Massey vanilla paste) to make the cold foam in the past. All were delicious.

photo of hand stirring vanilla sweet cream cold foam into coffee drink

How To Make Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam

Watch the short video below to see the basic steps for making the recipe:

@hummingbirdhigh bc apparently this is one of the reasons why us millennials can’t buy houses #coffee #coffeetiktok #starbucks ♬ Betty (Get Money) – Yung Gravy

Best Recipe Tips

  • Some recipes online instruct you to use a milk frother. However, I don’t recommend it. It’s easy to overwhip the cold foam with a milk frother. And doing so results in the cold foam separating, taking on an unpleasant texture similar to what happens when a custard splits.

    So instead, I instruct you to mix the ingredients in a small jar with a lid (I used a cleaned out Bonne Maman jam jar, but you can also use a mason jar or whatever else you have on hand). Seal the jar tightly and give it a good shake, similar to what you would do when making a drink with a cocktail shaker. Although it’s a little bit of a workout, it results in a much creamier, softer vanilla sweet cream cold foam that won’t separate.

  • How do you enjoy vanilla sweet cream cold foam—do you stir it in to your coffee with a straw? Well, there’s a whole genre of TikTok dedicated to instructing you NOT to stir the cold foam into your drink (see: here and here). Instead, the cold foam is supposed to sit on top of your beverage, allowing you to taste it as you sip through Starbucks’ lidded cups. They claim that using a straw to drink a beverage with cold foam defeats the purpose of the topping, and doesn’t let you taste it at all.

    But honestly, I like stirring the foam into my drink? And I find that doing so still leaves a thin layer of cream on top, allowing me to still taste that layered effect. So you do you, don’t listen to the kids on TikTok (lol).

More Coffee Recipes

Get the Recipe: Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam Recipe

This vanilla sweet cream cold foam recipe is a copycat version of Starbucks' popular topping! The recipe makes a single serve portion perfect for one coffee.
(5 stars) 14 reviews
Leave a Review

Ingredients

For the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam

  • 3 Tablespoons (1.5 ounces or 43 grams) cold heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons (1 ounce or 28 grams) cold milk (preferably 2%)
  • 1 Tablespoon (.5 ounces or 14 grams) vanilla syrup

To Serve

  • coffee or espresso beverage of your choice

Equipment

  • a small (13-ounce) jar with a lid

Instructions
 

  • Make the vanilla sweet cream cold foam. In a small jam jar with a lid, combine the cream, milk, and syrup. Seal with the lid and shake vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes until thick, but soft and creamy.
  • Serve immediately. Pour the vanilla sweet cream cold foam over the coffee or espresso beverage of your choice. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Some recipes online instruct you to use a milk frother. However, I don’t recommend it. It’s easy to overwhip the cold foam with a milk frother. And doing so results in the cold foam separating, taking on an unpleasant texture similar to what happens when a custard splits. So instead, I instruct you to mix the ingredients in a small jar with a lid (I used a cleaned out Bonne Maman jam jar, but you can also use a mason jar or whatever else you have on hand). Seal the jar tightly and give it a good shake, similar to what you would do when making a drink with a cocktail shaker. Although it’s a little bit of a workout, it results in a much creamier, softer vanilla sweet cream cold foam that won’t separate.
  • How do you enjoy vanilla sweet cream cold foam—do you stir it in to your coffee with a straw? Well, there’s a whole genre of TikTok dedicated to instructing you NOT to stir the cold foam into your drink (see: here and here). Instead, the cold foam is supposed to sit on top of your beverage, allowing you to taste it as you sip through Starbucks’ lidded cups. They claim that using a straw to drink a beverage with cold foam defeats the purpose of the topping, and doesn’t let you taste it at all. But honestly, I like stirring the foam into my drink? And I find that doing so still leaves a thin layer of cream on top, allowing me to still taste that layered effect. So you do you, don’t listen to the kids on TikTok (lol).
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment and rating for the recipe using the form below!

Your ratings make it easier to find the recipe online, and I’m always looking for ways to improve Hummingbird High.

Michelle holding Weeknight Baking cookbook covering her face.

buy the book
Weeknight Baking:
Recipes to Fit your Schedule

Over the past several years of running Hummingbird High, I kept a crucial aspect of my life hidden from my readers: I had a full-time, extremely demanding job in the tech world. In my debut cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I finally reveal the secrets to baking delicious desserts on a tight schedule.