This recipe for Homemade Vanilla Bean Coffee Creamer is made with 4 simple ingredients and tastes much better than store-bought vanilla bean creamer. Naturally rich and decadent, use it in your favorite morning brew! Pairs perfectly with my Overnight Kefir Coffee Cake.
We just started transitioning to real food and I kinda freaked out thinking about the plastic (aka trans fats) I was pouring in my cup each morning.
The immediate fix was substituting with half & half and Splenda. It took a few days of adjusting, but my morning coffee experience wasn’t ruined or anything.
(If you’re about to call me names because I was eating Splenda – one of the ingredients I just told you to avoid at all costs – keep reading.)
About a year later, I stopped using Splenda altogether and switched to liquid vanilla stevia to go alongside my half & half.
Then one day, we ran out of half & half and I used milk instead. Which oddly enough, I liked better.
A year later, I made a tiny goal to stop adding sweetener altogether in my coffee. I’ve been drinking it with just whole milk ever since!
And then we visited my in-laws for Christmas…
I’ve known for a while that there are “better” coffee creamers on the market. The ingredients on those containers read milk, heavy cream, sugar, and natural flavors.
I’m not too concerned about the first three. Ideally, there wouldn’t be any sugar at all since it took me several years to wean myself off, but you can’t win every battle.
What are the ‘Natural Flavors’ in Store-Bought Coffee Creamers?
Seeing “natural flavors” listed does concern me since that phrase really covers a wide array of possible flavors derived in a variety of ways (read the definition of ‘natural flavors’ here, according to the FDA).
And just because it’s natural doesn’t mean you’re actually getting the food as found unprocessed in nature.
That list of ingredients I just shared was for the vanilla flavor, yet you’ll see that vanilla isn’t listed anywhere on the ingredients.
So basically I turned a blind eye and ignored those creamers. Until this past Christmas when my mother-in-law brought out the all-natural vanilla-flavored coffee creamer.
And I caved.
I’m a sucker for vanilla-flavored anything, and the mere fact that it was Christmas AND we were visiting family out of town AND we had just moved across the country AND I was pretty much as stressed as I had ever been in my whole life means that I used the coffee creamer.
Joyfully. Blissfully. Deliciously. Every. Single. Day.
And I don’t regret it one bit.
I don’t have the desire to start putting coffee creamer in my coffee every morning, but it is nice to have now and then (like holidays and gatherings and when I go on a cranberry orange scone binge), and it sure would be nice to have a real food coffee creamer that doesn’t contain sugar or natural flavors yet DID actually contain some flavor derived from real food.
That’s where Homemade Vanilla Bean Coffee Creamer comes into play, my friends. You’ll thank me forever and ever, I promise.
Homemade Vanilla Bean Coffee Creamer
This homemade vanilla creamer is my favorite part of the morning! Here’s why:
- It’s made from 4 simple real food ingredients!
- It’s rich and decadent…
- And so easy to make dairy-free with canned coconut milk. Just swap out the half & half for full-fat canned coconut milk or canned lite coconut milk for milk.
My homemade recipe starts with whole milk and heavy cream. The ratio I have below is just how I like it – thick and delicious. A liquid celebration of the morning, poured into my coffee mug! If you want a thinner creamer, use less heavy cream, and more whole milk. Feel free to adjust the ratio until it’s just right for you.
This recipe also calls for vanilla extract, which is something else that you can adjust to your liking. Do be careful when adding more. There’s a fine line between more vanilla and that liquor aftertaste. Trust me on that one.
Ingredients for Homemade Vanilla Bean Coffee Creamer
The ingredients are simple and easy to find..nothing too fancy, and MUCH better than store-bought creamer.
- Whole milk
- Heavy cream
- Maple syrup
- Vanilla extract
- Vanilla bean powder (optional)
What is the difference between Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Bean Powder?
Vanilla extract is just that – extract of vanilla in a liquor base. A little goes a long way!
BUT… the secret to this amazing recipe is vanilla bean powder. Before you toss your hands up in the air and wave your finger at me to say you have no idea what vanilla bean powder is, and that you can’t afford vanilla beans in the first place.
…So why in the world would I suggest such a thing on a frugal food blog?! Let me remind you that while I personally LOVE vanilla bean powder, it’s entirely optional.
Where Do You Find Vanilla Bean Powder?
I inherited vanilla bean powder from my mother-in-law, who was given some by a neighbor. I think she got it at Williams Sonoma. You can buy it off Amazon here and while the price is a bit hefty, that bag will go A LONG way.
My jar is 1.5 oz and it’s lasted me nearly a year. It would likely last me longer if I hadn’t made so many scones over the holidays!!
Even still, if vanilla bean powder is too much of a splurge for you, skip it for now.
How to Sweeten Homemade Vanilla Bean Creamer
I chose to sweeten this creamer with maple syrup instead of honey because I think the flavor of maple syrup simply tastes better in this recipe. I like honey, but it doesn’t taste good with milk in my opinion.
The recipe calls for 1 tablespoon because I’ve been drinking my coffee sweetener-free for so long, but you can add more if you’d like, 1/2 tablespoon at a time.
Some other recipes call for sweetened condensed milk, but I prefer to keep it simple with this recipe.
How to Make Vanilla Bean Coffee Creamer
- Combine all ingredients (except heavy cream) in a glass jar or bottle
- Shake like crazy!
- Add heavy cream
- Store in the fridge for up to 1 week
Here’s where I firmly believe that if you are an avid coffee creamer drinker, making it yourself is a great idea. Especially if you’re drinking the stuff with carrageenan and hydrogenated oils. Yuck!
Note: Some recipes call for a vanilla bean (split lengthwise and scraped out with the end of a knife), with a can of sweetened condensed milk (or you can make your own) and half and half. You can certainly make it with these ingredients as well if you happen to have them on hand.
Just combine all ingredients and simmer on medium heat, then turn to low for 5-7 minutes. Keep covered and let stand for 15 minutes for flavors to blend.
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Watch How to Make Homemade Vanilla Bean Coffee Creamer
Homemade Vanilla Bean Coffee Creamer
This recipe for Homemade Vanilla Bean Coffee Creamer is made with 4 simple ingredients and tastes much better than store-bought creamer.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 10 mins
- Yield: 3/4 cup 1x
- Category: Beverages
- Cuisine: American
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder
- Combine milk, syrup, vanilla extract and vanilla bean powder in a jar and shake like crazy.
- Add heavy cream and stir gently.*
- Store in the fridge for up to 1 week. Swirl jar gently before pouring into your favorite beverage – enjoy!
I’ve been making this since I found the recipe about a year ago and absolutely love it.
Brittany @ Team Crumbs
We’re so glad you enjoy this recipe! Thank you for letting us know. 🙂
Do you think this recipe could be made with chocolate? My MIL is coming over and likes a chocolate creamer so I’m curious if I could just add that into this recipe?! 🤷♀️
Karen @ Team Crumbs
We’ve never tried that variation, but yes, that would be tasty! Let us know!
I made it plain and with cocoa added both were so delicious! I’m saving this recipe!
If I wanted to do this sugar free (I’m on keto) is there a way you would recommend doing that?
Kyare - Team Crumbs
A liquid form of stevia or monk fruit.
Thank you for this recipe. I am trying to get my health back. I didn’t realize my coffee creamers hsd a lot to do with it, I needed my creamers! I tried drinking the coffee black but it just isn’t working! So I’m thankful for this healthy creamer recipe that I can make and feel good about drinking! This is making a big difference !
I like to add canned pumpkin to it once in awhile and it taste great!
Karen @ Team Crumbs
Thank sounds great! Thank you for sharing with us. 🙂
I just came across this recipe and I am a vanilla in my coffee lover so I am excited to put this together! Any vanilla creamer I’ve tried taste terrible to me..fake, weird chemical vanilla flavor even when it is supposed to be real vanilla in it. Trying to reduce added sugar in my daily coffee habit, so going to give this a try! Thank you!
This stuff is SO GOOD. I doubled the recipe tonight, and after tasting it I plan on making it and keeping it in the fridge all of the time. I love that it is one more step towards my ultimate dream of zero processed sugar.
Oh and I haven’t gotten vanilla powder yet so I couldn’t add that – i’m sure it will taste even better then!
On Amazon there’s a lot of reviewers that say some of the powder they get in this brand really stinks very badly. And some say they’ve gotten it that it doesn’t stink and the same person says they got a bad batch and was rancid and smelled like poop. Any experience with any of this?
Haven’t made this yet but really want to give up my artificial creamer.
I haven’t repurchased this yet Mollybea, as the one bag lasts a LONG time. Did you see if they have a return policy? That might help with your fear of a bad batch. 🙂
Planning to whip this up soon. I’m planning on modifying it a little. Using 1% milk, and half and half. Probably more half and half though. I don’t want it to be too thin.
Out coffee creamer doesn’t seem to contain trans fats, (yay!) but the third ingredient is palm oil. (No!) Considering it’s a fat free creamer, I’m a bit scared. Thankfully, my dad agreed to try out different creamers. I hope we’ll both like this one. If we do, it’s be the winner.
Then we can start trying other flavours like salted caramel. 🙂
Could this be made dairy free with almond milk maybe?
You can, but it definitely won’t be as thick. I’d suggest starting with 1/2 cup almond milk and adding canned coconut cream (the solids from a can of coconut milk) one tablespoon at a time until you get the desired consistency. The vanilla flavor should be fine!
I love your website! And I love this idea. But, cream buyers who care about avoiding additives: check your labels! This may be a regional issue – but it is SO hard to find heavy whipping cream here in the Pacific Northwest that isn’t made with additives, including carrageenan. You mentioned Costco: the Darigold heavy whipping cream at our Costco has carrageenan plus a handful of other additives. 🙁 I thought people might want to be aware. I personally never thought to check the ingredient label on cream (of all things!) until after we did a Whole30, and I got into the habit of checking EVERYTHING. I was so surprised, especially at what is added to so many dairy products. I used to be semi-picky about store bought ice cream, trying to avoid additives and making my own when possible… Only to find out the stuff I made at home had the exact same additives, due to the heavy cream I was using!! D’oh! 😉
Oddly enough, the commercial half-and-half around here usually does *not* have any extra additives. Only the heavy cream. 🙁 It just means that my coffee is usually blessed with half-and-half until I get to splurge on unadulterated cream from a local dairy… 😀
I noticed our heavy cream has carrageenan too. I think the half and half does as well, but I’m not totally sure. Our ice cream used to have it, but I got my mother to switch to a different kind that doesn’t. It’s actually the better quality by the same brand. Everyone prefers it now.
It’s a scary world out there. Everything seems to have strange additives or hidden sugars/trans fats/saturated fats. Or palm oil. That’s not good either.
Hi Tiffany – Just found your site as I was looking for a cheat to making Buttermilk as I never have any of the real stuff when I want to bake and you saved the day. I also found the Vanilla Bean Creamer you make & yayyyy! I stopped using margarine because of the hydrogenation process so finding a creamer cheat is a blessing as I can also take coffee thru IV 24/7 (lol). For the creamer do you use Heavy Cream or Light Cream and does it really matter? Thanks so much for all this info.
Hi Krista!! I’ve only ever used heavy cream because I’ve never seen light cream in my grocery stores. 🙂 Thank you for your kind words and encouragement!! ♥
This tastes excellent! I used a top quality extract and 100% vanilla powder (read ingredients of what you purchase because most are sugar with a little actual vanilla powder). The vanilla ingredients were really expensive but well worth it and the powder goes pretty far. I could not believe how good this tasted without a bunch of chemicals to mimic the real vanilla flavor. Add this to DIY iced coffee and you will never drink any other coffee and creamer combination.
Thanks for the raving review Rick!
That looks amazing! I never use coffee creamer (too sweet!), but I will be trying this. I have also never even heard of vanilla bean powder – I will definitely be getting some of that, too.
I don’t know if you’ve tried it yet, but if not, I recommend cold-brew coffee. It is so smooth – I never feel the need to add milk/cream/creamer to it. I got the best info from this site: http://www.americastestkitchenfeed.com/do-it-yourself/2011/08/how-to-make-cold-brew-coffee/ – I usually brew a 2x concentrate because that is what fits best in my french press – and if I do get a wild desire to add some milk, I can do so without diluting the coffee flavor.
By making it your self you can also avoid ultra pasteurization. I find ultra pasteurization changes the taste and texture just a bit and they don’t act as well in recipes. This is a personal opinion. You may have had better experiences. Thank you, you are holding my hand as I start this new venture.
I have vanilla bean paste. Can I use that?
You probably could Linda. Be sure to whisk really well so you don’t get clumps!
I am going to make this! Where do you purchase your vanilla beans?
I keep my homemade vanilla extract in a dropper bottle. I put a few (10, I really like vanilla) drops in my cup before I pour coffee. Then ci add milk as desired. No need to make creamer.
Good idea with the vanilla extract Chris 🙂
Why not just use half & half instead of milk and heavy cream? Taste and or thickness?
Karen @ Team Crumbs
Yes, we like the creamy texture. But also we are careful about buying store-bought half & half because it often contains additives that we don’t want. Hope this helps.
Do you think I can use vanilla bean paste instead of the powder?
That would likely work Patty! Just mix well, and I’d start with smidge less since you can always add more. 🙂
Does the vanilla bean powder add a lot of vanilla flavor? I made this without it and I’m not really getting a strong enough vanilla flavor but didn’t want to add too much more vanilla extract. Trying to decide if the powder is worth purchasing? Thanks!
I think it does Liv – I can really taste the vanilla flavor on day 2. I made it the other day with 2 Tbsp of vanilla instead of 1, and omitted the powder and thought that it needed more syrup to offset the extract. Do you have any vanilla beans on hand by chance?
This sounds delightful. I do use creamer (and have been going back and forth trying to cut it out of my life – unsuccessfully so far). I usually just use the “original creamer” (because the flavored ones are extra sweet), but I love vanilla-anything and definitely need to try this. Thanks so much for sharing!