How to Make Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew

Making this rich and creamy vanilla sweet cream cold brew recipe is as simple as it gets. Skip the coffee shop with this easy Starbucks copycat recipe. With just four ingredients and a few minutes of your time, you can have your own fancy iced coffee drink for a fraction of the cost in the comfort of your own home!

Vanilla sweet cream pouring into cold brew coffee in a tall glass.

About this recipe

Vanilla sweet cream cold brew coffee is a popular cold coffee drink at Starbucks consisting of lightly sweetened cold brew coffee topped with a generous pour of rich, freshly mixed vanilla creamer. It’s sweet, creamy, refreshing, and TOTALLY addictive.

That last part — the addictiveness — can become an issue if you’re only getting your fix from Starbucks. Those $5 drinks can really add up! That’s why it’s revolutionary to be able to make this creamy cold brew recipe at home in only 5 minutes! 

Starbucks cold brew add-ins: Know the difference

Let’s talk about Starbucks’ cold brew coffee add-ins. We’ve got cold foam, sweet cream, and sweet cream cold foam. What the what?? Can we be any more confusing?

I asked the baristas at Starbucks about their cold brew drinks and they told me how they make it. 

  • Cold foam is made with frothed, unsweetened nonfat milk. 
  • Vanilla sweet cream is essentially a homemade vanilla creamer made from vanilla syrup, lowfat milk, and heavy cream (or heavy whipping cream). 
  • Vanilla sweet cream cold foam is made from the same vanilla sweet cream as above, but is frothed into what is basically a delicious, pourable whipped cream topping.

Once you know the difference and how to make each one, you can have your daily indulgence of choice without watching your wallet.


  • Cold brew coffee
  • Vanilla Syrup — either readymade (like Torani) or homemade vanilla syrup
  • Milk
  • Heavy cream
  • Ice cubes

You don’t need any store-bought creamer: just milk, cream, vanilla flavored syrup, and cold brew coffee.

I keep a stash of flavored Torani syrups in my home coffee bar, and I make sure I never, EVER run out of Stok unsweetened cold brew coffee. Seriously, I keep three backup bottles at all times in the drink fridge in my garage.

How to make Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew

To make a single serving of Starbucks copycat vanilla sweet cream, mix 1 tablespoon of vanilla syrup, 2 tablespoons of milk, and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream in a mason jar or small measuring cup.

To make the sweet cream cold brew, add vanilla syrup and cold brew coffee to a tall glass. Fill it with ice cubes, leaving some room at the top for the sweet cream. Top with your homemade vanilla sweet cream mixture, stir, and enjoy!

Making this Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew Recipe: Expert Tips and Variations


  • Give me some sugar: If you want your drink less sweet than the Starbucks version, simply reduce the amount of vanilla syrup you add to the cold brew or the amount in the sweet cream.
  • Some like it hot: Use the sweet vanilla cream as a creamer in hot coffee instead.
  • Mix it up: Want something other than vanilla flavor? Use another flavored syrup like hazelnut or pumpkin spice. I’d keep the vanilla flavor in the coffee and change the flavor of the sweet cream.
  • Living large: If you plan on indulging daily, you can make a large batch of sweet cream to keep in the fridge and use like normal coffee creamer. You can also use it to make sweet cold foam too, depending on your mood!
  • Add some bubbles: Turn the sweet cream into sweet cream cold foam with a mason jar, French press, or handheld milk frother. (this is the handheld frother I have!)

Make your own vanilla syrup

Simmer one whole vanilla bean, split down the middle, in a mixture of 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar for 10 minutes. Cool the syrup and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Make your own cold brew coffee

While you can buy pre-made cold brew coffee or cold brew concentrate in most grocery stores (Stok is my favorite), you can easily make homemade cold brew with your favorite coffee beans.

Add coffee grounds to a French press (coarse grind is best) and fill with cold water. Top with the lid but leave the plunger up. Store overnight or for 10 hours at room temperature. In the morning, push down the plunger and transfer strained coffee to another container.

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Vanilla sweet cream pouring into cold brew coffee in a tall glass.
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Homemade Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew Recipe

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Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Yield: 1
Calories: 276kcal
Prep Time:5 minutes


  • 8 oz cold brew coffee
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla syrup divided (like Torani)
  • 2 tablespoons lowfat milk
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Ice cubes


  • Add 1 tablespoon vanilla syrup and cold brew coffee to a 16-oz. glass and stir. Fill the glass with ice, leaving about an inch at the top of the glass.
    8 oz cold brew coffee, 2 tablespoons vanilla syrup, Ice cubes
  • In a liquid measuring cup or mason jar, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon vanilla syrup, milk, and heavy cream. Mix thoroughly.
    2 tablespoons vanilla syrup, 2 tablespoons lowfat milk, 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Pour the vanilla cream mixture over the iced coffee. Stir and enjoy!
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Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 52mg | Potassium: 227mg | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 720IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 2mg

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