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How to Make a Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew with Caramel

How to Make a Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew with Caramel

Looking for an easy new drink recipe that’s tasty and uses basic ingredients already in your kitchen? If so, look no further than the vanilla sweet cream cold brew!

This recipe is guaranteed to get you through those hot summer days! And it gives you something new and fun to put in your Stanley Tumbler!

So stick with me; we will walk through everything you need to create this refreshing cold brew recipe in your kitchen!

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What is a Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew?

Like many coffee drinks, the original credit for creating this recipe goes to Starbucks. 

And as you may have guessed, the base of this drink is cold brew coffee. Vanilla sweet cream is then swirled in. 

Take this drink further by topping it with vanilla sweet cream cold foam drizzled with caramel sauce to give it a hint of caramel flavor.

Are you drooling yet? Because I sure am!

Why Should You Make Your Own Starbucks Copycat Drink at Home?

The best part about making your Starbucks order at home is that you have complete control over the ingredients.

  • Don’t want much sugar in your drink? Only add a little bit of sweetness.
  • Staying away from dairy? Use coconut milk, soy milk, or any of the other non-dairy milks you can buy in grocery stores.
  • Want to customize your drink without ruining the barista’s day? Learn how to easily recreate your coffee shop favorites from your kitchen!

Aside from the ability to customize my drink, I love recreating coffee shop drinks at home because it saves so much money! 

You can easily make a customized drink for at least half the cost. Deciding to stop going to Starbucks has been a game-changer for my bank account!

What’s in a Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew?

This drink has three essential components: cold brew coffee, sweet cream vanilla syrup, and sweet cream foam. The drink is traditionally served without the sweetened cold foam, but it’s the perfect way to take this drink over the top!

The caramel drizzle is also an added flavor bonus to this fun drink.

Cold Brew Coffee

You have several options when it comes to whipping up a batch of cold brew at home.

Cold Brew Pitcher

This handy device makes the cold brew process a breeze! Simply fill the inner chamber with the coarsely ground coffee of your choice and pour water over the top. 

Let it sit for at least 12 hours, and once it’s done, remove the inner chamber of grounds, leaving you with a pitcher of fresh cold brew.

The pitcher method is the easiest way to make cold brew.

My pitcher is dishwasher-safe, so I can easily pop it in and clean it for the next batch.

French Press

Another relatively simple way to make cold brew is with a French press. Combine the grounds and water and give it a good stir.

Then let it sit for at least 12 hours. Once the time has elapsed, press down on the plunger and pour the cold brew concentrate into a pitcher for storage in the fridge.

Although I have made cold brew with this method, I prefer the pitcher method because it doesn’t tie up my French press, a mandatory part of my morning routine.

I love the convenience of having a pitcher specifically designed for cold brew.

Mason Jar

The third way to make a batch of cold brew at home involves combining the coffee grounds and water in a Mason jar. Put on the lid and give it a good shake.

Let it sit on the counter for 12 or more hours, and once done, pour the mixture through cheesecloth to strain.

This is an excellent option to avoid investing in a cold brew pitcher or a French press. 

It’s the best way to test the cold brew waters to see whether upgrading your brewing equipment is necessary.

But I guarantee that you will become obsessed with trying other cold brew recipes once you make this recipe! 

Cold brew is an excellent substitute for espresso in recipes because it has a more robust flavor than regular drip coffee. It’s incredibly versatile, and many people say it’s easier on their stomachs than traditional brew.

If you’ve never tried it, this is your official invitation! 

Vanilla Sweet Cream

There are actually two components to the vanilla sweet cream: milk and vanilla flavor syrup.


Other copycat recipes for this drink include a combination of 2% milk and half-and-half. Since I’m lactose-intolerant, I prefer oat milk in my coffee recipes.

I’ve found that certain oat milk brands froth extremely well and mimic the texture of dairy milk.

If you aren’t lactose intolerant, feel free to try using equal parts 2% and half-and-half for a creamier drink.

Vanilla Flavor Syrup

You can buy Starbucks vanilla syrup on Amazon, but I prefer to whip up a batch myself at home. 

Simply combine 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup cane sugar (white sugar also works), and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and remove from heat.

Allow to cool and store the remainder in the fridge for up to one month. 

I prefer to make smaller batches of syrup so it stays fresh. And I generally only add the extract once I make the drink. This allows me to rotate between flavors like coconut or caramel.

Sweet Cream Foam

As I mentioned earlier, this is an optional ingredient for this particular drink, but one that takes it right over the edge of delightful flavors!

And if you’re not familiar with cold foam, it’s relatively simple to make. Similar to cold brew, there are different methods of making it.

  • Milk frother: either handheld or stand-alone
  • Blender
  • Mason jar with lid
  • Hand or stand mixer

Simply combine your choice of milk, a hint of sugar, and flavor extract and froth, blend, or shake, depending on your chosen method of making it.


Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew Recipe

Chill out this summer with a drink that's simple and refreshing!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 Mason jar


  • Ice
  • 1/2 cup Prepared cold brew coffee
  • 1/4 cup Oat milk (or substitute your milk choice) divided
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla syrup divided
  • 1 teaspoon Caramel syrup garnish


  • Fill the Mason jar with ice.
  • Pour the cold brew over the ice.
  • Mix 1/8 cup milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla syrup well before pouring it into the Mason jar.
  • Froth the remaining milk and vanilla syrup per your preference and gently top off the Mason jar.
  • Drizzle with caramel and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between cold brew and iced coffee?

Cold brew coffee is brewed at room temperature over several hours, resulting in a less acidic and more concentrated brew. 

Iced coffee is drip coffee brewed hot and either allowed to cool or poured directly over ice. 

Thanks to the difference in brewing methods, cold brew tends to have a less bitter flavor. And because it’s concentrated, it’s helpful in recipes involving the addition of milk and flavor syrups because it doesn’t get that diluted flavor typical of iced coffee. 

But if you prefer a more subtle coffee flavor in your drinks, consider opting for iced coffee over cold brew.

Can you use regular ground coffee to make cold brew?

Yes. Choose a coarser grind for your coffee beans when making your own cold brew at home.

Can you make a decaf cold brew?

Several brands make decaf cold brews. My favorite is the Bizzy Cold Brew. It has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor that pairs exceptionally well with the vanilla sweet cream cold brew flavors.

And it doesn’t keep me awake all night!

Can you buy premade cold brew coffee concentrate?

Several brands are on the market, including Starbucks nitro cold brew. Buying cold brew concentrate is a convenient way to get your cold brew fix without the hassle of brewing it yourself.

Final Thoughts

Cold brew coffee offers so many amazing flavor possibilities! And this recipe can definitely be modified to accommodate other flavors, such as salted caramel cream or even an iced white chocolate mocha.

Whipping up a batch of cold brew at home is simple and opens you up to a whole new world of coffee creativity at home! 

And if you’re looking for more coffee inspiration, check out a few of my previous posts:

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