Cup of Coffee and Pouring Creamer

Make it Better Yourself: Homemade Coffee Creamer

Cream. It’s coffee’s perfect mate. And when that creamer comes flavored in a handy bottle from the dairy case, even more perfect, right? Oh, but so pricey! Now more than ever before, it’s ideal to make ourselves the thing we love and would rather not live without—cheaper, better, faster!

Cup of Coffee and Pouring Creamer

 

Generally, famous brands like Coffeemate, International Delight, Dunkin Donuts Extra Extra and Natural Bliss retail for about $.20 per ounce. Ouch! But you can make it yourself for a fraction of the price—and it is so easy. The hard part will be not using it all at once. Bonus: You’ll know exactly what’s in it and you can control the sweetness and the flavors, too.

Stored in the refrigerator in a glass bottle or similar container with the tight-fitting in the fridge, homemade coffee creamer is good for at least 10 to 14 days.

Generally, homemade coffee creamers start with a base to which you add sweetener and flavor. There are two ways to make coffee creamer base—one that starts out sweet (Base Recipe #1) and one that is not sweet to start (Base Recipe #2).

Creamer Recipes Using Base Recipe #1

This recipe uses sweetened condensed milk. The most popular national brand is Eagle Sweetened Condensed Milk. Another is La Lechera Milk Condensed Sweetened. I use my store brand, Kroger Sweetened Condensed Milk, which is precisely the same as Eagle brand, but half the price of Eagle and often on sale for even less—about $1.59 for a 14-ounce can. Here’s the deal with sweetened condensed milk. No matter the brand it contains are only two ingredients: milk and sugar.

Creamer Base Recipe #1

Ingredients:

  • 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 3/4 cup whole milk

Directions:

Pour ingredients into a one-quart canning jar. Apply the lid. Shake well until ingredients are thoroughly combined. From here you simply add whatever flavorings (below) to create your favorite sweet, flavored coffee creamer. Each recipe the follows assumes you are adding the stated ingredients to one full recipe of Creamer Base #1.

Start with the flavoring amounts below, then you may want to adjust to match your taste. If you want a sweeter creamer, add sugar, blue agave or another sweetener of choice.

Want it creamier? Substitute half and half or even heavy cream for the whole milk in Creamer Base #1. Just realize this will increase the fat content substantially.

Note: If a recipe calls for a dry ingredient, such as cocoa powder, a spice like cinnamon or a thick ingredient like honey, heat a small amount of the base along with these items in a small sauce pan to dissolve those ingredients so they will be absorbed into the base. Pour the finished creamer through a fine sieve to remove any tiny solids or bits of spice that remain. Now you won’t have them floating in your coffee.

French Vanilla

  • 2 teaspoons (more or less to taste) pure vanilla extract

Vanilla Bean

Mocha

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chocolate syrup, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Almond

  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Strudel

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Vanilla Caramel

  • 2 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Chocolate Raspberry

  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry syrup

Irish Cream

  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Coconut

  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract

Samoa

  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract (or sub coconut milk or cream of coconut, heated & strained, for the milk/cream)
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 2 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping

Peppermint Patty

  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Cinnamon Vanilla

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Pumpkin Spice

  • 3 tablespoons pureed pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Honey Vanilla

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Almond Joy

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup

Sweet Cream

  • Use 1 3/4 cups heavy cream in please of the whole milk in the base recipe
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract OR the inside of a vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Chocolate Orange

  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons orange extract

Hazelnut

  • 2 teaspoons hazelnut extract

Chocolate Hazelnut

  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 2 teaspoons hazelnut extract

Cinnamon Cake

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Salted Caramel

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Eggnog

  • Replace milk in the base recipe with an equal amount of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons rum extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Toasted Almond

  • 2 teaspoons almond extract

 

Creamer Recipes Using Base Recipe #2

This base is unsweetened which gives you a lot of control over how sweet you wish your homemade creamer to be—and the type of sweetener you prefer. Choices include sugar, stevia, blue agave, and even maple syrup, for starters

Creamer Base Recipe #2:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup whole milk

Directions:

Whisk together until thoroughly combined or pour into a Mason jar, apply lid tightly then shake to combine. Store in the refrigerator. From here you simply add whatever flavorings (below) to create your favorite sweet, flavored coffee creamer. Double even triple this recipe as you desire.

Curiously, this may appear to be a complicated way to make half and half, and you’re partially correct. However, starting with heavy whipping cream makes a creamier, slightly thicker result, which I prefer and you may as well.

Note: If a recipe calls for a dry ingredient, such as cocoa powder, a spice like cinnamon, or a thick component like honey, pour all ingredients into a saucepan and heat over medium heat to dissolve those ingredients so they will be absorbed into the base. Pour the finished creamer through a fine sieve to remove any tiny solids or bits of spice that may remain. Now you won’t have them floating in your coffee.

Strudel

  • 2 cups Creamer Base #2
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Chocolate Almond

  • 2 cups Creamer Base #2
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons blue agave, sugar, or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Pumpkin Spice

  • 2 cups Creamer Base #2
  • 3 tablespoons pureed pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon ground pumpkin spice (in the spice aisle)
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together creamer base, pumpkin, pumpkin spice, and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When mixture begins to steam, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, pour into a glass bottle and store in the refrigerator.

French Vanilla

  • 2 cups Creamer Base #2
  • 4 tablespoons blue agave (or maple syrup)
  • 1 vanilla bean

Whisk together creamer base and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cut vanilla bean in half, and scrape out seeds. Add seeds and vanilla bean to milk mixture. Turn off heat, cover the pot and steep for 30 minutes. After the mixture has steeped, strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pour into a glass bottle, and store in the refrigerator.

Peppermint Mocha

  • 2 cups Creamer Base #2
  • 4 tablespoons sugar, blue agave or maple syrup, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Consider all of these flavoring ideas to be just the tip of the delicious coffee iceberg! The possibilities are endless. As you come up with new flavor pairing and delicious options, please share!

Enjoy!

First published: 2-21-19; Revised & Updated 12-27-23


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38 replies
Newer Comments »
  1. Beck says:

    I just made the Pumpkin Spice recipe with base #1 it is very, very good!!! The only alteration I made was using non-fat milk rather than whole milk.

    Thank you

    Reply
  2. Rainy1_Seattle says:

    Dairy free ideas would be awesome. Some of us cannot tolerate the dairy, but would love to implement the recipes.

    Reply
  3. Jill says:

    I have one quick moment, I hope this is not a repeat question. Do you happen to have a dairy free version of a homemade creamer? Your recipes are so good and well thought out, I thought I would ask here first,

    Reply
    • Sheila Wood says:

      Try with coconut milk? Not the low fat, then it will have the coconut cream in it so will be a little thicker. You could do it with any nut milk, as well, I would think, but you might have to pour a whole lot in to make your coffee white. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Linda Fassiotto Votaw says:

    Love all these ideas, but oh, Mary, you must have been excited to start celebrating Memorial Day weekend because you have so many errors in your text! I was never an English teacher but I wanted to get out my red pencil and start circling, lol. I love your columns, but I just have to chuckle now and then. Have a great weekend!

    Reply
  5. Cat Nap says:

    I rarely drink coffee and never buy fancy flavored creamers. But I skimmed through the post out of curiosity and found myself wishing I did drink coffee with creamer. What a list! I saved it anyway thinking there must be another use for all these flavor combos. Any ideas? Smoothies?
    Regarding sugar-free drinks, I have read that stevia is the one artificial sweetener that does not seem to have any bad side effects.

    Reply
    • Sheri B. says:

      “Stevia is a natural sweetener and sugar substitute derived from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana,
      native to Brazil and Paraguay.”
      I use Stevia. No bad taste.

      Reply
      • Denise H. says:

        I have to disagree. I have been using sugar free sweeteners for a very long time. I tried stevia when it became available in grocery stores, the aftertaste was similar to black licorice. All of the sugar free sweeteners seem to have a strange aftertaste. Even my go to sucralose.

  6. Eleanore M says:

    This sounds very good but……I really like the Coffeemate Powder Creamer for my coffee. Any way we can make something similar to this up?

    Reply
  7. Laurie M says:

    How long will these last in the fridge? We generally buy International Delights which last a month or so in our house.

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      I don’t know for sure, but given the ingredients and the way that half ‘n half and cream do last much longer than milk, I would guess the same amount of time. Experiment and let us know!

      Reply
  8. Betty Thomas says:

    I don’t drink coffee and my husband drinks his black but a lot of my friends use creamer. I think these should make the list of great homemade gifts. Thanks Mary!

    Reply
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