I recently shared my favorite iced coffee drinks at Starbucks and guess what was my top pick? Yup, you guessed it: the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew.
It’s just delicious, with the right amount of sweetness, and uses the super smooth Starbucks cold brew coffee as its base.
You can add the cold foam to the top for some added texture – and calories – but honestly it’s delicious all on its own just as they make it. Although, I will admit that I have been known to ask for “extra sweet cream” sometimes, too. #sorrynotsorry
So, if you’re just as addicted as I am to this delightful concoction, you’ll be thrilled to find out that it’s super easy to make. I can actually whip one of these together in one minute flat and I’m going to show you how easy it is in this post.
Let’s get started!
WHAT’S IN A STARBUCKS VANILLA SWEET CREAM COLD BREW?
This drink is made with the slow-steeped custom blend of Starbucks® Cold Brew coffee infused with vanilla syrup and topped with house-made vanilla sweet cream that cascades throughout the cup. It’s sweet, creamy and super-smooth.
You can ask for it to be topped with the vanilla sweet cream cold foam for even more sweetness. To learn more about Starbucks Cold Brew, read this post.
Ingredients for the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew:
You don’t need much to put this drink together and you definitely have options.
- Coffee: Let’s start with the base: iced coffee. I used the store bought Starbucks Iced Coffee for this drink, but that’s not the only way you could do this. You really just need 8 ounces of your favorite coffee. If you’re starting with a hot coffee, just give it time to cool down (ideally). Here are some ideas:
- iced coffee
- cold brew, even your own homemade cold brew
- Nespresso ice forte pods brewed over ice
- a concentrate coffee, such as Jot, a cold brew concentrate
- Milk of Choice: You’ll need some type of milk for the sweet cream. Heavy cream and half ‘n half are going to taste the most similar to what Starbucks uses (half ‘n half), but you could use any milk of choice, especially if you do order a different milk for yours when you go to Starbucks. I used heavy whipping cream, because that’s what I had on hand when I filmed the video.
- Vanilla Simple Syrup: I like to make my own, because it only has 3 ingredients, tastes way better than store bought syrups, and has less filler ingredients. You can also buy it, such as Torani, or even the Starbucks brand. See my easy recipe for how to make it at home here.
- Ice: Gotta ice it, baby. Bigger ice cubes melt slower.
That’s it. It’s super simple. Now, let’s get you sippin’ your sweet cream cold brew!
How To Make a Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew:
This recipe is going to taste soooo similar to the Starbucks one. It’s the best coypcat I’ve tasted. I made this video of it for Instagram that can walk you through it as well:
View this post on Instagram
- Start by pouring up to 1/4 cup of your milk of choice in a cup.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons, give or take, of the vanilla syrup into the milk. Stir.
- Add about 8oz. of coffee to your coffee cup/tumbler.
- Add two tablespoons vanilla simple syrup to your coffee. If you’re using a pump syrup, I would start with two pumps of syrup and go up from there based on a taste test.
- Add ice.
- Pour the sweet cream mixture on top.
It’s that simple, folks. That’s really it.
You can customize this with as much or little sweetener by increasing or decreasing the vanilla syrup mixture. If you’re keto, use heavy whipping cream and sugar-free vanilla syrup instead. Easy peasy.
How To Make Homemade Vanilla Simple Syrup:
I love making my own syrups for coffee, because it’s so quick and easy and has less chemicals in it. Here’s a quick recipe for making your own vanilla syrup:
You only need three ingredients to make this syrup! Here’s what you need:
Then, just star occasionally until the sugar is fully dissolved and it’s gently simmering.
Remove from heat and let it cool a bit before putting it in the bottle. Use a bottle that seals. We bought a set of these glass bottles with chalkboard stickers, but you could use any kind of container with a seal to keep it fresh.
This will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks, but honestly, it won’t last that long!
Read more about this recipe in this post.
Should you use Starbucks Coffee in this drink?
I really wanted to test out if there was a difference between using Starbucks branded coffee vs. other coffees in this drink, so I might three versions of it and tested them side-by-side with two of my friends.
For our experiment, we tried the coffee with 8oz. of store bought Starbucks Iced Coffee, 1.5 tablespoons of Jot Concentrated Coffee and Nespresso iced coffee pods.
I used the exact same amount of ice, coffee, vanilla syrup and vanilla sweet cream in each coffee and even used the exact same glass to keep it as equal as possible.
The taste test was really interesting, because usually I only use one tablespoon of Jot, but when tested side-by-side with the Starbucks, that was a bit watered down, so I added another half tablespoon and that brought the Jot up to speed.
Ultimately, all of the taste testers agreed that the Starbucks Iced Coffee tasted much closer to the original drink than the other types of coffee, although the Jot was also very good. The Nespresso had a different taste and a stronger coffee flavor, which one of the testers really liked, but it did not taste exactly the same.
So, if you love the Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew exactly how it tastes, you should consider picking up their ready-made cold brew or iced coffee at the store to make this drink.
HOW MANY CALORIES ARE IN A VANILLA SWEET CREAM COLD BREW?
If you are ordering the drink without substitutions at Starbucks, here are the calories you can expect:
- Tall: 90 calories
- Grande: 110 calories
- Venti: 200 calories
- Trenta: 210 calories
To learn more about what the Starbucks cups sizes mean, read this post.
Of course, if you are making this at home, this can change based on the ingredients you choose and how much of them you put in. I think I’m a bit heavier-handed with my vanilla and sweet cream than they are at Starbucks (so delicious).
WHAT ARE THE NUTRITION FACTS FOR THE VANILLA SWEET CREAM COLD BREW?
Considering your sugar and carbs, too? Good for you. Here’s a look at the grande version:
More Starbucks Drinks To Try:
You’ve come to the right place. Here are just a few of the drink posts on the blog:
- 6 Best caramel frappuccinos at Starbucks
- 17 TikTok Inspired Starbucks Secret Menu Drinks
- The Pup Cup: The Starbucks Secret Menu item for dogs
- 12 healthier Starbucks drinks under 200 calories
- 13 best Starbucks cold brew drinks
Hope you love making this recipe at home!