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A few weeks ago, between my allotted bi-weekly grocery store trips, I ran out of coffee creamer. I have a 4 month old, so having a cup of coffee in the morning is pretty much a non negotiable. Sipping a cup of coffee black is also not gonna happen, no matter how much I wish I liked it that way.
I had two options, squeak by with milk and sugar, or figure out a way to replicate the creamy deliciousness of flavored coffee creamer at home. A few experiments later, and I had homemade coffee creamer ready to go. It took just a few simple, inexpensive ingredients.
The best part? I liked the flavor better than any store bought creamer I’ve ever had. It’s smooth, sweet, and flavored just the way I like it. And, it’s made with just a few wholesome ingredients, no odd preservatives. Trust me on this one, if you give homemade coffee creamer a try, you’ll be a convert too.
My favorite part of making my coffee creamer from scratch is that you can make it how you specifically like it. Sweet, or less sweet, full of spices, or simply flavored with vanilla. It can be non-dairy, vegan, really whatever you please.
The basics of your homemade coffee creamer are these simple ingredients:
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: This is the sweetening agent in your homemade creamer. You can purchase cans from your favorite grocery, they even make coconut sweetened condensed milk now if you’re hoping for non-dairy. Or, you can whip up your own with my easy recipe for Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk (also can be made vegan/non-dairy!)
- Milk: The second major ingredient, necessary to thin out the sweetened condensed milk and tame the sweetness. You can again choose whatever milk you please, cow, coconut, nut, or soy. You can even blend milks. I personally love to combine whipping cream and milk for a delicious creamy combo.
- Flavoring: Now this is where you can get really wild. Add cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla, maple, whatever makes you happy!
Two Methods to Homemade Coffee Creamer
Depending on the flavors you choose to add to your coffee creamer, and how you choose to add them, the way you mix up your creamer will differ.
The Cold, Shake it Up Method
This is by far the easiest. Place your ingredients in the storage jar you intend to keep your homemade coffee creamer in, and shake it up until combined.
This method works best for flavoring agents that will blend easily like extracts. Vanilla extract is the easiest, and a very delicious addition to your creamer, just pour in a tablespoon or two and shake it on up. I have some simple vanilla coffee creamer in my fridge right now, and it’s seriously good. I find myself wanting a second cup because I love the flavor so much.
You could also use this method for powdered spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.
Heat Infusion Method
Now if you’re like me and are on a strict budget, then you might also buy whole spices. They’re cheaper, and have a much longer shelf life. Buuut they don’t mix all the well into liquid.
One of my favorite versions of homemade coffee creamer utilizes whole spices with just a few simple steps.
I take a few allspice berries, a few whole cloves, and a cinnamon stick and toss them in a small pot to toast over medium heat. When I can smell the spices I put them in my mortar and pestle. Give them a few pounds to just break them up a bit. Add the milk and sweetened condensed milk combo to that same pot and return to the heat. Toss in the cracked spices. Heat them until the milk is just steaming. The heat helps extract the flavor more rapidly.
Turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let steep for as long as you are willing.
Once it takes on the flavor you like you can either filter out the spices, or just put the whole lot in your jar. The spices will continue to infuse (they just do so slowly in cold temperatures). Depending on the milk and spices you use, they’ll either sink to the bottom or float to the top. Either way if they end up my coffee cup, they’re easy to remove, and I don’t end up chewing on allspice.
This heat method is also ideal for ingredients that need heat to incorporate a little more smoothly. Coconut milk is a wonderful non-dairy alternative, but it definitely needs heat to smoothly incorporate with condensed milk. Cocoa powder will melt wonderfully once whisked into warm milk (think hot cocoa). Or, add a little extra kick and dissolve some espresso powder into your creamer.
How sweet and thick you like your creamer is going to affect the ratio you prefer of sweetened condensed milk to regular milk. Personally I like a ratio of 1:1.
Usually when making my homemade condensed milk, I get about 14 to 16 ounces. I add the same amount of milk, and for that 28 ounces, I usually add about 1.5 tablespoons of extract.
I also really enjoy whipping cream if I have it. It really boost the creaminess. For that I’d remove half the regular milk and replace it with whipping cream.
Depending on your flavor preferences, here are some suggestions on how much to add:
- Ground spices: I’d start with 1 tsp and work your way up. I found cinnamon and ginger I needed a touch more, but for cloves, nutmeg, and allspice less. Feel free to mix them! I also recommend a splash of vanilla extract for these too!
- Cocoa powder: I like 2 tablespoons for that much creamer.
- Whole spices: One cinnamon stick, 4 allspice berries, or 4 cloves were perfect!
- Vanilla Extract: 1.5 to 2 tablespoons was perfect!
- Maple, Peppermint, Hazelnut, or Almond Extract: 2 teaspoons was just enough!
- Chocolate syrup: 2 Tablespoons
Feel free to experiment! I’m still learning and tasting what goes well, and would love to hear what flavors you come up with. I’m considering a tumeric ginger flavor next, yum!
One last, very important note, how long does the stuff last? Without all the preservatives of store bough creamer, I definitely won’t last forever.
Sweetened condensed milk will last, once opened or freshly homemade, in your fridge for 1 month.
Your creamer will last as long as the earliest expiring ingredient you add to it. So, if your milk is expiring tomorrow, maybe wait until you have a fresh gallon to make your creamer.
If you’re open to an alternative to cow’s milk, I really love coconut milk as a substitute to my creamer. It’s shelf stable, so if I’m out of creamer and my milk is on its last legs, I can substitute a can of coconut milk equally for the cow’s milk, and it will last 14 days in the fridge once opened. I usually use all of my creamer within that time frame.
I know it’s tempting to whip up a huge batch, but make what you’ll use. 28 ounces is just perfect for me.
Be sure to store it in an easy to seal container. A mason jar does nicely, but I like these easy to pour bottles. They’re super cheap from Amazon.
Just give your creamer a good shake before you use it in the morning, and that’s it! You’re on your way to coffee bliss.
Now doesn’t that look good? Don’t forget to share, or pin this for later!
- Combine ingredients in a jar or bottle and shake until combined.
- Store in fridge. Will last as long as the earliest expiring ingredient.