Crafty home baristas and independent gourmet coffee shop owners are always trying to find out what sweet cream does Starbucks use.
It is a question that I often hear and here is the answer:
Nobody knows the exact brand of the individual ingredients used to make their sweet cream and Starbucks is not going to tell anyone.
The great news is the individual ingredients are easy to find to be able to replicate and make your own copycat Starbucks sweet cream at home. All you need to do is get the best possible quality ingredients to make the best possible Sweet cream and get as close as you can to what Starbucks makes at their outlets.
Do you want to know what those ingredients are?
Then keep reading to find out!
What Is Sweet Cream?
Sweet cream is a topping used for coffee, and in particular cold coffees, iced coffee drinks and is exceptionally well with regular cold brew coffee and nitro cold brew.
Unfortunately it does not go as well with hot coffee as it does with cold drinks.
It is a moderately high-fat dairy product made with 2% milk and heavy cream with a tablespoon of sugar or half a fluid ounce (15 ml or 1 tablespoon) of simple syrup (known as classic syrup at Starbucks).
The name sweet is used because it is actually sweeter due to the small amount of simple syrup or cane sugar used.
Sweet cream and sweat cream cold foam are two distinctively different toppings.
The use of the words “cold foam” means that it is a topping for your coffee that is supposed to float on top and remain there as you sip your coffee and get a mix of both coffee and the sweet cream cold foam for delicious coffee drink with the taste and texture of the sweet cream cold foam with your coffee.
When you see the words “cold foam” it means that the topping, regardless of which one, is not supposed to mix with your drink.
Without the use of the words “cold foam” the foam is supposed to sit on top of your drink and slowly drizzle down into your coffee drink and mix with it.
Read: How to make cold foam in blender
What Sweet Cream Does Starbucks Use?
It is not revealed what brand of heavy cream, 2% milk or cane sugar is used by Starbucks. What is known is how Starbucks makes their sweet cream.
It is made by mixing heavy cream and 2% milk in equal amounts and adding a tablespoon of cane sugar. The ingredients are mixed together and blended in a special bladeless blender.
If you want to replicate the sweet cream and sweet cream cold foam at Starbucks you can get your hands on their Verismo Blender from Walmart, which currently sells for under US$65. You will also find it on eBay. For one reason or another, it is unavailable on Amazon.
Read: How to make Starbucks sweet cream cold foam
Sweet Cream Cold Foam – What Is It?
Sweet cream cold foam is made in a very similar way to regular sweet cream, almost the exact same way. It is made with heavy cream and is denser and slightly thicker and heavier than regular sweet cream.
The process of making cold foam involves the use of heavy cream, low fat milk, a tablespoon of cane sugar and a high speed blender to make the sweet cream cold foam.
It is used to make a creamy coffee drink with a sweet velvet-like topping that goes very well with cold coffee drinks.
Cold foam topping is designed to sit on top of your coffee like a cloud and create a two tier flavor and add an enjoyable smooth creamy texture.
Read: How to make sweet cream cold foam
Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream
Getting towards the flavored end of the spectrum for sweet cream or sweet cream cold foam.
The flavored sweet creams – be they regular or cold foam versions are flavored using a flavored syrup at Starbucks.
Vanilla sweet cream is made using vanilla syrup and adding it to the milk mixture.
To make a copycat recipe at home simply use 2% milk, add a tablespoon of cane sugar and one or two pumps of Starbucks vanilla syrup as required. Mix them well and add to your blender and blend well for 30 to 35 seconds.
And add to your coffee.
For the cold foam version, add an equal amount of heavy cream to your milk and mix well.
Interesting Sweet Cream And Cold Foam Flavors At Starbucks
One of the sneaky keys to knowing what flavored possibilities are available at your local Starbucks coffee shop is to familiarise yourself with the different flavored syrups that they have.
Of course, you are not limited to just one syrup – you can combine them or request their popular and more commonly requested.
- Salted Caramel: This is made with salted caramel syrup.
- Caramel: Made with caramel syrup.
- Vanilla: made with vanilla syrup.
- Chocolate Cream: made with chocolate sauce.
- Irish Cream (seasonal): made with Irish cream syrup. You can request vanilla and a sprinkling of chocolate to replicate the flavor out of season.
You can get creative at home and make all kinds of amazing flavors including replicating the after eight chocolate flavor by combining chocolate sauce and mint syrup, or using a ready-made chocolate mint syrup (not from Starbucks).
Pumpkin Pie is another possibility too – Torani has that flavor of syrup.
Frequently Asked Questions About What Sweet Cream Does Starbucks Use?
What Is Sweet Cream Made Of At Starbucks?
Sweet cream at Starbucks is made of 2% milk and heavy cream, often called 50/50 milk due to both ingredients being used in equal amounts. One tablespoon of sugar is used to sweeten the cream and turn it into sweet cream.
The flavored sweet cream options have an additional ingredient or two, which are a flavored syrup like vanilla, and a sprinkling of cinnamon, cocoa or something similar.
Rare exotic flavored sweet cream may include 2 or more flavored syrups.
Is Sweet Cream The Same As Heavy Cream At Starbucks?
To make sweet cream you need to use heavy cream alongside heavy cream and 2% milk alongside a tablespoon of cane sugar. Strictly speaking, sweet cream is not the same as heavy cream as other ingredients are used to alter the texture and flavor.
Does Starbucks Sell Their Vanilla Sweet Cream?
Starbucks makes their vanilla sweet cream as a topping for the coffee drinks, and goes very well with cold brew coffee. You can request a portion or two to take away and use it for your coffee at home.
I have successfully done this at various outlets and also been refused by some outlets. Results are mixed, but you never know unless you ask. If you get refused, you can always use a Starbucks copycat recipe and make it at home.
What Kind Of Cream Does Starbucks Use In Iced Coffee?
The actual brand of heavy cream, 2% milk and cane sugar used by Starbucks is not revealed by the company at all. They keep these exact ingredients and their coffee as a top secret to prevent someone from replicating it exactly.
The cream that they use is known as half-and-half cream as it is 50% heavy cream and 50% of 2% milk. A tablespoon of cane sugar is used to make sweet cream. A variety of flavored syrups, like vanilla syrup, are used to add flavor and make flavored cream toppings.
Is Sweet Cream And Cold Foam The Same?
No, sweet cream and cold foam are not the same. They are, by very definition, different and used in a different way. Long and short of it is cold foam is designed to sit on top of your cold brew coffee (or other iced coffee drink) while you enjoy a sip of your coffee you also enjoy the taste and texture of the cold foam.
Sweet cream, on the other hand, is designed to sit on top of your iced coffee drinks or cold brew coffee and slowly cascade down into your coffee.
Both are ideal and specifically make for cold coffees of all types.
Final Thoughts – What Sweet Cream Does Starbucks Use?
Now you know the awkward and most truthful and honest answer to “what sweet cream does Starbucks use” and what the individual ingredients are to make it and the equipment needed, you can go right ahead and make your own Starbucks style sweet cream at home.
Enjoy making it, perfecting it and adding a fantastic topping and texture to your cold brew coffee.