Homemade Vanilla Coffee Creamer

Homemade Vanilla Coffee Creamer - so easy, and so much better than the conventional, store-bought kind! | LiveRenewed.com

My cup (or two) of coffee is my favorite thing about waking up in the morning.  I actually kind of look forward to it each night when I’m going to bed. Especially if I can get up and drink it in peace and quiet, before my little ones wake up, looking forward to what the day will bring.

I like my coffee with a good amount of creamer, specifically vanilla flavored creamer. Awhile ago though, I decided that I really needed to ditch my addiction to store-bought French Vanilla coffee creamer. If you’ve read the ingredients on the package, you know that it:

1. Does not actually have cream in it and

2. has a long list of unpronounceable, chemical sounding words in it.

Not something that I really should have been drinking every morning.  In trying to move away from processed and industrial foods, I knew that was a habit I was going to have to kick. But, I wasn’t about to completely give up my morning coffee.

So, I set out to make my own replacement creamer.  I found some recipes online that used non-dairy coffee creamer, or French Vanilla flavoring and powdered sugar, but I wasn’t really interested in using those ingredients either.

Finally, I stumbled upon this recipe for vanilla caramel coffee creamer, and I thought I had finally found my answer.  After a little bit of trail and error I worked out a recipe that I really enjoy.

It’s not exactly the same as french vanilla creamer, but my taste buds have adjusted and I actually like this much better now.

Homemade Vanilla Coffee Creamer

  • ¼ cup turbinado raw sugar (I’ve been using Turbinado Sugar from Trader Joe’s with great results!)
  • approx. 2 cups of half and half

Combine brown sugar and vanilla in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat.  Heat gently, stirring occasionally until sugar is melted.  Don’t let get to hot or bubbly or it will solidify and you won’t be able to mix in your creamer.

Turn burner off and slowly wisk in half and half,  letting the residual heat help the sugar mixture and the creamer to combine.  Use immediately, or store in a glass container in your fridge.

Update 1/11 – I’ve been making a double batch of this lately using a quart of half and half because that way I don’t have to make it as often.  I was almost out of turbinado sugar, so I decided to try some honey in place of it.

So, I used 1/4 c. turbinado sugar, 1/4 raw honey, 2 Tbsp. vanilla and a quart (approx. 4 cups) half and half, and it was great! I like that I’m reducing some of the sugar while also using a more natural sweetener.

You can adjust the amount of brown sugar and vanilla to your tastes and preferences. I know it’s a lot of vanilla, but I recently found a more affordable source for pure vanilla, and also started making my own, and when you have homemade vanilla it is much cheaper.

This stuff is great! Homemade Vanilla Coffee Creamer with real food ingredients from LiveRenewed.com

When I first started making this I followed the recipe that I found and used 2 tsp of vanilla, but found that just wasn’t enough for me. Amazingly, my sister started making creamer the exact same way right around the same time that I did, and we didn’t even know the other was making it this way. Sometimes, it’s scary the way that sisters think alike!

Anyway, she makes it with ½ cup of brown sugar and 1 Tbsp of vanilla.  I decided to increase the amount of vanilla and it turned out to be perfect for me. So do a little experimenting and figure out how you like it best.

Enjoy your morning cup of coffee guilt free! (Well except for the sugar of course!) And if you like this recipe, I’d love for you to share it with your friends or Pin it on Pinterest

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And if you like this homemade coffee creamer, you’ll also love my Homemade Chai Tea Latte recipe

Homemade Chai Tea Latte with Dairy Free Option

What do you most look forward to about waking up in the morning?

More Great Recipes:

Mexican Chicken Pasta Skillet

Easy Black Bean Hummus

Healthy (And Good!) Banana Muffins


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Recipe Swap at Grocery Cart Challenge
Frugal Fridays @ Life as Mom
Finer Things Friday @ The Finer Things in Life
Make it Yourself Monday @ Eat From Your Pantry


  1. Stacey says

    Thanks for sharing! Just about a week ago my husband asked what was in my coffee creamer…when I looked I was horrified. In the top 4 ingredients, only water was a good thing for me, not to mention the lengthy list of unpronounceable words after the top 4. I have gone a week without creamer, but now I will try this recipe.

  2. says

    Thanks. My husband loved the French Vanilla creamer, but we gave it up for the same reason. We will have to give this a try.

  3. says

    This looks great! I just stumbled upon your blog tonight, and I think this is just what I need to try. I love French Vanilla creamer (actually, I think I like the creamer better than the coffee itself), but the ingredients are terrible. I’m going to try this soon!

    • Emily says

      Thanks Amy! I’m a lot like you – I almost like the creamer more than the coffee too! In fact, I won’t drink coffee at all unless I have vanilla creamer – it’s definitely all about the creamer! :) I hope you like it! Please let me know how it turns out for you!

      • Clare Sullivan says

        Hey Amy,
        I love your blog and I just stumbled upon it this morning while researching if I can mix herbal life tea with coconut milk lol…thank you for posting cause I’ve been wanting to go green for awhile now but dont really know exactly what I’m doing lol…I will be coming back and reading some more for sure! Also I tried to add myself to your email list but when I click on the link it took me to a page that said the link was missing…just thought you should know :)
        Thanks again!
        Clare Sullivan

    • Emily @ Live Renewed says

      Sorry DeLyndia, I don’t know, I’ve never used xylitol. I would just give it a try and see how it goes – that’s what I always do when I’m unsure if something will work or not! Let me know if you try it, how it works!

      • Zandra Brown says

        Real sugar, and natural sweeteners are so much more healthy. Coconut sugar (natural and low glycemic) is an amazing substitute and has a delicious brown sugar taste…I bet it would be perfect in this recipe!

        • says

          Yes, Zandra! Thanks for sharing! I need to update this recipe with some healthier natural sweetener options! I’ve tried honey as well as sucanat, and I’d bet you could even use stevia. It’s great to experiment and find what works best for you!

      • Elisabeth says

        I tried this recipe with coconut sugar and it tastes yummy. I want to try to make it chocolatey next. I would also make a comment to Crystal….please do a search on splenda and find out what it really is. You will be surprised to find that Splenda is worse than consuming the carageenan in the coffee creamers.

          • says

            I agree about researching Splenda as well. Stevia might be better for sugar free seekers, but I also recommend trying it with coconut sugar since it is even lower glycemic than honey or agave.

      • Crystal says

        Since this post I have learned about the harmful effects of Splenda and have long since stopped use of it and other artificial sweeteners. It is nasty stuff! I haven’t tried coconut sugar before. Ill have to look into it. Thanks for the suggestion!

  4. Robbi says

    I made the creamer and loved it being diabetic I used agave nectar for the sweetener and half and half with mexican vanilla it rocks but one time the half and half curteled that was because i got the sweetener and vanilla to hot and added the
    cold half and half and this time it was separating as it cooled any thoughts

    • Emily @ Live Renewed says

      Hi Robbi,
      I’m so glad you liked it! I’ve never used agave, so I don’t know if that would make a difference with it separating. I do make sure to add a little of the half and half at the beginning to kind of cool down the mixture and then pour the rest of the half and half in slowly? Don’t know if that will help? Also, I do notice that if I cook the half and half too long or too hot it messes up the consistency, so just leave the half and half on long enough to make sure it’s all mixed together and the sweetener and vanilla mixture is dissolved into the creamer and then take it off the heat. Hope that helps!

    • Emily @ Live Renewed says

      Thanks! I love it too! :) It was actually a gift from my mother-in-law a few Christmases ago, I’m pretty sure she got it from Starbucks, but not sure if they would still carry them or not.

  5. Julie says

    Just a note to say how much of a blessing your site has been, as I sit here drinking my first batch of coffee creamer. It didn’t curdle until I poured it in my coffee, but it tastes wonderful! Not bad for my first attempt, as I consider myself to be ‘kitchen-impaired’ LOL!

  6. Marie Everett says

    Love your idea for the creamer! Very unusual in that it doesn’t use sweetened condensed milk (I tried using that for my homemade creamer; total failure!). I’ll try your recipe this weekend, but I have two questions: can it be frozen and, when thawed, does it recombine easily? Thanks for posting your recipe.

    • Emily @ Live Renewed says

      Hi Marie,
      I have never tried to freeze it, so I can’t tell you whether it recombines easily or not. You could always freeze a small portion of the creamer first to try it out, so that if it doesn’t work, you haven’t wasted too much. I hope you enjoyed it!

  7. says

    This is by far my most favorite Creamer recipe. Thanks so much for sharing! Whenever I share this with company, they are amazed! They can’t believe I make my own creamer. It’s awesome when we make our own recipes. It’s usually much cheaper, quicker, healthier and not toxic to our bodies! Amazing how that works!

    Thanks again.

  8. Estelle Stone says

    This is my favorite creamer recipe and so easy! No nasty chemical stuff in those other creamers you buy at the store. Cheaper, better and tastier. What more can we want?? Thanks so much!!

  9. Christina says

    You should try adding the vanilla at the end and not boiling it. This will produce a stronger taste. Since vanilla is mostly alcohol, boiling it is removing most of it! Maybe then you won’t have to use as much!

    “Do not add vanilla extract to hot liquids as the alcohol evaporates, along with some of the vanilla flavor.”

    Read more: http://www.joyofbaking.com/Vanilla.html#ixzz2YkptVqrs

    • says

      Hmm, yes Christina, you’re right. I’ll have to figure out if there is a different way that I can caramelize the sugar without adding the vanilla in. I hadn’t thought of that before. Thanks for the suggestion!

      • Tamm says

        I just made this and added the vanilla last. I did this by melting the sweeteners (1/2 erythritol and 1/2 coconut sugar) in about 2 Tbs. almond milk and then whisked in the cream and vanilla. Had to sample it solo and it was yum!!! Can’t wait to try it in my coffee in the morning :)

  10. Tina says

    Have you tried using “Palm Sugar” instead. It will not allow your blood sugar to go up. Plus it is a ton healthier. It tastes similar to brown sugar too and you can us it in any type of baking and cooking including sweetening up drinks. The best stuff on the planet. XD

  11. Kayte K. says

    Any idea’s for dairy free creamer? Most of the DF milks are not heavy enough to be ‘creamer’. Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Kayte,

      I haven’t tried it with coconut milk, but I think that would be a great one to start with and see how it works. Come back and let us know how it turned out if you try it!

      • Kayte K. says

        I love coconut milk :) I used Vanilla Coconut Milk (So Delicious brand) It tastes amazing but the consistency is off as I feared. I want to find some coconut cream and try that. I think that will work best. I will let you know if I try it.

        • says

          I was thinking the coconut milk that comes in the can – Thai Kitchen is the brand I usually use. It’s thicker than the coconut milk that comes in the boxes or the refrigerator section. I hope you can find something that works for you!

  12. Rebecca says

    Do you think that I could use any type of extract to produce different flavors? Like almond, coconut, etc? Or maybe use the vanilla to caramelize and the other flavor on top?

  13. Terri Manthei says

    I make my own, but I used 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk, 1 Tablespoon real vanilla extract and 14 oz skim milk. Mix well and store in refridgerator. Its delicious!

  14. Terri Manthei says

    I make my own, but I used 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk, 1 Tablespoon real vanilla extract and 14 oz skim milk. Mix well and store in refrigerator. Its delicious!

  15. Debra says

    I love this recipe, but please, please, read your half and half label too! Use only the kind that is cream and milk. Of all the brands I found out that WalMart half and half is all natural! Go figure! And love the coconut sugar suggestion.
    Thanks again! :)

    • says

      Yes, half milk, half cream. Here in the US it’s sold by the heavy whipping cream and other coffee creamers. As someone else mentioned – be sure to read the label and make sure there is just milk and cream in your half and half!

  16. Elen says

    Thank you for sharing. Question – can you make this ahead of time and store in the fridge? If yes, for how long do you recommend storing?


    • says

      Hi Elen,
      Yes, you definitely can, as I mentioned in the post. You can store it for as long as your creamer is good – so maybe about a week? There are no preservatives in it, so it won’t last any longer than the creamer would last on it’s own.

  17. jenn says

    Had anyone tried a hazelnut creamer using this method? I like vanilla, but hazelnut is my fave! I use plain half n half now, but look forward to trying this!

  18. AMWStevenson says

    I am confused about something :/ It says to melt the sugar into the vanilla first–melt 1/4 cup of sugar into only 1 tbsp vanilla? Am I missing something? 1 tbsp isn’t very much liquid to melt anything into…

  19. Maria says

    Thank you for this recipe. I love it! I have been trying to ween myself off of the international delight vanilla creamer but nothing tastes as good. I think I have finally found it! Thank you so much.

  20. debbie says

    this is a good idea its kinda what I do already I stopped using the creamers as well and instead started using organic half and half and organic sugar I would just make my pot of coffee pour myself a cup then add in the amount of organic sugar that I wanted stir that up until it dissolved and then I’d add in the amount of organic half and half that I wanted and wala! they even have organic vanilla flavored half and half so its kinda what your recipe says its just not doing it all at once/ahead of time cuz the way I do it is more like doing it each time I make my coffee… but like I said its kinda the same thing and its still a cool idea!

  21. Elizabeth says

    I’m so excited to try this! I’m new-ish to ridding our diet of processed Crap and staying in a budget! But dairy items scare me. Im terrified I’ll mess something up! What are some cheaper options for natural sweeteners? And also, how long will it last in the fridge?

    • says

      You definitely don’t need to be scared of homemade dairy products. This creamer is pretty hard to mess up! I’m not sure what you’re looking for when you’re asking for cheaper options for natural sweeteners. Natural sweeteners are unfortunately more expensive then refined, white sugar, but I have found you need less natural sweeteners, like honey or maple syrup to achieve the same amount of sweetness. I use turbinado sugar in this recipe, and I have found it to be most affordable when I buy it in bulk from Azure Standard.

      The creamer will last as long as the half-and-half would last open in the fridge. The sugar may also act as a preservative and help it to last a little bit longer. We always use ours long before it would go bad though! Hope that helps!

  22. Shelby says

    Wowza! This tastes like ice cream! I made it mostly with honey, so I thought it would be a honey vanilla flavor but it’s like custard ice cream instead. I pity the fools who have never tried homemade creamer

    • says

      Hi Donna Marie – I’ve never tried this with non-dairy creamer, so I’m not sure how it would work, but I don’t think it would hurt to try it! When I make non-dairy vanilla coffee creamer I lightly heat a can of coconut milk and a Tablespoon of maple syrup in a sauce pan until it’s smooth and mixed together. Remove from the heat and add a teaspoon of vanilla. It’s delicious too!
      Thanks for stopping by!


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