How to Make Flavored Coffee Creamer at Home

January 21, 2014

It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: Tiffany from Offbeat and Inspired makes coffee creamer out of real cream, with no dehydrated powders or mysterious ingredients in sight. 

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Coffee creamer is a staple recipe that every home cook should have in their repertoire. The base is easy, and you can control the flavoring and sweetness levels, which is something I really enjoy because I find that store-bought creamers are often overpowering. The simplicity of this recipe will allow you to focus on the fun part: dreaming up delicious flavors that will bring your morning cup of joe to a whole new level.

More: Learn how to brew a better cup of coffee.

This spiced vanilla creamer is sweet, rich, and addictive, while I like to describe my frazier fir creamer as a pine forest in a mug. It’s a wintry creamer packed with the fresh and bright flavors of fragrant frazier fir and has the subtle sweetness of coconut sugar. Here's the best part: If you haven't tossed your Christmas tree yet, snag a few branches, rinse them off, and get to work on this recipe (or just go foraging in the nearest wooded area). It's so easy.

To add flavoring to a basic creamer you’ve made ahead, combine your base and flavorings in a small pot, bring to a light simmer, remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 1 hour before straining. Then you can use or refrigerate your flavored creamer.

Basic Coffee Creamer

Makes 1 cup of creamer

1 cup half and half or heavy cream
1/4 cup coconut sugar (or regular sugar)

Spiced Vanilla Coffee Creamer

1 cinnamon stick
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 vanilla bean

Frazier Fir Coffee Creamer

1 small handful of frazier fir pine needles

Combine the sugar and cream in a small pot. If you want to make spiced vanilla creamer, add the cinnamon stick and cayenne pepper. Then split your vanilla bean, scrape the seeds into the pot, and add the bean. If making frazier fir creamer, add the handful of pine needles to the cream.

Bring to a light simmer and then reduce heat to low, stirring for 2 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.

Remove from heat. If you're making basic coffee creamer, strain it into a jar or a storage container.

If you're making one of the flavored varieties, remove the pot from the heat, cover it, and let it steep for 1 hour. Strain your creamer through a fine mesh sieve into a jar or storage container and use immediately or refrigerate.

The creamer will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Tiffany Mitchell

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Alexandra G
    Alexandra G
  • Lea
  • Andie Paysinger
    Andie Paysinger
  • Heather Patterson Atthepicketfence
    Heather Patterson Atthepicketfence
  • hardlikearmour
I love food -- from gathering ingredients to formulating recipes, hovering over the stove, setting the table and photographing the journey. I blog all about my foodie antics with my good friend Sarah on offbeat + inspired. I hope you enjoy what I share here on FOOD52, and I look forward to gathering new inspirations from this great community!


Alexandra G. September 13, 2015
Omg the fraser fir version sounds amazing... I don't consume dairy so I'll attempt to make this with coconut cream.
Lea August 20, 2015
Egg nog....
Lea August 20, 2015
This sounds fun. How bout a recipe for egg nog creamer that doesn't use "egg no flavoring"? Really I just wanna see the photography that would accompany such a recipe...pumpkin pie, gingerbread, such eye candy it would be...
Andie P. January 24, 2014
Please use DISCRETION when selecting which conifer species to include in your tasting and cooking. Some - that look much like "edible" ones - are toxic.
This site has good information on identifying those that can be safely used.
Note also that conifers near busy roadways do take up chemicals from vehicular traffic. I harvest juniper berries from some of my juniper bushes that at the rear of my yard but not from those out front next to the roadway. They have a distinct "kerosene" flavor that is very unpleasant and probably toxic in quantity. And if you do want to harvest and use juniper berries, make sure they are bluish-black. Discard any that look tan or reddish, they are infected with a fungus - not harmful but produces an unpleasant moldy flavor.
Heather P. January 23, 2014
I seriously can taste it through the screen, which is always the case with your amazing food photography! ~Heather
hardlikearmour January 22, 2014
I have 3 huge Doug Firs in my front yard, and will definitely give the fir creamer a go!
Shikha K. January 22, 2014
I never knew you could use pine needles as a creamer. How would that taste?
Tiffany January 22, 2014
It tastes just like they smell! Fresh and a little spicy. I absolutely love it, but it is a bit of a different experience if you haven't tried leafy or floral infusions in your baking and beverages before (which I'm very new to!). The sweet richness of the cream keeps it balanced though!
keylime6 January 22, 2014
I live where they grow Christmas trees and they spray them with tons of pesticides. Just something to be aware of - probably better off getting the pine needles from your back yard. But this recipe looks very yummy!
Tiffany January 22, 2014
Absolutely! Pesticides are no good. I would recommend rinsing and/or soaking the branches thoroughly before steeping them just to be sure there's nothing funky going into your creamer!
Cookie16 January 22, 2014
pine needles! now that sounds pretty interesting. betting it's lovely.
Tiffany January 22, 2014
It's SO good! I hope you try it!
Teia B. January 21, 2014
So excited about this recipe! Fun cold weather times.
Tiffany January 22, 2014
Yay!! I hope you like it!