Homemade French Vanilla Coffee Creamer

When I first tried coffee my senior year in high school, I decided I would only drink it if I liked it black.  I “learned” to drink tea when I was younger, and from the beginning I drank it with a hefty dose of milk and sugar.  So, for years I drank and enjoyed my coffee black…

Fast forward to being a new mom and getting together with friends and fellow new moms for “play group.”  These get-togethers were clearly for the moms as they began when the babies were too young to play.  But we had lots of fun trading new parenting stories, enjoying a few snacks and, of course, drinking coffee.  It was at these bi-weekly get-togethers where I first sampled flavored creamers.  Until that point, coffee had never tasted so decadent!  First there was French vanilla, then hazelnut, followed by a myriad of other flavors–all of them sweet, creamy, and so good.

So, my habit of drinking coffee black went by the wayside as I, too, started buying these tasty coffee condiments.  Eventually, however, I paid attention to the label on these store-bought creamers and mustered up the willpower to stop buying them.  To avoid the hydrogenated fats but still enjoy the occasional treat, I started experimenting with various ingredients and eventually came up with a copycat version that I liked just as well–maybe even better. Incorporating sweetened condensed milk created the requisite sweetness and thick, velvety texture.  As I tested combinations using everything from non-fat milk to coconut milk and various amounts of vanilla, I’d drop off jarfuls with several of my friends who admitted to draining bottles of store-bought creamers with lightening speed.  When I got the nod from these flavored creamer die-hards, I considered the recipe done….although these friends and helpful recipe testers enjoyed the tasty job so much, they were ready to work on new flavors!

French Vanilla Coffee Creamer

Yield: 2 cups

French Vanilla Coffee Creamer

While I most often make this creamer with light coconut milk–which does not lend a strong coconut taste yet provides the same creaminess as half and half or cream–I have used 2% milk quite a few times, too. Whole milk is a delicious option as well.

  • 1 cup light canned coconut milk (see comments above)
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

  1. Mix all ingredients together and store, covered, in the refrigerator. I like to use a container that allows for easy pouring.
  2. Shake well before using, especially if using the vanilla bean paste as the flecks of real vanilla will settle to the bottom of the container.


The creamer will stay fresh for approximately two weeks.