One of the most loved flavors at the coffeehouse is French vanilla. It is a deeper, richer flavor than traditional vanilla, often using multiple ingredients to drive the vanilla flavor home. Vanilla and coffee go together like spaghetti and meatballs, but for breakfast.
French vanilla coffee creamer is usually pretty sweet, thick, and creamy when store-bought. The only problem is, the vanilla flavor usually tastes like chemicals. Frankly, it tastes like chemicals because it is made with chemicals and only a small amount of real vanilla if any at all.
You can make your French vanilla creamer at home, keep it in the fridge, and use it whenever you want! It is perfect in this French Vanilla Cappuccino and also in hot cocoa, tea, and even cereal! Other people also sometimes top their cereal with creamer, right?
Making this creamer from-scratch could not be easier. You just need a few ingredients that you likely have in the pantry already. By using good ingredients, you will have a final product that sits way above the rest.
Start with some fresh heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla bean paste, and sea salt. That’s it! Mix everything in a mason jar and store it in the fridge until you are ready to use it. Because of the vanilla bean paste, pure vanilla flavor shines with little flecks of real vanilla bean in the creamer.
For texture and creaminess, froth your milk before adding it to this cappuccino. The frothed milk lends such a light and airy texture, and you don’t need a milk frother to do it. If you have an immersion blender, meat the milk in a saucepan and blend right over the stove for 2-4 minutes. This makes perfect frothed milk to top any coffee drink.
If you do not have vanilla bean paste, you can always use vanilla extract in a pinch. It’s readily available and tastes almost as good as the paste. You can normally find vanilla bean paste right next to the extracts in the baking aisle of the grocery store. It’s recommended due to its amazing flavor and real vanilla beans inside. The flavor is superior to extract in not only this recipe but many baking recipes that require vanilla extract.
It is imperative to use espresso for a cappuccino and not regular brewed coffee. Coffee is too weak to hold up against all the milk and creamer in this recipe. Espresso is more concentrated and strong, so you still taste the coffee among the vanilla and cream. This is a coffee drink, first and foremost.
Serve this cappuccino first thing in the morning when you need a warm pick-me-up. It is a perfect nightcap to serve in front of a warm, cozy fire. The vanilla flavor will remind you of your favorite coffeehouse without ever having to leave your home.
For the French Vanilla Creamer:
For the Cappuccino:
Begin by making your French Vanilla Creamer. To a mason jar with a lid, add the sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, and vanilla bean paste. Add the salt and close the lid. Shake vigorously for 1 minute to combine everything. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
To make the cappuccino, froth your milk. Use either a milk frother or an immersion blender. To use an immersion blender, heat the milk gently over low heat. Using the handheld blender, pulse frequently to froth the milk for about 2-4 minutes or until very frothy.
Add your French Vanilla Creamer to a mug and top with your espresso. Mix with a spoon. Top that with the milk and foam and stir together until completely combined.
As a finishing touch, add the whipped cream over the top of the mug and serve hot.