I’ve been experimenting with dairy-free coffee creamers for a couple of years now. At first, I was just looking for a healthier alternative to my formerly beloved half-and-half. Then, I learned that I have a sensitivity to dairy, and finding a truly vegan coffee creamer that I loved became a must.
I love, love, love my coffee, but my cuppa must have cream-a. And I’m not talking thin ol’ milk, either – I need rich and, well, yeah. Creamy.
When I have the time, I prefer to make my coffee creamer at home. That helps ensure it’s rich and creamy, the sweetness (just a touch or none at all) stays under control, and I know exactly what goes into it. But sometimes I’m too busy for homemade, so I have a few store-bought options in my back pocket, too. Well – one favorite in particular. Read on.
There are tons of store-bought non-dairy coffee creamers out there, but if you’re avoiding dairy, you need to be careful. “Non-dairy” doesn’t necessarily mean no dairy (check the ingredients). My main complaint, other than that, is that so many store-bought coffee creamers are SWEET. Too sweet. I just want something that replicates half-and-half, but doesn’t have dairy, thank you very much.
So, yeah! I’ve tried many, many, (many) options, and these nine vegan coffee creamer options are my favorite.
Here are the non-dairy/vegan creamers that I love!
Homemade Vegan Coffee Creamers
The best way to ensure your creamer is made with real ingredients is, of course, to create your own homemade dairy-free coffee creamers. Luckily, there are several options! My favorite homemade coffee creamers are made with either almonds, cashews, or coconut milk. I have tried oat milk, but found it too chalky (maybe it was just my formula, but I still cringe when I think about it!)
Cashew Milk Coffee Creamer – My favorite! Cashew coffee creamer is so easy to make. You just soak the nuts, blend, and done – no straining needed. It’s super rich and creamy and just melds so perfectly with coffee. My #1 for sure.
(Lindsay from Pinch of Yum recently shared this cashew coffee recipe, which skips the process of making creamer entirely and just blends hot coffee with cashews. Pretty brilliant if you ask me, though blending piping-hot coffee in the blender personally makes me a bit nervous [then again I can be a bit of a klutz].)
Almond Milk Coffee Creamer – Another terrific option, this version calls for extra soaking time and less water for super-duper creamy creamer.
Coconut Milk Coffee Creamer – this is a super simple way to get delicious coffee creamer on the quick. I whip up lite coconut milk, vanilla extract, and a dash of pure maple syrup, and that’s it!
And here are a couple of homemade options from other blogs:
Homemade Dairy-Free Coffee Creamer (sweetened with dates and made with coconut milk) from Deliciously Organic – tons of flavor combos available here. Cinnamon streusel, pumpkin spice … yum.
Coconut Whipped Cream from Marla Meredith – this tutorial for coconut milk whipped cream includes several flavor variations (vanilla, chocolate, mocha … yum). Try a couple of dollops in your morning coffee for an extra-luxurious treat.
Store-Bought Vegan Coffee Creamer Ideas
Sometimes there’s no time to whip up your own coffee creamer goodness, and that’s when these store-bought options come into play.
Nutpods Dairy-Free Coffee Creamer – My #1 choice! My naturopath turned me on to this product and I love it. It’s made from almonds and coconut, and doesn’t have any cloying sweetness usually found in store-bought non-dairy creamers. You can also get it in vanilla and hazelnut – again, just flavor, no overwhelming sweetness. Basically, I’m totally obsessed. Update, 4 years later: I still love it! Nutpods is my go-to coffee creamer these days. There are a few copycat recipes out there but none as good, in my opinion, as Nutpods. It’s the closest thing to half-and-half there is.
Canned Coconut Milk – Straight-up coconut milk makes a great coffee creamer in a pinch! A coconut milk with guar gum is going to be a smoother addition, otherwise, you may just have to give it a stir in the can before adding it to your coffee. I especially like Trader Joe’s lite coconut milk.
Coconut Bliss Ice Cream – For a true dairy-free indulgence, how about a little ice cream? My favorite non-dairy brand, by far, is Luna and Larry’s. Their Vanilla Island ice cream is so rich and creamy in coffee, and contains only coconut milk, coconut cream, agave syrup, and vanilla extract. Their coconut milk does have guar gum in it, so if that gives you pause, you might want to look elsewhere.
Coconut Milk Powder – Basically, I need my morning coffee, or I’m a monster. And I can’t bear to drink it black. So I keep coconut milk powder in my pantry as an emergency provision. Bonus: it makes for an extremely rich, delicious coffee creamer. It is simply dried coconut milk, however, the ingredients do also include tapioca malodextrin and plant-based sugar esters. I have a container in my coffee bin and use it as an emergency provision for when I run out of all other options.
Pea Milk (added 1/23/2018): Yes, “pea milk!” I recently tried Ripple, made with a proprietary pea protein, sunflower oil, and a handful of other ingredients. It was very, very creamy and not sweet, which I loved! But I found the plain had a weird taste I couldn’t get past. The vanilla was better. Probably not something I’ll continue to seek out personally, but I do think it’s a very promising option for many.
Oat Milk (added 1/28/2020): Oat milk is so delicious! Oatly is my favorite. It’s thick and rich and just tastes great. It’s okay in coffee if you’re okay with a splash of milk instead of creamer. But what I realllllly love Oatly for is lattes. It foams up SO nicely!
That’s it! Now you can go forth and drink your coffee, no dairy needed.
What’s your favorite vegan coffee creamer option? Share in the comments below!
This is great Karen! So many good ideas. I particularly love your homemade whipped coconut cream one!
Another store bought one I’ve indulged in a few times when it’s nice to have other flavors is Califa Farms. Here’s the link to the pecan caramel one http://www.califiafarms.com/products/coffee-creamer/pecan-caramel-almondmilk-coffee-creamer But there are others too 🙂
And TOTALLY unrelated, their Agua Fresca is a great sweet treat too!
I made the cashew cream without any sweetener and I totally love it!!! What a creative, fantastic idea! Thank you so much for all the inspiration.
Sounds like you know your stuff!! Will be trying the cashew creamer asap! Is that one still your top pick?!
Yes Gayle, yes, I still absolutely love it! That and Nutpods are still my go-to. Except in December, when I use vegan egg nog pretty much exclusively. 🙂 (http://www.kitchentreaty.com/chai-spiced-vegan-eggnog/)
Can I use thick coconut milk or cream instead of light coconut milk..I really want it extra creamy like half and half or heavy whipping cream….trying to find one that mimics thats non dairy.. Thanks
For sinus reason UGH! I am trying to go dairy free and today is day 4. I cannot seem to find a healthy non-dairy creamer (including the very thick organic culinary coconut milk). Is there ANYTHING that will lighten my coffee like my beloved 1/2 & 1/2 did without having to use a gallon of it? I think I could stay dairy free, but the coffee and 1/2 & 1/2 will be the deal breaker!
Hi Lori! Dairy hurts my sinuses too. 🙁 Have you tried Nutpods? You can get it on Amazon and it’s convenient and to me tastes just like half and half (at least the original version). It’s delicious. I also love almond milk coffee creamer and cashew milk coffee creamer (both on my blog), though the latter can be a bit sweet. That was the toughest for me too! Well that and breaking up with cheese. 🙂
……i’ve been using vanilla extract…….is that okay?
Kare–thank you for your response. I have tried the nutpods and I have found it is the almond milk part I don’t like. It really interferes with the taste of the coffee itself. Coconut milk seems to be doing it for me and today is day 6! Un-be-liev-able! I NEVER thought I could go without my half & half. Being pain-free is a great motivator to keep on this path! Thank you have a wonderful Memorial Day! Lori
Thank you, Kare … and Lori. You covered all the questions that led me to this page. Truly vegan (no milk derivatives). Not sweet. Lightens (for our pearly whites) without a gallon (which dilutes the flavor). I like the coconut milk, too, but it doesn’t lighten quite as effectively as I would prefer. Not almond milk (absolutely agree on that point). I’m willing to try the homemade cashew, but does it change the coffee flavor like almond milk does?
Good morning. Im a coffee drinker as most of us are with a little tea thrown in there. However. Im a gluten free. All organic. Non dairy type of drinker/eater. I cant seem to find a gluten free organic non dairy flavored pwdered creamer for my coffee. Is it possible thetes such a thing? I see liquid. But not powder. Please help. Thank you
Coconut milk powder! It’s a little oily but does a fine job in a pinch. 🙂
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine – a vegan organization – recommends zero coconut fat in the diet, as it is a saturated fat that contributes to arterial plaque buildup and heart disease (heart attacks and stroke).
Hmmmm, that makes no sense when plenty of cultures around the world eat coconuts as part of their standard diet. Excess of lots of things is the problem not vilifying 1 thing.
Hi! I found powdered coconut milk and i like the flavor. Have you got a trick for getting the lumps out? It doesn’t just stir in like regular creamer! Thanks!
I use a fork to really crush ’em down or, if they really bug me, my frother. Gives it a little bonus frothy boost too. 🙂
Loved your article and comments. Taking the same path and as everyone has repeated there is not a real, non sweet substitute for 1/2 and 1/2. I too Want to go Vegan! Hey why doesn’t someone create one…certainly there Is a market! I am even thinking of separating my breast milk to see if that would work…a healthy alternative ……market your extra milk…. But seriously we NEED a healthy rich non dairy creamer that Works for our coffee! Don’t wait …somebody make it in your kitchen!
Try Nutpods! Delicious and super close to half-and-half. You can get it on Amazon.
How long does the cashew creamer keep?
I find it keeps about 4 days in the fridge. Some others have had success freezing it!
when you make coffee creamer do you know if you shake the can to mix or just use the cream on top
Thanks for the dairyfree coffee creamer ideas! I just whipped up a batch with some milkadamia macadamia nut milk and it’s pretty good, but I’m always on the lookout for new ideas! My store just started selling condensed coconut milk, so that’s my next experiment!
Awesome! Delish! and best of all…an alternative to coconut! The palm oil industry is burning down our jungles and they’ll be gone within 20 years. There are only a few Sumatran Rhinos left from poaching, but the survivors are dying from loss of habitat. Same for dwarf Elephants and all of their jungle friends. Coconut oil just isn’t really sustainable, like they claim, and isn’t vegan anymore.
Hi Potato Beetle! I so appreciate your mention of environmental issues when it comes to these vegan alternatives for half and half. I must admit, the half and half with my coffee is the most difficult of veganism for me! I was just wondering, though – you stated that coconut milk isn’t vegan anymore? What does that mean? Thank you!
Do you know of a non-dairy recipe without oil, sugar, nuts, or coconut milk? Thanks for your input.
Hi Ele, I have heard banana milk is delicious – I’ve never tried it. http://www.thekitchn.com/the-best-non-dairy-creamer-for-coffee-is-homemade-banana-milk-237175
Also maybe a homemade soy milk creamer? Or oat milk? That’s a toughie!
Mmm those creamer ideas all sound so good! I normally don’t put much cream or milk in mine. I like to drink it pretty dark with very little sugar. But still, those are some good ideas you’ve shared.
I don’t drink much coffee at all – I’m more of a morning tea person so the flavoured creamers don’t work for me at all!
That said, I never thought about using coconut powder in my rare cuppa joe, but i have some in my pantry. I’ll definitely use it next time! Thanks 😁
I have two non dairy coffee creamers in my fridge right now and neither work for me. I like my coffee to look and taste thick and creamy. The best alternative I can find which (for coffee has no coconut) love coconut but not in coffee, it still doesn’t taste right, is Walnut Milk. Almond milk is great for everything else but too thin for coffee and doesn’t work. Soy is a hormone disrupter, so not an option! Not into powdered creamers…. they taste of chemicals, same with the Califa Farms Almond milk is my favorite Almond milk… but their coffee creamer…. nasty to my taste! Also tastes like chemicals. Yuk!
In order to honor cows I am probably going to have to give up on coffee without a decent creamer. I hate to compromise, but occasionally, hating myself when doing it, I get a take out coffee…. which does have milk/cream whatever and I would love to replicate that flavor without harming animals. I am wondering about Mung Beans.. apparently ‘eggs’ made with Mung beans tastes so great you can’t tell the diff! So my next experiment may be a Mung bean creamer.
Wildwood Soy Creamer only one I truly like. Creamy!
Good to know, I’ll have to try that! Thanks!
Wildwood Soy Creamer was the best, I agree! It was a little too sweet for me but everything else about it was right. I used to mix it with some homemade cashew creamer and it was the closest to milk and cream I have had in my 23 years of plant-based eating. Unfortunately, Wildwood says the soy creamer is temporarily discontinued – wondered if it’s because of the tariffs or some production issue.
I currently use only homemade cashew milk, but i have to make it thick and use a ton, which gets costly. Silk soy creamer has been awful tasting since they were bought out a decade or so ago. At least they are back to using non-gmo soy beans. Also, someone made the comment that soy is a hormone disruptor: Bogus research funded by the meat industry – check out the guy who from Cornell University that studies the studies : https://nutritionfacts.org/audio/the-benefits-of-soy/ and .
Cashews = lectins = hurt my gut flora
What about a non-oil, non-dairy creamer. One doctors cries out “NO OILS.”
Just wondering what you think. Look anti-olive oil on the internet. Thanks,
Nutpods leaves a film of gunked up powder at the bottom of the cup regardless how much I stir it. So I gave up on it. With Ripple, I can’t imagine who buys this stuff given how much refrigerator space Whole Foods devotes to it. It’s awful in my book. Will try making my own cashew milk. I’ll see if roasted vs raw makes a difference and how so.
Hmm I don’t have that experience with Nutpods. But I feel the same about Ripple! I have a recipe for Cashew Coffee Creamer and I love it – so rich and creamy! I have not tried roasted cashews though, would love to hear if that makes a difference. https://www.kitchentreaty.com/how-to-make-cashew-milk-coffee-creamer/
I tried macadamia nut milk and it is so nice in coffee.
Yum! This post is on my list to update soon – so much has changed and so many new yummy options since I published it!
Thanks so much for this article! I too have been on the hunt for a vegan creamy coffee alternative for so long. Coconut milk is my go-to, but it takes so much of it to get the creaminess I like, that I end up having to heat it on the stove to not end up with a cold cup. I was so excited to read about the coconut milk powder, I ordered some right away. But I’m pretty disappointed. :'( It took more than 3tbsp to lighten my coffee, forever to stir in, and once I got it there it separated out into a layer on top and tasted really salty. I got a pure, organic brand with only the ingredients you listed. Any thoughts on this? I was so excited to find the answer. My family has nut allergies so that isn’t an option for me. Thank you!! So looking forward to your response.
I must be on an anti inflammatory diet. I am NEW to having to stick to such strict guidelines. Thank you for your recipes as I too LOVE LOVE my coffee with cream……
Trader Joe’s Soy Creamer…..the best!
Use medjool dates in blender with nuts or oats for just a little sweetness.
Yes! They add a wonderful rich, caramelly quality that I just love too.
I really discovered Ripple, I kinda like it ,I would like to try Ripple half &half, just for options, but so Ripple comes close,one thing about it is it separates ,if it sits a minute.
Nutpods has been my favorite ever since I went vegan 3 years ago. However, it is VERY expensive. Between the coffee pods, stevia and NutPods, I am spending over $150 a month on coffee and provisions. I have tried several other vegan coffee creamers but they either curdle and float on top, leave a sludge in the bottom of the cup, or, in the case of just plant milks, don’t really change the color of the coffee unless you use so much it makes your coffee cold. I found your site while searching for alternatives. I don’t function without my two cups of coffee in the mornings, and I must have it sweetened and creamed, but I need to find a cheaper way. Thank you for the great information!
I hope you can find one that works well for you! Homemade cashew coffee creamer is absolutely delicious too, though it’s not very wallet friendly either.