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!