How to Make Cold Foam (Fast & Easy DIY Recipe)

Dive into the world of frothy goodness as we whisk you away on a journey to master the art of cold foam right from your kitchen.

In this recipe guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to make cold foam.

Here’s how to make cold foam as good (or better) than your favorite local barista.

Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Cold Foam

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Photo of coffee with cold foam - How to Make Cold Foam
I made this image with Canva – How to Make Cold Foam

You’ll need just a few ingredients to make cold foam, and the great part is that you can easily customize it according to your taste preferences.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of non-fat milk or any milk substitute (almond, oat, soy, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of optional vanilla extract

While non-fat milk is commonly used for its frothing properties, you can opt for milk substitutes like almond, oat, or soy milk.

Sweeteners and flavorings are entirely optional but can add a delectable twist to your foam.

Tools Required to Make Cold Foam

The tools for making cold foam are likely already in your kitchen:

  • A blender or milk frother
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • A tall glass or mug

A blender or milk frother is essential for creating that airy, whipped texture.

Measuring cups and spoons help you keep the ratios accurate, ensuring a consistent taste each time. Finally, a tall glass or mug is necessary for serving your beverage, topped with the heavenly foam.

DIY Cold Foam: Step-by-Step Instructions

Here is what you need to do to make cold foam at home.

By the way, this recipe is based on the Starbucks official “at home” cold foam instructions and my own personal experience.

Prepare the Ingredients

  1. Measure out 1/2 cup of your chosen milk or milk substitute.
  2. If you’re using sugar or vanilla extract, measure them out as well.

Before diving into the blending process, it’s important to measure out all your ingredients.

Accurate measurements ensure that your cold foam turns out perfect every time.

If you’re using sugar or vanilla extract, this is the time to measure those out as well, so they can be easily added to the mix.

Combine the Ingredients

  1. Pour the milk into the blender or milk frother.
  2. Add the sugar and vanilla extract, if using.

After your ingredients are measured, go ahead and pour the milk into your blender or milk frother.

Add the optional sugar and vanilla extract at this point.

Combining all the ingredients before blending ensures that your foam has a uniform flavor and sweetness.


  1. Turn on the blender or milk frother for 30 to 45 seconds.
  2. Watch as the milk transforms into a frothy, airy foam.

The blending stage is where the magic happens.

Once you’ve combined all the ingredients in your blender or milk frother, turn it on and blend for about 30 to 45 seconds.

You’ll notice the milk transform into a frothy, airy foam.

It should double in volume, achieving that light, creamy texture characteristic of cold foam.

Taste and Adjust

  1. Taste the foam to see if it meets your preferences.
  2. Make any necessary adjustments, such as adding more sugar or flavoring.

After blending, it’s crucial to taste your foam to ensure it meets your personal preferences.

If you find that it’s not sweet enough or lacking in flavor, now is the time to make those adjustments.

Simply add the extra ingredients and give it a quick additional blend.


  1. Pour your beverage of choice into a tall glass or mug.
  2. Spoon the cold foam on top and enjoy!

Once your foam is to your liking, it’s time to serve.

Pour your chosen beverage—whether it’s iced coffee, cold brew, or even iced tea—into a tall glass or mug.

Spoon your homemade cold foam on top and enjoy the luxurious texture and flavor it adds to your drink.

Here is a short (but super helpful) TikTok video about how to make cold foam:


Starbucks cold foam at home🔥 Follow the 1,2,3 method: -1 tbsp syrup/sauce -2 tbsp 2% milk -3 tbsp heavy cream Froth with a milk frother for 60 seconds until it’s thicc! Try it and let me know whatcha think✨😎 #athomecoffee #broketobarista #athomebarista #starbucks #starbucksdrinks #athomecoffee #athomecoffeerecipe #coldfoam #coldfoamathome

♬ Dream – Alex Lustig
TikTok video by @katerinafaith – How to Make Cold Foam at Home

Cold Foam Tips and Tricks

If you’re going to go the DIY route, there are some cold foam tips and tricks you should know.

Opt for the Right Milk or Milk Substitute

  • Whole milk provides a creamier, denser foam.
  • Non-fat milk gives a lighter, airier texture.
  • Plant-based options like almond or oat milk are great for those with dietary restrictions.

The type of milk you choose can drastically affect the texture and flavor of your cold foam.

Whole milk will give you a creamier and denser foam, while non-fat milk results in a lighter and airier texture.

If you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, plant-based milk like almond, oat, or soy milk are excellent alternatives, though the texture may vary slightly.

Customize Your Sweeteners and Flavors

  • Traditional sugar provides a straightforward sweetness.
  • Flavored syrups like caramel or vanilla add complexity.
  • Natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup offer a unique twist.

There’s a wide range of sweeteners you can experiment with.

Traditional white sugar will provide a clean, straightforward sweetness. For more complex flavors, consider flavored syrups like caramel, vanilla, or even peppermint.

If you’re aiming for a more natural approach, honey or maple syrup are excellent options, though they come with their own distinctive flavors.

Getting the Perfect Texture

  • Blending for 30-45 seconds usually achieves ideal frothiness.
  • Over-blending can lead to a too-dense foam.
  • Under-blending may result in a watery or flat foam.

The duration of blending can significantly impact your foam’s texture.

Generally, blending for 30 to 45 seconds yields ideal frothiness, but this may vary depending on your equipment and the type of milk you’re using.

Be cautious not to over-blend, as it can make the foam too dense, and under-blending can result in a foam that’s too watery or flat.

Storing Leftover Foam

  • Keep in a sealed container and refrigerate for a maximum of two days.
  • Freshly made foam is best for optimal flavor and texture.

Should you create excess foam, simply place it in a sealed container and keep it chilled in the refrigerator for no more than two days.

However, for the best taste and texture, it’s advisable to consume the foam as soon as it’s made.

Experiment with Spice Toppings

  • A sprinkle of cinnamon or cocoa powder can enhance the flavor.
  • Try zesting a bit of lemon or orange peel for a citrusy kick.

After you’ve made your cold foam and added it to your beverage, consider finishing it off with a sprinkle of something extra.

Cinnamon or cocoa powder are classic choices that add a nice touch.

For a unique twist, try adding a bit of zest from a lemon or orange peel.

How To Make Your Cold Foam as Good as Starbucks

Image of coffee with cold foam - How to Make Cold Foam
I made this image – How to Make Cold Foam

Starbucks might have popularized cold foam, but that doesn’t mean you can’t recreate or even surpass their version at home.

Here are steps and tips to achieve that Starbucks-quality cold foam:

1. Freshness Matters

Always use fresh milk. The fresher the milk, the better the foam.

It’s all about the protein structures, which degrade over time. Fresh milk ensures that the proteins can trap air effectively.

On the Starbucks website, they measure out 1/4 milk instead of 1/2.

2. Chill Your Tools

Place your frother, whisk, or blender in the refrigerator for a few minutes before making your foam.

A cold tool can help achieve a more stable foam.

3. Flavor Syrups

Starbucks often adds vanilla or other flavored syrups to their foam.

For a touch of sweetness and flavor, add a splash of your preferred syrup before frothing.

4. Perfect the Technique

If using a manual frother or whisk, ensure you’re whisking vigorously to incorporate as much air as possible.

With an electric frother, let it run until you achieve the desired consistency.

5. Serve Immediately

Cold foam is best when fresh.

Pour it over your beverage immediately after frothing to enjoy its full texture and flavor.

By following these steps and tips, you’ll be sipping on a homemade beverage that rivals, if not outshines, the Starbucks experience.

17+ Cold Foam Variations

Let’s look at some delicious cold foam variations.

Vanilla Cold Foam

  • 1/2 cup skim or non-fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Adding a touch of vanilla extract gives the foam a subtle but delightful fragrance and flavor.

Caramel Cold Foam

  • 1/2 cup skim or non-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon caramel syrup

Elevate your foam with the indulgence of caramel.

Pair it with an iced latte or a caramel-flavored drink for the full experience.

Chocolate Cold Foam

  • 1/2 cup skim or non-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

For chocolate lovers, this is a dream come true.

Add cocoa powder to your milk and blend for a chocolatey delight.

Matcha Cold Foam

  • 1/2 cup skim or non-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder

The earthy taste of matcha adds a unique and trendy twist to the foam, pairing well with green tea or matcha-flavored drinks.

Peppermint Cold Foam

  • 1/2 cup skim or non-fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

This foam is perfect for the holidays, but its refreshing flavor is welcome year-round.

Coconut Cold Foam

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut

Swap out the regular milk for coconut milk and add some shredded coconut for a tropical vibe.

Pumpkin Spice Cold Foam

  • 1/2 cup skim or non-fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice mix

The seasonal favorite—make it at home and savor the autumnal flavors any time of the year.

Lavender Cold Foam

  • 1/2 cup skim or non-fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon lavender syrup

The floral note of lavender syrup brings a calming element to your foam, making it a unique choice.

Chai Cold Foam

  • 1/2 cup skim or non-fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon chai spice mix

Add a burst of spices by incorporating a chai spice mix into your foam, perfect for pairing with iced chai lattes.

Honey Cold Foam

  • 1/2 cup skim or non-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Honey offers natural sweetness and a distinct, rich flavor.

Maple Cold Foam

  • 1/2 cup skim or non-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Maple syrup provides a different kind of sweetness that’s perfect for fall beverages.

Almond Joy Cold Foam

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut

A nod to the candy bar, this foam uses almond milk, cocoa powder, and shredded coconut to recreate the Almond Joy experience.

Apple Cinnamon Cold Foam

  • 1/2 cup skim or non-fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple syrup
  • Dash of cinnamon

Combine apple syrup with a dash of cinnamon for a fall-inspired treat.

Nutty Cold Foam

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon hazelnut syrup

Mix almond milk with hazelnut syrup for a nutty variation.

Lemon Zest Cold Foam

  • 1/2 cup skim or non-fat milk
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Zest a lemon into your foam for a tangy and refreshing twist.

Berry Cold Foam

  • 1/2 cup skim or non-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon berry syrup

Add berry syrup to your foam for a fruity spin on your cold beverages.

Earl Grey Cold Foam

  • 1/2 cup skim or non-fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Earl Grey tea extract

For tea lovers, adding a hint of Earl Grey makes for a sophisticated foam.

Gingerbread Cold Foam

  • 1/2 cup skim or non-fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon gingerbread spice mix

Create seasonal magic with gingerbread spice, perfect for the winter holidays.

Mojito Cold Foam

  • 1/2 cup skim or non-fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
  • Zest of 1 lime

The Mojito cold foam is a non-alcoholic, refreshing twist with mint extract and lime zest.

Troubleshooting Cold Foam

When things go wrong with your cold foam, try these troubleshooting tips.

Foam Is Too Runny

Nobody wants runny foam.

  • Likely caused by under-blending.
  • Solution: Blend for a longer period, usually 30 to 45 seconds.

Foam Is Too Dense

On the other hand, maybe your cold foam is way too dense.

  • Could be due to over-blending or using a milk with high-fat content.
  • Solution: Shorten the blend time or use a milk with less fat.

Foam Separates Quickly

If you’re foam breaks apart too easily, consider these ideas.

  • Possible issue with the type of milk used.
  • Solution: Switch to a milk or milk substitute known for better frothing, like non-fat milk or whole milk.

Foam Lacks Flavor

One of the common issues is flavorless foam.

  • Perhaps you didn’t add enough flavoring or sweetener.
  • Solution: Add more of your chosen flavor or sweetener and re-blend briefly.

Serving Suggestions

Cold foam can transform a variety of beverages, adding a creamy, frothy layer that enhances both flavor and texture.

Below are 20 unique serving suggestions to inspire your cold foam creations:

  1. Iced Latte Art — Use cold foam as a canvas for latte art on an iced latte. A dash of cocoa or cinnamon on top of the foam creates both aesthetic and flavorful accents that elevate the entire experience.
  2. Tropical Smoothie Topper — Add a scoop of coconut-flavored cold foam to the top of a tropical smoothie. The creaminess of the foam blends well with fruity flavors like mango, pineapple, or banana.
  3. Lemonade Lift — For a non-caffeinated option, top a glass of lemonade with lemon zest cold foam. The tangy foam amplifies the lemonade’s natural zest while adding a textural contrast.
  4. Spiked Cold Beverages — Elevate your adult beverages by adding a layer of cold foam. Try vanilla cold foam on an iced Irish coffee or caramel cold foam on a bourbon iced tea for an extra layer of complexity.
  5. Iced Matcha Latte — Matcha pairs wonderfully with cold foam, especially if it’s flavored with a complementary syrup like vanilla or lavender. The foam’s texture also blends well with the earthy creaminess of the matcha.
  6. Iced Chai Latte — Spice up your iced chai latte with a chai-flavored cold foam. The foam’s spices blend seamlessly with the latte, creating a more integrated flavor profile.
  7. Berry-Infused Iced Tea — Top an iced berry tea with berry-flavored cold foam for a fruit-forward beverage. The berry foam intensifies the natural fruit flavors in the tea, making it a delightful summertime treat.
  8. Minty Mocktails — If you enjoy mocktails, consider adding a mint cold foam to a virgin mojito. The minty foam complements the lime and soda, adding a creamy texture to this refreshing drink.
  9. Apple Cider Bliss — In the autumn months, add a scoop of apple cinnamon cold foam to a chilled apple cider. The spice of the cinnamon and the tartness of the apple in the foam enhance the cider’s natural flavors.
  10. Chocolate Milk Makeover — Upgrade a simple glass of chocolate milk with a topping of chocolate-flavored cold foam. It’s like having a liquid dessert in a cup, with the foam enhancing the chocolatey goodness.
  11. Herbal Tea Harmony — Top off a glass of iced herbal tea, like chamomile or peppermint, with some vanilla cold foam. It adds a layer of subtle sweetness and texture that complements the tea’s natural flavors.
  12. Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice — During the fall season, add some pumpkin spice cold foam to your iced pumpkin spice latte. It doubles down on the autumnal flavors and makes your drink extra festive.
  13. Coconut Water Cooler — Add a splash of tropical flavor by placing a dollop of coconut cold foam on top of chilled coconut water. It’s a hydrating and tasty option for hot summer days.
  14. Wine Spritzer Elevation — Yes, you can even add cold foam to wine spritzers. A citrus-flavored cold foam pairs wonderfully with white wine and soda, adding a zesty twist.
  15. Iced Espresso Explosion — Layer a strong, robust cold foam over a shot or two of iced espresso. It will balance the espresso’s intensity while adding a creamy, frothy texture.
  16. Fruity Soda Fizz — Take your favorite clear, fruity soda and top it with a similarly flavored cold foam. The foam’s texture will contrast nicely with the soda’s fizziness, making for an exciting drink experience.
  17. Ginger Beer Boost — A spiced cold foam on top of ginger beer adds another dimension to this already zesty drink. It works especially well if you’re making a mocktail version of a Moscow Mule.
  18. Nitro Cold Brew Combo — If you have access to nitro cold brew, adding cold foam makes the drink even more velvety and luxurious, enhancing the unique characteristics of nitro-infused beverages.
  19. Breakfast Smoothie — Start your morning with a nutrient-packed smoothie topped with a protein-infused cold foam. It’s a delightful way to add some excitement to your regular breakfast routine.
  20. Ice Cream Foam Float — For a dessert-inspired treat, pour a scoop of vanilla or caramel ice cream into a glass. Slowly pour in your favorite chilled coffee or tea, letting it rise halfway up the glass. Then, top off with a salted caramel or chocolate cold foam.

Cold Foam FAQs

Let’s answer some of the most common questions people ask about how to make cold foam.

Its rise in popularity can largely be attributed to chains like Starbucks, which introduced cold foam as a topping for their iced beverages, giving customers a whole new drinking experience.

What Is Cold Foam?

Cold foam is a modern twist on the traditional steamed milk foam used in beverages like cappuccinos.

Unlike steamed foam, which is warm and velvety, cold foam is light, airy, and cold.

Can I Use Any Milk for Cold Foam?

Yes, you can use any type of milk or milk substitute to make cold foam.

However, each type will yield a different texture and flavor profile. For instance, whole milk will result in a creamier, denser foam, while non-fat milk will give you a lighter, airier texture.

Plant-based options like almond or oat milk are also usable but may provide a less frothy outcome.

How Long Does Homemade Cold Foam Last?

Homemade cold foam is best consumed immediately for optimal flavor and texture.

Keep in mind that the foam may lose some of its frothiness and separate over time, even when stored properly.

Is a Blender the Only Option for Making Cold Foam?

While a blender is the most common kitchen appliance used for making cold foam, it’s not the only option.

Handheld milk frothers are also effective and convenient for smaller batches.

Some high-end coffee machines also come with a frothing feature that can be used to make cold foam.

Can I Double the Recipe?

Absolutely, you can double or even triple the recipe to make more cold foam.

Just be cautious not to overfill your blending device, as this could impact the quality of the foam and potentially cause a mess.

What Beverages Pair Well with Cold Foam?

Cold foam is incredibly versatile and pairs well with a variety of beverages.

Popular choices include cold brew coffee, iced lattes, and iced teas.

For a non-caffeinated option, try adding cold foam to flavored lemonades or mocktails.

The foam adds a creamy, frothy element that enhances almost any cold drink.

Do I Need Special Equipment to Make Cold Foam?

Not necessarily.

While specialized equipment like milk frothers or high-end blenders can make the process easier and potentially yield better results, a standard home blender should suffice for most recipes.

The key to good foam is more about the technique and the ingredients you use.

Can I Make Vegan Cold Foam?

Yes, you can make vegan cold foam by using plant-based milk like almond, oat, or soy milk.

However, the texture might differ slightly from traditional dairy-based foam.

Some plant-based milks froth better than others, so you may need to experiment to find the one that works best for you.

Can I Add Flavors or Sweeteners After Making the Foam?

Adding flavors or sweeteners after the foam is made can be a bit tricky, as it might deflate the foam.

It’s generally recommended to add any flavors or sweeteners during the blending process for best results.

Is Cold Foam Healthy?

The healthiness of cold foam depends on the ingredients used.

Using non-fat or skim milk and minimal sweeteners can make for a relatively healthy topping.

However, adding flavored syrups or sugary additions will naturally increase the calorie and sugar content.

How Do I Make My Cold Foam Thicker or Thinner?

The thickness of your cold foam can be adjusted by the type of milk used and the blending time.

For a thicker foam, use whole milk and blend for a shorter period.

For a thinner foam, use skim or non-fat milk and blend for a longer time.

Final Thoughts: How to Make Cold Foam

Now, armed with the secrets of cold foam, you’re all set to turn your kitchen into a personal café.

Every sip is a testament to your barista prowess – creamy, dreamy, and oh-so-refreshing. Cheers to your cold foam adventures!

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