It's no secret that replacing milk with heavy cream can make any Starbucks drink smoother and velvety.

It's a popular replacement milk for Frappuccinos, making this frozen treat even creamier and more decadent.

If you're like me, you've probably added heavy cream to your favorite drinks at this coffee chain.

However, not all heavy cream contains the same ingredient.

If you're health conscious or just plain curious, it might be helpful to know -- what heavy cream does Starbucks use?

Starbucks uses different brands of heavy cream, depending on the local dairy providers available in the area of a store. 

This means that the exact brand of heavy cream used in Starbucks stores varies.

For example, some locations in the United States, like California, use a different brand from stores in New York.

This also applies to Starbucks stores internationally; the heavy cream in Canada is different from the one they use in the UK.

The Most Commonly Used Brands

However, I did some research, and the most common brand in the US is Borden. 

In Canada, the Dairyland brand of cream is what you'll usually see.

Starbucks uses different brands of heavy cream in stores located in Europe and Asia because they have different local dairy suppliers that Starbucks relies on.

Peaches and Cream Blended Beverage with Starbucks Heavy Cream

What To Know About Starbucks Heavy Cream

Just to be clear, heavy cream is different from the other creams offered in Starbucks cafes.

I was actually a bit confused when I first ordered cream on my drink as the barista listed different types for me, like sweet cream and whipped.

Of course, you can easily distinguish Starbucks whipped cream from heavy cream, but the sweet cream? I thought that was the same as the heavy cream at Starbucks.

Apparently, they're two different things!

The Starbucks sweet cream does contain heavy cream, but it also has other ingredients like vanilla simple syrup and 2% milk.

That's why the sweet cream tastes sweeter than the heavy cream and regular whipped cream.

The Starbucks heavy cream is 100% cow's milk.

It is made by skimming the fattest, thick layer of liquid off the top of the whole milk and contains added ingredients like vitamins, stabilizers, and thickeners, depending on the exact brand.[1]

This type of cream has around 36% to 40% fat, making it dense and heavy.

In fact, heavy creams tend to have the same components, regardless of what brand manufactured them.

So, even if you want to know what heavy cream Starbucks use, it doesn’t really matter.

No matter what brand, you still get a creamy consistency and rich flavor in any heavy cream.

Because of its fat content, Starbucks baristas add a splash of heavy cream instead of adding just straight heavy cream. It will be the case for all different-sized iced drinks and other beverages.

Adding just a splash ensures that your drink doesn't get too fatty and dense. If you want more than a splash of heavy cream, do let your barista know.

Apart from hot and cold beverages, heavy cream is also used in many Starbucks baked goods.

One thing to note, this coffee company doesn’t offer heavy whipped cream or heavy whipping cream.

Starbucks Frappuccino with heavy cream

How Much Does It Cost To Add Heavy Cream At Starbucks?

Good news! There is no additional cost to add heavy cream to your favorite drinks, unlike other dairy products like extra milk or plant-based milk on the menu.

In other words, when you order a grande size iced drink, and you want to add extra heavy cream, you only need to pay for the beverage that you order. Isn't that great?

Many drinks at Starbucks, like their signature drinks, become extra creamy because of heavy cream.

Again, baristas at Starbucks splash heavy cream on all drinks, except for those that call for mixing heavy cream on their recipe.

Even with just a splash, adding cream to Starbucks drinks can give them a creamy texture and sweeter flavor.

So how do you purchase heavy cream at Starbucks? Simple. When you order Starbucks coffee or any other drinks, all you have to do is mention that you want extra heavy cream on your order.

Here’s an example: “One white chocolate mocha with extra heavy cream and vanilla syrup.”

Barista HQ Tip: Chocolate lovers, heavy cream can elevate your favorite chocolate drinks, even the signature hot chocolate. Just ask for a heavy cream, and your chocolate beverage will become extra creamy! You can also ask for a half and half or breve instead of just heavy cream. 
Starbucks Coconut Cream Pie Frappuccino with vanilla sweet cream

Starbucks Cream Nutritional Facts

If you want to know what heavy cream does Starbucks use, it’s not enough to just know the brand that this coffee shop use.

You also know its nutritional contents, especially the calorie content and comparable nutritional values.

This will allow you to understand whether the heavy cream that Starbucks stores use is okay for your diet.

So, let’s find out how many calories, fat, and sugar are in Starbucks heavy cream.


According to the leading national dairy provider, Dairy Pure, a tablespoon of heavy cream (0.5 fl. oz.) contains 50 calories.[2]

However, the brand of heavy cream Starbucks stores use often, Borden only has 45 calories per tablespoon equals half an ounce of heavy cream.[3]

The difference isn't quite significant, so it doesn't matter what brand the specific store uses.

What matters is how much cream you add to your drink, as this will affect the calorie content.


Thick whipping cream or heavy cream is fatty. That's why a tablespoon of Dairy Pure heavy cream and Borden heavy cream contains five grams of fat.

If you want something healthier, replace heavy cream with a lighter creamer or non-dairy milk.


If you are on a no-sugar diet, you’re probably curious about what heavy cream does Starbucks use and its sugar content.

Well, the good news, most heavy creams, like Dairy Pure, don't have any added sugar.

In fact, it contains no sugar at all. However, the Borden brand has one gram of sugar, but it still doesn’t have any added sugar apart from those that come from the natural cream-making process.

Do note that Starbucks sweet cream contains vanilla syrup, which has added sugar.

So, if you’re trying to cut down or avoid sugar, don’t order the Starbucks sweet cream and whipped cream.

Starbucks Frappuccinos lined up on a countertop

Heavy Cream Alternatives At Starbucks

If you find that the heavy cream that Starbucks uses is too heavy, there are many dairy and nondairy substitutes that you can try.

Here are some that could replace heavy cream:

Half and Half (breve)

If you want something lighter than heavy cream, breve can do the trick.

It is simply half milk and half cream, which means that the thickness of the heavy cream is counteracted by the milk.

Coconut Milk

If you can consume dairy products, this heavy cream alternative is a great alternative to heavy cream.

It’s also better than almond milk since it contains more fat.

More Milk

If you're looking to make your drink even milky, ask for extra dairy products for your beverage.

Simply ask for a double serving of milk, and you're all set.

Sweet Cream

For cold coffees like cold brew, adding Starbucks vanilla sweet cream instead of heavy cream can magically transform your drink.

The added vanilla syrup on the sweet cream makes any iced coffee drink creamier and sweeter. You can also ask for a non-dairy sweet cream if you can’t consume dairy products.

Starbucks Heavy Cream Drinks To Try

Coffee lovers, if you want your favorite drinks to be richer and creamier, mixing heavy cream into your cup is the answer.

However, if you're tired of your usual order and want to try something new, check out these drinks:

Vanilla Latte With Heavy Cream

To order this drink, simply ask the Starbucks baristas for espresso shots, steamed milk, a splash of cream, a light layer of foam, and vanilla syrup.

This recipe is so simple you can even order it through the Starbucks mobile app.

Iced Blonde Vanilla Latte with heavy cream

Pink Drink

If caffeine is not your thing, this refreshing beverage is for you. It is made with strawberry acai base, freeze-dried strawberries, coconut milk, heavy cream, milk, and acai base.

For extra creaminess, ask for extra whipped cream.

Low-Carb Pink Drink

Common Starbucks Heavy Cream Questions

How much heavy cream does Starbucks use in a grande drink?

Starbucks uses two ounces of heavy cream in a grande-sized drink.

How much heavy cream is used in iced beverages at Starbucks?

Starbucks uses one ounce of heavy cream in a tall drink, two ounces in a grande, and three ounces in a venti.

Is heavy cream suitable for diet plans?

It depends on your diet plan, but it’s suitable for many popular diets like keto and no sugar.

Do you have to pay for extra whipped cream at Starbucks?

No, you don't have to. Like heavy cream, whipped cream is free of charge. Only other customizations, like adding vanilla syrup or caramel sauce, will cost you extra money.


When it comes to what heavy cream does Starbucks use, we have learned that Starbucks uses different brands of heavy cream, depending on the location of its store

Most coffee shops in the US use Borden, while Canadian stores use Dairyland.

If you really want to know what your store uses, I suggest you ask the barista. They'll be more than happy to let you know!



Kim Fernandez


Kim Fernandez
Kim offers a unique perspective on coffee culture and trends. Kim's writing is personal and experiential, providing readers with firsthand advice on the latest in coffee. Beyond her writing, Kim is an avid explorer of new coffee trends and spots, always seeking to share the most genuine advice and latest trends. True to her love for coffee, you'll often find her in a café, immersed in a book with a freshly brewed cup of joe.

My favorite drink? I'd go with... A freshly brewed cup of joe

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1 thought on “What Heavy Cream Does Starbucks Use? – Barista HQ”

  1. I believe Starbucks heavy cream it is thicker and creamier that the one that can be bought at the supermarket. I usually get it by ordering a venti cup of milk w/ no ice and sub heavy cream for the milk. Starbucks vanilla can be bought on their stores. So I can prepare my own sweet cream at home. 🙃

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