Tips, Tricks, And Recipes For Making Incredibly Beautiful And Truly Delicious Coffee Toppers

14 min read DEC 21, 2023

Coffee isn’t just a beverage, it’s an experience. And, this is likely why so many people enjoy adding a little something extra to their brews, hot and cold.

Sometimes these additions are simple - a splash of cream, a pinch of sweetness.

Other times, the extras can be incredibly detailed - one pump of vanilla syrup, a drop of peppermint extract, one teaspoon of cocoa powder, a little blending, a touch of frothing, all to be finished off with a candy cane garnish.

Ahh, then there’s foam or whipped cream toppings, and let me just say, such additions to a perfectly prepared cup of coffee are truly, fully, and wholly my love language!

The light, airy foam that rests atop a cappuccino…

A firm, creamy, cold foam that covers an iced coffee…

A pillowy cloud of whipped cream drizzled with caramel sauce gracing the surface of a freshly brewed cup of joe…

These coffee toppers can truly enhance any brew in a variety of ways!

  • Coffee toppers bring an added beauty to your brew.
  • They bring a pleasantly soft texture which graces your lip as you sip.
  • Coffee toppers can even slightly thicken your entire cup.

Then, such toppings also enhance the flavor of your coffee, and not just because of the variety of spices, sweeteners, and syrups you can (potentially) add to each one individually.

How can a simple addition of whipped or frothed, and sometimes flavored, milk or cream do all of that?

Let’s find out…

Why Are Coffee Toppers So Amazing?

We don’t want to spend too much time counting the ways we love coffee toppers as that would cut into the fabulous tips, tricks, and recipes we’ll soon be sharing.

But, before we dive into the how-to of it all, there are some scientific and practical reasons such coffee additions are so…well…as the heading aptly states - amazing!

First, aesthetics play a huge role in your enjoyment of a food or beverage.

When your cup of coffee looks tasty and appealing this sends messages of intrigue to your brain and taste buds beckoning you to sip.

And, with a coffee topper, the contrast in color between the deeply dark brewed coffee resting beneath a pale white cloud of frothed foam or whipped cream is simply stunning.

In other words, a pillowy, cloud-like foam or whipped cream adds a beautiful enhancement to your sipping pleasure.

Then, the texture and flavor of your cup changes with such toppings as well.

As the foamy or creamy cloud atop your brew graces your lips and tongue, you quickly realize this sip is unlike any ordinary coffee sampling.

The silky, smooth texture of the topper provides something akin to a filter through which you sip your java, and this serves to add both flavor and a fanciful finish to each and every sip.

And, since pretty much any foam topper or whipped cream contains milk (dairy or non dairy), this also adds fat to your brew, and even a little bit of fat added to coffee serves to tame its typical bitterness.


Whether you’re using coconut milk, heavy cream, 2% milk, oat milk, or a similar base for your coffee topper, the fat content of such additions binds to the polyphenolic compounds in coffee resulting in what some refer to as a softening, or essentially a cutting or taming of the bitter taste many associate with coffee.

Of course, you can also add sweeteners, spices, fruits, and other flavorings to such creams and foams, which will slightly alter the flavor of your coffee in other, more specific, ways.

And, that’s what we’re ready to do now…show you all the ways you can transform your hot or iced brews with incredible coffee toppers!

Tips, Tricks, And Incredible Coffee Topper Recipes

I want you to be able to enhance any brew, in any way, at any time…so instead of simply sharing a few recipes here, first you’ll see a few tips and ideas for adding flavor, texture, and even health to each style of coffee topper - cold foam, hot foam, and whipped cream.

Then, I’ll share a specific recipe or two, so you can see such additions “in action.”

Let’s start with the incredibly popular hot/cold foam.

First, let’s look at equipment.

A blender, handheld frother, or an electric frother are all great tools for making foam toppers, hot or cold, for your coffee.

Of those three options, an electric frother is probably your best choice simply because these do all of the work for you including allowing you to select between a heated and cold setting.

Then, after you grab a blender, handheld frother, or an electric version, the next thing to consider is what type of milk or cream you’ll use to make your foam.

When selecting a milk to use in making a foam coffee topper, the first thing to note is that when milk foam is made, the stability of the milk changes.

Because of this, both the temperature and fat content of the milk will affect the consistency of the foam.

This means that some milks, specifically some non dairy milks, may not yield the same texture as other options.

For instance, dairy milks make a very stable foam (hot or cold), as does heavy cream and half and half. However, adding some spices, like cinnamon, to skim or 2% milk when creating a warm foam can make the topper much less stable, meaning it will quickly dissolve and absorb into your brew.

Then, some non dairy options like coconut milk, particularly when warmed, often fall flat when it comes to any attempts at producing a firm, stable foam.

Overall, trial and error are your best bet when it comes to finding your personal favorite foam, but my recommendations for foam topper bases, from experience, are as follows:

Cold Foam Coffee Topper Tips

- Heavy cream, half and half, and conventional creamers froth up beautifully and they’re very stable. You have to be careful not to froth cold heavy cream too much though, otherwise it’ll become whipped cream (which we’ll explore in a moment), but a little frothing is just fine.

These options also make great bases for flavor additions like spices, fruit purees, sugars, syrups, and more.

- Dairy milks - skim, 2%, and whole milk - each make very stable cold foams on their own. However, as we briefly mentioned, skim and 2% milks can get a little tricky with the addition of textured ingredients such as spices. This doesn’t mean they won’t froth at all, but sometimes these additions can cause the foam to dissipate more rapidly.

- Non dairy milks also froth well, and I personally prefer a hand frother for most of these options. Using a hand frother with non dairy milks gives you a bit more control and visibility while frothing.

If you enjoy oat or almond milk, these make a pretty stable cold foam, despite any ingredient additions.

Cashew and Coconut milk will make a foam, but these tend to be slightly more fatty, even oily, and this can frustrate foam efforts.

Hot Foam Coffee Topper Tips

  • Heavy cream and half and half, believe it or not, will make a great hot foam topper for your coffee. Once frothed, they seem a bit thinner, but they still rest beautifully on top of your brew.


  • When it comes to dairy milks, I’ve never had trouble making a warm foam as each of these were very stable, velvety, and silky smooth.


  • As far as non dairy options, I will say that cashew milk and coconut milk (from a carton) don’t make very good hot foams. Trying to create foams from these options resulted in merely making large bubbles in the milk.

Almond and oat milk, however, produce decently stable warm foams.

Now for foam addition options as well as few recipes to try in…or rather on top of…your brew.

Spices - I love adding spices to my coffee toppers, and most spices possess a variety of health benefits as well, so it’s a win-win.

When adding spices to a hot or cold foam topper, you won’t need more than a pinch or so.

As a general rule of thumb, with cinnamon I don’t add more than ¼ a teaspoon for foam, and with ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, allspice, pumpkin spice, ground star anise, and more, I simply opt for a pinch.

Extracts - From pure vanilla to mint, maple, almond extract, and more, I treat these additions to foam much like spices. In other words, a little goes a very long way…with the exception of vanilla.

Pure vanilla extract typically isn’t as concentrated as peppermint, maple, etc. so I typically use about ½ a teaspoon in any foam topper, hot or cold.

The others, however, I would not recommend exceeding ¼ teaspoon in any foam. Generally, I use a dropper to add single drops of these liquids to my milk foam base. Without a dropper, I typically use ⅛ a teaspoon.

Sweets- Maple syrup, cane sugar, powdered sugar, brown sugar, honey, flavored syrups and sauces…these can all easily be added to any foam.

When I do add sweetness to foam toppers though, I generally cut back the amount I use in my coffee, if I use any at all.

Like the spices and extracts, to sweeten your cold or hot foam, you’ll simply add a desired amount to your milk or cream of choice, then froth before topping your brew.

Fruits - Obviously you can’t plop a blueberry or strawberry into your milk and expect it to create a beautiful and delicious foam, but you can make tasty, concentrated fruit syrups and purees, each of which can easily be stirred into your milk choice prior to frothing.

Versatile - Personally, I like to add collagen to my coffee. And, adding collagen to foam not only grants you the health benefits of this addition, but I’ve found that collagen makes any foam remain stable for longer periods of time, hot or cold.

Both collagen and our MitoCreamer powder are easy, healthy, versatile additions that won’t change the flavor of your foam or coffee, but they’ll enhance both its health profile and texture.

Hot And Cold Foam Recipes

Truly, when making cold or hot foam, you can use any of the above additions. Add these according to your taste preferences, then top your brew for enhanced flavor and health.

For example, this Sweet Cinnamon Oat Foam is my new favorite that I like to use to top any spice themed flavored iced coffee selection as well as my personal favorite, cold brewed Lifeboost Light Roast Coffee.


  • ½ cup unsweetened oat milk, extra creamy if possible
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 scoop collagen
  • 1 teaspoon honey


  • Add oat milk, honey, and collagen to a glass jar and stir to fully incorporate collagen and honey. (Because of the collagen and honey here, I like to add this extra step of incorporating the ingredients in a jar, making sure they’re well combined, prior to frothing.)
  • Add cinnamon to the oat milk mixture, then froth using a handheld frother until thick and velvety.
  • Top cold brewed coffee, or if you don’t mind a hot and cold mixture, top a freshly brewed cup of coffee and sip immediately (the cold foam will slightly cool the hot coffee as you sip).

Then, I personally love using extracts in warm foams to top my coffee. These mix very well in heavy cream.

For instance, this Warm Mocha Mint Foam Topper is phenomenal with Lifeboost Peppermint Mocha Coffee, or for a less intense mint flavor, you can use it to top our Dark Roast Coffee as well.


  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ⅛ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate sauce (see recipe below)


  • Add all ingredients to an electric frother and froth on the heated setting.
  • Pour warm coffee topper onto a freshly brewed cup of coffee.

2 Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Syrup

  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Add syrup and cocoa powder to a bowl and mix until well combined. Use immediately or store leftover syrup in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.

Of course, we can’t forget the unique and delicious addition of fruit to both coffee and foam toppers.

My all-time favorite fruity addition to foam is blueberries. And, this blueberry foam topper is amazing on our Blueberry Cinnamon Crumble Coffee as well as our Patriot Coffee, which incorporates the flavors of white chocolate, blueberries, and raspberries.

For this Creamy Blueberry Cold Foam you’ll need to make a blueberry syrup prior to frothing, but it’s super simple and definitely worth the effort. (*I like to add a few tablespoons of the blueberry syrup to my coffee prior to topping as well.)


  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons blueberry syrup (see recipe below)


  • Add heavy cream and blueberry syrup to an electric frother and froth on the cold setting.
  • Top iced or cold brewed coffee with blueberry cold foam (and drizzle a little extra blueberry syrup on top if you’d like).

Blueberry Syrup

  • 2 cups fresh, or defrosted frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup cane sugar

Place blueberries and water in a blender and blend until completely liquified. Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer over a small saucepan. Press juice through the strainer into the saucepan, and discard remaining pulp. Add sugar to the blended blueberry/water mixture in the pan. Heat over medium heat, stirring to combine. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Be sure sugar is completely dissolved. Cool to room temperature and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks in an airtight container.

And, now let’s consider whipped cream as a coffee topper.

Like foams, you can transform your coffee in delicious ways when you make your own whipped cream toppings.

Also like foams, making a whipped cream coffee topper requires a bit of equipment.

When making a delicious whipped cream to top your coffee, you can use a handheld frother, a whisk, or a mixer.

Obviously a whisk will require a bit more effort on your part, but if you don’t have a mixer or frother, a whisk will certainly do.

Then, another element that I’ve found to be necessary is a chilled bowl.

I realize this isn’t exactly a technical piece of equipment, but using a chilled bowl (and cold heavy cream) will cause the cream to whip much easier, no matter your equipment choice.

Just like cold and hot foams, the beauty of whipped cream is that you can add a variety of ingredients to these coffee toppers.

With whipped cream, however, these toppers are a little less particular when it comes to additions, therefore you can truly add just about any spice, extract, sugar, or syrup to your base.

The only caveat here is that you don’t want to add too much liquid to the cream, otherwise it won’t whip as well.

Unlike foams, there’s only a few bases for making whipped cream - heavy cream and canned coconut milk or cream.

And, since we thoroughly detailed the additions of spices, extracts, sweets, and fruit for foams, we won’t be redundant and list them again here. Instead, we’ll simply close things out today with a few fabulous, and simple, whipped cream topping recipes to enhance your coffee.

Whipped Cream Coffee Topper Recipes

A household favorite here for the fall and winter months is to add apple or pumpkin butter to heavy cream to make an Apple Butter or Pumpkin Butter Whipped Cream Coffee Topper.

The apple butter addition pairs perfectly with Lifeboost Cinnamon Apple Streusel Coffee, and the pumpkin butter whipped topping is great on a variety of our seasonal flavors such as Pumpkin Spice Coffee, Eggnog Latte Coffee, Gingerbread Latte Coffee, and any of our classic roasts.


  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons apple butter or pumpkin butter


  • Add cold heavy cream and sweetened, flavored butter (your choice) to a chilled mixing bowl.
  • Mix on medium speed until soft peaks form.
  • Spoon a dollop or two of the flavored whipped cream onto iced or freshly brewed coffee, and enjoy!

Then, as we mentioned above, you can use canned, chilled coconut milk to make a variety of whipped coffee toppers as well.

One delicious whipped cream topper for an Irish coffee is this Brown Sugar And Cinnamon Coconut Cream.


  • 1 15 ounce can of full fat coconut milk, chilled
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Scoop out the firm coconut cream from the top of the can, then discard the liquid beneath.
  • Add brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla to the coconut cream in a bowl.
  • Mix with a hand mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Soft to medium peaks should begin to form.
  • Add a few dollops of whipped coconut cream to your favorite hot brew or Irish coffee cocktail.


Truly, the world is your coffee topping oyster when it comes to making fabulous foams and whipped creams.

Just follow the tips and suggestions listed throughout this article, align these recommendations with your personal preferences and needs, then either froth or whip your way to a tasty coffee topper!

Bonus…You can even use eggnog to make a delicious cold foam topper for your favorite holiday brew!

For this one (Eggnog Cold Foam Coffee Topper), I simply add about a ⅓ cup of cold eggnog (homemade or store bought) and ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg to an electric frother. Froth on the cold setting, then pour over iced coffee or cold brew.


And, be sure to let us know your favorite way to top your brew!

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Grata Medium Roast.

Headshot of Becky Livingston Vance
Becky Livingston Vance Content writer

Becky is a mother, educator, and content writer for Lifeboost Coffee. She has had three years’ experience as a writer, and in that time she has enjoyed creatively composing articles and ebooks covering the topics of coffee, health and fitness, education, recipes, and relationships.


Drop a Comment

All comments are moderated before being published