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I like a seasonally-flavored latte from the coffee shop as much as the next person. Well, maybe not quite as much, because I always feel like they’re too sugary for me. That’s why I like to make my own coffee creamer! Since Christmas is coming up, gingerbread is the perfect festive flavor to add to your coffee. There are so many benefits to making your own flavored coffee creamer. You can control how sweet you like it and you know that there will be no artificial flavors or weird preservatives added. You can also make the amount that’s right for you—those huge coffee creamers from the store are wayyy more than I can drink. On top of all of that, it’s SUPER EASY!!
What makes the creamer taste like gingerbread?
You can make gingerbread with all sorts of spices, but the big three are ginger (duh), molasses, and cinnamon. Some people add allspice, cloves, nutmeg, etc., but to keep things simple, we’ll just go with the big three for our gingerbread coffee creamer. All we have to do is infuse our milk of choice with these three ingredients, and that’s it!
How to infuse milk with flavors
Easy! Add heat. I honestly don’t know the science behind why heat helps milk latch onto flavors, but it does. Not too much heat though, because the protein in milk can get clumpy and coagulate as water evaporates out. I learned this when I made my first batch and the milk started getting a little clumpy on the bottom of the pan. The Kitchn has a simple article on the science behind this if you want to learn more. But anyway, the key is to heat the milk slowly and keep an eye on it, stirring frequently. If it starts to get a little clumpy, just take it off the heat right away and don’t worry because we will strain it anyway! You won’t have clumps in your creamer. Then we leave the milk, molasses, ginger, and cinnamon to infuse for a half hour as the milk cools down. You could put the mixture in the fridge and let it infuse for even longer if you like, but be careful—ginger and cinnamon can get really strong!
If you try this recipe, please let me know what you think in the comments!Print
A perfectly festive addition to your morning coffee—without all the artificial flavors or weird preservatives!
- 1 cup milk of your choice (see Notes)
- 1–2 tbsp molasses (I use 1 but I prefer less sweetness)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 inch peeled ginger, sliced
- pinch of salt
- Add all ingredients to a small pot and put over low heat.
- Keep watch and stir frequently for 5–10 minutes. You want to see steam coming off of the milk, but you DO NOT want to simmer/boil it. Tilt the pot frequently to check the bottom and make sure milk is not getting too hot and coagulating. (If it does start to develop a skin on top or coagulate on the bottom, it’s okay, just take it off the heat right away.)
- Take the pot off the heat and cover for 30 minutes.
- Strain milk into a jar or bottle and refrigerate.
- A higher fat milk like half & half will begin coagulating faster than a lower fat milk like 2% so just keep that in mind! Coagulated milk won’t change the taste or ruin the recipe and we’ll strain it out at the end so don’t be concerned if it happens.
- I have not tested this recipe with non-dairy milk. I know they heat differently and may separate/curdle at a lower heat than dairy milk. From my short peek on Google it sounds like coconut or almond milk may work best, and soy milk should be avoided.
Keywords: creamer, coffee, milk, gingerbread