5 Coffee Creamer Alternatives When You're (Absolutely) Desperate

5 Coffee Creamer Alternatives When You're (Absolutely) Desperate

Jake Bonneman Jake Bonneman
4 minutes of coffee drinking

It might surprise you to find out that a lot of the stuff that’s sold as coffee creamer is largely made up of oils and sugar.

Once you realize that a lot of non-dairy creamer products are oil-based, it’s not as weird to think about adding stuff that you normally think of as “oil” to your cup of coffee.

On the other hand, if you normally use these type of non-dairy creamers and you still cringe at the thought of dropping a spoonful of butter or oil in your coffee cup, you may want to re-evaluate using them.

If a smooth, “creamy” cup of coffee is what you’re after, you’ll generally get a better result from options that contain more fat in them.

That doesn’t mean that you need to use additives that are high in fat. There are lots of healthier alternatives you can use to “cream” up your cup of coffee.

However, this list is more focused on creamers you can use “in a pinch” rather than “healthy creamer alternatives.”

If your fridge contained almond milk, or soy milk, or coconut milk, or yak butter, or reindeer cheese, or water buffalo gelato, you probably wouldn’t be looking up coffee creamer alternatives.

So keep that in mind as you evaluate your options—these won’t be for everyone!

But hopefully you’ll be as happy as I was that time I was snowed in without milk and found that half-eaten gallon of vanilla ice cream—miraculously free of freezer burn—and enjoyed affogato for a week straight.

(It was hard to go back to my standard 2% after that glorious week, but I don’t think I could have survived past 3 or 4 days with black coffee—yeah, I’m one of those.)


You may be out of milk, but you’ve got butter, right? …Right?

Real butter is best, but vegetable oil-based spreads can help out in a pinch as well—the thicker, the better. And if you have grass-fed butter available, hell, you’re halfway to making bulletproof coffee.

Coconut Oil

I’ve tried this one during a home creamer shortage, and it definitely works. I mean, it’s a big chunk of what makes bulletproof coffee so impervious to small-arms fire, so that’s no surprise.

While it’s not my personal favorite solution on this list, I can confirm that it works, and coconut oil isn’t the most unhealthy thing either.

Tip: I don’t usually take sugar in my coffee, but I found that adding a little sugar to the coconut oil made the whole thing a bit more appealing to me, but you might be fine without it—just a tip.


I was advised to not knock this one until I’ve tried it. So I won’t.

I will say that eating raw eggs isn’t always the best choice one can make, so if you’re worried about that, choose pasteurized eggs or just skip this one. However, I’ve heard it’s mostly the yolks that make this a viable option, so again, if you have any of the other items on this list, you’ll probably be better off with those.

Peanut Butter

If you’re not vehemently opposed to the strong flavor peanut butter will impart on your cup of coffee—hey, lots of coffees are nutty, right?—this could save you from having to drink black coffee.

I can’t say I’ve tried this one, but some people add peanut butter to their coffee even under normal circumstances, so that gets it a spot on this list.

Ice Cream

By far my personal favorite solution to the “out of creamer” problem, this helped me not only survive, but thrive, during a week snowed inside my house with my usual creamer stores depleted. If they only had ice cream for Bob’s coffee in The Hateful Eight, they probably wouldn’t have been so hateful.

Vanilla-based ice creams will probably serve you best here—however, I could certainly see chocolates, pistachios, and butter-rum types working as well.

Strawberry… let me know how that turns out.

« Back to Blog