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Homemade & Healthy Cream Soda

Homemade Cream Soda - much healthier than canned soda, and you control the amount of sugar.

Did you know that you can make your own healthy soda at home?

It’s not hard at all!

IMG_0043 Healthy Cream Soda

And it’s absolutely delicious in a cream soda float!

Use your favorite coconut, vanilla, or homemade Healthy Ice Cream.

(S is not a fan of coconut, which gave me a great excuse to try out a cashew-based version for our floats.)

Healthy Cream Soda

Way back in the 1920s, my great grandmother would make homemade soda in her basement, then invite all the neighbors over for a party.

Well, soda is not all she made in her basement. But we probably shouldn’t go into that… 😉

Homemade root beer and ginger ale were her specialties; however I’ve always liked cream soda best, and so I adapted my great grandma’s homemade soda technique for the recipe I’m posting today: homemade and healthy cream soda, high in B vitamins, and much lower in sugar than the cola you’d get from a store.

Homemade Cream Soda

Homemade Cream Soda

  • 1/4 cup warm water (60g) (about 110 degrees F)
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar or regular sugar or agave (12g)
  • pinch stevia extract, or 2-3 tbsp sweetener of choice
  • 1/4 tsp brewers or dry active yeast (see below for yeast-free version)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (2g)
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 strip lemon zest (2-in or so)
  • 2 cups water (480g)
  • 32oz soda bottle, with a cap

Dissolve the 1 tbsp sugar (not xylitol or stevia) in the water, then sprinkle the yeast over top. Set aside 6-10 minutes, or until it bubbles. (If it doesn’t bubble, either your yeast is bad or your water was too hot.) Meanwhile, put all other ingredients into the soda bottle and shake well. Pour the bubbly yeast mixture into the soda bottle, either using a funnel or pouring through a paper cup with a small hole at the bottom. Shake, then put the cap on the bottle and store it in a warm, dry place. Wait about a day and a half (no longer), then slowly open the bottle over the sink—just in case. Your soda is ready to drink, or store it in the fridge. I’m sure that if you want instant cream soda, you could just use carbonated water and skip the yeast

For Instant Cream Soda: Omit the yeast and the 1 tbsp sugar. Use carbonated water for all the water in the recipe. Stir all ingredients together, and there is no need to wait.

Click for: Cream Soda Nutrition Facts

Healthy Cream Soda  IMG_0043  Homemade Cream Soda

Question of the Day:

Pepsi, Coke, Sprite, Dr. Pepper… What’s your favorite type of soda?

When I was really little, I loved to buy orange sodas from the vending machine at a park near our house. But I’d never actually drink the sodas, as I didn’t like the sugary sweetness or carbonation. This was always a struggle between my mother and me… she knew the only reason I’d ask for money for a soda was because I liked pushing the button and watching it fall from the machine. The actual drink would end up in the trash after a few sips. Looking back, I tell my mom she should’ve been happy about this; she didn’t have to deal with a crazy-hyper kid on a sugar high!

Link of the Day:

Low Calorie Cheesecake
……Greek Yogurt Cheesecake

 5/5 (1)

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Published on April 29, 2013

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
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ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day.

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114 Comments

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  1. Sadye says

    I’m not much for pop, either, but beyond the occasional craving for a Pepsi on a really hot day (??), the most recent ones I’ve loved are the Jarritos Mexican sodas. There are several fruity flavors, and our favorite Mexican restaurant growing up served them — tons of good memories associated with Jarritos!

    • Anonymous says

      I know, I’m so excited. I believe one of the main reasons that Americans are so obese is that we drink a lot of soda (I’m not saying that soda causes obesity, or that if you cut soda out of your diet, you won’t get obese), and we don’t feel like exercising it off. And we drink probably more than one 12-oz can everyday.

  2. Mike says

    You should add the Root Beer recipe to the article if you have it. We love Root Beer Floats but dont’ have them often due to the ingredients…

  3. Amanda F says

    I had no idea it was so easy to make homemade soda. I love cream soda & root beer floats, but rarely order or make them because of all the sugar. I can’t wait to try this receipe.

  4. kathy says

    I gave up soda (pop) in the 90’s, but the recipe sounds interesting and I may try it just out of curiosity, plus I know it wouldn’t be near as sweet as regular soda. Also, is it just my computer, or did your print button disappear? Thanks

  5. Tanner says

    I only like cream soda and its variations, and root beer. I don’t drink any soda with aspartame, though, so I rarely drink soda. I don’t like the carbonation, and I always stir the bubbles out of my soda or wait for it to go flat.

  6. [email protected] OmNom Love says

    Katie, your recipes never disappoint! I am sooooo excited to make this!
    I used to love root beer and we would buy a brand called Virgil’s. Recently, I had a taste and it’s too sweet for me now. :\ I’ll admit I was a little disappointed, but now I can make my own! Thank you so much! 😀

  7. Catherine says

    Oh my goodness, i’m definitely going to try this recipe. I used to LOVE cream soda. I stopped having fizzy drinks 5 or 6 years ago now i think and this looks yummy!

  8. Stacey says

    I gave up soda a long time ago but cream soda always remained a favorite. Do you think you could use sucanat for the sugar?

  9. Amy says

    Really?? It’s that easy? Your grandma must have hosted quite a few parties if her sodas were on the menu — yours looks amazing! My guy goes through almost an entire 2-liter of soda (Dr. Pepper, root beer, Coke, ginger ale, you name it) every day. It got a little expensive, so we borrowed his aunt’s carbon dioxide tank and make our own. It’s really fun, but since I love the smell of yeast, your version of soda sounds even better!

  10. Daniela says

    Root Beer, for me, is the only soda worth drinking. If I have to choose between any soda (besides Root Beer) or water, I will choose water every time!

    Do a homemade version of Root Beer PLEASE! I love your recipes and they always work and turn out AMAZING!

  11. Lisa says

    I’m not a huge soda fan, but I’m super intrigued by this recipe.
    Very interesting! I never thought of making my own soda ever!
    Maybe I’ll have to give it a try.
    I actually always loved vanilla coke, but was sad when they discontinued it, otherwise not a huge pop drinker.

    • Chocolate Covered Katie says

      I know :(. It’s a legal thing. I used to post a lot more pictures of friends back when I first started the blog, but I’ve been advised not to post photos of anyone who doesn’t have a website or is family. Sounds dumb, but it’s always better to be on the safe side.

  12. Amanda Nicolle says

    Why is your cream soda brown? Based on your recipe, it should be beige at its darkest. Is the variation you show a different recipe?

  13. Kristin says

    This is awesome! I love every recipe I have tried so far & am super excited to try the soda. I never drink it anymore & cream was always my fav.

  14. Leslie says

    Oh, this looks good, and I don’t even like cream soda! Now if you were to offer us a root beer recipe, I just might have to get up and dance. Thanks for all your fab recipes, Katie. The healthy butterfingers are a staple in our house!

  15. abby says

    Omg! I don’t generally drink soda but love cream soda and root beer ! Also I’m thinking of someone I know who is diabetic… How much sugar would thou say is in a eight ounce serving?

  16. Stephanie says

    Hi.. Is the cream of tartar necessary? and have you tried using lemon zest or juice for flavoring instead of vanilla?
    Thanks for the recipe though…now I have another way to use up my yeast besides baking copious amounts of bread :p

  17. karen lovelace says

    Thanks so much for this recipe. My husband and I are reading the Harry Potter series together. We always enjoy “butter beer” with them… but I find the cream soda too sweet!

  18. Nicole @ FruitnFitness says

    I used to love cream soda when I was little. It was always a special treat I got when I had babysitters. I love the idea of a healthier version!

  19. Nadine says

    Do you seal the bottle when it’s fermenting? Or just lightly place the cap onto the bottle? Can’t wait to try this as I love cream soda! Also love root beer.

  20. Ash says

    Hi Katie! Thanks for so many recipe ideas. I was wondering if you have ever tried Earnest Eats energy bars? Those are amazing yet expensive … I want to make my own! Any ideas?

  21. laura christine says

    I love hansen’s root beer (I LOVE root beer floats) and grapefruit soda’s… but most times i’d much rather have a sparkling juice.

  22. Shayna Josi says

    Cream soda is VERY popular in South Africa, but I think it’s a different drink here! Here’s an image of the can and bright green colour we have:
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_rel4ZMZEF-0/TT3zbQcsjbI/AAAAAAAAB0s/tchuz-TcxW4/s1600/Creme+Soda+Float.JPG

    Filled with sugar and tastes great, and it’s at its best as a float. I think it’s supposed to taste like vanilla. I’m excited to try your recipe, it looks amazing (and now I can make cream soda at home!)

    I also loved vanilla coke, the only place near me that sells it now is a petrol station near my college.

  23. Katy @ Katy's Kitchen says

    This looks so fun! I used to drink cream soda all the time when I was much younger but haven’t had soda in years. Its just so….artificial! Would love to make this one and I bet it tastes so delicious.

  24. Alana says

    You list dry active yeast as an option… did you test this? It seems like it would give the soda a bread taste. I have some around the house, but I really don’t want to waste it if it won’t turn out well.

    • Chocolate Covered Katie says

      Hi Alana,
      That’s actually the one I tested first. I know it sounds strange, but yes it does work!

      Also, as a general rule: if I’ve listed something as a substitution in a recipe, it means I’ve tested it (or someone else has). The only exception is for substitutions that would obviously work in a particular recipe (such as subbing cranberries for raisins in an oatmeal-raisin cookie recipe).

  25. Linda says

    I made this with my little girl yesterday when she got home from school. She has half day kindergarten and this was a fun after school activity. We had to open the bottle this morning because she was impatient and wanted to taste it before she went to school. Luckily it was already pretty bubbly. We both loved it!

  26. Catherine N. says

    Would you be able to use a glass bottle? Since I don’t drink soda, I don’t have soda bottles… but I do have some glass bottles from Ikea.

    I used to love a strawberry soda we used to get when I was small. Otherwise, not much of a soda person (only for upset tummies)

  27. Anonymous says

    As a child, I rarely had any fizzy drink, as my mother (a wise woman, having already hyper-active kids) only bought it on birthdays. So when i did have it I didn’t like the fizziness and hence put even MORE sugar in my coke to get rid of that. Anyway, I quite liked fanta as it tasted a bit like AA. Think I will try this recipe though, see if my fizzy-phobia has worn off.

  28. Maxine says

    As a child, I rarely had any fizzy drink, as my mother (a wise woman, having already hyper-active kids) only bought it on birthdays. So when i did have it I didn’t like the fizziness and hence put even MORE sugar in my coke to get rid of that. Anyway, I quite liked fanta as it tasted a bit like AA. Think I will try this recipe though, see if my fizzy-phobia has worn off.

  29. Saraquill says

    My favorites are both homemade. The first is lime juice, agave and seltzer, and the second is green tea, honey, coconut milk and seltzer. The latter, without the seltzer, also makes for good popsicles.

  30. Anonymous says

    Lol… that’s exactly what I loved best about th soda machines too!
    My very first favorite flavor (first soda I tasted) was the Dr Pepper my fad bought for me at a restaurant when I 3. After that was grape briefly, then Coke bc it was cool and classic. I took a liking to Root Beer bc that was my brother’s favorite flavor, but for the longest time the one I liked best was Sprite. (Especially bc I was able to sneak it’ll as water/seltzer when I wasn’t allowed soda… lol!)
    I remember being very excited when Sprite Remix came out… it even had purple my favorite color!

  31. suzanne says

    great recipe – my boys will be thrilled. for years they did not like soda due to the carbonation (1 still doesn’t , thank goodness). When they were about 9 , one of them came to me at a graduation party (hubby is a teacher so we go to our fair share). All of these parties only had soda for kids drinks so he kept trying the orange. He came to me so proudly and said “guess what mom? I got used to that burning feeling in my mouth and now I like orange soda!” –like I was going to be so proud and excited! Now if he came to me and excitedly said “I got used to the feeling of a tree in my mouth and now I like broccoli’ – THAT would excite me 😉

  32. Angel says

    Would LOVE LOVE LOVE if you could do a root beer version. We don’t get root beer where I live but my hubby grew up with it and misses it. I have a recipe for fake (read: natural) cola syrup that tastes like the cola bottle gummies and it is great but I have never tried to carbonate it myself with yeast. I haveonly ised soda water. Am going to have to have a play n the kitchen!

  33. Theodore says

    Mmmm… looks good. Usually don’t drink soda, but somehow I must try this. Thanks for the post.

  34. A says

    You know what else starts with C, besides cream soda? Crepes… just sayin :). Gotta love dem crepes!

  35. Amanda says

    Oh, I can’t wait to try this! I’ve been trying to perfect a low-cal/stevia-sweetened cream soda in my never ending quest to make a healthier version of butterbeer. I’ve been trying making it with the NuNaturals vanilla stevia drops, but can’t seem to figure out what’s been missing. I’m thinking the cream of tartar and possibly the lemon zest might be it!

  36. Diane says

    YUM! I can’t get over how authentic this tastes. Next time I might even change up the lemon with some orange zest. And there will be a next time for sure.

    Thanks for a great recipe, Katie. I love your blog! 🙂

  37. Siri says

    Katie,
    Am a first time visitor and my jaw has given in to gravity and dropped off looking at all the stuff you have made 🙂
    Had a question with the recipe though – I dont usually store cream of tartar. What could I use as a substitute for this recipe?

  38. susanna kl says

    Hey Katie! Thanks for helping me manage my sweet tooth and my love for healthy things. Just a question, not sure if its a silly one.. is this supposed to taste um yeasty? I only put about 2 tbsp sugar in total and a bit of stevia. Keep up the good work Katie!

  39. Karen says

    I know I’m late commenting on this but I just wanted to say I just came up with a recipe for chocolate soda that I am currently drinking a glass of. It’s really easy to make, just heat a little bit of water, mix in some cocoa and sugar, and add ice and sparkling water.

  40. Mary Z says

    Hi Katie,
    I made this the day you posted it (the longer version). There is already none left, which I guess means we liked it!

  41. Karen says

    Tried the instant version! Loved it!
    Can’t wait to try the yeasted version.
    Thanks for this Katie!

  42. Catherine N says

    Just wanted to let you know, I made a cherry soda, and you can do it in glass, no kaboom. I used less sugar, and substituted cherry juice for some of the water…. and added a strip of ginger… and yum!

  43. Diana says

    Wow! This looks so yummmy – I’ve been invited to a picnic later this week and I think I’ll make a few bottles of this to share 🙂
    I’d love to see the other pop recipes from your great-grandmother if you’re happy to share them!
    My favourite soft drink was always the lemonade my mum made (we had a giant lemon tree in our back yard). It was perfect – not to sweet, not too fizzy, not too sour, but a little bit tart.
    I never really liked commercial sodas – the fizz always went up my nose and made me sneeze!

  44. vivien says

    Hey Katie,
    I just tried out your recipe and I have to admit, I forgot my bottle for a day or so. Tried it and it tastes good and is bubbling but I am not sure, if the drink contains alcohol or not, because I am not sure how the yeast works with the sugar. Can you help me out with that? 😀

    • Cara says

      Thank you for asking that question Vivien I would also like to know if anyone knows the alcohol situation of this recipe. I served these floats for dessert the other night and the yeastyness and vanilla has us all very leary of drinking anymore of it. We may be thought of as squares but we do prefer our children not drink alcohol. But thank you Katy for the inspiration! It began a new quest for me.

  45. tammy F says

    okay, sorry Katie, love your recipes but this was a DOG, my son gagged drinking and it was bad. it just had a rotten horrible taste. How did you get yours so dark? it was light I followed the directions exactly. not good. Sorry, i love your stuff too.

      • tammy F says

        hi katie
        that’s just it, i followed exactly the recipe. I didn’t have brewer’s yeast so used regular yeast like you use for bread
        but the color was white, the lemon zest adn the vanilla don’t make a good mix it was i supposed to add actual soda or something? I used regular sugar. it didn’t look like your picture. your picture is brown, mine was white, it was creamy.
        it wasn’t clear how we are to store it …so we stored it in the fridge not outside.

        • Laura says

          You need to use brown sugar or sucanat for a brown color. It also sounds like your yeast was bad because you don’t need to add soda for it to bubble if the yeast is good.

        • K says

          For the day and a half period the soda should have been stored in a dry WARM place, otherwise the yeast would stop working.Think of bread rising when doing this. Too warm and you cook the yeast, too cold and it fizzles out. Your stevia could also be bad if old too.

  46. Kim says

    Since I avoid drinks that have any kalories worth mentioning, I always go for sugar-free soda. And I drink too much of it. I tried to change my habbits but I always end up with an empty 1,5l bottle of something fizzy by the end of the day.

    Theres a product called “Schwipschwap” (you say “shwipp-shwupp”; I am german ;D) by Pepsi (and copy-versions of it). It’s a mix of coke and orange-fizz. I love the stuff…

  47. Nikita says

    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this already, and I’m not 100% sure that the yeast you have in America is the same as the one in Denmark, where I’m from .. The yeast here in Denmark is like a square/cube and it’s firm .. And it dies at 50 degrees celsius, and that’s why the “drink” may stop bubbling ..
    Plus a tip for baking with firm yeast is to dissolve it with a tablespoon of sugar – just mix it with the crumbled yeast and let it sit for a couple of minutes and then stir again, it’s like it melts! 🙂

  48. Nikita says

    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this already, and I’m not 100% sure that the yeast you have in America is the same as the one in Denmark, where I’m from .. The yeast here in Denmark is like a square/cube and it’s firm .. And it dies at 50 degrees celsius, and I’m pretty sure that’s why the “drink” may stop bubbling ..
    Plus a tip for baking with firm yeast is to dissolve it with a tablespoon of sugar – just mix it with the crumbled yeast and let it sit for a couple of minutes and then stir again, it’s like it melts! 🙂

  49. Christina @ Cooking Up Geekdom says

    I’ve never used coconut sugar before. Does it have a strong coconut flavor? My husband hates coconut (the weirdo, lol) so I don’t know if I’d want to use that. I was thinking about trying sucanat or maple syrup instead. Any idea if either of those would work?

    Thanks!

  50. Amy says

    I tried the recipe for instant cream soda. At first it tasted very much like chemicals…blech. But then I let it sit out for a day and it tasted SO much better. Still not exactly like cream soda, but good. Also, if you are doing the instant cream soda–use half the vanilla and omit the cream of tarter. The cream of tarter just makes it taste like chemicals and the vanilla is way too strong. I had to end up using way more carb water to get it to taste right.

  51. Laura Rhodes says

    I really appreciate you sharing this recipe. I used it to make one of the many home made sodas I sell at festivals and farm markets. May the Lord Jesus bless you for your generosity! I’ve shared your recipe on my G plus page too!

  52. Jenna says

    When recipes call for “sparkling water” or “carbonated water” are you talking about Mineral Water? Because that’s kind of salty. I’ve seen a lot of recipes ask for “sparkling water,” but I’ve never seen it in stores. Just curious, because I don’t care for mineral water.

    • Cee says

      You are correct about the mineral water being salty (I think it’s also bitter), you are tasting the minerals. These recipes are calling not calling for that, but for plain carbonated water, which you may have seen in stores with any of the following names: “soda water,” “club soda” or “seltzer water.”

  53. Janet says

    I’d love to try the yeast free version, but do not see it below. Are you able to post it?
    Thanks so much!

    • Cee says

      It’s just below the recipe:

      For Instant Cream Soda: Omit the yeast and the 1 tbsp sugar. Use carbonated water for all the water in the recipe. Stir all ingredients together, and there is no need to wait.

      • Kevin says

        If you want to omit the yeast all together, you can make a “ginger bug” to add natural carbonation. Mix 1T grated ginger root, 1T chlorine-free water, and 1T sugar in a non-reactive container (I use an old peanut butter jar) and cover with a coffee filter and store at room temp. For the next 6 days (7 days total) continue to add the same ingredients. You’ll end up with a wonderful smelling ginger concoction alive with healthy microbes to carry out your carbonation! This bug is alive, and if you want to keep it that way it has to be fed. Put it in the fridge and feed 1T sugar, 1T water, and 1T grated ginger once a week. To use, strain off 1/4C of liquid for a half gallon or 2L bottle. Replace the activated yeast in the above recipe with this ginger bug. Whenever the bug is used, replace the amount removed with a mixture of equal parts water and sugar. Your soda will become naturally carbonated, and you can use it in ALMOST anything. Fizzy chai tea is AWESOME.

        • Kevin says

          I forgot to add that the sugar isn’t for you, its for the microbes. They process the sugar to make CO2. Be careful when reducing the sugar by too much — if the bugs starve they won’t carbonate your soda.
          One more thing — if your ginger bug is working you’ll start seeing bubbles around day 4 or so. A quick shake or stir will release the gases and make a slight fizz in your jar.

  54. Gudrun B says

    hmmmm, sounds simple enough! would you happen to have the ginger ale recipe on here some where already? any thing from your grand mother’s basement sounds rather intriguing 🙂
    better yet, i would love to make tonic water!!!! Any successful trials on your end???
    you guessed it, i am not a fan of soda, ice cream floats or any of that, how ever tonic water i like a lot – just don’t want the HFCS kinds and the natural ones, well i simply can’t afford on a regular basis 🙂
    thanks much!

  55. Karl says

    OK, I’m looking at this recipe and it looks like you’re using a 32oz bottle to make 16oz soda. Is that correct? If that is the case would you just increase all the ingredients except the yeast to make a gallon?

  56. Starsha H says

    I am so glad to find this recipe! I already make Ginger Beer and Homemade Wine. Why not? This looks easy and delicious! Thanks so much!

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