How to Make Cappuccino With Keurig: Tips, Tricks And Recipes

Keurig coffee makers can be found in the home of almost any coffee lover. Still, they are often underutilized as most people use them to make simple black coffee and drink it with a splash of milk or creamer. But perhaps your home coffee maker can create something similar to the latte or cappuccino you usually get from a cafe. The magic of Keurig is more astounding than you think! So if you wonder how to make cappuccino with Keurig, read on to learn how to prepare and enjoy your favorite coffee.

Can you make a real cappuccino with a Keurig coffee maker?

A popular choice in coffee shops worldwide, a classic cappuccino is made of espresso, steamed milk, and topped off with foam. It is served hot and can be sprinkled with cinnamon, chocolate, or nutmeg.

A common misconception is that the Keurig coffee brewer is not suitable for making coffee, similar to those you order in a cafe. Though cappuccino is traditionally prepared with the help of an espresso machine, Keurig coffee makers (regardless of the model) can brew a solid base for this drink.

The newest models, like the K-Cafe, have a built-in milk frother which is an excellent feature for those who like their coffees with milk and are looking to buy a Keurig that makes lattes and even hot chocolate. However, even if you own an older Keurig 2.0, or a minimalistic Single Serve Keurig K-Express coffee maker, you can still make a latte or cappuccino at home.

Even though Keurig is not compatible with milk pods (unlike Nescafe coffee machines), the right choice of coffee pods and some simple tricks for frothing the milk will help you whip up your dream cappuccino.

drinking cappuccino at home

Items needed to make a cappuccino with Keurig

The essential ingredients for a cappuccino are espresso, steamed milk, and some foam.

You will need the following items to make a cappuccino with Keurig:

  • Keurig coffee maker
  • Espresso or dark roast K-Cup
  • Milk of choice
  • Coffee cup to prepare the drink in
  • Milk frother

A cappuccino is traditionally made with whole milk since it helps to build up the best foam. However, for a richer taste, you can use cream or half-and-half.

When pouring frothed milk for a cappuccino, a good tip is to raise the pitcher upwards when pouring. It will take any milk from the bottom of the pitcher and yield more foam.

Once most frothed milk is poured, top the cappuccino and add all remaining froth. Baristas often use a spoon to scoop the foam out.

Oat milk is the best choice for those who prefer dairy-free options because of its thicker consistency which allow to make a decent froth. Soy or almond milk wouldn’t work the best because they don’t froth very well.

A Keurig standalone milk frother is a handy tool to have at home. It does not take up a lot of kitchen space, and you can make various coffee and non-coffee drinks with it, starting with a cappuccino and finishing with a matcha or chai latte. However, if you’re not ready to upgrade your coffee gadget collection, a simple handheld milk frother will do just fine.

When choosing K-Cups for your cappuccino, the espresso roast is the ultimate. The next best option would be the dark roast K-Cups. It will be the closest in taste to espresso and serve well as a base for your cappuccino. In a pinch, though, your preferred K-Cup can suffice.

The way Keurig works, it does not reach the 9 bars of pressure that an espresso machine is expected to have, but it’s close enough for most home uses. So as long as you can use the smallest and most intense coffee setting on your Keurig and brew a concentrated shot of it, you can still prepare cappuccino.

items for making cappuccino with keurig

Making a cappuccino with Keurig K-Classic

The Keurig K-Classic continues the simple style of older Keurig editions like the K45 and K55. It may not have all of the bells and whistles of some newer models, but there’s still an easy way to make a cappuccino with this Keurig machine. If you have a model older than the K-Classic, follow these instructions.

Steps to preparing a cappuccino with Keurig K-Classic:

  1. Heat the milk using a stovetop or a microwave until it reaches 140-150 °F (60-65 °C). Skip this step if you use a standalone electrical frother, as it heats the milk while frothing it.
  2. Froth the hot milk for about 20 seconds. If you use a handheld milk frother, use up and down motions to achieve the desired consistency. Plenty of froth should be on top and some milk at the bottom.
  3. Insert the coffee pod and place your coffee cup on the drip tray.
  4. Select the Small cup size to get concentrated coffee. Press that button to start brewing.
  5. Pour the frothed milk into the cup of coffee.

how to make cappuccino with keurig

Making a cappuccino with Keurig K-Elite

The popular and elegantly simple K-Elite also has an Extra Small Cup size of only four ounces, ideal for making the equivalent of an espresso shot. The K-Elite also has a Strong setting to make the brew stronger. Using that should help you get closer to concentrated espresso.

Steps to preparing a cappuccino with Keurig K-Elite:

  1. If you will be using a handheld frother, heat the milk using a stovetop or a microwave. The average temperature should be around 140-150 °F (60-65 °C). Skip this step if you use a standalone electrical frother as it heats the milk while frothing it.
  2. Froth the milk for about 20 seconds until plenty of froth is on top.
  3. Insert the K-Cup into your Keurig and place your coffee cup right underneath.
  4. Press the Strong button. It will produce a more concentrated coffee brew.
  5. Press the Extra Small cup size to brew a small shot of coffee.
  6. Once the coffee is brewed, remove the cup and pour the frothed milk into it.

cappuccino with cinnamon heart

Making a cappuccino with Keurig K-Mini

The K-Mini is a popular compact brewer model. While it’s designed for quick, single-serve coffee, it can also make espresso-based beverages, such as a latte or cappuccino, if you’re willing to put in the effort. However, since there’s no “small cup” size option on this compact Keurig model, the saturation of the espresso may taste slightly different.

Steps to making a cappuccino with Keurig K-Mini:

  1. Heat the milk using a stovetop or a microwave until it reaches 140-150 °F (60-65 °C). Skip this step if you use a standalone electrical frother, as it heats the milk while frothing it.
  2. Froth the milk until you get the desired consistency.
  3. Place K-Cup into the Keurig. Make sure that the machine is powered on using its power button.
  4. Close the Keurig shut and press the circular “K” button to start brewing.
  5. Once the coffee is ready, pour frothed milk into the cup. First, focus on getting mainly milk and then top it with froth. Scoop it out of the cup with a spoon if needed.

pouring milk into cappuccino

Making a cappuccino with Keurig K-Cafe

The Keurig K-Cafe is the ideal model for making a cappuccino, as it has a built-in milk frother. In addition, it is designed with versatility in mind, with buttons for all different recipes. With a Keurig K-Cafe, you can choose whether you want your latte or cappuccino hot or iced. For now, though, we’ll look at an easy way to make a hot cappuccino with a Keurig K-Cafe.

Steps to make a cappuccino with Keurig K-Cafe:

  1. Use the built-in milk frother to froth milk. Two lines are marked inside the Keurig milk frother base cup for a latte or cappuccino. In this case, fill the milk up to the cappuccino line, place the lid on top and press the cappuccino button. The milk will froth and stop when it is ready.
  2. Place the K-Cup inside your Keurig.
  3. Press the blinking “Latte & Capp” button.
  4. The big “K” button in the middle will also be blinking. Press the K button as well to start the brewing process. Wait until there is enough heat and the coffee fills the cup.
  5. Pour frothed milk into the coffee. 

cappuccino with chocolate sprinkles

3 Cappuccino recipes for Keurig coffee lovers

Now that you know how to make a cappuccino with Keurig, you may want to get creative and practice your home barista skills. Here are a few cappuccino variations that you can make with your Keurig.

Dry cappuccino

A dry or bone-dry cappuccino is a coffee drink with no steamed milk. Instead, this coffee is made with milk foam and espresso only. It is a perfect cappuccino variation for those that love a foamy coffee consistency.

Dry cappuccino recipe, step by step:

  1. If you are using a handheld milk frother, heat the milk first.
  2. Froth the milk longer than you would for a regular cappuccino to produce more foam.
  3. According to your Keurig’s instructions, brew a K-Cup as concentrated as possible.
  4. Scoop the foam with a large spoon and “drop” it onto the brewed coffee. There should be a thick layer of it right on top.
  5. To add some pizazz, sprinkle some cinnamon or chocolate powder on top.

cappuccino froth

Wet cappuccino

A wet cappuccino is a perfect option for someone who prefers more steamed milk in their drink but still wants to enjoy a classic! A wet cappuccino is when there is more milk in your coffee beverage. You make it with espresso, mostly steamed milk, and less foam.

Wet cappuccino recipe, step by step:

  1. If you are using a handheld milk frother, heat the milk using either a stovetop or microwave.
  2. Froth the milk, but be gentler than usual.
  3. Brew a K-Cup as concentrated as possible.
  4. Pour the steamed milk and froth into your coffee. The result should be similar to a latte with only a bit of foam on the top.
  5. Many coffee lovers enjoy spicing up their cappuccino by adding a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, or sugar. Adding vanilla or chocolate is another fan favorite.

wet cappuccino

Iced cappuccino

You may have tried preparing iced coffee with Keurig by pouring freshly brewed coffee over ice and cold milk. But do you know that you can make an iced cappuccino with Keurig that tastes even better than the one you usually get from Starbucks? Here is how!

Iced cappuccino recipe, step by step:

  1. Prepare the milk foam. Since this drink is iced, there is no need to worry about heating or steaming the milk. Instead, grab chilled milk to make the cold foam. Froth the cold milk with a handheld frother using an upward and downward motion for about 10-20 seconds. If you have a standalone milk frother, use the cold frothing mode.
  2. Pour some milk into a glass filled with ice.
  3. Add syrup of your choice if you prefer your iced drink flavored.
  4. Brew coffee using espresso or dark roast K-Cup.
  5. Pour the brewed coffee into the glass with milk.
  6. Top with cold milk foam.
  7. Sprinkle with shaved chocolate or cinnamon.

Making your favorite coffee drinks is easier than you may think as you discover all the little tricks of your Keurig machine. Though the details might vary based on your Keurig model, creating a latte or cappuccino is an easy way to add a touch of magic to your daily life.

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