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How to Make Homemade Starbucks Frappuccinos

Source

Introduction

I love my job working as a barista at Starbucks, and I've spent my time on Hubpages writing a series of guides to help customers order the perfect drink. To learn more about the unique Starbucks language, check out the first part of my guide, which covers the basics.

Due to the comments I keep getting on my pages featuring Frappuccinos, I decided to try something a little different for this hub. These iced, blended beverages are incredibly popular and since everyone can't always get to a Starbucks or afford the drink they're craving, there's a pretty big interest in recreating these recipes at home.

In this guide, I'll talk a little bit about the Starbucks standard recipes for Frappuccinos, and I'll also make some suggestions for recipes to try at home. The ingredients that Starbucks uses are so specialized that it's hard to make an exact copy, but there are alternatives for each ingredient that can make for a tasty rendition.

Source

The Recipe

16 oz (a Starbucks Grande) Frappuccino

1 shot of espresso

  • OR 1-2 tbsp instant coffee (based on brand instructions,) mixed with just enough hot water to make it dissolve
  • OR 2-4 tbsp double-strength brewed coffee (to taste)

3/4 cup any kind of milk

  • OR 1 scoop ice cream
  • OR 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • OR 3/4 cup equal mix of milk and cream or heavy whipping cream

2 tbsp vanilla smoothie/vanilla soft-serve ice cream mix

  • OR skip this step if using ice cream, sweetened condensed milk, or cream
  • OR 1/2 pack of vanilla flavored Jell-O instant pudding (other flavors are fine)
  • OR 2 tbsp maple syrup

16 oz ice

Additional flavorings and toppings

Step 1: Frappuccino Roast

First, let's talk about the coffee that goes into a Blended Coffee Frappuccino. If you're trying to recreate a Creme based Frappuccino, or you just don't want to add any coffee, you can skip this step.

If you order a Coffee based Frappuccino from Starbucks, the barista will use an ingredient called Frappuccino Roast. It's a special blend of coffee created specifically to be stored at room temperature and used in iced beverages. It's very concentrated and does not taste great on its own, but it works perfectly when its blended with the other ingredients.

So, what kind of alternative can you use at home? Personally, I prefer making my homemade Frappuccinos with one or two shots of espresso. Using hot espresso makes the beverage more runny, but it adds a smoky, caramelly sort of flavor that I really enjoy. In fact, when I order my Frappuccinos at Starbucks, I usually sub out the Frappuccino Roast for espresso. If you happen to like the taste but don't like the different texture, you can simply add more ice to thicken the drink.

Of course, not everyone has an espresso machine at home. The simplest alternative to Frappuccino Roast is to use concentrated instant coffee. It's cheap and it gets a very similar effect. The amount you use will depend on the brand of instant coffee you buy. (And it's worth mentioning that Starbucks has a line of its own instant coffee called Via.) For the Frappuccino, measure out the same amount of powder you would for a normal cup of coffee. From my experience, it's usually a tablespoon or two. Instead of adding a whole cup of hot water, add just a little bit by bit until the coffee dissolves. This way, the flavor will be concentrated. I use this same method whenever I'm baking a coffee flavored cake.

If you're not willing to buy instant coffee, but have a coffee maker at home, you can try a third option to replace the Frappuccino Roast. This involves brewing coffee double strength. To do so, either double up on the amount of grounds you use or cut the amount of water in half. If you have to brew a full pot, you can store the extra in your fridge or at room temperature for a couple of days. For one Frappuccino, you'll only need two to four tablespoons of coffee you make this way, dependent on how big you want your drink or how much coffee flavor you like. I recommend using a darker blend of coffee if you choose this option.

Step 2: Milk

The second ingredient in a Frappuccino is milk. At Starbucks, the standard is whole milk, with other options available on request. You can use any kind of milk you'd like at home, including dairy substitutes. The consistency of the Frappuccino will vary a bit - the more fat in the milk, the creamier the result will be. Below is a table displaying how much milk to use per size.

Starbucks Size
Amount of Milk
Tall (12 oz)
1/2 cup
Grande (16 oz)
3/4 cup
Venti (24-26oz)
1 cup

Step 3: Frappuccino Base

Third, and the hardest ingredient to nail down, is a thickener. The ingredient Starbucks uses is called Frappuccino base, and it adds a bit of flavor, sweetener and thickness to the Frappuccino. This ingredient isn't available for retail sale, which is why it is difficult to recreate a Frappuccino at home. Here are my suggestions for alternatives:

Vanilla smoothie powder or vanilla soft serve ice cream mix. These powders might be a little difficult to find, but they make up for the added sweetness and thickness of the Frappuccino base. Any time I've used these, I've used between two and four tablespoons per drink. This is probably my favorite option. You can experiment with other flavors, but the vanilla is neutral enough that it mixes well with anything.

Jell-O (or other brand) Instant Pudding. Use just half a package of any flavor you like, though I recommend vanilla. This is a great, affordable and easy-to-find alternative to the powders listed above.

Sweetened condensed milk. This isn't the healthiest option, but replacing the milk you'd normally use with sweetened condensed milk will definitely make for a sweet, creamy treat. If you're using this, I would completely substitute out step 2 and not add any other milk. If the result is too sweet, try using half regular milk and half sweetened condensed milk. Another similar alternative is to use half milk and half cream or heavy whipping cream.

Ice cream. Adding a scoop of ice cream to the mix instead of ice won't make you a Frappuccino, per say, but it's a pretty delicious alternative. You can skip adding extra flavors or experiment however you like with ice cream.

Maple Syrup. This made sound like an odd option, but two tablespoons of maple syrup actually comes close to Starbucks' Frappuccinos.

Step 4: Ice

Fourth, add ice equal to the size of the drink you want. I just fill whatever glass I'll be drinking out of with ice to measure it. If you're using ice cream in step 3, I'd recommend skipping out on adding any extra ice.

Step 5: Flavoring

The Starbucks store offers Fontana sauces in place of Mocha, White Mocha and some seasonal flavors.
The Starbucks store offers Fontana sauces in place of Mocha, White Mocha and some seasonal flavors. | Source

Finally, add any extra flavoring you'd like. Starbucks does offer a number of its syrups for retail sale and they're just the same as the ones the barista uses in the store. You can also try out Torani's line of syrups. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative you can pick up in the grocery store, Hershey's dark chocolate syrup is a great substitute for mocha.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions about trying to duplicate specific recipes, I'd be happy to answer them! I'd also love feedback on the recipes. If one of the suggested ingredients doesn't work out quite right, I'd love to know!

More by this Author

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    21

    This guide talks all about the macchiatos on the Starbucks menu, including the very popular Caramel Macchiato. Learn all about these beverages from a Starbucks barista's perspective.

  • Starbucks Drink Guide: Blended Coffee Frappuccinos
    62

    A comprehensive guide that covers both the basics of Starbucks Frappuccinos and all of the components of blended coffee Frappucinos. The author is a Starbucks barista.

  • Starbucks Drink Guide: Lattes
    68

    The author is a barista who shares answers to questions she hears all day at Starbucks. How does Starbucks make a latte? And how can customers customize the drink for themselves? Read on to find out.


Comments 44 comments

monica 3 years ago

Thank you for this. I ordered this frappe base called Frozen x-plosion and i can't wait to get it, so i can try making my own Frappucino.


Julie 3 years ago

Thanks for your blog! I was able to purchase from a Starbucks store the Frapp base and would like to know how to make a mocha frapp using the base. Thanks!


Lee 3 years ago

Thanks so much for putting this here. What's the specific recipe for a Chai Creme Frapp? Also when I order it from starbucks I have them add the vanilla bean powder. Would the vanilla pudding mix be the same thing and how much would you add to say a grande?


mandination profile image

mandination 3 years ago from Pittsburgh Author

I recently discovered that the retail version of the mocha powder we use in store is only available for purchase on the Starbucks website. Certain stores used to stock this, but now you can only buy it online. Our mocha is a semi-sweet chocolate, so you could try some alternatives, but you can definitely buy it online if you want to stick to the recipe.

For a grande mocha frappuccino, our recipe is three pumps of frappuccino roast, whole milk to the first line of the grande cup, a grande sized scoop of ice, two pumps of mocha (or three in stores that carry a different pump,) and three pumps of base.

So, to make this at home, you would want to start with your coffee first. I recommend using shots of espresso if you have access to them. A grande size would get two. If not, you can use 1-2 tbsp of instant coffee (depending on the instructions,) or 3-4 tbsp of regular coffee brewed double strength. Then, you can add 3/4 cup of any kind of milk you like. We usually use whole milk in the store, but any kind is fine! Next, add your frappuccino base. We use three pumps in a grande. I'm not sure what the exact measurement is without a pump, but I would guess somewhere around two to three tablespoons. Then, add about 16oz of ice. Finally, add in your flavoring - semi-sweet chocolate. You can buy the mocha powder or the premixed Fontana Mocha syrup from the Starbucks store, or you could always try using semi-sweet chocolate chips for something a little different.


mandination profile image

mandination 3 years ago from Pittsburgh Author

A Chai Creme frappuccino made at Starbucks gets milk to the first line of a grande iced cup, then pumps of chai concentrate - one in a tall, two in a grande or venti, then ice and base. Recreating this at home might take a little experimentation to get the amounts exact, because I'm not positive how much chai is in a pump. I would start with trying a tablespoon per pump.

We actually sell the Chai concentrate we use in our stores. It's not a particularly expensive item, so I would recommend picking up a box of it if you want to try this at home.

Since you like to have vanilla added to your frappucino, I would definitely recommend trying the vanilla pudding mix. This should serve to thicken your beverage, and should also add that extra flavor for you.

So, for a grande Chai frappuccino, you would start with 3/4 cup of milk. We use whole milk as the default in store, but any kind of milk is fine. Then, you add your chai. I'd suggest starting off with two tablespoons. If it does not taste strong enough, you can always add more! Next, add 16oz of ice. I measure this using the same cup I'm going to pour my drink into. Finally, add your vanilla pudding mix - one half of a pack usually works for me.


Liz 3 years ago

Thank you so much for this! I used Target brand vanilla protein powder for my base and it worked perfectly! I made a mocha frappuccino by adding a few squirts of Hershey's chocolate syrup and it tasted just like Starbucks! I'm thrilled!


jen 3 years ago

what is the recipe for a java chip frappucino?


mandination profile image

mandination 3 years ago from Pittsburgh Author

The Java Chip Frappuccino in our store is made with Frappuccino Roast, Whole Milk, Java Chips, Mocha Syrup and ice. You can substitute any kind of milk you like, of course. For the Mocha Syrup, Starbucks does sell this through their website, or you can use a dark chocolate syrup (like Hershey's,) or maybe a dark chocolate hot chocolate powder. For the Java chips, I recommend dark chocolate chips. You can find the appropriate portions in my article.


loveandhappiness 3 years ago

What would I need to replicate the caramel Frappuccino?


hortyboy 2 years ago

My old Vita-Mix doesn't finely grind the ice, which then floats to the top. What brand of blending machine does Starbucks now use (used to be BlendTex) for consistent, smooth, iced texture?


mandination profile image

mandination 2 years ago from Pittsburgh Author

We actually use Vita-mix! I've had this problem at other jobs and at home, though. If you are thinking of using your blender to crush ice often, it might be worth it to invest in a slightly more expensive bar blender (blenders marketed towards making mixed drinks generally crush ice well.) Another option is to pre-crush the ice a bit. Just throw it in a plastic bag and hit it with something to break it up to help out the blender. Our ice cubes at Starbucks are very small, which I bet helps the blending.


Ryan 2 years ago

For a cold Frappuccino, can vanilla protein powder be used instead of vanilla smoothie powder?


mandination profile image

mandination 23 months ago from Pittsburgh Author

I think vanilla protein powder would work great. We have an unflavored protein powder we use in the store to thicken our smoothies, and it creates a very creamy texture.


Saeful 20 months ago

Hi mandination, very nice to meet you...

i like your page about starbucks and i m interesting to try frappucino at home but im not yet decide what the best thing to subtitute a base frappucino (which not sell grocery and "starbucks secret")...

what your recommendation for subtitute a base from 5 option above which very close a starbucks frappucino (for my first experiment :) )

thanks a lot and sory if my english too bad :(


tracymarcus22@gmail.com 20 months ago

I need the creme base for a green tea frab where can I get something similar


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 20 months ago from Baltimore, MD

Thank you for sharing these recipes. I am going to give them a try. I love Starbucks, but it is so expensive.


Mafalda 19 months ago

Has anyone tried the Monin vanilla frappe powder for a vanilla frappuccino? I am trying to make an exact copy of it and was wondering if that powder would work.


mandination profile image

mandination 19 months ago from Pittsburgh Author

My two favorite substitutes are vanilla smoothie powder and vanilla instant pudding. I like the smoothie powder best, but the pudding might be easier to find!


mandination profile image

mandination 19 months ago from Pittsburgh Author

Sometimes, you can find the actual Creme base for sale on eBay, Amazon, or Starbucks' website. If you can't find it, I recommend trying to use a vanilla smoothie powder or a vanilla instant pudding mix.


mandination profile image

mandination 19 months ago from Pittsburgh Author

There's definitely a lot on the Starbucks menu that I consider a 'sometimes' treat, even with my employee discount! It's so easy to get carried away with all the things you can add to a frappuccino, too.


Emil K 18 months ago

Ok so I found the actual frap coffee syrup and creme syrup but the coffee syrup is not the same as frappuccino roast (packets)? Can you tell me the actual # of pumps when making a medium size caramel frap? I think it's 2-3 pumps coffee, 1 pump creme syrup, milk & ice plus caramel / whipping cream. Lastly I have seen caramel put on before the whip and after, what is correct? Much appreciated!


mandination profile image

mandination 18 months ago from Pittsburgh Author

Emil,

The coffee and creme syrups that you have are probably what we call the base. These thicken the Frappuccinos and add some sweetness. We don't use both of them together; the coffee base is used for all coffee flavored Frappuccinos and the creme is used in stuff like the Vanilla Bean.

In a medium Caramel Frappuccino, you would do 3 pumps of the coffee base. You can put the caramel on however you like! The standard is it goes on top of the whip, but whenever people like extra caramel, I usually start by putting some under and on top.

The Frappuccino Roast comes in packets and is mixed with water. It is a cold coffee and it's what provides the caffeine and some extra coffee flavor for the Frappuccino. This can be subbed out in a lot of ways. My favorite thing to do is to use instant coffee powder mixed with just a little water.


Phil 18 months ago

Great info. Can't believe I have only just come into contact frappuccinos in particular s'mores

I have bought a blender, what else do I need to make this. Can you advise what I would need to buy.

Thanks


mandination profile image

mandination 18 months ago from Pittsburgh Author

The Smores Frappuccino is a tough one! The Starbucks recipe includes a milk chocolate sauce, graham cracker flavored syrup and marshmallow whipped cream. I think that blending graham crackers right into it would be an interesting idea. Maybe there is marshmallow flavored ice cream you could use in place of the whipped cream, too. I think a milk chocolate ice cream topping would work in place of the milk chocolate syrup Starbucks uses in store.


Janet 17 months ago

Thanks so much for all the info! I have purchased the base and frap roast from eBay. I was wondering what kind of chocolate goes into a mocha frap light? I see that Starbucks sells semi sweet, bittersweet and mocha sauce(which looks like a topping).


mandination profile image

mandination 17 months ago from Pittsburgh Author

Hi Janet! The semi-sweet mocha sauce that Starbucks sells is actually the same chocolate we use in the Frappuccinos. It is also actually what we would use as a topping, to drizzle on top of some of the Frappuccinos and other beverages.


Nasik 16 months ago

hi I would like to know about N&NI what is that please kindly send to my e mail nasikrock@yahoo.com


Aaron 16 months ago

For all you non-employees just remember 2-3-4 when making Frapps. So for the Tall (small) 2 pumps of frapp roast, 2 pumps of syrup or 2 scoops of the inclusions, 2 pumps of the coffee base. From there it just scales up with each size.

If you can find a bottle of flavoring syrup at the store use it's full pump as a guide for the base and frapp roast as they should be near the same.

Only reason why I came to this site was because I had a craving for a frapp but didn't want go to work on my day off and I needed to know a good substituent for the base which is needed to make it smooth and not super thick. I think I'll try the pudding method.


Bobbie 15 months ago

I've been making my Frappaccinos based on a reversed engineered recipe, that I worked out using the package ingredients from the original creme base that the baristas would mix up at the start of the day, before Starbucks changed over to the shelf ready cream ice. For a grande Frappaccino; I mix 1 oz of sugar (I like to substitute 3 packets of Splenda), 2 oz of non-fat milk, with 1/3 cup of Carnation instant non-fat dry milk. When I blend this formula with the rest of a Frappuccino recipe, I use 8 oz of ice (by weight not volumn) and this gives me the perfect blend of ice & milk to produce an unwatered down Frappuccino. Since you're the expert, I'd appreciate opinion on this.


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 11 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Great hub, Mandination. I have an Oster blender and a Keurig K-cup brewer. I would love to try to make my own frappuccinos someday this winter. Perfect timing for it, too!


Laura 8 months ago

Hi! Great post! What's the difference between a sauce and a syrup? Which one should I buy?


g marco 6 months ago

what is the recipe for a s'mores frappucino?


Summer Collman profile image

Summer Collman 4 months ago

I purchased a Frappuccino Syrup Coffee base on ebay and the caramel syrup from a SB. I'm having a hard time figuring out the best way to make a caramel or even a vanilla frappe. Is the syrup coffee base to be used with milk and the frappe roast coffee? Or is the frapp roast the syrup base? Much confused lol. Any help would be appreciated.


Katya 4 months ago

S'mores Frappuccino Recipe (venti):

Cover bottom of cup with marshmallow whipped cream

Cover whipped cream with 4 pumps milk chocolate sauce

Place 1 cup of ice, 1 cup whole milk 4 pumps graham cracker syrup, and 4 pumps coffee syrup sauce in Blendtec and blitz.

Pour into cup.

Add whipped cream, sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs.

Voila!

Pour


Fran 4 months ago

I'd love to be able to make a venti green tea frappechino at home. Please tell me what I can use to replicate this in my kitchen?? What can I use to replace the matcha powder?? And what is the best alternative to the Creme base? Lastly, how much ice would I use for a venti frappechino? Thanks so much for your help!!


Drazzit 4 months ago

Wondering how much of the jello vanilla pudding mix to toss into a grande size frapp (in lieu of the frapp base)? So glad I found this site -- learning lots!


Cpknightly1@gmail.com 2 months ago

Hello folks.

Just a quick question. In the Mocha Frappuccino I can't seem to capture the "frozen part" of the drink. I've tried using cubes then crushed but neither give me that texture. I'm using a smoothie maker but it's not mixing it all together .

Can you please help?

Thank You.

Sincerely,

Chris on LI


jjay 2 months ago

I read on another blog if you add a pinch of xanthum gum it helps make it more authentic. never tried it, just passing that along.


Summer 2 months ago

So after using this helpful page, I expereimented. This is my caramel frapp recipe

half a packet of the starbucks instant iced coffee(about 1 1/2 tbsp)

1 cup of milk

cup im using of ice x2(i like mine thick)

3 pumps of base(i purchased on ebay)

2 pumps of caramel sauce

1/2-1 tbsp of caramel syrup(depending on how sweet)

pinch of xantham gum


Summer 2 months ago

And I use a refurbished Ninja BL810 Ultimate Blender Black, and it works beautifully. Best blender I've ever owner for smoothies and frappes.


Melanie 2 months ago

How would one make the coffee pump base for frappuccinos


mandination profile image

mandination 2 months ago from Pittsburgh Author

Syrups and sauces mostly have different consistencies. For example, white mocha is a sauce and it is thick and creamy. Vanilla is a syrup and it is thinner and has no dairy base - it is mostly sugar and water, with the appropriate flavors added. Which one you buy is just a matter of taste.


EphesiansArmor profile image

EphesiansArmor 2 months ago

We love Starbucks Dark Chocolate Frappuccino Mocha in the bottles. The Frappucino's in the store are too thick/creamy. Do you have any suggestions for this drink? Dark Chocolate is usually hard to find. In that case we go for Frappuccino Mocha. Thanks for a very informative hub page!!

http://www.starbucks.com/menu/drinks/bottled-drink...


Raven 7 weeks ago

Could you tell me to make a PSL?? Also for this recipe, do I just blend it all together?

Thanks:)

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