15 best Starbucks frappuccinos according to an ex-barista

Maddy Kinkead
starbucks frapps

As a former Starbucks barista, I’ve tried every frappuccino under the sun, and here’s a definitive guide to the best Starbucks frappuccinos to kickstart your summer.

Although Starbucks often do some pretty tasty seasonal frappuccinos throughout the year, these won’t be included on the list to ensure that you’ll be able to try them out year-round. That being said, the frappuccinos they all time time are the ideal treat for a hot day.

The best Starbucks frappuccinos ranked

The ingredients for each of the frappuccinos are listed, as well as what they taste like, so that you can see which one you’re in the mood for.

15. Strawberries crème

Strawberry and cream frappuccino
Ask for your frappuccino with extra strawberry

What’s in it: It’s a flavorless frappuccino with strawberry puree swirled around the cup.

Honest review: This drink is only okay and is definitely not the best frappuccino. Because the flavoring is added after the drink is blended, you get some gulps that have way too much strawberry and some that don’t have enough. To make this better, I recommend adding vanilla syrup because that will actually be blended in with your drink. Also, ask for some extra strawberry puree swirled around the cup.

14. Vanilla bean

A vanilla bean frappuccino
Add coffee for an extra kick

What’s in it: Milk, ice, cream frappuccino base, and vanilla syrup with whipped cream on top.

Honest review: This drink is the best Starbucks frappuccino if you’re a child, or someone looking for something pretty simple. It tastes like vanilla ice cream, which is a classic treat for a hot day. If you want to pimp this drink a little, you could add hazelnut syrup to make it taste like french vanilla, and add coffee if you want an extra hit.

13. Espresso frappuccino

An espresso frappuccino
Add whip if you want a sweet treat

What’s in it: Espresso, simple syrup, coffee frappuccino base, milk, and ice.

Honest review: The flavor of this drink really depends on which Starbucks store you go to. Because the main element is the espresso, if the coffee machines are not calibrated properly, your drink could end up too watery or too bitter. Most stores should test their machines twice a day though so this drink is pretty nice if you’re after something not too sweet. This drink comes without cream as standard, but add it if you want more of a treat.

12. Caramel cream

A caramel cream frappuccino
The caramel drizzle on this is the best thing ever

What’s in it: Caramel syrup, milk, ice, cream frappuccino base, whipped cream and caramel drizzle.

Honest review: The coffee counterpart of this drink comes a lot higher up the list, but this one is pretty tasty too. The caramel drizzle is like liquid gold so definitely ask for some to be drizzled around the cup. Also, this drink tastes like a honeycomb if you add some pumps of white mocha syrup too.

11. Chocolate cream

A chocolate frappuccino
Add dairy-free milk to make it vegan

What’s in it: Mocha syrup, milk, ice, and cream frappuccino base.

Honest review: This is just chocolate milk’s cooler older sibling. If you want to have this one dairy-free, you can order it with nut blend milk (or any dairy alternative) and add vegan whip on top. This is because the mocha syrup doesn’t actually have any chocolate in it. Big day for lactose intolerant people.

10. Mocha frappuccino

Starbucks mocha frappuccino
Add peppermint for a minty twist

What’s in it: Same as the chocolate cream frappuccino, but with coffee added.

Honest review: This is one of the classics and is hard to beat if you’re a fan of chocolate and coffee (who isn’t?) If you’ve ever had a hot mocha, this is just the blended version of it. If you want something a little bit different, try adding peppermint syrup for a refreshing mint chocolate drink.

9. Pistachio frappuccino

A pistachio frappuccino
This drink is like an Italian dream

What’s in it: Coffee, coffee frappuccino base, pistachio syrup, milk, ice, and whipped cream.

Honest review: This frappuccino will transport you to a sunny beach in Italy, it’s that good. Although pistachio isn’t to everyone’s tastes, if you like it, this drink is a dream. If you want to upgrade it, add some white mocha syrup to make it creamer. One thing working at Starbucks for five years taught me is that everything is better with white mocha.

A mocha cookie crumble frappuccino
Add vanilla syrup to bring out the cookie flavor

What’s in it: Coffee, coffee frappuccino base, milk, mocha syrup, cookie crumble, ice, whipped cream, and chocolate drizzle.

Honest review: This drink is like the mocha frappuccino but with some extra oomph (and sugar.) It’s basically a chocolate and coffee-flavored milkshake with crumbled cookie pieces blended in and with chocolate drizzle on top. it may seem like a lot of chocolate, but the coffee cuts through quite nicely, balancing out the intense sweetness. Add vanilla if you want the cookie flavor to come through more.

7. Cookies and cream

A cookies and cream frappuccino
There’s a trick to make this one taste like Oreos

What’s in it: Milk, ice, cream frappuccino base, cookie crumble, and whipped cream

Honest review: This one is similar to the strawberry frappuccino because there is no actual flavor, just cookie bits blended in. The drink is great on its own as the cookie pieces are really fresh. If you want to make it taste like Oreos, though, add white mocha to the mix.

6. White mocha frappuccino

White chocolate mocha frappuccino
Add hazelnut to this to make it taste like Kinder chocolate

What’s in it: White mocha syrup, milk, ice, coffee, coffee frappuccino base and whipped cream.

Honest review: White chocolate mocha syrup is pretty much just condensed milk, which means it’s sweet, gooey, and delicious. To make this frappuccino even better, add two pumps of hazelnut syrup to make it taste like a Kinder Bueno candy bar.

5. Java chip frappuccino

Java chip frappuccino
The ordering of this one can get complicated

What’s in it: coffee, coffee frappuccino base, milk, ice, mocha syrup, chocolate chips, and whipped cream.

Honest review: Okay – now we’re into the top five best frappuccinos at Starbucks. A word of advice with this one, if you order a java chip frappuccino, you’ll get coffee in it. If you order a double chocolate-chip frappuccino, you won’t get any coffee. Remember that, as it causes confusion at Drive-thrus across the globe. This drink is pretty good if you’re a chocolate lover and you can add mocha drizzle to kick it up a notch.

4. Frozen mango dragonfruit lemonade

Frozen dragonfruit lemonade
Something for those who want a more refreshing drink

What’s in it: mango puree, strawberry puree, lemonade, ice, and dried dragonfruit pieces.

Honest review: Although not technically a frappuccino, this blended beverage is great for when you don’t want something too creamy. To make this drink even better, add a couple of pumps of peach syrup for a tropical fruit party in a cup. This also makes a great cocktail base…

3. Ferrero Rocher frappuccino

A ferrero rocher frappuccino
This secret menu item is delicious

What’s in it: Ask for a java chip frappuccino with two pumps of hazelnut syrup, two pumps of caramel syrup and caramel drizzle on top.

Honest review: This drink is off the secret menu, and many people feel apprehensive about ordering these in case they annoy their barista. Speaking from experience, all you need to do is know what goes in the drink you are asking for and there shouldn’t be any problems. There are more tips on how the secret menu works here. Besides that, this drink is great and does actually taste exactly like a Ferrero Rocher.

2. Caramel coffee frappuccino

Caramel coffee frappuccino
Ask for this with as much caramel drizzle as possible

What’s in it: Coffee, coffee frappuccino base, milk, caramel syrup, ice, whipped cream, and the all-important caramel drizzle.

Honest review: This is definitely the most popular frappuccino at Starbucks, and there’s a good reason why baristas end up making about 100 of them per shift – it’s delicious. Caramel and coffee is a hard combo to beat. Just make sure you ask for extra caramel drizzle around the cup as that’s the best bit.

1. Red velvet cinnamon roll frappuccino – The best Starbucks frappuccino you’ve never heard of

A starbucks cinnamon frappuccino and a muffin
Another secret menu item comes out on top

What’s in it: Ask for a mocha frappuccino with half normal mocha and half white mocha syrup, add two pumps cinnamon dolce syrup, and two pumps raspberry syrup.

Honest review: This one may seem pretty out there, but coming from someone who made them for years, they are delicious. I don’t know who invented this but thank the coffee gods that they did because it’s so delicious and the raspberry really works. This is it, this is the best frappuccino from Starbucks, according to someone who used to make frappuccinos for a living.

How are Starbucks frappuccinos made?

Starbucks have two types of frappuccinos: cream-based and coffee-based. Cream-based frappuccinos are made with whole milk and a cream frappuccino ‘base’ which is like a thick, sweetened syrup that doesn’t have any flavor but allows the drinks to blend smoothly and stops them becoming gritty with ice.

The coffee frappuccinos are very similar, but they obviously have coffee in them. The coffee used in frappuccinos is not the same that you’ll find in your latte, though. It is a special kind of instant coffee that is brewed cold and pumped into the blender when making frappuccinos. This stuff is bitter and couldn’t be drank alone, but works well when blended. If you find that you don’t like the coffee in the frappuccinos, try asking for your drink to be made with espresso, it will make the drink less thick too.

All frappuccinos work on this base drink, and then have flavors and toppings added to make a wide range of beverages. Like all drinks at Starbucks, you can customize frappuccinos, so to find your favorite I recommend playing around with syrups and toppings to create your own – just don’t go ham and ruin your barista’s day…

If you’re someone who plans on drinking a lot of frappuccinos this summer, you might want to see how you can get a Starbucks gold card. And, if you’re a fan of cold drinks in general, check out these Dairy Queen Blizzards from the secret menu.