How to make a Starbucks Frappuccino at home, according to an ex-barista

Maddy Kinkead
Starbucks frappuccinos and logos

As we get into the Summer months, it’s the perfect time to learn how to make a Starbucks Frappuccino at home so you don’t even have to leave your sun tanning spot.

Starbucks Frappuccinos are the ultimate treat for a hot summer’s day. They’re sweet, they’re usually caffeinated, and crucially, they’re ice cold.

Frappuccinos are some of the most popular orders at Starbucks (check out my ranking of the top 15 Frappuccinos) and during any shift in the summer months, baristas can expect to have those blenders going constantly while they whip up some of the best iced drinks around.

Frappuccinos are great because they all have the same base ingredients, and the flavors, toppings, and even the milk used can be fully customized to your tastes so that you can get creative with the drinks.

Contents

What is in a Frappuccino?

Starbucks frappuccinos
Frappuccinos are Starbucks’ take on a frappé.

Frappuccino is a word that has been coined by Starbucks, but the drink itself stems from a ‘frappé’ – which is essentially an iced coffee that is sweetened and blended into a milkshake-like drink. Although frappés are usually characterized as milkshakes with coffee in them, Starbucks Frappuccinos can be made with or without coffee.

Because these drinks come in so many flavors, I will show you how to make two of the most popular drinks at home: a caramel coffee Frappuccino, and a vanilla bean Frappuccino.

For measuring ingredients, the easiest way to do this is to use a Starbucks cold cup, you’ll notice that these have three lines on the side, and this is what baristas use to easily measure out their ingredients.

Caramel coffee Frappuccino recipe at home

Starbucks caramel frappuccino
Making a caramel coffee Frappuccino at home is really easy

Making a Frappuccino is a lot easier than you might think. Just follow this simple recipe to make your perfect Starbucks dupe at home.

Ingredients:

  • A Starbucks cold cup (any size depending on what drink size you want)
  • Blender
  • Your milk of choice
  • About 35ml of strong instant coffee (Starbucks VIA is what’s used in-store)
  • Caramel syrup
  • Ice
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • Whipped cream
  • Caramel sauce

Method:

  1. Take your Starbucks cold cup and fill it with coffee about halfway between the bottom of the cup and the first line marked on the side.
  2. Fill the cup with milk until it is full to the first line.
  3. Pour the coffee and milk mix into your blender.
  4. Add your corn syrup and a few drops of caramel syrup (around 2, but go for 3 if you want it sweeter) to the blender.
  5. Fill your Starbucks cold cup with ice and pour it into a blender.
  6. Blend up the ingredients until they are smooth and no lumps of ice are present.
  7. Drizzle your caramel sauce around the cup and pour the Frappuccino into your cup, leaving a one-inch gap at the top.
  8. Top with whipped cream and more caramel sauce.
  9. Grab a straw and enjoy!

Vanilla bean Frappuccino recipe at home

Starbucks vanilla bean frappuccino
Why not try to make a Starbucks vanilla bean Frappuccino at home

The vanilla bean frappuccino is just as easy to make as the caramel one, but it uses fewer ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • A Starbucks cold cup (any size depending on what drink size you want)
  • Blender
  • Your milk of choice
  • Vanilla syrup
  • Ice
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • Whipped cream

Method:

  1. Take your Starbucks cold cup and fill it to the bottom line with your milk.
  2. Empty the cup into the blender.
  3. Add your corn syrup and a few drops of vanilla syrup (around 2, but go for 3 if you want it sweeter) to the blender.
  4. Fill your Starbucks cold cup with ice and pour it into a blender.
  5. Blend up the ingredients until they are smooth and no lumps of ice are present.
  6. Pour the Frappuccino into your cup, leaving a one-inch gap at the top.
  7. Top with whipped cream.
  8. Grab a straw and enjoy!

Starbucks Frappuccinos at home: Substitutions and replacements

Starbucks frappuccinos
Get creative with your Frappuccino combinations

The corn syrup in these drinks acts as a replacement for the Frappuccino base that is used in all Starbucks Frappuccinos to stop the drink from separating. You can make a copycat of this Frappuccino base at home. It does require some ingredients you may have to search for (like xanthan gum) but it can be stored for a long time and will ensure your drinks are smooth. Consider this extra step if you want green-apron quality drinks.

When it comes to making different flavors, there is no end to the flavor combinations you can make, the key thing is to get that coffee and milk balance right at the start, after that, anything goes. You can even replace the milk with a non-fat or dairy-free option if you have any dietary requirements or want a healthier option.

Try adding in strawberry jam, melted chocolate, or even a broken-up candy bar to give your Frappuccino an extra-sweet boost. These flavor combinations are some I recommend:

  • White chocolate and pistachio
  • Chocolate and coffee (like a mocha coffee)
  • Strawberries and cream
  • Orange creamsicle (use fresh orange juice in the vanilla bean)
  • Cinnamon bun (cinnamon sugar and vanilla)
  • Cookies and cream (crumble some Oreos in)

While you’re in barista mode, why not try making some other Starbucks coffees at home too?