Smooth, creamy, and delicious, this Caramel Frappuccino is the only recipe you’ll ever need! Learn all the steps and ingredients to make this popular Starbucks beverage at home.
While working at Starbucks, I made thousands of Caramel Frappuccinos. It is the #1 most loved blended beverage, and for a good reason. The bitter coffee, sweet caramel sauce, ice, and milk are blended into a perfect ice-cream-like beverage. It is just what we crave during the hot summer days. Below, I will teach how to make this frozen treat at home, and help you save both time and money.
Before we get to the ingredient list discussion, I just want to mention that this Caramel Frappuccino recipe is thoroughly tested, and if you’ll follow my simple instructions, you’ll end up with a perfect Caramel Frappuccino Beverage.
First things first.
You might think that espresso is used to make coffee-based frappuccinos at Starbucks. However, this is not true. Espresso is only used in one kind of frappuccino, called the “Espresso Frappuccino.” For the rest of the coffee-based frapps, we used instant coffee mix. It’s just instant coffee diluted with a little water, so it is very concentrated. We called it “Coffee Roast.” To make your own coffee roast, you’ll need some instant coffee. You can choose any brand you like. I like this Nescafe Clasico.
Use whole milk or even Half & Half for the best results. Because we are using a lot of ice, reduced fat or non-fat milk does not provide enough flavor. We use whole milk for all frappuccinos at Starbucks, unless otherwise requested. If you prefer dairy-free options, soy and almond milk will do the job, too.
After experimenting for quite a while, I found that it is best to use caramel sauce instead of caramel syrup when making Caramel Frappuccinos at home. It just brings so much more flavor and texture to the drink. And because we are not able to get one Starbucks ingredient, called “Coffee Frappuccino Base,” which is a sweet and gooey syrup, caramel sauce helps to compensate for that. Both Hershey’s Sundae Cream Caramel Syrup and Ghirardelli Caramel Sauce work great in this recipe. I’ve often been able to find Ghirardelli Sauce at local Marshalls or Ross stores.
Like I mentioned above, we add Frappuccino base to all frappuccinos at Starbucks. You won’t be able to buy it. This Frappuccino Base is added to bind the coffee, milk, and ice together, creating a smooth consistency and keeping it from separating. The good news is that xanthan gum does just that. It is a harmless food additive that is used in many foods, cosmetics, medicines, etc. If you’d like to find out more about xanthan gum, please check out this article: What Is Xanthan Gum? Is It Healthy?
Xanthan gum can be found at Walmart (baking aisle) and many other big supermarkets. Of course, you can find it on Amazon. I recommend Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Xanthan Gum. The price may seem a bit high, but when you compare the price and the amount used (1/4 tsp. per drink) to the price of a Starbucks Frappuccino, you’ll realize that’s not the case. It’ll cost you about two Caramel Frappuccinos to buy xanthan gum, but you’ll be able to make over 100 of them with only one package. With that said, you may still skip this ingredient, but you’ll end up with a very lumpy frappuccino.
Now that we’ve discussed all of the ingredients, it’s finally time to make your own Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino, or CRF.
CARAMEL FRAPPUCCINO INGREDIENTS:
- 3 tbsp. of instant coffee
- 1/2 tsp. of xanthan gum
- 3 tbsp. of water
- 2 cups of ice
- 1 cup of milk
- 6 tbsp. caramel sauce
- whipped cream and caramel sauce, to garnish
1. Prepare the coffee roast, by mixing the instant coffee with 1 tbsp. of water.
2. Prepare the frappuccino base by mixing xanthan gum with 1 tbsp. of water. (It’s okay to have lumps. They’ll disappear once blended.)
3. Place the coffee roast, xanthan gum mixture, ice, milk, and caramel sauce into a blender. Blend on low speed for a few seconds, then on a max speed for about 10 seconds, or until the frappuccino is smooth.
4. Pour into the cups and top with whipped cream and caramel sauce. Serve immediately.
All done! Now it’s time to enjoy this delicious beverage. Cheers!
WATCH HOW TO MAKE A CARAMEL FRAPPUCCINO
- Prepare the coffee roast, by mixing the instant coffee with 1 tbsp. of water.
- Prepare the frappuccino base by mixing xanthan gum with 1 tbsp. of water. (It’s okay to have lumps. They’ll disappear once blended.)
- Place the coffee roast, xanthan gum mixture, ice, milk, and caramel sauce into a blender. Blend on low speed for a few seconds, then on a max speed for about 10 seconds, or until the frappuccino is smooth.
- Pour into the cups and top with whipped cream and caramel sauce. Serve immediately.
This recipe makes two Grande (16 oz,) cups.
Add a little less milk if you'd like more thick consistency.