What Is A Frappuccino? Getting To Know The Starbucks Frappuccino Better

Frappuccino is immensely popular and one of the best sellers at Starbucks. It’s available in a variety of flavors and its texture and taste are second to none. The Frappuccino is a bit different from similar beverages and that’s what gives it that unique flavor and texture. So let’s take a deeper look into what is a Frappuccino and how it’s made.

lifeboost-coffee-fairtrade-organic-whole-bean-dark-roast-12oz

Try The Healthiest, Tastiest Organic Coffee Ever!


Frappuccino is a registered trademark of Starbucks. That’s why only Starbucks or those with explicit permission can carry a drink called Frappuccino.

Frappuccino Ingredients – What Goes Into Your Frappuccino

Depending on the flavor and type you ordered, several ingredients may find their way into your Frappuccino. However, there are a few common ingredients that are very likely to be present. These are the ingredients responsible for giving your Frappuccino its taste, texture, and feel.

Frappuccino Roast Coffee

Traditionally, Frappuccino was made by pouring in a shot (or two) of espresso into a classic frappe. Or, the ingredients could be added over a cappuccino base. However, Starbucks decided that adding a shot of hot espresso to the cold Frappuccino wasn’t the best strategy. 

Adding a shot of espresso can cause the other components of the Frappuccino to expand. Some components might also get a change in their texture and taste. This is why unless you specifically ask for it, your Frappuccino won’t contain espresso.

However, the coffee flavor isn’t something that can be just removed from the Frappuccino. To get that beloved flavor, Starbucks makes use of the specially prepared Frappuccino Roast Coffee. 

It behaves somewhat similar to instant coffee. However, it doesn’t need to be added hot like espresso and is instead added as a powder. This way, there’s no chance of other ingredients expanding. Also, it’s far more convenient to work with. 

Of course, many people still prefer the good old espresso shot in their Frappuccino. If you’re one of these people, make sure you ask for the espresso shot to be added. 

Sauces And Syrups

Several sauces and syrups are added to the Frappuccino as a way to give it some specific flavors. The syrup may be added on top of the whipped cream or Frappuccino, or as a way to garnish the beverage.

Sauces, however, are added to the Frappuccino itself and play a big role in bringing flavor to the beverage.

As an example, a caramel Frappuccino has caramel syrup and sauce. The sauce is mixed into the beverage, while the syrup is added to the whipped cream.

In some cases, coffee flavor may be added to the syrup or sauce  In others, the coffee flavor is added to the sauce or syrup as well. This way, no additional ingredients are needed for the touch of the coffee taste.

Whipped Cream

Whipped cream is often added to the top of the Frappuccino. It contributes greatly to the texture and taste of the coffee. However, it’s also a big contributor to the number of calories in the beverage. If you’re on a diet, skip the whipped cream.

lifeboost-coffee-fairtrade-organic-whole-bean-dark-roast-12oz

Try The Healthiest, Tastiest Organic Coffee Ever!


Frappuccino Crème

This is another variant that’s fast-rising in popularity and use. This is often used as the base of the beverage and adds its own touch and feel to the recipe. The most common use of the Frappuccino Crème is in recipes that don’t contain any coffee. 

Popular flavors like the double chocolatey chip, vanilla, and green tea belong to this variant. Well-known seasonal offerings, like the Halloween Frappuccino, are also included in this category.

A Whole Lot Of Calories And Sugar

Starbucks Frappuccino

Your Frappuccino is very likely overflowing with sugar and calories. As things go, these are amongst the biggest reasons the beverages taste so good. And they’re also a big reason why you need to watch your Frappuccino intake. Some people have gone so far as to call the Frappuccino a calorie and sugar bomb.

There are plenty of reasons for these. Sugar is often added on top of other ingredients. Additionally, the various sauces and syrups are made synthetically. It’s a convenient and simple process that allows ease of widespread use. However, it also adds to the sugar content of the beverage.

Besides all of these contents and ingredients, there’s also the whipped cream that adds a stunning amount of calories. Point is, avoid making the Frappuccino a regular part of your eating habits.

The delicious beverage is tough to miss but leave it for those rare occasions where you want to pamper yourself. 

The Calorie Counter

Since we have been talking of calories available in the Frappuccino, here’s a quick look at the numbers for various popular flavors. As you’ll notice, many Starbucks Frappuccino calories aren’t shy of big numbers in some very popular beverages. 

The calorific content represents a 16 oz cup, including whipped cream and whole milk.

FrappuccinoCalories
Espresso Frappuccino230
Coffee Frappuccino240
Chai Crème Frappuccino360
Strawberry Frappuccino390
Mocha Frappuccino410
Caramel Frappuccino420
Double Chocolaty Chip Crème Frappuccino420
White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino®420
Caffè Vanilla Frappuccino430
Matcha Green Tea Crème Frappuccino430
Java Chip Frappuccino470
Caramel Ribbon Crunch490
S’mores Frappuccino490
Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino500

Frappuccino Recipe (How To Make A Frappuccino)

Now is the time for a history lesson, because that will help us understand what is a frappe and how it relates to the Frappuccino. The word Frappuccino is a portmanteau of “frappe” and “cappuccino”. When it was first developed, it was intended as a mix of frappe and cappuccino.

The term was trademarked in Massachusetts by a chain called The Coffee Connection. Subsequently, Starbucks acquired the chain and eventually decided to launch the famous Frappuccino.

Since its success, both the frappe and Frappuccino have undergone a change in the recipe. The usual Frappuccino recipe goes beyond its origin words. Similarly, brands competing with Starbucks have launched their own products that are quite similar to Frappuccino. However, most products from these brands carry the name frappe.

Since it no longer needs espresso or cappuccino, the modern Frappuccino uses Frappuccino Roast Coffee. This gets it pretty close to the frappe, which has always used instant coffee. 

Conventionally, to make a Frappuccino, all ingredients are placed in a blender, which is then allowed to run for a few seconds. Then you pour an espresso into the mix and top it with whipped cream. 

If you’re trying to make one at home, you probably don’t have all Frappuccino ingredients at hand. Frappuccino roast coffee is not commercially available, so instant coffee will have to do. In the next section, we’ll look at the most popular Frappuccino options and also some associated recipes.

Popular Frappuccinos That We Love

1. Mocha Frappuccino

Mocha Frappuccino is perhaps one of the most recognizable and liked versions of the frappuccino. The blended beverage is popular enough to have variants available across the board. 

Not only does Starbucks have more variants of the Mocha Frappuccino, other brands also have a fair number of mocha ‘frappe’ options to consider. Coffee flavor for this one comes through Frappuccino Roast Coffee. 

However, Starbucks also recommends you try it “affogato style”. Which is basically a more complex way of recommending the addition of a double shot of espresso.

Mocha Frappuccino Copycat Home Recipe

You’ll need the following ingredients to make your own Mocha Frappuccino at home. Since Starbucks Roast Coffee isn’t available, we’ll have to use alternatives. 

I’m using two chilled shots of espresso. It’s also possible to use 80 ml drip coffee, cold brew concentrate, or instant coffee. Whatever you use, it has to be strong coffee – something that can match the double shot of espresso. You can use any type of milk you prefer.

Here are the ingredients:

  • Two shots of espresso (chilled)
  • 80 ml of milk or ⅓ cup (chilled)
  • One cup ice cubes
  • Two tablespoons of chocolate syrup, and maybe another tablespoon for the cream
  • Whipped cream
  • Sugar, to taste

Add all ingredients (except whipped cream) in a blender. Let it run for 20-30 seconds or until you see a smooth consistency. When it’s ready, pour the contents of the blender into a cup. Top the cup with whipped cream and add a touch of chocolate syrup over the cream. 

Your Mocha Frappuccino is ready.

2. Tie-Dye Frappuccino

The colorful Tie-Dye Frappuccino is a wonderful blend for the summer. This colorfully fruity delicacy is a crème blended beverage, which means it contains no coffee. However, you can get the espresso add-ons if you must have some caffeine. The colorful cup has swirly shades of red, blue, and yellow topped with vanilla-flavored whipped cream.

The greatest part about this frap were its looks. It didn’t quite taste half as good as it looked. This was a 2019 summer special available only for a few days.

3. Pokemon Go Frappuccino

Another Starbucks special, the Pokemon Go Frappuccino was made to go along the famous Pokemon Go game. Several Starbucks stores were PokéStops or Gyms in the game and this frap was added as a celebration. 

Though the specials are generally available for a small time, this one continued to be available for a few years – even after the initial craze of the game died down. Heck, it might still be available in some locations, even though it isn’t on the official menu. Well, that’s what the “secret menu” is for. 

Pokemon Go Frappuccino was a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with raspberry syrup and freeze-dried whole blackberries. I’m no fan of the taste, but hey, to each their own.

4. Vanilla Bean Frappuccino

Vanilla Bean Frappuccino is a delicious frap with plenty of flavor and taste. There is no coffee in this one, as it’s a crème blended beverage. It is pretty rich in vanilla flavor and taste and remains thoroughly enjoyable.

Home Recipe For Vanilla Bean Frappuccino

This is a fairly delicious and easy to make this blended beverage. There is no coffee here but it does use a fair serving of ice cream. Here are the ingredients and recipe for making your own vanilla bean frap.

  • One cup of ice
  • One and a half cup of milk
  • Three scoops of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream

Add all ingredients except the whipped cream to a blender. Let it run for 20-30 seconds so they’re all mixed right or till the beverage is smooth. Pour it into a cup and top with whipped cream. The frap is ready to serve.

You could probably add in some raspberry syrup to get that Pokemon Go frap look, but I really don’t recommend it.

5. Green Tea Frappuccino (Matcha Frappuccino)

Matcha Green Tea Crème Frappuccino® Blended Beverage is a masterful blend made with sweetened premium matcha green tea, milk, and ice. There’s no coffee here and unlike the others, I’d suggest against adding espresso shots or taking it affogato-style.

This is an amazing beverage with a great taste. It’s topped with sweetened whipped cream, which adds to the overall taste of this Frappuccino.

Green Tea Frappuccino Home Recipe

This is fairly easy to make, but make sure you have a taste for Japanese Matcha green tea. It’s popular and delicious, but opinions can be divided on how tasty this tea is. Here’s what you need to make this frap right at home.

  • One cup of ice cubes
  • A cup of milk
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of matcha green tea
  • Vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream

To make the beverage, mix all ingredients except the whipped cream in a blender. Let it run for a few seconds until the mix is smooth and even in color. Pour it into a cup and top with the whipped cream.

6. Java Chip Frappuccino

Java Chip Frappuccino is a wonderful offering and Starbucks has got the flavor and texture absolutely right. They use their mocha sauce and Frappuccino chips blended with coffee, milk, and ice to make a blend we all enjoy.

7. Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino

This is one of the newest entries to the permanent Starbucks Frappuccino lineup. Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino is a delicious beverage, enriched with flavor and quite a few calories. But hey, it’s worth it!

The Starbucks recipe is made from buttery caramel syrup, coffee, milk, and ice. The whipped cream on top is accompanied by dark caramel sauce, crunchy caramel-sugar topping, and caramel drizzle.

8. Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino

Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino is another cool new Frappuccino like the Caramel Ribbon Crunch. This one’s got a lot going for it, and yes, it’s indulgent even for a Frappuccino. 

When making this delicacy, Starbucks makes use of the Frappuccino® Roast coffee, Frappuccino chips, and mocha sauce along with milk and ice. The topping is vanilla whipped coffee, mocha drizzle, and chocolate cookie crumble. Yum!

Copycat Recipe For Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino

This copycat home recipe tries to get the taste and flavor of the original frap. However, it’s easier said than done. It is going to be delicious but there’s a good chance it won’t taste nearly the same as the original. Still, it’s awesome and worth a shot!

  • One cup of ice cubes
  • Half cup of milk
  • Double shot of espresso (or alternatives, like we discussed above)
  • Chocolate syrup, two tablespoons
  • 4 Oreo cookies, crumbled

Speaking of espresso alternatives, another interesting way is to brew strong drip coffee. Once it cools, pour it into an ice tray and place it back in the freezer. Coffee ice cubes are pretty great!

Using crumbled Oreo cookies is more helpful than waiting for them to crumble during blending. This prevents the formation of any blobs and keeps the beverage smooth.

To make your copycat Frappuccino, add all the ingredients in a blender and let it run until you get a smooth beverage. Make sure there are no large Oreo chunks floating around. Once you get a smooth mix, pour it into a cup. Your Frappuccino is ready!

9. Strawberry Frappuccino

Strawberry Frappuccino is an old favorite and pretty much a classic. Ice, milk, and strawberry puree go into this frap, accompanied by vanilla whipped cream. So simple, yet so delicious. And yes, there is no coffee in this one either. 

Copycat Recipe For Strawberry Frappuccino

This home recipe is a copycat for the strawberry frap. It’s pretty good and delicious, but it doesn’t quite get there. Here are the ingredients and the recipe to follow.

  • Six stemmed strawberries
  • Half cup milk
  • Three tablespoons of sweetened, condensed milk
  • Strawberry syrup
  • Whipped cream
  • 1-2 cups ice cubes

Add all ingredients except the whipped cream and strawberry syrup to a blender. Switch on the blender and let it run until the beverage is smooth and even. Pour the mix into a cup. Top it with whipped cream and add strawberry syrup for garnish.

10. Jack Skellington Frappuccino

You won’t find the Jack Skellington Frappuccino on the menu at Starbucks. Though popular and liked, this is essentially a “secret menu” item. Named after the character from The Nightmare Before Christmas, this is a treat for anyone who likes Pumpkin Spice.

It’s an excellent drink to order around Halloween. Which brings us to a very interesting question, is The Nightmare Before Christmas a Christmas movie or Halloween movie? I’m in the Halloween camp.

Since this is in the so-called secret menu, you can’t really order it straight up. Instead, you’ll have to get creative with what you order. The key is to get a Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino with chai syrup. Add mocha drizzle on the sides of the cup, whipped cream on the top, and Java chips. There’s Jack Skellington for you.

Apparently, you can ask for a “Single shot, Chai, Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino, Whipped Cream and Java Chips on top, with Mocha Drizzle inside the cup”. There’s also a Sally Frappuccino, which is a muted green with strawberries. 

11. Butterbeer Frappuccino

This is another one of the secret menu items. Harry Potter Butterbeer Frappuccino doesn’t come as a standard item on the Starbucks menu, so you’ll have to get creative. Also, while we’re at it, it’s leviOsa, not levioSA.

To order the Butterbeer Frap, get two shots of espresso, two pumps of caramel syrup, three pumps of toffee nut syrup, and three pumps of cinnamon dolce syrup. Whipped cream and caramel crumbs go on top. Oh, and you’ll need to use whole milk, the magical frap doesn’t work well with other options.

12. Phantom Frappuccino

Starbucks Phantom Frappuccino

The fruity, vegan Phantom Frappuccino was a Starbucks Halloween special for 2019. It was available only in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. The charcoal black drink with neon green touches certainly didn’t miss catching any attention. 

Primary ingredients for this frap were coconut milk and mango essence. Its black color was achieved using charcoal powder. The green lime slime provided a nice touch of color and spookiness to this special frap.

13. Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino

Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino gets the delicious traditions of fall right in a culinary masterpiece. The frap gets pumpkin and other fall spice flavors, blended with coffee, milk, and ice. The whipped cream topping gets a touch of pumpkin pie spice. It’s almost tradition!

14. Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino

Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino is a delicious treat, quite similar to Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino. The extra touch of chocolaty goodness is quite a touch. The chocolaty chips are combined with mocha flavored sauce, milk, and ice. Its topping is made of sweetened whipped cream and mocha drizzle.

15. Cotton Candy Frappuccino

Here’s another delicacy off the secret menu – Cotton Candy Frappuccino. Unlike the previous secret menu items on this list, the cotton candy is actually pretty simple. All you need is to order the Vanilla Bean Frappuccino and add in a couple of pumps of raspberry syrup. 

This also adds ease to making this popular frap recipe at home. Just add some raspberry syrup to the vanilla bean recipe described above!

16. Unicorn Frappuccino

Ooooh… the Unicorn Frappuccino! A special launched in 2017, this beautifully colored and delicious beverage still has us drooling. Or maybe just smitten by the wonderfully bright colors! This creme frap didn’t use any coffee. 

Instead, the fruity Frappuccino made use of mango syrup and sour blue drizzle. Plus, there’s also the extra touch of a shimmering dusting of pink powder. Bright, colorful, exquisite, and enjoyable. Now that’s a treat to love!

So What’s Your Favorite Frappuccino?

There you have it, we’ve listed the most popular Frappuccino offerings and gone into detail of the popular beverage. There are also a few recipes for everyone who’s ever wondered what is a Frappuccino and how to make one at home. 

While the conventional or original variant always had coffee, there are plenty of non-coffee Frappuccinos as well. It walks quite easily into the domain of milkshakes as well. However, the popularity and range of flavors available add to the charm and popularity of this blended beverage.