Photo of a homemade Frappuccino

The hurdle to making a proper coffee Frappuccino at home is figuring out how to replace Starbucks' mystery ingredients: Frappuccino Roast and Frappuccino Syrup. After some experimenting—and several rounds of failed Frapps—I found that instant coffee and vanilla-spiked golden syrup make the best substitutes.

Golden syrup is similar in consistency to corn syrup and can be used in the same ways, but it is sugar-based and has a buttery caramel flavor that corn syrup lacks. Xanthan gum, a common food additive, is the key to getting that thick, satisfying consistency. I tried making a Frappuccino without xanthan gum and it came out too icy. The coffee also quickly separated from the ice. Both golden syrup and xanthan gum are sold in the baking section of most grocery stores.

Follow our recipe below to make your own frozen treat. And let us know what you think! A note about equipment: You’ll need a blender powerful enough to crush ice for a smooth drink—and we have a test for that. See our recommended models below the recipe. 

Homemade Coffee Frappuccino

Makes one 16-ounce serving

2 ½ tablespoons golden syrup
2 teaspoons instant coffee
¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
⅓ cup whole milk
1 heaping cup small ice cubes (or crushed ice)
Whipped cream (optional)

Directions

  1. To make the coffee mixture, whisk together the syrup, instant coffee, xanthan gum, vanilla, and salt in ¼ cup of water until dissolved.

  2. Pour the coffee mixture into the blender jar, along with the milk. Add the ice.

  3. Place the lid on tight and blend on high speed for about 20 seconds, until smooth.

  4. Pour the blended coffee into a serving cup and top with whipped cream. Grab a reusable or paper straw and enjoy!

Nutrition information: One serving contains 230 calories, 2.5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 390 mg sodium, 49 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 47 g sugar, and 3 g protein.


Blenders That Crush It—Icy Drinks, That Is

Any blender in our blender ratings that scores well for icy drinks and ice crushing will do a great job at making a Frappuccino. These three models (listed in alphabetical order, not rank order) aced both those tests and will whip up the creamiest, fluffiest Frapps.

Quick Take

Instant Ace Multi Use

Price: $60

Icy drinks (Smoothies)
Ice crush
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Quick Take

Ninja Professional NJ600

Price: $100

Icy drinks (Smoothies)
Ice crush
Noise
Unlock Blender Ratings
Quick Take

Vitamix Professional Series 750

Price: $550

Icy drinks (Smoothies)
Ice crush
Noise
Unlock Blender Ratings

Correction: An earlier version of this article, which originally published on June 28, indicated an incorrect amount for calories and for sodium. Those figures have been updated.