Missing Caramel Frappuccino? Here's How to Make This Starbucks-Inspired Drink at Home

If you can't go out to buy it, you can DIY it.

PHOTO BY Starbucks ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) Among Starbucks' best-known drinks is the Caramel Frappuccino, which pairs their deep, dark espresso with a buttery caramel syrup. It was introduced in 1999, and was one of the first drinks to be served with their now-famous green straw and domed cup. Going out may not be a great idea given the current circumstances, but you can make it at home using this copycat recipe by food blog Eugenie Kitchen, which was featured on American TV show Good Morning America in 2014.

To make it, you’ll need the following: ice cubes, espresso (either make it yourself—here’s a technique to do it with a French press—or sub in instant coffee), milk, caramel syrup, caramel sauce, and whipped cream. Bring out your blender, too—it's best if you use a heavy-duty one that can crush ice.

Caramel syrup is a thinner, leaner syrup of caramelized sugar and water, while caramel sauce is a richer dessert sauce that includes dairy (such as butter and/or cream) in the mix. You can get these products at specialty stores like Bacchus Epicerie or through sellers on Lazada or Shopee. But they’re also easy to make at home—it’s much cheaper that way, too. Pro tip: If you're pressed for time, you can opt to just make a batch of the caramel sauce and substitute it for the syrup—you'll have a richer-tasting drink, but it'll still have the telltale flavor of caramel.

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Here’s a recipe for the syrup—it only calls for three ingredients (sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla) plus water and salt. For the sauce, try this three-ingredient recipe made with sugar, butter, and cream. You can also use your syrups to top other desserts, such as ice cream or cakes. 

Caramel
Thick, rich caramel sauce and syrup give this drink a distinctive depth of flavor and sweetness.
PHOTO BY Yulia Khlebnikova/Unsplash; for illustrative purposes only
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From there, it’s just a matter of giving the ingredients a go in a blender. Eugenie Kitchen suggests a ratio of one cup ice cubes, two shots espresso or 1/3 cup of strong coffee (which you can prepare with instant coffee), half a cup of cold milk, and three tablespoons of caramel syrup and one tablespoon of caramel sauce—but you’re totally free to tweak this as you wish. Prefer it sweeter? Add more caramel sauce and/or syrup! Lactose-intolerant? Substitute soy milk or any other non-dairy milk of choice. You’re the barista here, so you can totally customize what goes into your drink.

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Pulse to blend, pour it into a cup, and top it with whipped cream and more caramel sauce as you wish. (Heck, if you really wanna treat yourself, top it off with some ice cream—thank us later.) Play some samba (or this playlist) in the background if you really want to amp up the Starbucks experience, and ta-da, you’ve just made your own Starbucks-inspired drink! 

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