Friday, May 24, 2013

Copycat Starbucks Frappuccino ('s Sugar-Free!)

Tired of spending five freaking dollars for a damn frozen coffee?  But can't seem to perfect it at home?  I've been there.  The ice dilutes the coffee, the coffee doesn't taste right, the ratios are all wrong....yada yada yada.  I started drinking Starbucks years ago almost daily.  When I changed my diet, I was thrilled when they started making dairy-free frappuccinos.  I would drink the caramel ones until I realized the caramel drizzle (despite what one uninformed barista told me) was dairy based.  So, I started getting the cafe vanilla.  Well, that's made with syrup.  Guess what? That syrup?  Artificial crap.  So, I got a regular.  Then I found out each tall sized frappuccino has freaking 3 TABLESPOONS of SUGAR!!  Holy crap!  Wait....let me say that again....THREE FREAKING TABLESPOONS OF SUGAR!  Humor me....go get your sugar out.  Now measure three tablespoons onto a plate.  Yep...that's what you consume when you drink a single mother-lovin frappuccino.  Ugghh...  Instead, use stevia extract.  I'm not a fan of the powdered crap.  The powdered stevia has a funny taste to me.  Go buy this stuff now if you don't have it.  Either go to your local health food store or buy it here.  It's fricking amazing.  It's not cheap, but a little goes a LONG way.  So, really....that little bottle will last a LONG time!

I limit sugar in my diet and even when I do use it, it's organic sugar.  Starbucks surely isn't using that.  So, how could I make a similar frozen coffee that wasn't loaded with sugar, artificial cancer causing bullshit and didn't get watered down when I blended it?  It took a little while, but after my sister got me my mini espresso maker, I have finally made something that satisfies the occasional craving for a frozen treat.

Go buy yourself one of these high-tech el-cheapo espresso contraptions and make you one!  For a single or double shot, this little thing is amazing.  I always thought I needed some big expensive machine that took up valuable real estate on my kitchen counter to make a stupid shot of espresso.  Not true!  This handy little gadget is easy, quick and awesome.  

If you are not familiar with this thing, let me give you the quick run-through.  This picture is terrible and was taken with my phone, but bear with me. it unscrews into 3 parts.  The part on the far left you fill with water.  Then you put the middle part in and pour in your ground espresso (which is just finely ground coffee.  Go to your local grocer and in the coffee aisle they usually have a coffee grinder that you can set to 'espresso').  Screw on the top part with the handle and sit it on the stove on medium-high heat until you hear it starting to bubble out a little.  Thats it.  Turn off heat and you're done!

The water steams up through the grounds and ends up as espresso in the top of your handy little thingamabob.

Sugar-Free Cafe Vanilla Frappuccino

1/2 c espresso, fresh and then cooled to room temperature
1/2 c non-dairy vanilla creamer (or use another flavor!  Regular?  Hazelnut? Whatever strikes your fancy!)
3/4 c ice
4 drops liquid stevia extract
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract (optional)

Blend and you are done!  You can top with a non-dairy whip cream and a caramel drizzle if you want to make it even more unhealthy, lol.  (But sooooo good!!)  See recipe below.

Caramel Drizzle Syrup
The caramel sauce recipe is perfect as a coffee or ice cream topping!  Considering this is far from healthy due to the high sugar content, just use the damn vegan butter too.  Don't eat a lot of this at once!

2 Tbsp vegan butter (optional)
1 c organic brown sugar
1/2 c non-dairy creamer
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Do not scorch.  When butter is melted, add the brown sugar and non-dairy creamer.  Whisk slowly for 5 minutes.  If mixture starts to bubble too much, turn heat to medium-low.  Sugar gets HOT when heated, so don't let it bubble up and splash you!  After 5 minutes, add the vanilla and stir to incorporate.  Remove from heat.  Mixture will thicken as it sits.  Pour into a re-purposed plastic squeeze bottle when cool and keep in the fridge.


  1. On foodgawker your recipie is being called vegan. I'm not sure if those are your words to describe it or their words. In any case it's not a vegan recipie and techinically not dairy free. Non-dairy creamer contains milk proteins. While it doesn't contain lactose it still contains milk product. Sodium caseinate is the milk protein found in the creamers. So most vegans and Jewish dietery authorities classify it as a milk product. But regardless of all the fine print the recipie is a great idea and I really think I need to get one of those espresso makers.

    1. The creamer you are referring to is the same thing most people call 'non-dairy' creamer. When I use 'Non-Dairy' in my recipes, I am referring to true non-dairy ingredients. There are several options for dairy-free creamer out there that do not contain lactose or casein. Thanks for pointing that out for those who don't know the difference yet. =)

  2. Thank you for a great recipe!!!
    Vegan, not vegan, milk proteins, whatever! It is a great alternative and people can alter the recipe to suit themselves and their own dietary needs!

  3. Great post, this is informative and well made.

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