The caramel Frappuccino is one of the easiest and tastiest cold caffeinated drinks around. Starbucks started selling its refreshing frapps in 1995 with the original flavors: coffee and mocha. The third original flavor arrived in 1999, and it was the caramel frappuccino; we’re talking royalty here.
To make our caramel frappuccino, we’ll be needing caramel sauce, coffee, milk, ice, so let’s take a close look at the ingredients.
The simple addition of caramel sauce to your blended coffee was a game-changer, and luckily for us, it’s easy to replicate. Caramel is only sugar and a little butter carefully burned over a low flame, and you can do yours at home. I actually recommend buying one, though. Making caramel sauce is hard work! Besides, Starbucks baristas spend no time in front of a stovetop, so why should we?
This doesn’t mean your caramel sauce should be all artificial flavors; there are many high-quality caramel sauces on the market, so choose your favorite.
Then we need some coffee. So, we’re brewing a classic Italian espresso. To match the browned sugar and nutty flavors in the Frappuccino, we want a medium roast, also labeled as city roast, because it doesn’t have those dark roast aromas reminiscent of chocolate and char. Instead, medium roasts offer caramel and nut aromas that pair better with your sauce. If you like your Frappuccino stronger, add a double shot as I did with mine.
For the milk you can go either way, a heavy half & half will create a thick frappuccino, while low-fat milk will deliver a smoother version. Nut milk works too, try macadamia or almond milks for this one instead of soy or hemp milk to mirror the flavors in caramel.
Finally, there’s the sweetener, and for me, brown butter emulates the flavors of Starbucks Frappuccino syrup nicely, but use anything you have in hand, including sugar substitutes. Yes, the caramel will add sweetness to your coffee, but you might need a bit more to balance the coffee. Your coffee, your rules.
Did you know the first Frappuccinos didn’t even have whipped cream? Now they mostly do, so top your caramel frappuccino with a hefty dose of canned whipped cream and enjoy!
Brew your espresso and let it cool to room temperature
Drizzle some caramel sauce in your serving glass as garnish.
In a blender, add the ice, coffee, milk, sugar, and caramel sauce. Blend until smooth.
Pour your Frappuccino in a glass immediately.
Top with whipped cream.
Drizzle with caramel sauce on top