Sweet Treat of the Week: Almost-Famous Mocha Frappes

I am proud to say that it has been well over a year and a half since I last had Starbucks.  Fo' real.  I was pregnant when I last had Starbucks.  And I have purchased one cup of Dunkin' Donuts coffee since Elliott was born 15 months ago.  Uno.  Why? 

((Stepping onto my soapbox)) Well, $3 here and there adds up--especially when you consider that you can buy a pound of good quality coffee beans for a few dollars and brew it yourself for pennies.  It takes little effort to create even coffee shop quality specialty drinks in your home--they're a much more frugal alternative. Besides, do you know how bad those coffee shop drinks are for you?  Check out the Starbucks Nutritional Info.  They're certainly not drinks that you should have on a daily basis.  Bad for your body and bad for your budget.  But a sweet treat of the week?  Well, sure.  Plus, I hate having to call small drinks "tall" or larges "venti".  Come on people.  Starbucks, if you're listening, I am not willing to pay 800% mark-up because you give your sizes fancy names.  Sheesh.  ((Sheepishly stepping down from soapbox with a red face from ranting))

This particular recipe is in Food Network Magazine this month (thanks to my MIL for the subscription--great gift).  I'll bet you have all the ingredients in your home already!

Almost-Famous Mocha Frappes

For the coffee ice:
3 tablespoons sugar
2 cups warm strong coffee

For the chocolate syrup:
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ounce milk chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the frappes:
1 cup reduced-fat milk
Whipped cream, for topping


Make the coffee ice: Stir the sugar into the coffee until dissolved, then let cool. Pour into a 16-cube ice-cube tray and freeze until solid, about 3 hours.

Make the chocolate syrup: Combine the sugar and cocoa powder in a saucepan and slowly whisk in 2/3 cup hot water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking, until the sugar dissolves, 3 to 5 minutes; do not boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate, honey and vanilla until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until cool.

Make the frappes: Puree 8 coffee ice cubes, 1/2 cup milk, 1/3 to 1/2 cup chocolate syrup and 1 cup plain ice in a blender until smooth. Pour into 2 glasses, then repeat to make 2 more drinks. Top with whipped cream and more chocolate syrup.

(I personally don't like whipped cream on top of my drinks, so I am omitting it.  For me, it doesn't add enough flavor value for the calories it adds.  To each his own!)

Added bonus of making these drinks at home?  You're not selling out to "the man".  Boo-yah!

So what's your take on Starbucks?  Love 'em?  Hate 'em?  I want to hear your opinion!


  1. wow! this is great. and you're right...the lattes sure add up after a while. i love them, but have cut down since i was pregnant and now that i'm breastfeeding. i'll have to give this a try sometime!

  2. We love to make our own homemade frappuccinos. We have an espresso machine & my husband always makes them for us. We've ventured into caramel macchiatos recently too- with homemade caramel!! YUM!!!

    As far as Starbucks, we like it but it is crazy pricey. Before we had our little guy, we used to go there waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too often! Now we go every once in a while- but not much. Usually we each use our own "allowance" that we get each month if we're gonna go. So that makes us think even harder- is it worth it?

    Thanks for the recipe! Think we'll have to try the mocha ones soon! But first, can you tell me, did you use homemade chocolate from a homemade chocolate factory? hehe!

  3. Nice -- I still enjoy a latte on occasion from a coffee shop (also like Indian River Coffee Company) but we do most of our hot/cold coffee drinks at home. Thanks!


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