what is a frappuccino

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Have you ever wondered what is a “Frappuccino”? Or why do so many people crave it in the summer months?

In this article, I will attempt to answer all the questions you may ask yourself and more.

I’ll also provide you with helpful information that provides an overview and bonus recipes for making your own homemade versions.

Without further ado, let’s get to the article’s main focus: what is a Frappuccino?

What Is A Frappuccino?

A Frappuccino is an ice blended coffee that has whipped cream on top, making it look like a frappé. It was created at Starbucks in California in the 1990s.

Starbucks wanted to come up with a hot drink that could be enjoyed outside of their store.

So, they created a blend of espresso, milk and ice to make it easier to make, and introduced the drink in its current format in 1995.

The drink is a blended coffee beverage that relies on cream and ice blended into a froth.
The frappuccino is known to be on the sweeter side which is why it can easily replace a meal.

The sugar in the drink comes from the syrup that is poured over the ice or blended into it.

There are many variations of this drink, namely Caramel Frappuccino, Strawberry Frappuccino, and Mocha.

In the summertime, I usually go for the mocha frappuccino for an afternoon pick me up. But on other days, I also go for the Strawberry Frappuccino which is a real treat for the palate.

Do Frappuccinos Have Coffee?

Basically, a frappuccino is a mix of ice blended coffee, a crème base, and most of the time topped with whipped cream and flavored syrup. It’s frothy, creamy, sweet, and can taste just like a milkshake!

Although, the recipe for frappuccino calls for coffee, it does not have to be made with coffee beans.

The company (Starbucks) has incorporated a blend of coffee, milk, and ice together with various flavors that give the drink its unique taste.

Depending on the type of frappuccino you order, it will have different ingredients. For example, the mocha frappuccino recipe is made up of chocolate syrup which gives it a dark reddish color.

Whereas, the chocolate frappuccino is a mixture of chocolate-flavored syrup, sugar, water, and cocoa.

Instead of coffee beans for the drink, there are other coffee sources.

This means that the coffee’s flavor comes from other sources besides coffees beans. In this case, Starbucks uses a blend of espresso and hot milk and syrup to give it its unique taste.

The syrup is made up of sugar, water, corn syrup, soy lecithin, guar gum.

Only a few frappuccinos contain caffeine. These include the mocha frappuccino as well as the java chip frappuccino.

Even though some of these drinks contain caffeine, there is a low amount that is only enough to keep you going for a couple of hours.

The amount of coffee in a frappuccino varies greatly depending on what you order.

For example, the caramel frappuccino has only one shot of espresso which gives the drink its dark tint.

On the other hand, Iced Frappuccino has two shots of espresso which are mixed together with milk and ice blended together to make the drink.

Other drinks such as vanilla bean and strawberry frappuccino do not have any coffee beans used for them at all.

What Is A Frappuccino Without Coffee?

The original recipe for a frappuccino did not contain coffee beans. Although, it is a popular misconception that these drinks do not have coffee in them at all.

The truth is that some frappuccinos have one or two shots of espresso in them. This means that the drink does have some amount of coffee in it.

The recipe for each frappuccino is quite different. To give the drink its unique taste, there are many ingredients that are mixed together.

The main components of these drinks include milk, coffee, chocolate syrup, vanilla syrup and ice blended together. However, coffee in a frappuccino is sometimes optional.

For example, it is not included in the Strawberry Crème Frappuccino or Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino available at Starbucks.

So you see, a frappuccino does not necessarily have to have coffee in it.

Coffee or not, it is still called a frappuccino.

How To Make A Frappuccino? 3 Simple Recipes to Try at Home

Now that you know the basics of a frappuccino, let’s take a look at how to make one in the comfort of your home.

If you’re interested to learn how to make your own freak frappuccino at home, this is what you’ll need:


  • Espresso powder, sugar, and hot water
  • Ice cubes
  • Milk (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons Vanilla syrup (or any other flavor you like) If you use 1 cup of milk, add in 2 tablespoons of vanilla syrup.
  • Whipped cream


Blend them up together and voila! You have a frappuccino! Add whipped cream on top for that nice decorative touch if you want to.

This is a very easy recipe to make and does not require a high level of skill.

This recipe of great for any summer day. It’s refreshing and simple. But if you feel adventurous, I am happy to share below a few of my other favorite frappuccinos with you.

How To Make A Caramel Frappuccino

To whip up a caramel frappuccino, you’ll need:

  • Caramel sauce
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Vanilla syrup
  • Sweetener of choice (optional)
  • Salt
  • Milk or cream of choice (I use half n half)
  • Ice


  • You’ll want to start by mixing everything together in the blender except the ice. If you are using vanilla syrup, make sure to add it at this step. Then blend until well mixed.
  • Next, you’ll want to add in your ice into the mixture while blending on high speed until it is nice and smooth!
  • Finally, top off your frappuccino with whipped cream and caramel sauce!

How To Make Mocha Frappuccino

To whip up the mocha frappuccino, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Hot brewed coffee
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Ice
  • Low-fat milk or heavy cream
  • Salt (optional)
  • Sugar-free chocolate chips or crushed candy canes
  • Whipped cream
  • Sweetener of choice


  • Start by adding in the coffee, milk or heavy cream, chocolate syrup, sweetener, and salt into the blender. Then blend until everything is well mixed.
  • Next, add in your ice and blend again until it is all smooth.
  • Lastly, top off your frappuccino with whipped cream and the toppings listed above!

This is one of my favorite flavors ever. I love this because it has a lot of chocolate in it.

Chocolate is great for making everybody happy!

How To Make Strawberry Frappuccino

The strawberry frappuccino is my favorite to drink when I need some fruity flavor.

To make it at home, you will need a few simple ingredients:

  • Strawberries
  • Ice
  • Low-fat milk or heavy cream
  • Strawberry purée (optional)
  • Whipped cream
  • Sweetener of choice
  • Pinch of Salt


  • Start by adding in the strawberries, sweetener of choice, and salt to the blender. Then blend everything together until everything is well mixed.
  • Then add in the heavy cream or some more milk to get the desired consistency of your drink!
  • Next, add in your ice and blend again until it is all smooth
  • Lastly, top off your frappuccino with whipped cream and the strawberry purée or your favorite toppings!

This is a great drink for those who want a simple recipe without too many ingredients.

Sharing these frappuccino recipes with you was one of my favorite things to do. I hope you try them all out!

What Is The Difference Between A Frappe and A Frappuccino?

Simply put, a frappe is a drink that is made with ice but no whipped cream. This drink is made with coffee, milk, syrup, and ice blended together.

An example of a frappe is the cappuccino frappe which has ice blended with coffee, milk, syrup and usually chocolate or vanilla syrup.

On the other hand, a frappuccino is a frappe and a milkshake all in one.

Frappuccinos come in a wide range of different flavors and consist of ice, milk or cream, coffee, syrup or cocoa powder and topped with whipped cream.

Another difference between a frappe and a frappuccino is the caffeine content. The caffeine content in both the frappe and frappuccino will ultimately depend on your order.

While a frappe always contains caffeine, it is optional to add any espresso to your Frappuccino.

Taste-wise, the frappe and frappuccino are quite similar. They both consist of a lot of sweetness from the coffee, sugar and milk.

The frappe is a bit more refreshing because it consists of fewer ingredients.

The frappuccino tastes great! It’s a lot sweeter than the frappe because it has a lot more syrup in it.

It doesn’t have any strong coffee flavor to it, but instead has a sweet flavor that you can only get from the syrup used in the drink.

Another thing that is different between a frappe and a frappuccino is how they are presented.

The frappe is usually made in a blender and then poured into a cup.

The frappuccino, on the other hand, has whipped cream on top (or blended in with the rest of the drink) and it comes in a cup with a lid.

What Is The Difference Between A Frappuccino and A Latte?

A Frappuccino is a coffee drink with whipped cream blended in it whereas a latte is made with espresso and steamed milk.

A latte has an intense flavor that you can only get if you use espresso that comes from a machine.

A Frappuccino and a latte are both coffee-based drinks that consist of milk, syrup and espresso.

But don’t get confused! The two drinks taste very different and they were created for different purposes.

Frappuccinos are frozen and can also be enjoyed in the winter. But personally, I’d rather enjoy a warm cup of coffee in the winter.

Lattes, on the other hand, can be enjoyed all year round.

The flavor of a latte is much more intense than the flavor of a frappuccino because it uses espresso instead of regular coffee or in some recipes no coffee at all.

How Many Calories Do Frappuccinos Contain?

If you are like me and like to indulge in the occasional frappuccino at Starbucks, then you may be asking yourself the million-dollar question.

Below is an extract from the Starbucks website about the nutritional information of the Starbucks Frappuccino Calories you get in a Caramel Frappuccino.

There is a wide range of calorie content in different frappuccinos, with some containing more calories than others.

Some varieties have been found to contain up to 320 calories per serving, which is not the most modest of figures.

While this may seem like a large number of calories to be consuming in one drink, let’s not forget that there are other macronutrients such as fats, carbohydrates, and proteins that can help us figure out how many calories we should be consuming per day.

There are approx. 40 grams of carbohydrates in the frappuccino which amounts to 240 calories and there are 3 grams of protein in the frappuccino which also provides you with 60 calories.

The drink can also contain 22 grams of fat, which is equivalent to 150 calories.

Let’s not forget that the main ingredients in a Frappuccino include heavy cream or milk and ice blended together to form a very thick milkshake-like drink.

Frappuccinos have significantly more calories than a simple latte or cappuccino at Starbucks.

When you visit your local Starbucks you will notice that most customers order either coffee or breves (a mixture of chocolate milk and coffee).

While a cappuccino can contain around 140 calories a serving, a simple latte is much less at around 70 calories per serving.

The higher the milk-to-coffee ratio, the more milk fat there is in your drink.

So if you are on a healthy diet plan, your best bet will be to either make your own frappuccino at home.

Can You Have a Frappuccino If You Are on a Diet?

Yes, you can!

If you are on a diet, there are ways in which you can still enjoy the frappuccino at Starbucks. But it depends on the ingredients that go into the drink.

For example, it is not that difficult to drink a frappuccino without using sugar. You can do that by ordering a simple caramel Frappuccino with low-fat milk and sugar-free syrup.

However, the only disadvantage of this drink is that it will not taste as sweet as a regular frappuccino.

If you are on a diet plan, you may also opt to order your caramel Frappuccino with no syrup at all.

In fact, with most frappuccinos, the calories can average 350 per cup. However, most people can cut back on calories with just a few guidelines.

Another way to cut back on the calories, you may go for the smallest size frappuccino order so you can keep track of your calorie intake and not feel guilty afterward.

If the temptation is too hard and you crave one, you could also resort to making your own Frappuccino at home.

This will ensure that you haven’t added any extra fat, sugar, or preservatives to your drink.

However, if you make your frappuccino yourself, you must always remember not to add too much syrup to it otherwise it will be more unhealthy than any of the store-bought ones.

Final Thoughts On What Is A Frappuccino

Hope you’ve got your answer to what is a frappuccino.

Now I’m sure that on a hot summer day, you will go back to this blog post and recreate any of the delicious frappuccino recipes

Whatever you choose to create, I hope you have a great time doing it!

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