How to Make a Vanilla Frappuccino

Three Methods:Recreating a Blended FrappuccinoRecreating a Bottled FrappuccinoMaking Recipe Variations

Are you addicted to Frappuccinos — the slushy, ice-cold coffee drinks offered at Starbucks? Believe it or not, frappuccinos aren't difficult to make at home — all you'll need is a blender and a few simple ingredients. Best of all, this recipe lends itself to lots of additional ingredients, so it's easy to get creative with your own custom recipes.


For Blended Frappuccino[1]

  • 1 1/2 cups strong brewed coffee, espresso, or coffee concentrate (chilled)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Plenty of cubed ice
  • Whipped cream (or similar whipped topping)

For Bottled Frappuccino[2]

  • 1/2 cup espresso, strong brewed coffee, or coffee concentrate (chilled)
  • 2 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon dry pectin (optional)

For Optional Variations

  • 1/4 cup chocolate syrup
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream

Method 1
Recreating a Blended Frappuccino

  1. Image titled Make a Vanilla Frappuccino Step 1
    Prepare the coffee or espresso. The sweet vanilla and dairy flavors in a frappuccino can overpower the coffee unless you use coffee that is quite strong. There are a few different ways to do this. See below:
    • One way is to simply brew a pot of extra-strong coffee. Brew a pot normally, then pour the coffee into the water tank and run it through the machine again using the same grounds. After, run a cycle of water (without any grounds) to clean the machine. See our article on using a coffee maker for help.
    • You can also make espresso, but you'll need an espresso machine for this. See our article on using one.
    • Finally, you can try buying liquid coffee concentrate at your local specialty grocery store.
  2. Image titled Make a Vanilla Frappuccino Step 2
    Add the liquid ingredients to a blender. Pour the coffee/espresso, milk, condensed milk, and vanilla into a good-quality blender. Make sure this is a blender that can handle ice.
  3. Image titled Make a Vanilla Frappuccino Step 3
    Top off with ice. Add a generous amount of ice, filling the blender at least 3/4 of the way to the top (if you wish, you can go up to the rim). You'll be surprised how much ice you need. Once it's crushed, it does not take up very much space.
    • Adding more ice will give you a slushier, more solid drink. Adding less ice will give you something a little more liquid (like a milkshake). If you're in doubt, you can always err on the "less" side and add more if it's not thick enough.
  4. Image titled Make a Vanilla Frappuccino Step 4
    Run the blender. You want to blend the ice completely into tiny pieces. No solid chunks should remain. Depending on your blender, this can take anywhere from 10-30 seconds. When you're finished, you should have a uniformly smooth, icy, tan mixture.
    • You may want to use a utensil or stirring stick to feel for chunks in the blended mixture once you finish. Pulse the blender a few more times if you find any.
  5. Image titled Make a Vanilla Frappuccino Step 5
    Serve and enjoy. Transfer to a cup. For the complete Starbucks experience, top with whipped cream and drink through a green straw.

Method 2
Recreating a Bottled Frappuccino

  1. Image titled Make a Vanilla Frappuccino Step 6
    Combine the main ingredients. Add the milk, coffee/espresso, and sugar to a pitcher or mixing bowl. Stir until uniform.
    • Here, as in the recipe above, you want to use strong coffee for the best flavor. See the section above for tips on getting the right kind of coffee for your frappuccino.
  2. Image titled Make a Vanilla Frappuccino Step 7
    Optionally, add pectin. Pectin is a natural chemical substance derived from fruits that's used for thickening (especially when canning).[3] It's tasteless, so it won't affect the flavor of this recipe. However, it will give you a slightly thicker, more "creamy" drink.
  3. Image titled Make a Vanilla Frappuccino Step 8
    Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Continue to stir until you can't feel any solid sugar remaining in the liquid mixture. This should only take a few minutes.
    • If you're having trouble dissolving the sugar, try using dimple syrup instead. Simply heat equal parts water and sugar on the stove until you have a clear, sweet syrup which dissolves easily in drinks. See our article on making simple syrup for more information.
  4. Image titled Make a Vanilla Frappuccino Step 9
    Serve cold. Once all the ingredients are combined and the sugar is dissolved, transfer the container to the fridge and chill. Serve the drink on its own or on the rocks (over ice).

Method 3
Making Recipe Variations

  1. Image titled Make a Vanilla Frappuccino Step 10
    Add chocolate for a chocolate frappuccino. Making this variation is easy — since vanilla and chocolate go together, you don't even have to leave the vanilla flavorings out (although you can if you want to). Simply pour chocolate syrup into the mixture along with the other liquid ingredients. For a blended frappuccino, add ice and blend as normal — otherwise, just mix and drink.
    • For a subtler chocolate taste, try adding cocoa powder instead.
  2. Image titled Make a Vanilla Frappuccino Step 11
    Add chocolate chips for a blended chip frappuccino. If you prefer your chocolate flavor in the form of tiny chocolate chips flecked throughout your drink, just add chocolate chips or small chunks of your preferred chocolate bar. Blend the drink as normal and enjoy. For even more chocolate flavor, pair this with the chocolate frappuccino recipe above.
  3. Image titled Make a Vanilla Frappuccino Step 12
    Add mint extract for minty goodness. Replacing the vanilla extract in either recipe with mint extract gives you a deliciously refreshing mint drink, making it perfect for hot summer days. This variation goes well with blended chocolate chips — a little green food coloring will get you that delicious "mint chocolate chip" look.
    • Try adding to the presentation by garnishing with fresh mint leaves. You're sure to get compliments if you're entertaining guests.
  4. Image titled Make a Vanilla Frappuccino Step 13
    Try substituting ice cream for ice. If you don't have the ice for a blended frappuccino (or your blender can't handle it), don't worry. You can get something that's very similar to a "regular" frappuccino by adding a few scoops of vanilla ice cream instead. The drink will be a little thicker, smoother, and richer, but the flavor is fairly similar. Some "imitation" recipes even deliberately call for vanilla ice cream instead of ice.[4]


  • If your blender cannot handle the ice, try serving your frappuccino "on the rocks." Mix the liquid ingredients well, then pour the mixture over a cup full of ice.
  • To get different flavors, just remove the vanilla flavoring from either recipe and replace it with flavored syrup of your choice. These products can be found at most specialty grocery stores, or you can order them online.
  • These recipes are imitations — Starbucks actually uses a premade "base" for frappuccinos so they can be made quickly.


  • Not all blenders have the power to crush ice. Check your model's instruction manual to see if it will work. Don't put ice in your blender if the manual says not to or you may break the appliance.

Article Info

Categories: Coffee