I’ll never forget the first time I ever tried . . . THE ONE. I asked a friend to grab me a small coffee from McDonald’s while he was inside, and he came out with some sort of weird, frosty, whipped-cream embellished cup. I was never one who was into “fancy pants” coffee drinks, and I groaned, inwardly, when I saw it. But I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, so I took a sip.
And then another.
And a lifetime love affair with the Mocha Frappe was born. Unfortunately, unless your pockets are deeper than mine, indulging this little hobby whenever the mood strikes can be expensive. And it’s also inconvenient to drive to McDonald’s anytime the Frappe bug bites. So I set out to find myself a good copycat recipe. There are many, many, many copycat mocha frappe recipes out there. I tried many of them (that was a labor of love– let me tell you! ;), and I finally came up with my own adaptation, based on my own tastes, from all those other recipes. And while they were all tasty, this is the one I feel tastes the most like the original. But hey– this is America. Splash it up anyway you please. It’s a free country.
What are we waiting for? Let’s do this!
Copycat Mocha Frappe
(My own adaptation based on many recipes that I tried)
1 cup frozen coffee, slightly thawed
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup simple syrup (more on this in a minute)
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
Allow ice cubes to sit at room temperature until slightly thawed/slushy. Blend ingredients together until frappe reaches desired consistency. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate syrup, if desired. Serve immediately.
Now, in pictures! 🙂
One of the best ideas I came across, via The Chunky Chef, was to freeze the coffee before using it, rather than blending regular coffee and ice cubes. I love this idea, because it keeps the drink frosty without watering it down.
And just for you, I dumped exactly 1 cup of water into an ice cube tray so I could tell you that 1 cup of coffee equals exactly 10 ice cubes. You’re welcome. 😉 If you have a little leftover coffee in the morning, just make a few ice cubes out of it and keep them until you have 10, and then it’s time for frappes. Using up leftovers never felt so good 😉
Now, let’s talk ingredients. First of all, we have talked about simple syrup before– in our Perfect Iced Coffee recipe, as well as our Black and Blue Lemonade and Refreshing Peach Tea. Basically, simple syrup is just equal parts sugar and water that have been brought to a boil for 1 minute and then cooled. Simple syrup is great because it adds sweetness to drinks without leaving that shifting layer of gritty sugar on the bottom of your cup. I like to make simple syrup ahead of time and keep it in a covered container in the fridge so it’s ready whenever I need it.
Next . . . the milk. Most of the recipes I looked at called for 1 of 3 kinds of milk: regular milk, almond milk, or half and half. So . . . just for you, because I love you so much . . . I tried ’em all. And here are my own personal conclusions:
- Almond milk tasted weird, to me, in this frappe. It wasn’t “bad,” per sa . . . just didn’t taste like a McDonald’s frappe, which is what I was going for. To be honest, I doubt McDonald’s uses almond milk, since so many people have nut allergies. I’m not sure, but that’s just my two cents. I didn’t care for the almond milk.
- Half and half was AMAZINGLY creamy. Almost . . . too creamy. It actually tasted better than McDonald’s, which was kind of funny. So if you want an over the top, decadent treat that tastes more like ice cream, go with this. But in favor of calorie counting, I left the half and half behind.
- Milk. Plain, whole milk. To me, this one tasted the most authentic. And it was also the best choice, calorie-wise, over the half and half, so it seemed like a win/win to me! *Note: if you use lowfat or skim milk, you can add slightly less milk kept the mixture the right consistency. You can also make the recipe as stated and let the finished frappe sit in the freezer for 10 minutes, or so. When you stir the drink, the added frozen particles thicken it up, so you don’t notice that you’re using a lower fat milk.
The first time I made this recipe, I used ice cubes right out of the freezer. It was meh. But the next time I had my ice cubes ready to go, and then suddenly the baby had a blowout (the kind that makes you question your decision to be a parent and call for wipe reinforcements as you gag your way through it), and I got distracted and had to change her clothes and surgically scrub myself afterwards . . . and time got away from me. And the ice cubes got kind of slushy, as they sat there. And you know what? That was the best frappe I made all day. So let your ice cubes sit on the counter for 15 minutes, or so, if you want to give your blender a break (unless you’re lucky enough to have the almighty, holy grail of blenders, the Vitamix). The consistency was just right.
Pulse your ingredients together until your frappe is the right consistency for your liking. If you accidentally add too much milk or pulse all your ice into smitherines, just pop your frappe into the freezer for 10-15 minutes, and stir. And all will be right with the world, again.
Give yourself a swirl of whipped cream and a little (OK, a DRENCHING) of chocolate syrup.
Remember– we did save all those calories by cutting the half and half. No sense letting those little buggers go to waste. 😉
You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which just means that we get a few pennies if you purchase through our link. I never recommend products that I don't personally use and love. Thanks!
Mocha Coconut Frappuccino – I m not much for Coconut, but I m sure the coconut could be substituted for something else, like shredded chocolate chips or caramel! Delicious creamy Vegan Iced Mocha made with homemade cashew milk, coconut whipped cream, an expresso shot, chocolate, and a decadent dash of Kahlua.
I’m not much for coconut either, Clint! Your version sounds awesome! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
This looks amazing!! Great idea on adding coffee in ice cube trays!! Thanks so much for this recipe!!
Thanks for stopping by, Amy! Hope you really love it! 🙂
Since I crave these frappe creations yet leave far from any “coffee shoppes” I have tried to make them at home. They never quite satisfied the craving. Now thanks to your idea of freezing the coffee cubes and the thankless work of your baby 😉 I now think I have the chance of soothing my frappe beast. Thanks again Em for doing all the hard stuff.
I thought they tasted just like the McDonald’s ones! If your frappe comes out a little too “thin,” just pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes, or so, and it thickens up nicely. 🙂 I hope it soothes the savage beast within 😉
Ummm, that looks good.
Yesssss . . . now we can save our moolah and make these at home, right? 😉
Leftover coffee? What is that? Just kidding, this sounds delicious! Worth restraining myself from drinking every last cold drop in the pot!
Mine usually ends up being the cup I pour and never get a chance to drink. haha. 😉