There’s nothing quite like sipping on a creamy, frosty authentic Starbucks Vanilla Bean Frappuccino. Its blend of sweet, velvety vanilla and icy refreshment has garnered a devoted following, making it a staple on the Starbucks menu. For our readers who are coffee lovers with a particular fondness for this delectable beverage, we’ve got something special for you. We’re going to delve into what makes this drink so irresistible and even share a recipe so you can recreate your favorite treat at home.
What is in the Vanilla Bean Frappuccino at Starbucks?
The Vanilla Bean Frappuccino at Starbucks is a delightful blend of ice, milk, and the Vanilla Bean Powder. This drink falls under the category of ‘Crème Frappuccino’ as it doesn’t contain any coffee, making it more like a milkshake in nature.
The base for this drink is made from a mixture of water, sugar, and natural and artificial flavors. It’s a great choice for those who prefer their drinks without any caffeine. The Vanilla Bean Frappuccino is then traditionally topped off with a generous dollop of whipped cream.
While ‘Frappuccino’ is indeed a term coined by Starbucks, it has now become widely used to refer to any cold, blended coffee (or crème) drink. However, it’s worth noting that the exact recipe and taste may vary among different coffee shops.
How to Make Starbucks Vanilla Bean Frappuccino
If you want to make an authentic Starbucks vanilla bean Frappuccino, you will have to use a blender. Sorry, that’s just how it is. However, there are a few alternative ways you can make it (see the tips and tricks). Still, to get it exactly like the original Starbucks version, you will have to copy their methods.
There’s a trick to this recipe. If you’ve ever tried Starbucks ‘ own version, you’ll know that it is super thick and creamy. We would like to share the secret with you. No, it has nothing to do with cream or dairy. Here’s the answer.
Ice. Lots of ice!
When ice is pulverized in a blender, it thickens up drinks really quickly. So if you’ve ever had a smoothy or shake that is too watery, you’ll be able to rectify it by blending with more ice. Now you know.
This drink should really be called a double vanilla bean Frappuccino. We say this because it gets its delicious and sweet vanilla taste from not one but two ingredients. The first is vanilla extract. We love it as a little actually goes a very long way. In fact, it is sometimes better to use sparingly, or you can make your drink taste a little bit bitter!
The second ingredient that adds to the vanilla goodness is vanilla bean ice cream! This is super sweet. We try not to use too much of this. After all, we are making a Frappuccino and not a shake! But, we have a little confession to make. Not all of the ice cream we scoop out makes its way into the blender… One for the pot, one for us, do you know what we are saying?
From there, it is just a case of adding enough to get the drink to the desired consistency…
One of the vital ingredients for me has to be whipped cream! There is nothing nicer than taking breaking through that soft, creamy layer and sipping the sweet and cooling drink below. Don’t forget it as it makes our Starbucks vanilla bean Frappuccino something really special!
See Also: Try one of our other copycat Starbucks drink options.
Tips and Tricks
- Milk Alternative: If you don’t like dairy, feel free to use a dairy alternative in place of the milk. We find the best to be almond milk. However, soy milk and coconut milk could be worth substitutes too.
- Use Vanilla Essence: We use vanilla essence in our recipe simply because it is easy, and vanilla essence lasts a long time. However, if you want to make this drink extra special, you can ‘vanilla it up’ using a few different methods. The first is to make your own vanilla syrup. This is really easy to do and adds a really sweet element to the drink. Alternatively, use half a fresh vanilla pod. Split the pod and scrape the seeds into the blender. It tastes amazing!
- Use the right amount of ice: As we said, the key to getting this drink perfect is to use the right amount of ice. You definitely don’t want to scrimp on the amount. But, on the other hand, it is better to add too much and end up with a slightly too thick drink. It will obviously melt and thin out a little after you have served it.
- Desired Consistency: If you have used too much ice and can’t wait for it to melt, don’t worry. Instead, add a splash more milk and give it a further blitz in the blender until your Frappuccino reaches the desired consistency.
- No blender, no problem: Ideally, you will want to use a blender, but you can still get all the taste of this recipe, even if you can’t get the texture. So here’s the answer if you are looking to make this drink without a blender. Use a flask or cocktail shaker. Add all of the ingredients and give it a real hard shake. You’ll find that with the air and the ice, you’ll still get a pleasantly fluffy drink.
- Serving Suggestion: To make this drink really eye-catching (and trendy), we have served it in mason jars with a straw. Aside from stopping you from getting a milk mustache, the straw is really great for hoovering up all of those stray bits of sweet vanilla foam.
- One key to this recipe is getting the drink really smooth. It can sometimes be hard to tell with a blender, so here’s a great tip. It is impossible to overdo it with this Frappuccino recipe. You’ll be able to tell when all the ice has been pulverized as it will stop making a ratline sound, and the blender will all of a sudden go higher in pitch. That means it’s ready!
Does Starbucks Vanilla Bean Frappuccino Have Coffee in It?
Contrary to popular belief, the Starbucks Vanilla Bean Frappuccino does not contain coffee. It is one of the few Frappuccino beverages on the Starbucks menu that is coffee-free. This makes it an excellent choice for those who want to enjoy a Frappuccino without the caffeine jolt.
The lack of coffee in this drink allows the rich vanilla flavor to shine through unimpeded. It also contributes to the beverage’s creamy texture as there are no coffee grounds or espresso shots to disrupt the smoothness.
What does the vanilla bean Frappuccino taste like?
The Vanilla Bean Frappuccino tastes like a creamy, rich vanilla milkshake with a hint of sweetness. It has a smooth, velvety texture from the blended ice and milk, and the distinct flavor of vanilla beans gives it a comforting, familiar taste.
Can you freeze the leftovers?
Yes, you can freeze leftover Vanilla Bean Frappuccino. However, the texture and taste might change slightly after freezing and thawing. The drink may lose its creamy consistency and become more like a slushy or icy beverage. To enjoy it, let it thaw slightly in the refrigerator or at room temperature, then give it a good stir or blend before consuming. Keep in mind that the whipped cream topping, if present, may not freeze well and could lose its fluffy texture.
With just six ingredients and a little patience, you can make something that easily rivals a Starbucks vanilla bean Frappuccino (we wish we’d invented it, it is so easy!). This is a great pick-me-up on a hot summer’s day and is one of our favorites. It’s so cool and creamy. Have you tried our recipe? Let us know in the comments.