The Ice Hack That Ensures Your Copycat Starbucks Frappuccino Blends Smoothly

While Starbucks menu prices may vary from location to location, everywhere you go, they're bound to be on the high side. A grande Frappuccino may cost you a pretty penny that your wallet finds pretty ugly. So, if you're looking to cut down on your spending, learning how to make these at home may be a good place to start. The copycat Starbucks Frappuccino recipe from Mashed developer Mackenzie Ryan is for a caramel-flavored variety, and the ingredients include cold coffee, caramel syrup, caramel sauce, and milk. (Ryan used 2%, but Starbucks offers everything from nonfat to heavy cream, plus a range of plant milks.)

Oh, and you'll need a handful of ice cubes, of course. The ice is the key to getting that slushie-like texture, but Ryan has a tip to ensure easy blending. She says that the ice should be the last thing added to the blender after all of the other ingredients are in place — since, otherwise, your Frappuccino won't be quite so smooth.

If you want your Frap to stay smooth, you'll need to use a food additive

Even if you use the creamiest cream and the right kind of caramel sauce (Ryan recommends only using the kind meant as a coffee add-in, as she says ice cream toppings are too thick), and even if you do as we suggest and add the ice right before you blend, there's still one more thing you'll need to ensure a super-smooth Frap: xanthan gum. Despite the fact that "gum" is in the name, this common food additive is sold in powder form.

While Ryan assures us that the xanthan gum is optional, she explains, "This is what keeps the Frappuccino emulsified and blended." If you've ever had a Starbucks Frappuccino, you've already consumed the stuff — actually, it's a pretty common ingredient in beverages, sauces, and other edible liquids. If you do buy xanthan, you can also use it to make thicker smoothies, but if you don't feel like trying to track it down, feel free to skip it in this recipe. While Ryan warns that "the Frappuccino will separate over the course of a few minutes," you can always use a straw or spoon to stir your drink back together again.