Frappes are wildly popular drinks, and both Starbucks and McDonald’s have countless frappe options to satisfy their customers.
These beverages are excellent refreshments during hot summer days since they are blended with ice iced, which will give you a welcome relief from the heat.
However, you may be wondering if frappes have any coffee in them, or if they’re more like a nice milkshake.
Mcdonald’s Frappés all have coffee in them, and most of Starbucks’s Frappuccinos do as well. Unlike Mcdonald’s, not all Starbucks Frappuccinos have coffee in them, as some more closely resemble a milkshake.
In this article, I’ll go over the ingredients in both McDonald’s and Starbucks frappes, as well as how to make one yourself at home.
Read on to learn more about these highly popular drinks!
Differences Between McDonald’s and Starbucks’s Frappe
A frappe is an ice-blended drink that contains different flavors and ingredients. The most common places to get a frappe are Mcdonald’s McCafé and Starbucks.
Although these drinks are both frappes, they have several differences.
Let’s take a look at each of them:
A Frappuccino is a drink that’s unique to Starbucks. The name comes from combining frappe and cappuccino.
By labeling them as Frappuccinos, they created a frenzy around this drink, which led to the emergence of copycats.
Now, most coffee places will make some sort of frappe drink–including McDonald’s McCafé.
But, what makes a Frappuccino different from other frappes?
Let’s find out:
A Starbucks Frappuccino typically includes brewed coffee or espresso. However, there are several cream-based flavors without coffee.
They are made in a blender, and the ingredients depend on the type of Frappuccino you order.
Some common Frappuccino flavors include:
- Caramel Frappuccino
- Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino
- Espresso Frappuccino
- Mocha Frappuccino
Starbucks uses flavored syrups to give the drinks their distinctive flavor. You are also allowed to create a custom Frappuccino beverage by requesting a blend of your favorite syrups.
On the other hand, you can order a coffee-free Frapuccino. These more closely resemble the taste and texture of a milkshake, and are completely okay for children who may be too young to consume caffeine.
Some examples are:
- Strawberry Frappuccino
- Vanilla Bean Frappuccino
- Oreo Frappuccino
All Starbucks Frappuccinos contain milk. This is another ingredient that you can control, as Starbucks offers multiple milk options.
You can order your Frappuccinos with:
- Regular milk
- Skim milk
- Almond milk
- Coconut milk
- Soy milk
- Oat milk
Milk options can vary by location and season, so make sure to ask your barista which milk options are available.
Starbucks Frappuccinos contain a moderate-to-high amount of calories, depending on the beverage and your customizations.
Keep in mind that Starbucks Frapuccinos are very sweet, so you will be consuming a sizable amount of sugar in each drink.
For instance, a small caramel Ribbon Crunch Blended Frappuccino has 330 calories. It includes 42g (1.5oz) of sugar, 60mg of caffeine, and 15g (0.5oz) of fat.
The ingredients of this particular Frappuccino are:
- Buttery caramel
- Dark caramel sauce
- Whipped cream
- Caramel drizzle
- Crunchy caramel sugar
The calories may also vary depending on the flavor or ingredients. Therefore, if you’re watching your weight, you can ask your barista for one with fewer toppings to reduce your caloric intake.
The trick is to avoid fatty milk, whipped cream, and sugary syrups.
Surprisingly, this drink is very similar in taste to the Starbucks Frappuccino.
However, unlike Frappuccinos, all Mcdonald’s Frappés all have coffee in them.
You also can’t customize them as much, and there aren’t that many flavors available.
Unlike Starbucks, there aren’t many options when it comes to Mcdonald’s Frappés. The most popular include mocha and caramel, and both contain coffee.
Mcdonald’s Frappés are made using:
- Instant coffee
However, the coffee taste is not prominent in some flavors, such as caramel.
The sugary syrup can very easily overpower the flavor of coffee, so these may not be the best option for coffee-lovers.
Frappes are made by blending the main ingredients and then adding the toppings, depending on the flavor.
Mcdonald’s Frappés are sweet, and you’ll like them if you have a sweet tooth. However, you should keep in mind that these beverages are very high in sugar.
McDonald’s Frappés are sweeter than Starbucks Frappuccinos since they’re rich in sugar and cream, which explains their high-calorie count.
For instance, the small McCafe Caramel Frappé contains 430 calories. The major contributors are sugar at 55g (2 oz) and fat at 18 g (0.6 oz).
Although the coffee is more (about 100 mg) than its frappuccino counterpart, it has little or no calories because it’s instant.
The main ingredients include:
- Caramel coffee frappe base
- Whipped light cream
- Caramel drizzle
Which Is Better, Frappe or Frappuccino?
Choosing between a frappe and a Frappuccino is a matter of preference. Some of the factors that can influence your choice include:
- Price: Frappuccinos are generally more expensive than McDonald’s Frappés. Therefore, a Frappé will do if you need a cheap option to quench your thirst and get your caffeine fix.
- Calories: Frappuccinos typically have fewer calories than Frappés.
- Taste: McDonald’s Frappés typically use more sugar than Starbucks Frappuccinos, so they tend to be sweeter. However, Starbucks has a wider range of flavors and will allow you to customize your drink.
How To Make a Frappé or Frappuccino at Home
These two iced drinks are good options for beverages you can make at home, especially when it’s hot out.
Making these at home can be a great way to customize the flavor to your taste, save money, and reduce the amount of calories in your drink.
Here’s how to prepare a Frappé or a Starbucks Frappuccino at home:
Ingredients for a Medium or 16 Fl Oz Cup
- Instant coffee: Starbucks uses brewed coffee or espresso for most Frappuccinos, but instant coffee is okay for this recipe. 2-3 spoons are enough, but you can add more depending on how strong you want the coffee flavor to be.
- Frappuccino syrup: The syrup gives your Frappuccino a smooth texture. You can make a batch or two to last you a week. 3 spoonfuls or pumps should suffice.
- 1 cup milk: You can use whole milk if you want the Starbucks taste. If you want yours with fewer calories, you can use non-fat milk or a plant-based milk.
- Ice: Ice will impact the texture of your Frappuccino. The more ice, the thicker your beverage will be.
- Toppings: You can use any toppings you’d like, such as whipped cream and cookie crumble.
Note that you’ll need a blender in order to make your Frappuccino. It doesn’t necessarily need to be too powerful, but the more powerful the blender, the smoother your beverage will come out.
- Add the coffee and milk in the blender and blend until you get a smooth foam. This will take up to 10 seconds.
- Add the frappuccino base or sugar syrup and blend again for five seconds.
- Place the ice in your blender and blend until smooth. This may take up to a full minute.
- Serve in a glass and add any desired toppings.
You don’t have to add extra sugar unless you have a very sweet tooth. The syrup should give your drink plenty of sweetness.
However, feel free to add extra sugar at any point in the blending process if you’re looking for a sweeter treat.
Tips for Making Frappes
Making a McDonald’s Frappé or Starbucks Frappuccino dupe at home is easier than you’d think. However, here are some tips to help you take your beverage to the next level:
- If you want a low-calorie drink, avoid using whipped cream and full-fat milk. Instead, use soy, oat, or almond milk.
- Go easy on the syrup and extra sugar. If you enjoy the taste of coffee, you should try to slowly reduce the amount of syrup in your drinks to gradually reduce the calories in your frappes.
- If you really enjoy coffee, feel free to add a few extra shots of espresso to your frappe.
Frappes are blended drinks that traditionally contain coffee. You can count on all McDonald’s McCafé Frappés to have some coffee in them, while not all Starbucks Frappuccinos contain coffee.
Additionally, keep in mind that McDonald’s Frappés tend to contain more sugar than Starbucks Frappuccinos, so they will usually be sweeter and contain more calories.
- Starbucks Coffee Company: Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino® Blended Beverage
- Eleven Coffees: Instant Coffee vs. Ground Coffee: Which Is Cheaper? (2023)
- McDonald’s: Caramel Frappé with Caramel Drizzle
- Coffee at Three: Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino Copycat
- Fluent in Coffee: Frappe Vs. Frappuccino – Famous Iced Coffee Drinks Explained
- Starbucks Coffee Company: Frappuccino® Blended Beverages
- McCafé® Frappés | McDonald’s