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Copycat recipes are beloved for many reasons, including saving you a few bucks. These Starbucks copycat recipes are no exception, and are just what you need right now (even if you’re not on lockdown any longer, you’re probably not going out for coffee like you used to).
I’ll admit it: I love Starbucks, but I’m ballin’ on a budget, so I don’t always have Starbucks money. Feel me? You may not want to admit it, but you probably feel me. It happens to the best of us. But I have a solution. I’m here to help you become your own barista, and pretty soon you’ll be able to make some of the most classic Starbucks drinks—hot OR iced—from the comfort of your own home!
Related Reading: How to Set Up a Coffee Bar at Home
And if you buy all the ingredients up front, you’ll probably save money on coffee in the long run, which is a huge plus.
Coronavirus caveat: If you don’t already have some of the special syrups mentioned below at home, expect shipping delays when you order online—or DIY those too. Try this vanilla syrup recipe (don’t stress if you only have extract, but add a little extra), and this homemade caramel syrup recipe, and you’ll be all set.
The fall-time favorite that I admittedly have still never tried(!) has quickly become synonymous with the Starbucks name, so I’d be certifiably insane to not teach you how to make it at home. That way, you could start every day with a PSL. As a bonus, Chowhound’s DIY Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe has way less sugar than the original and can even be made vegan if you want! You’re so welcome.
For the latte itself, you’ll want to start by heating your milk for one minute and then frothing it a bit; if you don’t have a handheld frother, never fear. Here’s how to froth milk without an espresso machine (or an electric frother, for that matter). For the full PSL effect, be sure to top with whipped cream and some pumpkin pie spice.
This is the perfect drink for a hot day (or a cheat day), and it’s the drink that got me hooked on Starbucks years before I discovered my need for pure shots of bitter espresso straight into my bloodstream. And this Caramel Frappuccino recipe was actually featured on Good Morning America, so you know it’s a good copycat! You can use espresso shots or strongly brewed coffee, and any milk you like. You’ll also need both caramel sauce and caramel syrup, but the xanthan gum is optional (it’s there to thicken things up for the ideal frappe kind of texture, but adding more ice works just as well).
Because you’re the barista, feel free to get even more generous with the caramel. For authenticity, top it off with some whipped cream and a little caramel sauce drizzle.
Related Reading: This Simple Trick Makes Bottled Starbucks Frappuccino So Much Better
Cold Brew with Salted Cream Cold Foam
A more restrained but equally refreshing option that still satisfies the craving for a little something sweet (and salty), this simple cold brew with creamy, salted sweet foam is perfect. This copycat salted cream cold foam cold brew recipe promises everything you love about the drink, except the instant gratification part, since you’ll need to steep your cold brew for about 18 hours.
Related Reading: The One Thing You’re Getting Wrong When Making Cold Brew
White Chocolate Mocha
This is actually one of Starbucks’ most popular drinks. It’s my go-to when I’m craving something very sweet, and it’s the everyday order of none other than Kim Kardashian West. Celebrities, they’re just like us. Now, this White Chocolate Mocha recipe calls for about 3 tablespoons of white chocolate chips rather than syrup, but if you like it much sweeter, just add more chocolate! Make sure to whisk often when heating your coffee, milk, and chocolate, and don’t skip the whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top.
Related Reading: What Is White Chocolate, Exactly?
Hot or iced, the Starbucks vanilla latte is my thing. It’s so simple, yet so delicious. It’s even perfect with any kind of milk—regular, soy, coconut, you name it! And this one is so easy, you don’t even need a recipe. Froth your favorite milk with a whisk or blender, add your preferred espresso or strong coffee, and pick up some vanilla syrup from your local grocery store. When summer comes around again, I strongly suggest making this over some ice.
Iced Caramel Macchiato
Perhaps the most Instagram-worthy drink on this list, the iced caramel macchiato looks difficult because the espresso is so beautifully layered on the milk, but I promise it’s super simple, thanks to this Iced Caramel Macchiato recipe.
You’ll need to get vanilla syrup and caramel syrup too (if you want things sweeter), plus some some caramel sauce for the bottom of your cup (OK, and the top). When pouring in your espresso, go slowly and the coffee will layer naturally on top of the milk. I know a lot of people choose to mix that until they blend, but I actually enjoy it separated.
Related Reading: How to Make That Fluffy Dalgona Coffee That’s All Over Instagram
Passion Tea Lemonade
In what is perhaps the most basic thing in the world, I stop in a Starbucks drive through once a week every summer on the way to beach volleyball for one of these things. The passion tea lemonade is as addicting as it is delicious, and I think it’s just as good unsweetened.
For this Copycat Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade recipe, you’ll need the straight up passion tea that Starbucks makes. But good news, they sell it in stores and in bulk online! You’ll need to boil water and steep the tea first and foremost, because tea just doesn’t dissolve to its fullest in cold water. You’ll also need to add the sugar in now (if you so choose) for the same reason; it’ll dissolve much better in hot tea. When you’ve boiled water and you’re satisfied with your tea, refrigerate it for a little while. When it’s ready, fill your cup with ice. The recommended ratio for the passion tea lemonade is one part tea, two parts lemonade. That way it’ll be naturally sweet.
The Pink Drink
Closely related to the above thirst quencher, the equally Instagram-friendly Pink Drink is made from passion fruit, acai, strawberries, and coconut milk. This Copycat Starbucks Pink Drink recipe has a base of acai berry tea and uses white grape juice to help sweeten it and intensify the fruity flavors. Adjust the sweetness to taste with agave nectar (you’ll need a LOT if you want it as sweet as Starbucks) and add coconut milk to give it that pale blushing color and creamy texture. Sliced strawberries top it off.
Chai Tea Latte
This drink is one of Starbucks’ bestsellers, and I STILL haven’t tried it. There used to be a time when I would leave for Starbucks and my dad would always yell, “Get me a Chai Tea Latte,” so this is the first one on this list I’m dying to make for myself. While Starbucks sells Tazo tea cups for your Keurig, it’s a little more fun to run down the spice aisle at the store and get everything you need to follow this DIY Starbucks Chai Tea Latte recipe. You’ll need cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger, plus honey, black tea, and milk (and water, of course).
Shout out to this Copycat Starbucks Peppermint Mocha recipe for making it possible for me to enjoy a piping hot peppermint mocha even in the middle of July. Isn’t that what everyone wants? Use milk or dark chocolate, or mix them both for multilayered flavor. And do not confuse the peppermint extract with mint extract; peppermint is a strong flavor, so use to your taste, but the recommended amount is anywhere between 1/8 and 1/4 of a teaspoon. Personally, I think the chocolate makes this drink plenty sweet, but feel free to experiment with additional sugar, honey, agave, or any other kind of sweetener you may want.
To get really festive, top it with whipped cream and crushed candy canes (which, I’ll admit, may be hard to find now that Christmas is long gone. I won’t tell anyone if you use the peppermint candies from your grandma’s house in the off season).
The wildly popular flat white got me through midterms and finals week in college. I’m not kidding. Now you’ll know how to make something to get through all your stress and exhaustion! The key to a successful flat white is a fine, frothy milk. If you actually have a frother, now is the time to use it! If not, you can blend or whisk the milk until it froths. All you need to do is pour the milk over the coffee when you’re satisfied with the froth. Stir in sugar to taste, but this is a drink that I think is actually better without the sweetener.
Related Video: How to Make Dalgona Coffee—It’s Easier Than You Think
The original version of this story was published in 2018. It has been updated with additional images, links, and text.
Header image courtesy of Pixabay