My recipe for a Sugar-free, Healthy “Coffee-cino” frozen coffee drink. Move over, Starbucks!

The days of overspending on a sugary, fattening frozen coffee drink are over.

I’m currently sipping a homemade, sugar-free mocha “Coffee-cino”that cost way less than $3.50 to make. It has all taste with half the calories and carbs of the real deal. Diabetic coffee lovers, carb watchers, and college students – this one’s for you guys.  Come take a coffee break with me and make your own!


During a study break, I got back into the kitchen to whip up this much-needed caffeine fix! I hope you enjoy playing with the recipe and tweaking it to your tastes. Stevia and erythritol are my sweeteners of choice in this recipe since they’re all natural and don’t give me any side effects. Truvia would probably work in place of the erythritol and stevia.You could also try using xylitol or even Splenda in in this recipe, as long as you mix the Splenda with another sugar-free sweetener. Splenda alone doesn’t tend to sweeten chocolate-flavored treats very well.

Ingredients shot! Imitation vanilla and regular half and half work just as well as the organic kind. πŸ˜‰

A homemade frapp works much better for a student budget than the kind from Starbucks since it costs way less per drink compared to the $3.75 for a small one. More importantly, this Healthy-cino has 74 calories and 3.2 carbs compared to the store bought version, which contains 200 calories and 42 carbs. In other words, you can be skinnier and richer drinking these bad boys. Ohhhhhh, yeah!

I’m sipping my Homemade Coffee-cino out of a Starbucks cup I washed out and saved. You can see it next to my stack of textbooks above. This semester has been crazier than usual with a full load of science classes. So many electric circuits to resolve, so many equilibrium concentrations to solve for, so little time to cook! I appreciate your comments and donations, and will answer questions when I can. Time to hit the books again…

Healthier “Coffee-cino” Frozen Coffee Drink

Makes a single serving
4 teaspoons erythritol OR 4 teaspoons Truvia
1/8 teaspoon Trader Joe’s stevia extract (omit if using Truvia)
3 ounces water
3 Tablespoons organic half and half
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup crushed ice
Tiny pinch of sea salt
1/32 teaspoon xanthan gum (for a “creamier” texture)
To make a single serving:
Mix up dry ingredients. To blender or Magic Bullet cup, add crushed ice, water, half and half, and vanilla extract. Add dry mix to blender cup. Blend till smooth. Pour into mug. Enjoy!

To make a large batch of dry mix:

10 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons erythritol
1/2 teaspoon NuNaturals pure stevia extract powder
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons instant coffee

Big pinch sea salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (for a smoother, “creamier” texture)

To make a single serving from the mix, add 2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of the dry mix to the vanilla, ice, water, and cream listed in the original recipe. The mix makes roughly 8 servings. Play around with it and make it your own! Feel free to share your tweaks to the recipe in the comments section below.
Psst… share the love on Pinterest! πŸ™‚

51 Comments on My recipe for a Sugar-free, Healthy “Coffee-cino” frozen coffee drink. Move over, Starbucks!

  1. Brandon
    March 25, 2012 at 10:05 pm (11 years ago)

    Oh wow, Microbiology and Phsyics? Yikes! I have Micro next semester, but thank goodness no Physics. You definitely need this recipe! I'm in the midst of studying for a Chemistry exam, so I probably need a bit of a pick me up, as well. πŸ™‚

  2. Anonymous
    March 25, 2012 at 11:40 pm (11 years ago)


  3. Gwuinifer
    March 26, 2012 at 4:04 am (11 years ago)

    Thanks for taking time out of your insane schedule and sharing this yumminess with us! I realized that it has been six months or so since my last blended coffee-type drink. I used the same ingredients, but instead of instant coffee I used the last scrapings from my fancy freeze-dried espresso from King Arthur Flour. That stuff is seriously awesome, flavor-wise, and lasts forever. I think I might have to get some more and make me one of these this week! πŸ™‚ Always a pleasure, Lauren! <3

  4. Anonymous
    March 26, 2012 at 8:34 pm (11 years ago)

    Cannot wait to make this for my daughter! I may try the method suggested by Anonymous as those ingredients are all available. MY LC daughter has been kvetching about the price of coffee drinks on a teacher's salary. She's lost 70 lbs and deserves this treat! Will be so much fun to surprise her with it. Thank you Lauren!

  5. Seneca
    March 26, 2012 at 9:06 pm (11 years ago)

    Tastes really good! I made the big batch and did the salt and xanthan. I also had some vanilla powder so I just a tsp of that in the big mix. One less thing to do in the am!

  6. Anonymous
    March 26, 2012 at 9:25 pm (11 years ago)

    Really great idea,I can't wait to try this. But I am just so lazy….

  7. Stephanie
    March 27, 2012 at 12:12 am (11 years ago)

    Looks fabulous. I MUST try this. Good to see you back. I always look forward to your recipes!

  8. Anonymous
    March 27, 2012 at 12:24 am (11 years ago)

    Just wondering Lauren, what is the degree you are you working on? Is it something nutrition related?

  9. Felecia
    March 27, 2012 at 2:08 am (11 years ago)

    Poor grad students UNITE!! Good luck with physics…I could never get it. Micro was fun though except for the lab practicals!! Argh. Thanks for another wonderful recipe. Take care!

  10. Phoenix Dentist
    March 27, 2012 at 11:55 am (11 years ago)

    I think that this will be a great challenge for you and your blogs.

  11. Amy
    March 28, 2012 at 8:42 pm (11 years ago)

    Wonderful! I tweaked mine a little bit to use what I had in the fridge. Instead of 3TB H&H I used 1 TB HWC and 2 TB water. I also made a version with Coconut Davinci (put in 2 TB of syrup and used 2TB less water). I kept the sweetener level the same but could possible go a little less on the Erythritol because of the sweetner (sucralose) in the DaVinci. My mom LOVES the coconut/mocha frappes that we got while in Hawaii and this will defintely put a smile on her face. I might try adding in some “chunks” a la unsweetened shredded coconut or some SF/LC chocolate chips. There are many tweak/possibilities with this recipe – next up I'm going to try adding in strawberry flavor or raspberry extract and follow up with mint and peanut butter (but not all at the same time). Then MAPLE! …did someone say bacon? lol πŸ™‚

    Thanks Lauren!

  12. Anna @ The Guiltless Life
    April 2, 2012 at 4:55 pm (11 years ago)

    Delicious! I love the idea of using half and half to make it creamy – and with the lack of sugar you can use the calories for that no problem! Sometimes frappes when you healthify them lose that creaminess so I love this idea!

  13. Anonymous
    April 3, 2012 at 2:23 am (11 years ago)

    It was a hit with the husband. next time though gonna try subbing in some davinchi sf caramel syrup for the water i miss the caramel mocha mix coffe beverages i used to enjoy regularly. hopefully this tweak will be a great substitute. Blueberry cheesecake bars are n the oven and almost done. looking forward to the next recipe.

  14. BethanyRenae
    April 3, 2012 at 9:29 am (11 years ago)

    Thank you Lauren! This is delicious. Already have made it two days in a row. We don't have half and half in NZ so I used full cream (yum!) Im trying to up my coconut consumption because of all the literature praising its benefits, so yesterday I put a tablespoon of dessicated coconut and a tablespoon of coconut cream in there too. It made it a filling snack. So scrumptious!

  15. Lauren
    April 4, 2012 at 5:40 pm (11 years ago)

    Brandon, I hope your Chemistry exam went well! I was studying for Chemistry II that day actually. We WILL get through these tough science courses and achieve our dreams! πŸ˜€

    Anon – If you ran the coffee through the coffee maker a couple of times I think that would make it sufficiently strong. It just depends on how much coffee flavor you like. πŸ™‚

    Gwuinifer – It's so good to “hear” from you again, lady! <3 Have you made any pad thai lately? ;) Thanks for giving me a heads up about the freeze-dried espresso! Seems like it would be a fun ingredient to experiment with.

    Anon – I am so proud of your daughter – what an accomplishment! Let me know how she likes the drink. πŸ™‚

    Seneca – Glad it turned out well for you. The vanilla powder sounds like a great idea. What kind do you use? Where do you get it?

    Stephanie – Glad to be back! Will be popping in to share recipes as much as possible. πŸ™‚

    Anon – I am working on a biology degree taking premed classes now after my first bachelor's.

    Felecia – Thank you! What kind of program are you doing? I hear you about the lab practicals!

    Amy – A bacon frap… now THAT is a variation I hadn't thought of! It's a low carbers dream, haha. What kind of sugar-free chips do you use?

    Anna – The half and half does make it rich. πŸ™‚ For even more decadence, cream would work. I've been making it with organic whole milk in place of water lately and it's ridiculously yummy.

    Anon – Let me know how you like the cheesecake bars. The sugar-free syrups would be a great way to add some extra flavor. I can use up some of my eggnog Davinci's syrup this way – thanks for sharing your idea.

    Bethany – It's interesting to hear from international readers like you re ingredients and the changes you make. Glad the frapp worked with cream!

  16. Dave
    April 4, 2012 at 7:24 pm (11 years ago)

    My Starbucks blend-

    Venti cold cup
    6 splenda
    4 shots espresso
    Heavy cream up to second line on cup (from bottom)
    2 scoops protein
    Grande scoop ice

    They should charge you for a Quad Espresso
    add heavy cream, add protein. (about $4 for Venti)

    Great texture, taste of coffee ice cream– Enjoy !!

    Keep up the good work Lauren-

  17. Lindsey
    April 11, 2012 at 2:12 pm (11 years ago)

    Adore the look of your recipes πŸ™‚ I had a go at the Black bean chocolate cake a few days ago, with a few improvisations as I was short on some ingredients. My boyfriend said he preferred it to my usual chocolate cake, which is loaded with all things bad! Quick question – I'm in the UK but willing to pay out for decent stevia from the US, even though the postage is crazy. The stevia you link to on iHerb is cut with something else, and it isn't pure. The only pure one is the enormous 1lb tub, which I can't afford just for experimentation! Does it matter that the smaller tub isn't pure, does it affect the strength or anything? πŸ™‚ Loves from a fellow adventurous baker, Lindsey x

  18. Antoszewskia
    April 12, 2012 at 12:34 am (11 years ago)

    Wow this sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  19. Emma
    April 12, 2012 at 4:27 am (11 years ago)

    How decadent! This recipe looks like “heaven on earth”! I love to drink coffee, and this recipe will give me something different to do with my morning /afternoon cups. I want to thank you so much for posting such amazing recipes on your blog. It really does make a low carb, sugar free lifestyle a lot easier!

    Gratefully, Emma

    • Lauren B.
      January 3, 2013 at 6:50 pm (10 years ago)

      Emma, thank you for the nice comment. Glad to see your blog is alive and well. You have lots of fun pics posted!

      P.S. Shooting you an email re your comment. πŸ˜€

  20. Robyn
    April 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm (11 years ago)

    Hey! I just came across your blog on pinterest. Looks amazing πŸ™‚ I am also a nutrition junkie, and looove baking healthy foods. I have tried making a beet chocolate cake, that didn't turn out so well. I am definitely going to be trying your bean chocolate cake, and this tasty looking mocha-frappuccinon. I have my own blog at and I have a few questions about your advertising and donation options. Not sure if you can private message on here? But facebook me, Robyn Mitchell, in High Level, Canada!

    Thank you!

  21. brenda
    April 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm (11 years ago)

    Hi everyone….

    Was wondering if everyone knew that NuNaturals lists 4 grams of carb per teaspoon!! If this somehow works it's way out through cooking or something….please let me know…


    • Lauren B.
      January 3, 2013 at 6:42 pm (10 years ago)

      Brenda, the NuNaturals pure extract does not have fillers. The NuNaturals baking blend does have fillers. Hope that helps. πŸ™‚

  22. Anonymous
    April 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm (11 years ago)

    So delicious!

    If you tweak it a little (use milk instead of water, mainly, and you can leave out the coffee although I put it in and I didn't use the optional stuff), it tastes similar to what I remember of a Wendy's chocolate frosty. It's been a long time, but from memory, it was very similar.

    Great recipe! I still love the brownies and cheesecake recipes, too.


  23. Maliha Sassin
    April 30, 2012 at 8:03 am (11 years ago)

    Your blog is one of the best blogs.
    I would like to come back again.
    I am sure of that you are also glad to help every other.
    Thank you for sharing!
    Various Cooking Recipe

  24. Lauren
    April 30, 2012 at 11:32 pm (11 years ago)

    Dave – your Starbucks blend sounds very tasty! Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

    Lindsey – Happy to hear you and the bf liked the chocolate cake. There is a 1 oz container of the pure stevia that I've linked to in a few posts. Here it is – This stevia is not bulked out at all.

    Emma – Thank you for stopping by!

    Robyn – Thank you for stopping by and sharing your site! If you would like to get in touch you can use my email address at the sidebar. πŸ™‚

    Brenda – There are two pure versions of NuNaturals stevia sold on Here is the smaller size-
    There is also a version with maltodextrin. Avoid that one. πŸ˜‰

    Anon – Thanks for sharing your tweak that tastes like a Wendy's frosty! Yum.

    Maliha – Thank you for the nice comment.

  25. Deborah
    May 15, 2012 at 7:47 am (11 years ago)

    So looking forward to trying this. Lauren, do you think i could swap in 3 oz of espresso for the 3 oz water/1 tsp coffee? would it drown out the chocolate taste? should i make weak espresso? i don't have instant…

    • Lauren B.
      January 3, 2013 at 6:41 pm (10 years ago)

      Deborah, the espresso might be a bit overpowering in this drink. If you do try it, please let me know how it works out. πŸ™‚

  26. Unknown
    May 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm (11 years ago)

    Thank you for this recipe! It has meant so much to me! It's my afternoon treat and enables me to have something to look forward to during the day. It's what keeps me staying 'good'! Just can't thank you enough!

  27. Anonymous
    June 1, 2012 at 12:15 am (11 years ago)

    i thought you graduated last year?

    • Lauren B.
      January 3, 2013 at 6:33 pm (10 years ago)

      I did with my first bachelor’s degree. πŸ™‚

  28. Lauren
    June 16, 2012 at 10:32 pm (11 years ago)

    Anon – I did graduate with my Bachelor's degree. I am doing post-bacc work a different institution. πŸ™‚

  29. Lauren
    June 16, 2012 at 10:39 pm (11 years ago)

    Deborah – Did you try the espresso? It sounds like it would work. πŸ™‚

  30. Mjau
    June 24, 2012 at 8:09 pm (11 years ago)

    I'm planning to try a mint version of this, but I got a craving for it at 8PM. Not a good time for caffeine, so I whisked together everything except the instant coffee. Then, on an impulse, I whisked in an egg.

    Egg frappuchino = definite win in my book!

    • Lauren B.
      January 3, 2013 at 6:34 pm (10 years ago)

      Sounds so good with another egg added! Great twist on the recipe. πŸ™‚

  31. ErikaRobin
    July 1, 2012 at 3:41 pm (11 years ago)

    I added a scoop of Hagen Dazs to it and it's FABULOUS!

    Just kidding. I did add a bit of agave nectar since I ran out of stevia, but it was wonderful. Love this recipe! Thanks for posting it.

    May I link it to my blog at Random Ninja – Writer of Wrongs?

  32. Lauren
    July 1, 2012 at 4:37 pm (11 years ago)

    Mjau- I bet the egg made it super creamy! Sounds like a tasty addition to the frapp. πŸ™‚

    ErikaRobin- Glad the frapp worked turned out well for you! You can certainly link to it. Thanks for sharing it! πŸ˜€

  33. David Meade
    July 4, 2012 at 3:51 pm (11 years ago)

    Hey, this was delicious. I was just wondering how if 1 tsp of erythritol has 4g carbs then how does this recipe call for 3 tsp but is only 3.2 g of carbs. Also besides being natural, regular sugar has the same amount of carbs per tsp as erythritol, so how is it better in the weight gain area?

    • Elissa
      August 3, 2014 at 1:29 pm (9 years ago)

      Just as part of your answer, that level of erythritol was for a mix that makes about 8 servings, so the total carbs would be divided to determine the amount in one cup, I’m assuming. Sugar is unhealthy because it suppresses the immune system, among other things, and it creates an addiction response in the brain that leads to increased sugar and carb consumption. So it’s unhealthy on a number of levels, not just because it causes the body to store fat. It would be good to research it a bit further, I hear that sweet poison is a good book, though I haven’t read it yet myself. But there are lots of reasons to avoid sugar (and artificial sweeteners, like aspartame – i would stay FAR away from those).

  34. Glyph/
    July 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm (11 years ago)

    I was planning to come check out the blog to see what I've missed lately and suddenly Healthy Indulgences showed up on my Facebook. Tada!! Love your recipes, Lauren, thank you for formulating and sharing them. My diabetic husband (and my too-chubby self) will be enjoying your special Frappucinos now. πŸ™‚

  35. Erica
    July 24, 2012 at 4:53 pm (11 years ago)

    This recipe is a dead ringer!! To make it even more streamlined I use 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk in place of the water + cream + vanilla, it streamlines the process quite a bit, especially if using the bulk dry mix πŸ™‚

    • Lauren B.
      January 3, 2013 at 6:40 pm (10 years ago)

      Erica, thanks for the tip about using almond milk. I’m going to look for it at the health food store. Thanks a bunch!

  36. Rochelle
    November 3, 2012 at 7:52 pm (11 years ago)

    Is there something you can use in place of NuStevia? Something I can grab from the grocery store?

    • Lauren B.
      January 3, 2013 at 6:39 pm (10 years ago)

      Hi, Rochelle! Great question. I’m adding it to my FAQ page on sugar-free sweeteners.

      The brand of stevia from the grocery store that I recommend is called Purevia. I’m going to do a conversion chart between the pure extract and the stevia in packets in my next e-book. For now I recommend playing around with the amount of Purevia packets until the coffee-cino is sweet enough for you. πŸ™‚

  37. Rochelle
    November 3, 2012 at 7:53 pm (11 years ago)

    Sorry, I meant NuNaturals pure stevia

  38. Maureen-Oz
    November 12, 2012 at 6:08 am (11 years ago)

    Wow! I had never even tasted a frappe until I made this recipe…now I am addicted!! Today I substituted the half and half with coconut milk and it was even more sensational. Thanks for all your hard work Lauren, you sure make low-carbing fun πŸ˜€

    • Lauren B.
      January 3, 2013 at 6:35 pm (10 years ago)

      Maureen, glad to hear you’re digging the coffee drink. You made a paleo-cino with coconut milk – how cool! I’ll note that in the recipe directions. Thanks for the nice comment!

  39. Trisha
    January 6, 2013 at 7:11 pm (10 years ago)

    This looks yummy – all of the “foo foo” coffee drinks always do to me, but sadly they never appeal to me much once I drink them. Black coffee for or a shot of espresso for me. My grandma, however, loves these types of drinks. I will have to make this for her because she also needs to watch her blood sugar as a diabetic. Thanks so much for sharing and linking up with Wellness Wednesday!

  40. Jo
    June 6, 2013 at 8:01 pm (10 years ago)

    I am loving that your recipes are sugar-free and as far as I can tell, gluten-free? as well…this is how I try to eat! Will be checking out your blog more and more!!! Thanks!! πŸ™‚

    • Lauren B.
      June 13, 2013 at 8:19 pm (10 years ago)

      You are welcome, Jo! Hope you find some new favorite treats that suit your diet. πŸ™‚

  41. Theresa S
    June 16, 2015 at 5:52 am (8 years ago)

    Just found your site. Was looking for sugar free coffee frozen drink. I’m going to try your receipe. Do you any more?