How to Order Starbucks Secret Menu Drinks
Take this guide to Starbucks so you can order the Starbucks secret menu drink of your dreams! We’re also sharing several Starbucks copycat recipes for those who want to play barista at home.
With more than 62,000 tags on Instagram, the #starbuckssecretmenu isn’t particularly secret. But it does tap into our collective desire to be in-the-know, as well as our general obsession with all things sweet, caffeinated, or both. The thing is, unlike the In-n-Out Burger “secret” menu, these off-menu recipes aren’t officially published by Starbucks, and not every barista will know them by heart. You have to know exactly what you’re asking for, pump for pump.
A fairytale story in coffee drink form
Take the Cinderella Latte, for instance, which recently re-emerged as a Starbucks secret menu fave. Practically speaking, it’s a Pumpkin Spice Latte (or "PSL") with White Chocolate Mocha Sauce subbed for half the pumps of Pumpkin Sauce. But there’s obviously more to it than that. It’s the seasonal obsession of Starbucks’ PSL plus the magic of Disney, all in a Venti cup. Its creator, Erica Howard-Cox, a former barista and die-hard Disney fan, describes her inspiration: “The combination made me think of the scene where Cinderella’s fairy godmother turns an ordinary orange pumpkin into a beautiful white pumpkin carriage.” Just in coffee form.
That was nearly a decade ago. The Cinderella Latte has since had its viral moment — as much for its widely reported origin story as for the way it tastes (i.e. sweet, decadent, delicious). Says Meredith Cash, writing for Insider in September 2019, “The Cinderella Latte is less of a drink than it is a dessert. If you aren't looking for a sugary treat, then you should look elsewhere.”
As a rule, that's the case with most of these covert creations. Starbucks secret menu items are about more not less — more syrup, more color, more sugar, more whipped cream, more calories — as well as a spirit of creativity driven by a sense of, Oh yeah?! Well, how about THIS?! But it’s all in good fun. These over-the-top drinkable creations are, as the Twitter bio for the site starbuckssecretmenu.net says, “Created for Starbucks fans, by Starbucks fans."
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Starbucks secret menu drinks guide
While your barista might have the formula for your special creation memorized ... they might not. Here's your handy cheat sheet of exactly what to ask for to get your favorite custom drink.
Can't wait for a barista? Skip ahead to our collection of copycat recipes in the next section!
Ask for a PSL, but with two pumps of Pumpkin Sauce and two pumps of White Chocolate Mocha Sauce.
Pixie Dust Latte
Another Erica Howard-Cox invention, the Pixie Dust Latte, takes Starbucks' Cinnamon Dolce Latte and adds White Chocolate Mocha. The taste? “Like a cinnamon roll but without the frosting," says Howard-Cox. Alternately, you can split the syrups — two pumps Cinnamon Dolce and two, White Chocolate Mocha.
Inspired by Will Ferrell in Elf, the Christmas-gram, also by Howard-Cox, is part Gingerbread Latte (a seasonal drink), part White Chocolate Mocha.
Harry Potter fans, there’s a whole secret menu just for you — but a fan favorite is the Butterbeer Frappuccino. Order a whole milk Crème Frappuccino with three pumps of caramel syrup, three pumps of toffee nut syrup, and lots of caramel drizzle.
Pink Drink … and more color-themed drinks
There’s now a veritable rainbow of cold, fruity colored drinks at Starbucks, from the official, on-the-menu Pink Drink — a Strawberry Acai Refreshers Beverage mixed with coconut milk instead of water — to, well, you name it. Here are a few to try out:
Orange Drink: Orange Mango Juice with vanilla bean powder and a splash of coconut milk
Green Drink: Iced black tea with coconut milk and matcha
Blue Drink: A Teavana Iced Passion Tango Tea with soy milk instead of water and vanilla syrup
Purple Drink: Iced Passion Tango Tea with soy milk, vanilla syrup, and blackberries
And then! The fun continues with two-tone or ombre drinks. My favorite is the Matcha Pink Drink: Starbucks' standard Pink Drink layered on top of a cup filled halfway with coconut milk and green tea matcha powder.
The Medicine Ball
The appropriately named Medicine Ball is a cold-season must-have. To order, ask for a Venti cup with half hot water and half steamed lemonade, plus one bag of Teavana Jade Citrus Mint Tea, one bag of Teavana Peach Tranquility Tea, a packet of honey, and a pump of peppermint syrup.
Candy Cane Frappuccino
An uncomplicated holiday treat! Ask for a Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino with one or two pumps of peppermint syrup.
Hot off the heels of the on-the-menu Unicorn Frappuccino, a Starbucks barista named Jócelyn Freeman invented the Mermaid Frappuccino. Ask for a grande Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with three scoops of blackberry inclusions, topped with eight pumps of white mocha sauce, three scoops of matcha, and, depending on the recipe, three pumps of toasted coconut.
Thin Mint Frappuccino
If you simply can’t wait for Girl Scout cookie season, try this: Matcha Green Tea Crème Frappuccino, plus two pumps of chocolate syrup, one pump of mint syrup, java chips, and honey.
For a Tiramisu Frap, ask for a Coffee Frappuccino with one pump of mocha sauce, a half pump each of caramel, vanilla, toffee-nut, and hazelnut syrups, and a shot of hot espresso on top.
A Caramel Frappuccino gets the candy bar treatment with extra caramel and mocha drizzled in the cup, blended with whipped cream, a pump of hazelnut, and java chips.
Birthday Cake Frappuccino
For your birthday (or any of the other 364 days of the year) upgrade your Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with a double pump each of toffee nut and hazelnut syrups, topped off with a little whipped cream.
"The Nutella" Mocha
Request a Caffè Misto with a pump of chocolate syrup, a pump of hazelnut syrup, and a caramel drizzle.
Raspberry Cheesecake Mocha
Ask for a White Chocolate Mocha with two extra pumps of raspberry syrup.
The Dirty Chai
This off-menu order can be found in cafes far and wide, not just Starbucks. Ask for a Chai Latte with extra shots of espresso. Hot, cold, or as a frap — they're all delicious!
Ask for a Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino with white mocha syrup instead of regular mocha; it tastes just like Oreos.
The magic Italian trio! Just add vanilla bean powder and a pump of mocha syrup to your next Strawberry Frappuccino.
Chocolate Pumpkin Latte
This one’s super easy: Just ask for a PSL with an extra pump of chocolate syrup.
The Cinnamon Roll Frappuccino
Ask for a Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino with one pump of white mocha syrup and one pump of cinnamon dolce syrup. Top with cinnamon dolce powder and enjoy.
The Horchata Frappuccino
Another cinnamon-y treat. Order a Chai Crème Frappuccino with one pump of vanilla syrup, one pump cinnamon dolce syrup, two pumps of chai syrup, and a dusting of cinnamon on top.
The Banana Split Frappuccino
According to Delish, this one tastes “like summer in a cup” and was invented at a Starbucks in Palm Springs, California. Ask for a Strawberry Frappuccino with vanilla bean powder, java chips, and a whole banana, all topped off with a pump of mocha, a pump of caramel, and whipped cream.
The Strawberry Shortcake Frappuccino
This is a similarly nostalgic treat in a grande cup. Upgrade your Strawberry Frappuccino with vanilla bean powder and vanilla cookies blended in. (Note: Some Starbucks won't blend cookies or other desserts into drinks.)
The Nutella Frappuccino
All you need for this one is a Coffee Frappuccino with one pump of hazelnut syrup, two pumps of mocha syrup, and whipped cream blended in.
The S'mores Frappuccino
If you love S'mores — and who doesn’t?! — ask for a Java Chip Frappuccino with a pump of cinnamon dolce syrup, a pump of toffee nut syrup, and cinnamon dolce sprinkles on top.
The Chocolate & Banana Frappuccino
Two great tastes that taste great together — chocolate and bananas. For this treat, order a Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino in a cup lined with mocha drizzle, plus a whole banana and java chips, with additional mocha drizzle on top of the whipped cream.
Red Velvet Frappuccino
Decadent! Ask for a half White Chocolate Mocha, half regular Mocha Frappuccino, with two pumps of raspberry syrup and whipped cream.
Copycat recipes for Starbucks secret menu items
Not only can you order secret menu items from a Starbucks barista, you can make them at home! Try a few of our favorites from the list of secret menu copycat recipes below.
Copycat recipes for Starbucks regular menu items
Master some of the core copycat Starbucks drinks in this section and you’ll not only be able to enjoy classic Starbucks at home, but also invent new Starbucks concoctions not yet seen on a secret menu. You and your whipped cream, bananas, caramel sauce, coconut milk, and java chips will have a blast riffing from these base recipes.
Gemma's Bigger Bolder Baking version is a twist on the PSL, with real pumpkin puree. One reviewer says, “More coffee. Less sugar. SO GOOD!!!”
Also from Gemma's Bigger Bolder Baking, this is a basic Strawberry Frap recipe that’s really easy to master.
Chances are you have all the ingredients for this Copycat Vanilla Bean Frap recipe (from Parade Magazine) on hand.
The secret to this Starbucks secret menu all-star? Instant vanilla pudding.
Real Housemoms does a great job of re-making the iconic Pink Drink with Starbucks ingredients: Starbucks VIA Instant Refreshers Very Berry and Tazo Iced Passion concentrate.
From Copykat Recipes, this well-loved Caramel Frap recipe is your gateway to the Twix Frap — and more.
Want more copycat recipes?
Check out these related Yummly articles for more famous food and beverages you can make at home: