The Yummly Guide to the Starbucks Secret Menu
The Internet never met a “secret” menu it didn’t love — including Starbucks.
With more than 43,000 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.
Take the Cinderella Latte, for instance, which just 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."
How to Order Starbucks Secret Menu Drinks
While your barista may have the formula for your special creation memorized ... they may 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? Jump to our collection of copycat recipes at the bottom!
Cinderella Latte: 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.
Christmas-gram: Inspired by Will Ferrell in Elf, the Christmas-gram, also by Howard-Cox, is part Gingerbread Latte (a seasonal drink), part White Chocolate Mocha.
Butterbeer Frappuccino: 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 friends: 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. There’s the straightforward 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 soymilk instead of water and vanilla syrup); and Purple Drink (Iced Passion Tango Tea with soymilk, vanilla syrup, and blackberries).
And then! The fun continues with two-tone or ombre drinks. My favorite is the Matcha Pink Drink: Starbuck's 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.
Mermaid Frappuccino: Hot on 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.
Tiramisu Frappuccino: 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.
Twix Frappuccino: 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!
Oreo Frappuccino: Ask for a Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino with white mocha syrup, instead of regular mocha; it tastes just like Oreos.
Neapolitan Frappuccino: 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, topped off with a pump of mocha, and 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.
Do Try This at Home: Starbucks Base Recipes
Part of the pleasure of the Starbucks secret menu is ordering it from a barista with all the myriad ingredients at their disposal. But you can make some of these concoctions at home, too. Just master some of these core copycat Starbucks drinks — and you and your whipped cream, bananas, caramel sauce, coconut milk, and java chips can riff from there.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
Gemma's Bigger Bolder Baking is a twist on the PSL, with real pumpkin puree. One reviewer says, “More coffee. Less sugar. SO GOOD!!!”
Starbucks Strawberries and Cream Frappuccino
Also from Gemma's Bigger Bolder Baking, this is a basic Strawberry Frap recipe that’s really easy to master.
Starbucks Copycat Vanilla Bean Frappuccino
Chances are you have all the ingredients for this Copycat Vanilla Bean Frap recipe (from Parade Magazine) on hand.
Copycat Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino
The secret to this Starbucks secret menu all-star? Instant vanilla pudding.
Copycat Starbucks Pink Drink
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.
Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino
From Copykat Recipes, this well-loved Caramel Frap recipe is your gateway to the Twix Frap — and more.
Secret Menu Copycat Recipes
If you're not up for buying a bunch of syrups, you can still make some of the secret menu items at home! Try a few of our favorites: