Is there anything better than the delicious, creamy, chocolatey sweetness of the Starbucks white chocolate mocha? Perhaps there’s just one thing…
Being able to enjoy it in the comfort of your own home!
Who wants to have to venture out for their favorite beverage when it’s cold and wet outside? We certainly don’t. So we’re going to show you how to make the Starbucks white chocolate mocha at home.
The Starbucks recipe if a closely guarded secret, but we think our version tastes just like it. Follow our step by step tutorial, and you’ll get a fabulous drink for a fraction of the retail price. And as an added bonus, your kitchen will be filled with the wonderful aroma of coffee and chocolate.
And if you’re thinking, “This all sounds great, but I’m not a barista” – don’t worry. This coffee may look elaborate, but it’s very easy to make and doesn’t need any special equipment.
So read on, and get ready to enjoy your very own home-made Starbucks white chocolate mocha. We guarantee you’ll love it!
What you will need to follow this tutorial
The easiest way to make this is to invest in a white chocolate mocha sauce. Starbucks sell their own, so if you want the closest possible match to the in-store experience, that will be the best option for you.
If, on the other hand, you’re ready to experiment, making your own chocolate sauce is very easy. And you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing your drink is completely home-made!
Don’t worry about selecting a gourmet brand of chocolate. The major advantage of more expensive brands in other scenarios where you’re melting chocolate is that the higher cocoa butter content will give it a glossy appearance. That’s important if you’re coating strawberries or making handmade chocolates.
Here, though, you’ll be making a sauce that’s going to be hidden beneath whipped cream. Ordinary white chocolate chips will taste just as good and will melt more easily.
If you have an espresso machine, a single shot of espresso is perfect. But don’t worry if you don’t. There are plenty of alternatives.
To keep things as simple as possible, use instant espresso. Just dissolve one tablespoon of espresso powder in three tablespoons of hot water. The flavor of instant coffee won’t be as good though, and you’ll miss out on some of those delicious coffee aromas.
If you have a little more time, use your favorite coffee, strongly brewed instead. Drip or pour over coffee works perfectly, and you’ll need 6 ounces per cup. For the freshest possible flavor, use whole beans and grind them just before brewing.
If you want to stick as closely as possible to the Starbucks taste, you can choose their own espresso roast. But the great thing about making this at home is that it gives you the freedom to experiment! The chocolatey flavors of darker roasts will complement the white chocolate here particularly well.
This is another ingredient where you have options.
Some people swear by almond milk, claiming that it’s creamy, rich and slightly sweet. Others prefer cow’s milk – non-fat, half-fat or whole, the choice is yours.
Personally, we think this is the kind of drink where it makes sense to forget about the diet! Indulge in creamy, full-fat cow’s milk and enjoy. You can always cut back on the calories tomorrow!
We think home-made whipping cream is so delicious that it’s well worth a little extra effort. We’ll take you through how to make it step by step in this tutorial.
If you feel like splashing out, you can invest in your own whipped cream siphon, just like the ones they use in Starbucks. You can also buy the Starbucks vanilla syrup to flavor the cream. If that’s your preferred approach, you’ll need the same amount of whipping cream, and 6 ounces of vanilla syrup in place of the powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
A sprinkle of chocolate will add the finishing touch to your drink. You might dust on a little chocolate powder to add contrast, but for a really dramatic look top with chocolate shavings instead. White chocolate will fit with the theme of your drink, but we think milk or dark chocolate looks even better against the background of whipped cream.
Related Post: What's the Best Hot Chocolate Maker?
How to Make Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha: step by step instructions
Step 1: Prepare your whipped cream
You don’t want your delicious coffee going cold while you work on your topping, so start by making the whipped cream.
Pour the cream into a large bowl with the powdered sugar. If you have a stand or hand blender, set it to high. Now blend them together until the mixture has doubled in volume and is light and fluffy. You can do this with a hand whisk if you don’t have a stand or blender. Just be prepared for it to take a long time and to be left with an aching arm!
When the cream and powdered sugar mixture is ready, add in the vanilla extract. Now whisk again so that the flavor is mixed all the way through.
Cover the bowl with cling film and pop it in the fridge.
If you’re using the Starbucks vanilla syrup, just add it to the whipping cream in a cream siphon. “Charge” the siphon and you’re ready to go.
Step 2: Warm your mug
This is one drink you’re really going to want to savor – so make sure it stays good and hot in your cup! Taking a minute to warm your mug will really make a difference to the drinking experience.
Just bring some water to the boil in a kettle or on the stove. Add a little to the cup, rinse it around and tip it away. This will warm up the inside and keep your coffee hotter for longer.
Step 3: Make the white chocolate sauce
If you’re using ready-made white chocolate sauce all you need to do here is measure out three tablespoons and place it in the bottom of your cup. Then put the milk in a saucepan and warm it on the stove, stirring regularly. Keep an eye on it to avoid it boiling over.
If you’re making your own sauce, place the white chocolate chips together with the milk in a small saucepan. Non-stick works best if you have it.
Whatever you do, never try to melt chocolate on its own over a direct heat! It will burn and taste revolting.
Put the saucepan over a gentle heat and keep stirring until the chocolate chips have melted into the milk. That’s all there is to it! Now pour the sauce carefully into the bottom of your cup.
Step 4: Add the coffee
If you’re lucky enough to have an espresso machine, pull a single shot directly into your cup.
Every espresso machine is different, and practice makes perfect! Consult your manual to make sure you’re tamping your coffee grounds evenly and that you’re pulling the shots at the right speed. Doing this will ensure the coffee is well-extracted, creating a rich, balanced flavor.
If you’re going with the convenience of instant espresso, mix the espresso powder and water in a separate cup. Then add it over the top of your chocolate sauce.
If you’ve brewed drip or pour over coffee, measure out six ounces. You can use a measuring jug, but you’ll get a more accurate result by weighing it on a kitchen scales. Now add it to the cup with your chocolate sauce.
Step 5: Mix together the coffee and chocolate sauce
Whatever way you’ve brewed your coffee, when you’ve added it to the cup give it a little stir with a spoon. You want to mix together the milky white chocolate sauce with the coffee.
Make sure you add the coffee to your cup as soon as it’s made. Brewed coffee will begin to stale very quickly, so use it immediately for the best flavor.
If you’ve used ready-made chocolate sauce, now is the time to add the hot milk. (If you’ve melted your own chocolate, you’ll already have used the milk to melt the chocolate in.)
Carefully pour the hot milk out of the saucepan and onto the coffee and sauce mixture. Now give it another stir so that all the ingredients are fully mixed together.
Step 6: Add the whipped cream
Take your bowl or cream siphon from the fridge.
Your cream should be of the consistency where it forms soft peaks. In other words, when you take out the whisk, the cream should rise up and then flop gently back on itself. Take a look at this YouTube video to see what this looks like.
If you’ve been too enthusiastic with your whipping and the peaks are stiff instead of soft, don’t despair! You can fix the situation by adding a little more cream and whisking again. Take it slow so that you don’t repeat the mistake.
If you’ve got a cream siphon, squirt the cream into a rosette on top of the cup. If you haven’t got a siphon, you can get a similar effect by loading the cream into a piping bag.
Alternatively, just use a spoon to add the cream to the top of your coffee. It might not look quite as professional, but it will taste every bit as good!
Step 7 (optional): Garnish with chocolate
To add the finishing touch, garnish the cream with a dusting of chocolate powder. Alternatively, grate some flakes of your choice of chocolate on top.
If you’re using grated chocolate, place the chocolate bar in the fridge half an hour before you want to use it. Chilled chocolate is far easier to grate than when it’s at room temperature.
You’re now ready to enjoy your white chocolate mocha. Sit back and savor it whilst congratulating yourself that it’s all your own work!
Step 8: Get creative!
Reproducing the Starbucks experience at home is great. You can slouch around in your comfiest PJs and sip coffee while you watch your favorite film. But even better is to experiment and make the mocha your own!
Try using different beans and roast levels. If you’ve used espresso, why not try strong drip coffee or vice versa? How about swapping cow’s milk for almond milk? Skimmed milk for half-and-half?
And don’t forget the toppings. Use vanilla syrup in place of powdered sugar and vanilla extract in your whipping cream. Try different garnishes, maybe add some marshmallows. The variations are endless!
And if you’ve mastered the mocha, branch out and try different flavors. There is a whole world of flavored syrups out there. How about peppermint? Raspberry? Caramel?
Let your imagination run wild! You have all the tools you need to make a whole menu of exciting new coffees.
The white chocolate mocha is one of Starbucks’ original drinks as well as being one of its best-loved. We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to making your very own version of it at home.
You can create the simplest mocha using the ready-made chocolate sauce and instant espresso in just a few minutes.
Or have fun personalizing your drink using different ingredients and techniques. A carefully brewed espresso with your favorite choice of artisan beans can lift your mocha to a whole new level.
Once you’ve mastered the basic version, take a look at our options for customizing your drink. You may find that the Starbucks recipe you loved is just the starting point for a world of new flavors. Why not introduce your friends to your own take on the mocha and see which they prefer?
Please comment and let us know how you get on. And if you’ve enjoyed this article, why not share it and let others start experimenting too?
My name is Kathy Gallo, Editor of Ag Ferrari, a Coffee buff. The guide you find here is designed exactly for you, and it is our hope that you find it not only interesting but also actionable.