Frozen Frappe

Frozen Coffee Frappe Goodness . 55 cents

I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but a young friend introduced me to a McDonald’s frozen blend – a Caramel Frappe. I loved the taste, but a little investigation into the nutrition and ingredients left me colder than my ice headache! With summer approaching, I knew I had to come up with a reasonable substitute: My Frozen Fake Frappe.

Frozen Frappe – Better than McDonald’s…here with whipping cream and chocolate sauce
Frozen Frappe – Better than McDonald’s…here with whipping cream and chocolate sauce

My Frozen Fake Frappe still has calories and fat, but considerably less than the McDonald’s version, and mine uses recognizable ingredients. And sorry, no drive through convenience, although if you have frozen coffee ice cubes in your freezer, these Frappes take seconds to make.

Luckily I had a few guinea pigs, because I did a lot of experimenting: I tried food processors, ice cream makers, blenders, different sweeteners and ratios and finally customized a version to my taste. The one above has a home-made drizzle from my Intensely Chocolate Syrup, but I can’t wait to try one with my Old Fashioned Butterscotch Sauce.

The only way I could find to get the richness and body I wanted was to use condensed milk; you will need to plan ahead for the frozen coffee ice cubes. I think you’ll like my Frozen Coffee Frappes, but feel free to experiment – see Put your Own Spin on It, below for some ideas.

Oh, yeah, the cost? About $1.12 for two including the whipped cream and chocolate drizzle…That’s around 55 cents for 12 ounces, which certainly beats McDonald’s price of $2.79 a piece.

Frozen Fake Frappe, makes about 24 ounces, about 3 cups

  • 1 cup strong coffee, frozen into cubes
  • 1/2 cup of Condensed Milk
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup 2% Milk
  • 1/4 cup fluid whipping cream, which equals 1/2 cup whipped
  • Chocolate, Caramel or Butterscotch Drizzle

Place all ingredients into a blender and whiz away. Start with the lesser amount of milk, and only add the rest if your blender needs it to mix. It might be helpful to open blender and stir, then blend some more. Serve right away – remember, there are no strange ingredients or stabilizers in this, and it will melt. Serving in a frosted glass would be ideal on a hot, summer day. A whipped cream garnish with a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce over the top is a wonderful addition. This is one place where I might, for convenience sake, consider using a premade squirtable whipped cream because it could be used over a period of time. Makes about 3 cups, or two 12 ounce servings. Notes:

  • My ice-cube tray holds two cups of liquid, and one cup is therefore 8 cubes.
  • I remove coffee cubes after they’re frozen so the aroma of coffee won’t linger in the plastic.
  • These coffee cubes are difficult to remove – I run hot water over the bottom of the tray, then put the whole tray into a plastic bag and twist. This helps to avoid the cubes from skittering around the kitchen – they melt quickly and it saves cleaning off anything they happen to touch.
  • Store the extra cubes right in the plastic bag in the freezer. They do look a little disgusting, but it’s so nice to have them on hand when the mood hits.
  • This is an ideal use for left over coffee, and the coffee cubes are great to have on hand if you happen to have a little left over whipped cream from something else.

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read below for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Strategies Applied:

I priced out for the Frappe with whipping cream and a chocolate drizzle – so keep in mind your toppings will make the price vary. The small amount of drizzle is a minimal cost.

If you don’t have left over coffee, run 1/2 the water through the same grounds!

  • Coffee:  It pays to pay attention to when you buy coffee – look for sales and coupons around Holidays. Cheapest in December and January, you’ll find good sales prior to almost any holiday that beat the regular sales price. As long as it’s vacuumed packed, it will keep for a good long time, or if you have a freezer, can be stored there.
  • I’m not much of a coffee drinker, so I can’t really comment on the higher end brands and grinding of beans, etc. I figure a cup of plain old joe is about 12 cents.
  • Condensed Milk:  Another stock up during the winter holidays months!  Look for coupons and sales, and you can buy it for about $1.00 a can. You can also make Home Made Condensed Milk if and when you have time on your hands or buy it at an Asian or Latino market – you’ll pay half the price of condensed milk at your regular old grocery store. Condensed milk is around $1.35 at Aldi’s. A can hold 1 1/4 cups (keep refrigerated, covered – it will thicken but still be good for several weeks.)  1/2 cup is about 25 cents on a good sale, and only about 35 cents full priced.
  • After condensed milk is open, it will store in the refrigerator for a long time, tightly covered. (I put a little plastic wrap on the top of the can and secure it with a rubber band. (From my produce, of course!) It will thicken in the cold, but it’s till fine.
  • Milk:  About $2.50 a gallon in my area on sale, the cost for this recipe runs about 4 cents. Buy on sale – unopened it keeps a bit past it’s “sale by” date – then you can pick up one for the beginning of the week, and another at the end of the week for the week following.
  • Be careful with your milk, and even opened it will last a lot longer – pour, lid and put away, don’t bring it to the table or leave it on the counter while you eat dinner or down your cereal and you’ll notice it stay fresh last MUCH longer. We’ve cut way back on dairy, as most health experts suggest – putting it away helps with that, too. Cost for 1/2 cup, about 8 cents.
  • Whipping Cream: Whipping cream varies wildly in price – look for it on sale around any holiday. Store brands are often less expensive than brand names, often half the price. If you aren’t using it to whip, consider if 1/2 and 1/2 will work and be less expensive. If you’re looking at a pint container, milk is about 8 cents a cup, so a pint of half and half should be roughly half the cost of the 8 ounce whipping cream, less the 8 cents to be cost-effective. If you just need a bit, consider if you can use the rest in another recipe or save out a bit from another recipe to use in this one.
  • This whipping cream was $2.69 for 16 ounces (a pint) not on sale, cost for this recipe: 67 cents.
  • Drizzle: The amount is so small it is nominal. I used Chocolate Syrup, home-made, which beats out the taste and cost of a store-bought. Minimal preservatives, too!


1/2 recipe, about 1 1/2 cups or 12 ounces (This is for the “Nude” version – yours will vary depending on toppings – As shown with whipping cream and a chocolate drizzle, add about 120 calories.) Cal 250; tot fat 8g; sat fat 5g; chol 33mg; sod 132mg; carb 46g; sug 46g; prot 9g The McDonald’s Frappe of the same size is 450 calories.

Put your Own Spin on It:

  • Toppings – don’t limit yourself to whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel or chocolate, although you can’t go wrong there – try some shaved chocolate, crushed candies, dulce de leche, butterscotch or your favorite flavor.
  • Flavors – why not make these any flavor you want? Mocha, would be the addition of chocolate, but think about other flavors of coffee, different syrups, your favorite extracts or make an adult version – with a liquor. Hazelnut with Frangelica comes to mind.

Frozen Fake Frappe made May 2012, but priced in February 2014

Kitchen & Cooking Hack:

Chopsticks work great to get stuff out of the bottom of the blender; they don't get caught in the blades like a spoon or spatula and they're long.
Chopsticks work great to get stuff out of the bottom of the blender; they don’t get caught in the blades like a spoon or spatula and they’re long.

2 thoughts on “Frozen Coffee Frappe Goodness . 55 cents”

  1. These were really simple and pretty amazing. I’m going to try them with hazelnut coffee next time and caramel drizzle. I think I’ll make the coffee double strength.

    1. Thanks, Bethanie. The strong coffee is a good point. I’m afraid I’ve never grown up enough to be a huge coffee drinker – so I didn’t really think about how some people might like it even stronger.

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