The Absolute Best Starbucks Secret Menu Frappuccinos Ranked

Who doesn't love a Starbucks Frappuccino? It's the perfect combination of our favorite things: dessert and coffee. However, the origins of the term Frappuccino may surprise some people; unlike other espresso drinks such as macchiatos and cappuccinos, the Frappuccino has no traditional Italian roots and was invented by an American coffee connoisseur and businessman who sold his 24 cafe locations to Starbucks in the '90s (via Today). And while you might get side-eyed for trying to order one of these ultra-sweet concoctions in Rome, we won't judge you on this side of the pond.

If you're a frequent Starbucks flier, you're probably well acquainted with all of the standard Frappuccinos, but those classics can be transformed by adding just another ingredient or two. So we tried 10 popular reinventions of the Frappuccino off the secret menu: the Mocha Cookie Crumble turned into a decadent, drinkable version of a favorite candy, a beloved fictional drink come to life, and more. 

10. Squid Game Frappuccino

No lie: We were apprehensive about trying this. This "Squid Game" secret Starbucks Frappuccino looks just as bizarre as the show is, with its electric magenta color and mocha drizzle — and the recipe is just as unusual, too. To order a "Squid Game," ask for a strawberries and creme Frap, substitute white mocha instead of classic syrup, add dragonfruit inclusions, and top the drink with mocha drizzle (via Totally the Bomb).

We should have listened to our gut with this one. If chaos was meant to be the taste of this secret Frappuccino, then the creator nailed it. But, unfortunately, the dragonfruit, strawberries, and two different chocolate sauces is just too much. It's saccharine-sweet and just doesn't taste like anything other than sugar and chocolate. 

There could be a way to alter this Frap into something easier to stomach — skipping the mocha drizzle and halving the white mocha sauce comes to mind — but for now, this is a an overloaded drink with each flavor vying for your taste buds' attention. So sorry, "Squid Game" fans, but we're going to sit out for this one.

9. Cookies and Creme Frappuccino

We would love this Frap if we loved trying to suck clumped-up cookie crumbles through a straw. Maybe ours wasn't blended very well, or perhaps the ice in the drink melted too fast on the hot day we ordered it, but the components didn't seem to mesh well here, and the texture of this secret menu drink rubbed us the wrong way. To order the secret Cookies and Creme Frap, ask for a Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino with white mocha instead of regular mocha blended in, then topped with whipped cream and cookie crumbles (via Starbucks Secret Menu). 

This drink is worth giving another shot because when we were able to get a mouthful that wasn't entirely melted liquid or cookie goop, it had a good taste. Starbucks' cookie crumbles make an imitation of cookies and creme pretty easy. Still, the white mocha sauce made the drink significantly sweeter than we hoped it would be — and seemed like an unnecessary addition for cookies and creme. Our suggestion for improvement is sticking with regular mocha sauce and asking for whipped cream blended in to get that smooth creaminess you'd expect with this flavor. 

8. Skittles Frappuccino

The fruity, rainbow bursts of Skittles were a favorite childhood treat, so we were excited to see this creation — made by subbing vanilla syrup for the classic syrup and adding raspberry syrup in the Strawberries and Creme Frappuccino, according to Starbucks Secret Menu.

The resulting drink was plenty tasty, but we have suggestions to better recreate Skittles. First, next time, we won't substitute vanilla for classic, and here's why: Skittles aren't at all vanilla flavored, but they are sweet — very sweet — so it makes sense to keep the unflavored sweetener syrup in the recipe instead of vanilla. Secondly, despite the edition of raspberry syrup, all we could taste was strawberry, so we would ask for another flavor pump. 

And finally, considering how many flavors of Skittles there are, shouldn't there be more flavors in the Skittles Frap? We will try asking for a splash of lemonade blended in — and maybe blackberry inclusions too! — to add more of a fruity explosion to this strawberry-dominant drink.

7. Wendy's Frosty Frappuccino

The secret Wendy's Frosty Frappuccino is another one that we were excited about, and while it fell just short of delivering, we think it's worth trying again. Starbucks Secret Menu says to order this drink by asking for a blended mocha with vanilla syrup, vanilla bean powder, and heavy whipping cream added. 

Starbucks' mocha sauce is dark, full-bodied, and bittersweet. This creates a beautiful café mocha when combined with milk and espresso. The queen of classic summer desserts, the Wendy's Frosty, is not made with dark chocolate, though, and is much sweeter and creamier than a mocha — even a blended mocha. So while we enjoyed this rich blend of mocha, vanilla, and coffee flavors, the bittersweet mocha sauce needs to be reined in if the beverage were to represent a Frosty. 

If you try out the Wendy's Frosty secret Frap on your next S-Bucks trip, we recommend halving the mocha sauce and asking for the Frap to be made extra thick; a Frosty, after all, is not quite a milkshake and not quite soft-serve, but a treat meant to be eaten with a spoon.

6. Cotton Candy Frappuccino

If you're not a coffee person but don't want to be left out on the Starbies run, this is the drink for you. The Cotton Candy secret Starbucks Frappuccino is made by simply adding raspberry syrup to a vanilla bean creme Frappuccino. The Frap is automatically topped with whipped cream and no other toppings and is colorless throughout. 

What's interesting about this drink is the progression of taste: The first thing you will pick up on is the creamy vanilla bean cream flavor, which will quickly melt into the tartness of the raspberry syrup — a dominant flavor over the vanilla. Then, finally, you are left with an aftertaste truly identical to cotton candy, without the pesky sticky mess that cotton candy leaves. Because Starbucks' vanilla bean cream Frap is, by default, not among the sweetest things on their menu, this variation is easy to drink and not too sweet, but some of the more ambitious Frappuccino drinkers may see it as boring or too plain.

Next time, we might halve the raspberry syrup and see if this reigns in the flavor some (we added one pump to a tall). Finally, if you'd like to spice up your Cotton Candy Frappuccino, consider asking for the fruit inclusion of your choice or white mocha sauce — but be careful, because the sweetness of white mocha sneaks up on you if you add too much.

5. Apple Pie Frappuccino

Does everyone feel like late August and early September is a weird, limbo time where our hearts say it's fall, but the temperature outside says, "Hey, not so fast?" No, just us? If you're just as ready for pumpkin patches and chilly air by the end of August as we are, the secret apple pie Frappuccino is a perfect way to gear up your tastebuds for all of the best flavors of autumn while still staying cool in the late-summer scorchers. 

To order apple pie in a cup, ask for a Frappuccino made with cream base (filled to the first line), apple juice (filled to the second line), cinnamon dolce syrup, and caramel syrup, then topped with whipped cream and cinnamon (via Starbucks Secret Menu). This drink is smooth and sweet; the hint of cinnamon and mild apple flavor will leave you longing to kick through piles of fallen leaves.

There are ways to experiment with this drink. Next time, we will ask for caramel sauce instead of caramel syrup — sauce is thicker and creamier, and will provide a richer flavor than syrup. We also felt like the cinnamon dolce could use a little help in giving that warm spice kick you associate with fall flavors, and what better source for spice at Starbucks than chai? Asking for a pump of chai concentrate may give the complexity of nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon that we taste in a fresh-baked apple pie. 

4. Butterbeer Frappuccino

Unfortunately, we can't cross the line between fiction and reality to try a real Butterbeer at The Leaky Cauldron, but that won't stop us from trying to find the best real-life interpretation of the drink. We picture butterbeer as creamy, smooth, and rich in butterscotch and caramel. You can try the Starbucks version by ordering a Creme Frappuccino with caramel and toffee nut syrups, Starbucks Secret Menu says. 

This drink fared OK, but we think it could be better. The buttery flavor just isn't strong enough, but because the butterscotch flavor is not in regular stock at Starbucks, we know this secret recipe creator was making do with the caramel syrup instead. Sadly, our barista forgot the caramel drizzle topping on our Frap, so it looks plain but tastes anything but. However, we think this drink could level up with caramel sauce instead of caramel syrup and even heavy cream instead of whole milk. We might also consider cutting the toffee nut syrup by a half pump or so — the nutty flavor was just a bit too intense. 

3. Ferrero Rocher Frappuccino

Decadent and nutty, the secret Ferrero Rocher Frappuccino is an identical twin to the well-loved candy that often makes an appearance around the holidays. Secret Starbucks Menu recommends ordering this drink by asking for a Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino or Java Chip Frappuccino (based on personal preference) with additions of mocha syrup, hazelnut syrup, and hazelnut drizzle. 

We opted for Java Chip and are rather glad we did. The Frappuccino roast and java chips combined create a strong coffee flavor balanced by the sweetness of the additional flavors. The hazelnut is perfect: not too strong, not overpowered. However, the drink did separate fairly quickly, just like the Cookies and Creme.

We recommend this drink for anyone who likes a nutty, chocolatey, creamy treat that still has a strong flavor of coffee — or you can opt for the Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino if strong coffee isn't your brew. 

2. French Vanilla Frappuccino

Who doesn't love the classics? Classic cars, classic music, and classic coffee flavors. French vanilla is one of them. This term originally referred to a French style of ice cream, where egg yolks were used as a base for richer consistency (via MasterClass). It has since evolved to describe a flavor that includes other components, usually hazelnut, caramel, and other spices. 

The secret recipe from Starbucks Secret Menu for a French vanilla Frappuccino is easy: ask for a Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino with hazelnut syrup added and additional caramel drizzle on top. Alternatively, you could ask for a Caffé Vanilla Frappuccino and add hazelnut to that — this option will have coffee in it, and the vanilla bean, by default, does not (your barista may be able to make vanilla bean affogato style if you need a caffeine kick in your drink). 

We chose the Caffé Vanilla as our local Starbucks struggled with vanilla bean supply, and the taste of this drink was simple and sweet. The vanilla and hazelnut balance each other out well, without one being overbearing of the other. The vanilla bean version will be even closer to classic French vanilla, with the authentic vanilla flavor able to shine through without too much sugariness. 

1. Strawberry Shortcake

We were beyond skeptical of this drink's recipe, but we were quickly proven wrong. The secret strawberry shortcake Frappuccino sounds like an overload of flavors: a Strawberries and Creme Frap with vanilla bean powder, white mocha sauce, toffee nut syrup, and whipped cream blended in. 

The drink is beautiful to look at: a pale pink base with red swirls of strawberry puree. With no actual coffee in this beverage, this is absolutely a dessert, but that didn't stop us from enjoying it at 10 a.m. on a weekday. The toffee nut syrup was a concern for us, but somehow, it worked for that pastry-like taste. While the Skittles Frap didn't seem much different than the original Strawberries and Creme at all, the vanilla bean, white mocha, and toffee nut syrup give this Frap a more complex flavor without being overbearing.

We can't deny that this Frappuccino is incredibly sweet, and a size tall was more than enough for us, but this fruity, creamy treat will be our number-one go-to for the rest of the summer.