Those who know me know how much I love my Starbucks. Last year, I discovered Starbucks’ Cherry Mocha, and it was love at first sip. However, this posed two very big problems. 1. Starbucks only serves it for a short window of time around Valentine’s Day (why?!?!?) 2. It has a bajillion calories in it. And by a bajillion, I mean 430 for a grande made with 2% milk. And also 54g of sugar! I know, right? But, there must be A LOT of y’all out there who loved it too, because when the day finally arrived that Starbucks was going to officially have it, I rolled up to my local drive-up window, only to be told they were ALREADY out of the cherry syrup!
So, what’s a girl to do when she needs a cherry mocha? Get creative and make her own. And, here’s where it gets really good people…. you can enjoy my version with a lot less guilt. A LOT less guilt. So let me show you how.
I brewed a very strong cup of coffee with a dark roast K cup in my Keurig. You can do this however you typically make your coffee, but you want it dark and strong, so the coffee flavor can stand up against the other ingredients we’re about to add.
Next, add 1 T of cocoa powder. I actually put this in the bottom of my cup and then brewed my coffee right on top of it. Mix it up with a spoon. If you can spare a few more calories and want your mocha to be extra mocha-y, then this is when you can add in a few chocolate chips or even some chocolate syrup, and let it melt into the hot coffee. I didn’t do this, but even if you added 1 T of mini chocolate chips, you’d only be adding an extra 70 calories and your total will still come in well below the Starbucks’ 430 cals. It was chocolatey enough for me with just the tablespoon of cocoa, but you can make it how it suites your taste.
Now the really important part. When I was thinking about how I could make this, I started by looking on Amazon to see if they sold a cherry syrup for coffee. And they do. They have a sugar-free version as well as a sugar sweetened kind. I’ve tried other flavors of these syrups and they are good, so I’m sure these would work well also, if you wanted to go that route. But, I wanted a cherry mocha now. And didn’t want to wait two days for Amazon to deliver my syrup. And that’s when it hit me. In my fridge, I had a bottle of this….
I’ve loved the Kodiak Cakes pancake mixes for years. But now they have a few different flavors of syrup too! We got ours at Costco, but it was some kind of one-day deal. I am guessing you can buy it other places, but I am not sure. It’s a bit pricey, but Amazon does carry it. I haven’t tried it with any other brand of syrups, but you could experiment if you want. Another berry-flavored pancake syrup would probably work too. I know this is not technically cherry flavored, BUT, this tasted sooooo much like the Starbucks Cherry Mocha anyway! I only added less than 1T, for about 25 calories. This was plenty I thought, but again, you can adjust this to your liking.
Next, I added just a smidge of unsweetened vanilla almond milk for about 5 calories. Finally, I dressed it up with a squirt of fat free Reddi Whip in a can. That only adds about 15 calories for approximately 2T worth of whip. This makes it start to really look and taste like the Starbucks version. And finally, a little red sugar on top to really dress it up and make it look like a cherry mocha should look.
Okay, have you done the math yet? The Starbucks version has 430 calories for the grande size with 2% milk. My concoction comes in at about 55 calories total, without adding the chocolate chips. Even if you do add a tablespoon of mini chips, you’re still only around 125 calories, which is significantly less than the Starbucks version. That’s a win in my book. AND, I don’t have to wait until February to enjoy it. 🙂
Copycat Starbucks Cherry Mocha
- 1 k cup dark roast coffee
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp Kodiak Cakes berry syrup
- 1 tbsp mini chocolate chips (optional)
- 1 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 2 tbsp fat free Reddi Whip
- red sprinkles garnish
- Brew about 8 oz dark roast, strong coffee. You want the coffee flavor to be able to stand up agains the other ingredients. Add cocoa powder, Kodiak syrup, almond milk and chocolate chips or chocolate syrup if using. Stir well until blended. Top with whip and sprinkles.