DSC_0105.jpgRECIPE #396, DAY #571


ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Homemade Frappuccino,” from The Pioneer Woman*

TIMING: 5 minutes, plus 20 to cool the espresso


TOOLS: A good blender and something to make extra strong coffee or espresso


HEALTH: While frozen coffee drinks are notorious for their sugar content and caffeine, making them at home has the advantage of omitting the artificial flavors, colors, and low-grade sugars (like HFCS). I use the best ingredients, so I can feel okay about occasionally handing my husband (or trendy tween daughter) a special treat.

DSC_0106.jpgEXPERIENCE: My twelve-year-old has discovered Starbucks. Now, she has some of my same issues, including migraines, so she avoids caffeine. However, there are a few decaf options there, and it is super cool to drop in and snag a drink while out at a movie or the mall with friends (and still, a chaperone).

So, when I was looking through the spreadsheet for breakfast ideas, this coffee smoothie with condensed sweetened milk popped up. Then, I lost the recipe somehow. Then I found this one on Pioneer Woman’s website. I actually think I have made it before.

I had to change some measurements, but it really is a great substitute for the pitfalls of a store-bought frozen coffee drink. I could drink one every day. Preferably when it’s hot out and not during a blizzard. (Poor choice, there, but the 3 blankets almost made up for the change in my core temperature.)

dsc_0104NOTES: Your coffee can be decaf or caf. Also, if you need coffee for caffeine reasons, you may want to double or even treble the coffee in this recipe. Kids like it less bitter.

For my extra strong coffee, I use the “Specialty Brew” setting on my Ninja, with 3 scoops of grounds. Occasionally, I might use the Bialetti stovetop espresso maker.

Feel free to swap coconut milk for the milk, or add caramel sauce (1/4 cup), chocolate sauce (1/4 cup), or chocolate chips (1/2 cup). My favorite is a combination of coconut and chocolate.

Clearly, a half-filled blender is not much of an exact measurement. You may have to add more to get the consistency and taste right, as our blender is rather large. I happen to like my sweet not overwhelming, so I was going for a bitter-icy-sweet combo.


  1. In a blender, combine espresso or extra-strong-brewed demi cup of coffee, 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Add enough ice to half-fill the blender. Blend until it has a crunchy-smooth consistency.
  2. Top with maple whipped cream and serve.


Serve with a dusting of cocoa and some sort of hearty, healthy breakfast. Like an egg sandwich.

LEFTOVER IDEAS: This does not keep, so only make enough to drink right away. This serves 4 of us in smallish cups.

*Recipe changed from the original.


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