Starbucks Cafe Mocha

Starbucks Cafe Mocha is a creamy and delicious combination of coffee and chocolate. You can recreate this famous coffee drink at home with this easy copycat recipe. This homemade mocha latte will taste just like it does at Starbucks.

homemade Starbucks cafe mocha coffee drink with whipped cream and chocolate syrup.

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Starbucks Caffe Mocha Coffee Drink

Believe it or not, Starbucks didn’t start as an espresso bar. When the first store opened at Pike Place Market in Seattle in 1971, you could only buy exotic spices, coffee beans, and tea along with the necessary equipment to brew drinks at home.

It wasn’t until the early 80s that a Starbucks barista sold the first cup of coffee.

At first, there was only a single item on the menu; brewed coffee. But before long, the owners began adding espresso specialty drinks.

Cafe mocha coffee was among the earliest additions to the menu. Over the years, Starbucks has offered dozens of new drinks, with varying success, but the popularity of cafe mocha remains to this day.

The reason is simple. Cafe mocha appeals to new and experienced coffee drinkers because it’s easy to drink without any overwhelming coffee flavor, becoming the go-to coffee drink for many customers.

Unfortunately, it isn’t cheap! So, stop spending all your cash on Starbucks cafe mochas and start making them at home! 

What is a Cafe Mocha?

Cafe Mocha is a drink for anyone who loves coffee and chocolate together. It starts with chocolate syrup, a shot (or two!) of espresso, steamed milk, and topped with sweetened whipped cream. All of which can be made in the convenience of your own home.

The best part of making it at home is that you can add extra chocolate (or whipped cream!) to your drink.

What Makes this Starbucks Cafe Mocha Recipe Unique

Coffee and chocolate are two things that go amazingly well together. Both have a slight bitterness, but the sweetness of the chocolate sauce helps to tamp down any harshness.

Combined with the steamed milk and vanilla whipped cream, this coffee-based drink is perfect for whenever you feel a little pick-me-up without feeling like you are overindulging yourself.

Starbucks Mocha Ingredients

There are two separate components to this cafe mocha recipe – coffee and sweetened whipped cream.

To make the coffee, you will need:

  • Milk
  • Chocolate syrup or sauce
  • Espresso or strongly brewed coffee

Go ahead and use Hershey syrup, but for the best flavor, use a real chocolate sauce instead. Ghirardelli and Hollander make chocolate sauces that are especially good for cafe mochas.

The ingredients for vanilla whipped cream are:

  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract

Regular sugar tends to make the whipped cream a little gritty, so you may want to use powdered sugar or superfine sugar. As a bonus, powdered sugar contains cornstarch which can help to stabilize the whipped cream and keep it from separating.

Starbucks cafe mocha ingredients.

Ingredient Notes

If you want to make the coffee treat more authentic and you don’t have an espresso maker, consider using an instant espresso such as Medaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso Coffee.

You can buy the same brand of mocha syrup Starbucks uses. The Fontana line is what Starbucks uses, but it only comes in a really large container: Fontana Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mocha Sauce.

One thing is for certain, you can recreate this coffee treat at home for a lot less than what costs at the store.

How to Make Vanilla Whipped Cream

You’ll want to make the whipped cream first so it is ready to top the hot mocha drink.

  1. In a chilled bowl, beat heavy cream until soft peaks form.
heavy cream whipped to soft peaks.
  1. Add sugar and vanilla extract.
sugar and vanilla extract added to whipped cream in a bowl.
  1. Beat until stiff peaks form.
vanilla whipped cream on a wood spoon over a bowl of it.

How to Make Starbucks Cafe Mocha

  1. If you have an espresso machine with a steamer attachment, steam the milk to 150 degrees. Otherwise, heat the milk in the microwave for about 30 seconds or until it reaches 150 degrees. Or you can heat it in a small saucepan on the stovetop, stirring constantly. Be careful not to scald or boil the milk.
steaming milk with an espresso machine steamer.
  1. Place the chocolate syrup in a coffee mug.
chocolate syrup in a glass coffee cup.
  1. Add your shot of espresso.
  2. Add the heated milk.
heated milk and chocolate syrup in a glass coffee cup.
  1. Top with vanilla whipped cream.
  2. Drizzle chocolate syrup on top of the whipped cream.
homemade Starbucks cafe mocha coffee drink in a glass coffee mug.

Substitutions and Variations of this Starbucks Cafe Mocha Recipe

Feel free to switch out the cow’s milk if you want. You can buy specially formulated oat milk online that froths amazingly well or use your favorite non-dairy milk instead. Other types of plant-based milk you may want to try are soy, coconut, cashew, or even oatmilk.

No espresso machine? No problem. This drink is just as good when using instant espresso powder (Medaglia D Oro Coffee is particularly good,) Moka pot coffee, or your choice of any strong-brewed coffee.

Play around with the flavors to find a new favorite. Add a few drops of mint extract for a Minty Cafe Mocha or a squeeze of caramel sauce for an Easter Egg Latte.

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overhead view of a homemade Starbucks cafe mocha coffee drink.

What Pairs Well with a Mocha Coffee?

Since this drink is rather sweet, stay away from serving anything overly sugary. Biscotti is a lovely choice.

Chocoholics will love nibbling on a square or two of high-quality semi-sweet chocolate. Try combining both by baking these Chocolate Chip Almond Biscotti.

How to Store Mocha Coffee

You can store each component of the drink in the fridge separately.

  • Brewed coffee will last up to five days in a covered container.
  • You should use the whipped cream within a few hours of making it.

How to Reheat a Cafe Mocha

Reheat the coffee in the microwave on high for 70 seconds. Whisk the whipped cream to reform soft peaks.

homemade Starbucks cafe mocha in front of an espresso machine.

Love Starbucks? Check out these copycat recipes

Homemade Coffee Syrup and Creamer

Be sure to check out more of my easy recipes for drinks and the best Starbucks recipes here on CopyKat.

homemade Starbucks cafe mocha coffee drink with whipped cream and chocolate syrup.

Starbucks Cafe Mocha

You can make a Starbucks Caffe Mocha at home with this easy copycat recipe.
5 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cafe Mocha, Caffe Mocha, Starbucks Recipes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 291kcal


Cafe Mocha

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 2 ounces espresso or strong coffee

Vanilla Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Cafe Mocha

  • If you have an espresso machine with a steamer attachment, steam the milk to 150 degrees. If not, follow the next step for heating the milk.
  • Heat the milk in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds, until it reaches 150 degrees. Or heat it in a small saucepan on the stove top, stirring constantly. Be careful not to scald or boil the milk.
  • Place the chocolate syrup in a coffee mug.
  • Add espresso.
  • Add the heated milk.
  • Top with vanilla whipped cream.
  • Drizzle chocolate syrup on top of the whipped cream.

Vanilla Whipped Cream

  • In a chilled bowl, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes.
  • Add sugar and vanilla extract.
  • Beat for an additional minute or until stiff peaks form.



Store whipped cream in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.


Bialetti Moka Express
Electric Milk Frother


Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 142mg | Potassium: 476mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Calcium: 276mg | Iron: 0.8mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Oscar

    5 stars
    It tasted exactly like the one I had at Starbucks! It also has minimal ingredients. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ‘

  2. Malvika

    5 stars
    I have been trying to make Mocha myself at home for so long. I like the taste of my coffee, but never quite nailed the Starbucks taste. Today I changed it to the proportions that you suggested (I used a shot of Folgers and Hershey’s chocolate syrup, and almond milk), and Oh my god! It was awesome! Can’t wait to try it with the Giradelli Chocolate syrup and the Medaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso coffee.

    Thank you for the recipe!

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