Homemade Starbucks’ Seasonal Drinks

Article by Leah Fleming December 15, 2016

© Chris Jones

We all deserve to treat ourselves to a festive flavoured coffee or hot chocolate at Christmas time. At a time of indulgence, a hot drink with cinnamon and spiced aromas help us get in that gift-giving mood. Starbucks is of course the favourite for a gingerbread or egg nog latte, however, these seem far less appealing when we learn the nutritional figures attached to them.

With almost 40g of sugar in a grande gingerbread latte and over three hundred calories in a hot chocolate of the same size (that’s without the sugar syrup!), our pockets and stomachs will thank us if we try and recreate these treats at home. Combining milk alternatives with raw ingredients and natural sweeteners, a festive treat can be made far healthier at home, with the added reward that comes with anything delicious that was homemade.

Honey and Almond Hot Chocolate © Leah Fleming

Honey and Almond Hot Chocolate © Leah Fleming 

Honey and Almond Hot Chocolate

This smooth, chocolatey treat is surprisingly guilt-free using a lower fat alternative to cow’s milk. The addition of almond butter gives the drink a decadent thickness, like the rich European hot chocolate you find at Christmas markets.


  • 200ml almond milk
  • 2tsp raw cacao powder
  • 1–2tsp almond butter
  • honey, to taste


  1. Put all of the ingredients into a pan over a moderate heat, stirring continuously until ingredients are combined – do not let the mixture boil.
  2. Test to taste to see if more honey is needed.
  3. Pour into your favourite cup and enjoy!


Gingerbread Latte © Leah Fleming

Gingerbread Latte

An aromatic spiced favourite that uses natural sweeteners to make the flavoured syrup. It’s completely vegan-friendly too. This recipe is in two stages; make the syrup first, save it in a sterilised bottle or pop in the fridge for three days and you’ll have enough for three drinks.


  • 1tbsp maple or agave syrup
  • 0.5tsp ground ginger
  • 0.25tsp cinnamon
  • a pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 200ml almond milk (or another non-dairy alternative)
  • 1tsp instant coffee 
  • 25ml boiling water
  • glass jar with airtight lid, for example a mason jar


  1. Mix together the ingredients for the gingerbread syrup then set aside.
  2. Pour the almond milk in a glass jar, then seal the lid tightly. Shake the jar of milk vigorously for 30–45 seconds to create lots of bubbles, then microwave for the same amount of time. Repeat this step once more.
  3. Whilst the milk is heating up, make a shot of coffee by pouring approximately 25ml boiling water onto the instant coffee in your favourite mug or latte glass.
  4. Now, add 1–2tsp of gingerbread syrup to the coffee and stir.
  5. Finally, pour the hot and frothy milk into the cup with the coffee ensuring you spoon every last bubble on top. Enjoy your homemade, healthier drink!

Peppermint Mocha

This classic combination of coffee, chocolate and mint uses chocolate in its raw form and has far fewer calories than the Starbucks’ staple as we use creamy soya milk.


  • 1tsp instant coffee
  • 1tsp cacao powder
  • 1–2 drops peppermint extract
  • 200ml soya milk
  • agave or other natural sweetener, to taste
  • glass jar with airtight lid, for example a mason jar


  1. Put the coffee, cacao and peppermint into your favourite cup with around 25ml of boiled water to create the coffee base. Stir until no lumps of powder remain.
  2. Pour the soya milk into the glass jar, then seal the lid tightly to avoid spills. Shake the jar of milk vigorously for 30–45 seconds to create lots of bubbles, then microwave for the same amount of time. Repeat these steps again.
  3. Add the sweetener to the coffee mixture if desired, then pour the frothed milk carefully into the cup. Don’t forget to spoon the froth on top as this will make your drink feel even more authentic!

Click the link to find Starbucks nutritional information and send us pictures of your homemade festive drinks @milkbathspa


Feature image: © Chris Jones. Original Via Flickr / Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike License

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