If you're a fan of Starbucks, you're going to love this Copycat Iced Chocolate Almond Milk Shaken Espresso recipe. It's chocolatey, delicious, and super easy to make with just four simple ingredients - espresso, hot cocoa mix, almond milk, and ice. Plus, this version is gluten-free, so you can indulge in this refreshing iced coffee without hurting your gut! If you love chocolate coffee drinks, this one will surely become your new favorite!
What is a Shaken Espresso?
A shaken espresso is exactly what it sounds like, brewed espresso poured over ice and shaken in a cocktail shaker. The ice chills the espresso quickly and dilutes the flavor just a bit while the shaking aerates the espresso and lightens the texture. The result is a frothy espresso with a smooth and pleasant texture, perfect for sipping!
Sure, a shaken espresso with milk and sweetener added is similar to an iced latte, but there is just something fun and magical about shaking your espresso and creating all those frothy bubbles!
Why You'll Love this Recipe!
The combination of chocolate and nutty almond milk in this espresso copycat recipe is sure to hit the spot! Perfect for a morning pick-me-up or sipping on a hot summer afternoon!
Quick and Easy: Not only is this delicious drink fun and frothy, it's easy to make in just a few minutes. Meaning you can enjoy this beverage any time of day, even on busy weekday mornings!
Diet friendly: Unlike the original Starbucks version, this simple recipe is also gluten-free and can be easily modified to dairy-free or vegan if you choose! Simply swap the cocoa mix for a dairy-free or vegan alternative.
Cost Effective: Once you start making your own shaken espresso drinks at home, you'll realize not only how easy it is but how much money you'll save!
If you love iced espresso drinks, be sure to try the popular iced brown sugar oatmilk shaken espresso next! Another great Starbucks copycat recipe is the viral TikTok pink drink, this version is caffeine free! This iced chai latte recipe is so easy!!
- Freshly brewed espresso: Starbucks uses blonde roast espresso but you can absolutely use your favorite beans. You can easily find Starbucks beans at your local grocery store or Starbucks store if you want to use the exact beans they use.
- Powdered hot cocoa mix: The kind you use to make a cup of hot chocolate, not unsweetened cocoa powder used for baking!
- Almond milk: Unsweetened or sweetened almond milk will work here, use your preference!
Chocolate Malt Powder: The original Starbucks chocolate almond milk shaken espresso uses chocolate malted milk powder, not hot cocoa mix. Malted milk powder is not gluten-free because it comes from barley. If you can tolerate malt powder, feel free to use that instead if you wish.
Maca Powder: Some people use maca powder as a gluten-free, plant-based option, or vegan substitute for malt powder and claim it has a similar flavor. I have not tried this, but you could definitely experiment with it if you wanted to try and replicate the malt flavor more closely. You'll likely need to add a little sweetener of your choice as well if you go this route.
Milk of Choice: This drink works equally well with regular milk or other non-dairy milks. Oat milk, coconut milk, or soy milk would all be fine options. Feel free to use your favorite milk of choice!
Dairy-Free: Take note that this version is not dairy-free as written. Hot cocoa mix does contain milk. If you want to make this drink dairy-free, try this dairy-free hot cocoa mix!
My suggestion is to first make the drink as written and then adjust to your personal preference. If you want it sweeter, you can add a pump or two of classic syrup, vanilla syrup, or brown sugar syrup. What it stronger? Add another shot of espresso. You can also add a chocolate syrup drizzle, some chocolate shavings, or even some whipped cream to the top of your drink!
Shaken Espresso Essentials
To make homemade shaken espressos, here's some equipment you'll need!
- Espresso machine: The Breville Barista Express is what I have and I absolutely love it! It's easy to use and has a built in coffee grinder.
- Something to shake with: A mason jar, cocktail shaker, or other container with a tight fitting lid for shaking your espresso.
- Aside from that, you'll just need a glass and a straw!
How to Make a Chocolate Almond Milk Shaken Espresso
- Brew a two shots of espresso.
- Add the hot espresso and 2 tablespoons of hot chocolate mix to a cocktail shaker or 2-cup mason jar.
- Fill the shaker with ice, secure the lid, and shake until the espresso is foamy, about 15-30 seconds.
- Pour the shaken espresso along with the ice into a tall glass (or enjoy right from the mason jar) and top off with the almond milk.
- The key to a delicious shaken espresso drink is good quality espresso. The quality of the beans is arguably more important than the type of roast. For the best espresso beverages, use the freshest coffee beans available to you, often found at a local roaster or coffee shops.
- Shake the chocolate powder with the ice and espresso to make sure it dissolves and incorporates with the drink.
- Plan to savor this drink as soon as it's made, it's definitely best fresh!
- When testing this recipe, I tried omitting the cocoa mix and used chocolate almond milk instead. The version with the cocoa mix is much better! It had more chocolate flavor and just tasted better all around.
The Starbucks chocolate almond milk shaken espresso contains malt powder which is derived from barley and is not gluten-free. For those who are highly sensitive to gluten, the shaker is likely a source of cross-contact with gluten as well.
While the main ingredients of these drinks are similar, they differ by the way in which they are made and the amounts of espresso or milk. For an iced latte, all ingredients are simply added to a cup, while a shaken espresso involves shaking the espresso with ice until frothy, then topping off with milk. Shaken espressos also contain one more shot of espresso than the latte of the same size.
A tall shaken espresso contains 2 shots of espresso, a grande has 3 shots, and a venti has 4 shots of espresso.
Blonde roast espresso is a light roast coffee bean which boasts a more mild and smooth flavor compared to dark roast beans.
More Starbucks Recipes You'll Love
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Starbucks Iced Chocolate Almond Milk Shaken Espresso (Gluten-Free)
- 2 shots espresso, freshly brewed
- 2 Tablespoons hot chocolate mix, not cocoa powder
- 1 cup ice
- ½ cup almond milk
- Brew a double shot of espresso and place it in a cocktail shaker or mason jar.
- Add the hot chocolate mix and ice. Secure the lid and shake vigorously for about 15-30 seconds. The espresso should be cold and foamy.
- Pour the mixture, along with the ice, into your desired drinking glass (or drink right from the mason jar). Top off with almond milk. Stir and enjoy immediately.