Another day, another new vegan Starbucks drink option! The chain’s summer blended drink—the Strawberry Funnel Cake Frappuccino—debuted in the U.S. and Canada on May 11 and can be made vegan with two small adjustments.
In its original form, the refreshing beverage features “delicious flavors of strawberries and whipped cream layered with blended coffee and ice, topped with crunchy funnel cake pieces dusted with powdered sugar,” according to a press release. More specifically, it’s made with Frappuccino Roast coffee and milk and ice blended with funnel-cake flavored syrup and layered with strawberry puree and whipped cream.
The drink, which was inspired by a day at the fair, is expected to be available for a limited time. A rep for the coffee giant confirmed to LIVEKINDLY that the newest Frappuccino can be made vegan with some easy tweaks. However, if you have a dairy allergy, be aware that it is made using shared equipment with cow’s milk.
In order to ensure that the drink is completely plant-based, you must ask your barista to use non-dairy milk and omit the whipped cream topping, which contains dairy. When picking a non-dairy milk for this beverage, Starbucks suggests using coconut milk or oat milk, which was permanently added to Starbucks U.S. menus in March.
“We wanted to capture the joy of this time of year, and we thought about those simple pleasures that really encapsulate summer,” Sara Bennett, senior product developer for Starbucks’ R&D team, said in a statement. “That led us to state fairs and funnel cake – just wanting to channel that sense of carefree fun.”
Funnel cake, which is a popular dessert choice at fairs across the country, gets its name from the funnel used to drizzle the batter into a fryer. The result is a lacey web of fried dough that’s typically made with water, sugar, flour, and vanilla extract. The cake can be topped with anything from powdered sugar and cinnamon to warm apple slices, but Starbucks chose a strawberry and whipped cream topping because of the seasonal appeal.
“I always love strawberries because they’re so summery,” Bennett added. “You get the juicy taste of strawberry, the decadent whipped cream, the sweet and slightly savory dough, and then the powdered sugar. I feel that’s a quintessential funnel cake.”
Along with the Funnel Cake Frappuccino, Starbucks added the Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino and the Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino to its summer menu. Neither drink is vegan, nor is the chain’s popular Unicorn Cake Pop, which is also returning.
However, the summer menu also includes the beloved Dragon Drink, Pink Drink and Mango Dragonfruit Starbucks Refreshers, all of which are vegan.
Vegan Drinks at Starbucks
The Funnel Cake Frappuccino now joins a growing list of Starbucks drinks that can easily be made vegan with a few minor adjustments.
Last month, Starbucks locations across Europe added the Bubbletastic Frappuccino to menus, which features a bubblegum-flavored base with whipped dairy cream and pink popping candy. The bright blue drink can be made vegan by simply swapping dairy milk and whipped cream for plant-based options and leaving out the popping candy.
Starbucks customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa were introduced to another vegan-friendly drink in March—the Chocolate Chip Cookie Latte—which is made with steamed milk, espresso, chocolate chip cookie syrup, and a chocolate cookie crumble topping. By ordering the latte with plant-based milk and leaving out the cookie crumble topping and the chocolate mix, the drink is vegan.
Over in the states, Starbucks celebrated oat milk’s long awaited debut by adding several vegan menu options. The chain released the vegan Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso and the vegan Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso, as well as the plant-based Chickpea Bites & Avocado Protein Box.