Starbucks has mastered the art of creating irresistible drinks that appeal to a massive audience. Seriously, I can hardly go to a grocery store without seeing small children walking around with Starbucks cups overflowing with whipped cream, adults sipping on hot drinks as they shop and seniors meeting at small tables over Starbucks coffee drinks. I don't know of any other company has been able to market their products to - well, EVERYONE.
I also hold Starbucks personally responsible for introducing Americans to a whole new set of words too: Frappaccino, Macchiato, Expresso Con Panna, Dolce Latte, Americano. Is it just me or does anyone else get nervous in the line at Starbucks line because they don't know how to pronounce half of the words on the menu?
The last time that I was at Starbucks, I ordered a decaf coffee. A simple, small decaf coffee. (Which I was informed is referred to as a "tall".) The barista who took my order absolutely insisted that I change my order to a decaf cafe Americano instead. She claimed that it would be "INFINITELY" better than a plain old decaf coffee. (I think she really didn't want to brew a new pot of decaf for me because it was easier to make a decaf expresso, add hot water and call it a decaf Americano.)
I think that part of my concern with the fancy coffee drinks is the calories and fat. A tall white chocolate mocha has a whopping 470 calories and 18 grams of fat! (Sorry if I just burst your bubble.) I would much rather EAT those calories than drink them. My solution - cupcake versions of the famous Starbucks coffee drinks.
Apparently I am not the first person to come up with this idea because the internet is FULL of cupcake recipes that are a direct result Starbucks restaurant genius. I chose the Caramel Frappaccino Cupcakes from thequotablekitchen.com for my very first Starbucks cupcake.
Caramel Frappaccino Cupcakes
Yield:: 15 cupcakes
All-Purpose Flour - 1 & 1/2 cups
Baking Powder - 1 teaspoon
Sea Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
Unsalted Butter, at room temperature - 1 stick
Light Brown Sugar - 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons
Eggs - 2
Vanilla Extract - 1 teaspoon
Buttermilk - 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons
Caramel Sauce - 1/4 cup, plus more for drizzle
Put a spoonful of caramel in the center of each cupcake.
Drizzle with caramel sauce and insert a straw.
Viola. I've never tried a caramel frappaccino from Starbucks so I can't really tell you how it compares to the drinkable version but I can tell you that the cupcake version is pretty awesome. The homemade caramel filling and caramel drizzle just puts these cupcakes over the top.
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