Healthier Version of Starbucks Cafe Mocha

I love Starbucks. From the trendy coffee house atmosphere, to the baristas that know your name, it’s a great place to meet a friend or just sit and read a book on a lazy day.  What I love most are the creamy, sweet coffee drinks. But where there is love, there is also hate, and there is something I hate about my favorite hot drinks: those pesky calories. (And the price, of course!)

I came to the decision recently that I really wanted to continue drinking my favorite drinks, but since those calories add up, I needed to say goodbye to my favorite barista and take a stab at making a healthier version of my favorite drinks at home.

In this multi part series, I’m going to tell you how to make lower calorie and healthier versions of your favorite Starbucks drinks. Yes, Starbucks does a pretty good job of allowing you to customize your drink, but as far as “healthy” you have sugar free options (which may be good in the way of calories, but not so much from a health standpoint), or skim or soy-milk. Not exactly what I’m looking for, although it definitely works in a pinch.

Healthy Home Version #1

Cafe Mocha

Starbucks version is made with sugary chocolate syrup that while tasty is high in sugar and calories. We’re going to substitute a combination of agave nectar (better than regular sugar) and organic cocoa powder, which is high in fiber and antioxidants.  Instead of sweetened whipped cream, I make my own by whipping some heavy whipping cream and vanilla (no sugar), but you can skip this if you want. Honestly, when I get one of these at Starbucks I don’t necessarily need the whipped cream.


Espresso or really strong coffee
Organic unsweetened cocoa powder
Skim or low fat milk
Agave nectar, to taste
Heavy cream, for whipping if desired


Brew your coffee or espresso. Add two tablespoons cocoa powder to the bottom of your mug and a bit of water and stir. Add a teaspoon of agave nectar (more or less to taste; it’s sweeter than regular sugar though). Steam your milk either with a steamer or in a pot on the stove until it’s 140-160¼F. Add enough espresso to fill your cup a third of the way. Add the milk and top with the whipped cream if desired.

Be sure to come back and how we made a healthier Vanilla Latte. Who knows, you may even find healthier versions of your favorite Starbucks treats!

Let me know in the comments below what your favorite drink is; maybe yours will be the one that is featured next.

Photo by Paddy’s D90s

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