Tasting Starbucks secret menu items (and the Unicorn Frappuccino)


Marco Paköeningrat

The sign in front of a Starbucks. (Wikimedia Commons/Marco Paköeningrat)

Max Winkler

The use of the so called “secret menu” items in restaurant chains has become more popular in recent years. Starbucks was one of the first chains at which customers began making unique combinations to mimic familiar foods that they love. Some popular creations have been anywhere from apple pie, to Cinnamon Toast Crunch, to cotton candy. I took the time to try two of the most popular secret menu Frappuccinos along with the Instagram-famous, limited time Unicorn Frappuccino.


Cinnamon Roll

Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino

2 pumps of Cinnamon Dolce syrup

White Chocolate Mocha Sauce

Cinnamon Roll Frappuccino (Creative Commons)


I began my taste-test with the Cinnamon Roll Frappuccino. This frozen drink supposedly has a similar flavor to the classic, sweet breakfast. If someone blended a cinnamon roll with milk and ice, this is what they would get. This frozen beverage had a strong, vanilla flavor with the perfect amount of syrup and cinnamon to not overwhelm the whole drink. I highly recommend every cinnamon-lover to try this at least once. Starbucks definitely made the Pillsbury Doughboy proud with this creation.


Ferrero Rocher/Nutella

Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino

2 pumps of Hazelnut syrup

Ferrero Roche/ Nutella Frappuccino (Creative Commons)


The next drink featured is the popular combination of chocolate and hazelnut. This Frappuccino is supposed to taste similar to the breakfast spread, Nutella, or the candy, Ferrero Rocher. The first sip I took, all I could notice was a rich, chocolate flavor with a crunch of the chocolate chips blended in with the beverage. After the second sip, I tasted a hint of the hazelnut syrup, except it tasted more fruity than it did nutty. The flavor was more of a raspberry-chocolate than a hazelnut-chocolate, which didn’t bother me. Chocolate and raspberry is one of my favorite combinations, but if you’re looking for the classic taste of Nutella, this isn’t the right drink for you. Although flavorful, this secret menu item failed to live up to the memorable, rich tastes of Nutella and Ferrero Rochers.



Crème Frappuccino Syrup

Mango Syrup

Blue Drizzle

Pink Powder

Sour Blue Powder

Unicorn Frappuccino (Creative Commons)

If you have been on the Internet during the past few days, there is no way you haven’t seen this limited-time Starbucks drink. Starbucks described this now-extinct drink as “Magical flavors [that] start off sweet and fruity [before] transforming to pleasantly sour… It’s finished with whipped cream-sprinkled pink and blue fairy powders.” Starbucks also tells its customers to “swirl it to reveal a color-changing spectacle of purple and pink.” When I received the drink, the barista definitely didn’t fail to match what I’ve observed on the Internet. Taste-testers also described the taste exactly as I would, unfortunately. The first sip was very confusing due to the variety of flavors that did not combine well. It was similar to eating a whole bag of Sour Patch Kids at once, along with a shot of the mango syrup, which tasted more like orange-flavored Cold-Eeze than the juice of the usually-refreshing, tropical fruit. If you’re upset you missed this limited-time drink, don’t be, unless you love the flavor combination of sugar, citric acid and a hint of cough syrup.

UPDATED 11/22/17 for compliance with The RamPage Policy, Ethics and Style Handbook.