The KEY Differences Between Starbucks Syrups and Sauces

The KEY Differences Between Starbucks Syrups and Sauces

You love your Starbucks drinks, but have you ever wondered about the difference between the syrups and sauces they use?

While both add flavor to your favorite beverages, they have distinct characteristics that can greatly impact your drink’s taste and texture.

This article will explore the key differences between Starbucks syrups and sauces, helping you make informed decisions when customizing your next order.

We’ll cover everything from their ingredients and consistency to their best uses and how they affect the flavor profile of your drink.

By the end, you’ll better understand these popular add-ons and be able to create your perfect Starbucks beverage every time.

So, let’s dive in and discover the world of Starbucks syrups and sauces!

Customizing Drinks with Syrups and Sauces

Drink NameBase DrinkSyrups/Sauces UsedNumber of Pumps
Cinnamon Toast CrunchWhite Chocolate Mocha FrappuccinoCinnamon Dolce Syrup, Hazelnut Syrup1 each
Red VelvetHalf White Chocolate Mocha, Half Mocha FrappuccinoRaspberry Syrup1
Cookie DoughCinnamon Dolce Creme FrappuccinoMocha Syrup, Java Chips1, blended
ButterbeerCreme Frappuccino with Whole MilkCaramel Syrup, Toffee Nut Syrup3 each

One of the joys of being a Starbucks customer is the ability to personalize your coffee drinks to suit your unique tastes.

With a wide array of syrups and sauces available, you can create a truly unique beverage.

From classic flavor combinations to secret menu concoctions, the possibilities are endless.

Popular Customizations

1. Cinnamon Toast Crunch: Hazelnut Syrup

  • Start with a White Chocolate Mocha Sauce Frappuccino
  • Add 1 pump of regular or Sugar-Free Cinnamon Dolce Syrup
  • Add 1 pump of Hazelnut Syrup
  • Blend with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar
  • Top with whipped cream and an extra dusting of cinnamon sugar

2. Red Velvet: Raspberry Syrup

  • Begin with a Frappuccino made with half White Chocolate Mocha Sauce and half regular Mocha Sauce
  • Add 1 pump of Raspberry Syrup
  • Blend with a dollop of whipped cream
  • Top with an additional swirl of whipped cream

3. Cookie Dough: Mocha Syrup

  • Start with a Cinnamon Dolce Creme Frappuccino
  • Add 1 pump of Mocha Syrup
  • Blend with a scoop of java chips
  • Top with chocolate whipped cream and a sprinkle of cookie crumble

4. Butterbeer: Caramel Syrup & Toffee Nut Syrup

  • Begin with a Creme Frappuccino made with whole milk
  • Add 3 pumps of Caramel Syrup
  • Add 3 pumps of Toffee Nut Syrup
  • Top with whipped cream and line the cup with caramel drizzle
  • For a less sweet version, reduce the number of syrup pumps

Starbucks Syrups

Starbucks Syrups

1. Definition and Characteristics

Starbucks syrups have a smooth, fluid texture that allows them to blend effortlessly into your favorite drinks.

  • Their liquid consistency ensures they mix well with hot and cold beverages, providing an even flavor distribution throughout your cup.
  • This versatility makes them a go-to choice for baristas and coffee lovers alike.
  • High Versatility: One of Starbucks syrups’ greatest advantages is their adaptability.
  • They work well in various drinks, from classic hot coffees to refreshing iced teas and lemonades.

Their versatility extends beyond the coffee shop. They can add a touch of sweetness to cocktails and other culinary creations.

2. Common Flavors and Availability

Starbucks offers a variety of syrup flavors to satisfy every palate.

  • Some of the most beloved options include rich Caramel, smooth Vanilla, nutty Hazelnut, and refreshing Peppermint.
  • The coffee chain also introduces seasonal and limited-edition flavors throughout the year, such as Cinnamon Dolce and Toffee Nut, to keep things exciting.
  • Availability: You can find Starbucks syrups at any of their coffee shops worldwide.
  • If you want to enjoy these flavors at home, you’re lucky – many classic syrup flavors are available online and in select grocery stores.

This means you can recreate your favorite Starbucks drinks in the comfort of your kitchen.

3. Uses and Benefits

The primary function of Starbucks syrups is to add sweetness to your beverages.

  • A pump or two of your chosen flavor can transform a plain coffee into a delightful treat.
  • The syrups provide a pleasant sweetness without overpowering the natural taste of the coffee or tea, allowing you to customize your drink to your liking.
  • Performance in Cold Drinks Starbucks syrups are particularly well-suited for cold beverages.
  • Unlike other sweeteners that may clump or settle at the bottom of your cup, these syrups blend smoothly into iced drinks.
  • This ensures you enjoy a consistently delicious flavor from the first sip to the last.
  • Vegan Options Many Starbucks syrups are vegan-friendly, making them a great choice for those following a plant-based diet.
  • Most clear syrups, such as Vanilla and Hazelnut, are free from animal-derived ingredients.

However, it’s always a good idea to check with your barista or read the labels, as some syrups may contain honey or other non-vegan additives.

4. Nutritional Information

It’s important to note that while Starbucks syrups add a delightful sweetness to your drinks, they also contribute to the overall calorie count.

  • Each syrup pump contains approximately 20 calories, so it’s wise to be mindful of the amount used if you’re watching your calorie intake.
  • Vegan-Friendly As mentioned earlier, many Starbucks syrups cater to vegan diets. However, there are a few exceptions to keep in mind.
  • Some syrups, such as the Classic syrup, may occasionally contain honey.

If you have any doubts or specific dietary requirements, don’t hesitate to ask your barista for guidance.

Starbucks Sauces


1. Definition and Characteristics

Starbucks sauces are perfect for your favorite drinks when you crave a rich, indulgent flavor.

  • Unlike syrups with a thinner consistency, sauces have a thick, dense texture that adds depth and body to your beverage.

When mixed into hot drinks, the heat helps the sauces dissolve evenly, creating a smooth, creamy consistency that will leave you wanting more.

2. Common Flavors and Availability

Starbucks offers an enticing array of sauces, each bringing a unique twist to your coffee.

Some of the most popular choices include the

  • Classic Mocha sauce
  • The sweet and silky White Chocolate Mocha sauce
  • The bold Caramel Brulee sauce
  • The beloved Pumpkin Spice sauce.

However, it’s important to note that many of these sauces are seasonal or proprietary, meaning they may only be available during specific times of the year or at select Starbucks locations.

This exclusivity adds to the excitement of trying new flavors and rediscovering old favorites.

3. Uses and Benefits

One of the greatest advantages of Starbucks sauces is their versatility.

  • In hot beverages such as lattes and mochas, the sauces melt seamlessly, infusing the drink with a rich, robust flavor that perfectly complements the coffee.
  • On the other hand, when used in cold drinks, the sauces can be drizzled along the inside of the glass, creating an eye-catching visual effect that makes your beverage look as good as it tastes.
  • It’s worth noting that most Starbucks sauces contain dairy, which may limit options for vegan customers.
  • However, the Mocha sauce is an exception, being entirely vegan-friendly.

This allows those following a plant-based diet to indulge in a sauce-enhanced drink.

4. Nutritional Information

When incorporating Starbucks sauces into your drinks, being aware of their nutritional content is helpful.

  • Each sauce pump typically contains around 30 calories, which can add up quickly if you’re not mindful of your intake.
  • Additionally, many sauces include dairy or honey, which may not suit those with dietary restrictions or preferences.
  • By understanding the caloric and dietary aspects of Starbucks sauces, you can make informed decisions about how best to enjoy them as part of a balanced lifestyle.

Whether you indulge in a sauce-filled treat occasionally or opt for a lighter syrup alternative, knowing the facts empowers you to create a drink that satisfies both your taste buds and your wellness goals.

Key Differences Between Syrups and Sauces

1. Consistency and Application

When it comes to consistency, Starbucks syrups and sauces are worlds apart.

  • Syrups have a liquid consistency, making them incredibly versatile and easy to incorporate into all types of drinks.
  • Their fluid nature allows them to mix effortlessly into hot and cold beverages, ensuring a smooth and even flavor distribution.
  • Moreover, syrups are not limited to just coffee drinks; they can also be used in various non-coffee applications, such as baked goods and ice cream, adding a touch of sweetness and flavor.
  • On the other hand, Starbucks sauces are known for their thick, viscous consistency.
  • This characteristic suits them best for hot drinks, where the heat helps the sauce dissolve smoothly, creating a rich and creamy texture.

Sauces are often used decoratively in cold drinks, coating the inside of the cup to add visual appeal and a burst of flavor with each sip.

2. Flavor Impact and Usage

Syrups and sauces also differ in flavor impact and primary usage.

  • Syrups are mainly used to sweeten beverages, offering flavors like Caramel, Vanilla, and Hazelnut.
  • Their ability to blend well with hot and cold drinks makes them popular for adding sweetness without overpowering the beverage’s base flavor.
  • Syrups are particularly effective in cold drinks, where they help maintain a consistent flavor profile throughout.
  • Sauces, on the other hand, serve a dual purpose: they enhance the overall flavor of the drink while also providing sweetness.
  • Typically used in richer, more indulgent beverages such as mochas and lattes, sauces add depth and complexity to the flavor profile.

Popular sauce flavors include Mocha, White Chocolate Mocha, and Caramel Brulee, each with a unique taste.

3. Dietary Considerations

Regarding dietary considerations, syrups and sauces have some notable differences.

  • Many Starbucks syrups are vegan-friendly, especially the clear varieties.
  • However, it’s essential to check the ingredients, as some syrups may contain honey, which is unsuitable for strict vegans.
  • If you follow a plant-based diet, opting for syrups is generally a safer bet.
  • In contrast, most Starbucks sauces contain dairy or honey, limiting the options for vegan customers.
  • The Mocha sauce is a notable exception, being one of the few vegan-friendly sauce choices.

If you have specific dietary restrictions or preferences, it’s always a good idea to inquire with your barista about the ingredients in each sauce.

4. Availability and Purchase Options

Starbucks syrups and sauces also differ in availability and purchase options.

  • Syrups are widely available in Starbucks stores, online, and many grocery stores.
  • This broad accessibility allows customers to enjoy their favorite Starbucks flavors at home and experiment with different recipes and creations.
  • Starbucks offers a range of syrup flavors, including seasonal options, giving you plenty of choices to explore.
  • On the other hand, Starbucks sauces are more exclusive and not typically sold directly by the company for home use.
  • While some sauces may be available through third-party sellers, the selection is often limited compared to the in-store variety.

This exclusivity adds to the appeal of enjoying sauces as part of the Starbucks experience, making your visits to the coffee shop even more special.

Creating Unofficial Drinks with Syrups and Sauces

Creating Unofficial Drinks with Syrups and Sauces

The secret menu is a collection of unofficial drink combinations created by Starbucks customers and baristas.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different syrup and sauce combinations to create your unique beverages.

Cotton Candy

  • Start with a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino
  • Add 1 pump of Raspberry Syrup


  • Begin with a Java Chip Frappuccino or Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino
  • Blend with whipped cream
  • Add 1 pump of Toffee Nut Syrup
  • Add 1 pump of regular or Sugar-Free Cinnamon Dolce Syrup
  • Top with Cinnamon Dolce sprinkles and whipped cream

Fruity Pebbles

Start with a Strawberries and Creme Frappuccino

  • Add 2 pumps of regular or Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup
  • Add ½ pump of Regular Toffee Nut Syrup
  • Add ½ pump of Classic Syrup
  • Optional: blend with a splash of orange mango juice for extra fruity flavor

Tips for Ordering and Customizing

1. Clear Instructions

  • When ordering a custom drink, provide your barista with precise details, such as the type of syrup and the number of pumps desired.
  • Use phrases like “I’d like a Grande Vanilla Latte with 2 pumps of Hazelnut Syrup” to ensure your drink is made exactly to your liking.

2. Understanding the Ratios

  • As a general rule, larger drink sizes require more pumps of syrup or sauce
  • For each size increase (Tall to Grande, Grande to Venti), add half a pump of syrup or sauce
  • Keep these ratios in mind when creating your custom beverages

3. Experimentation and Personalization

Trying Different Combinations

  • Don’t be afraid to mix and match different syrups and sauces to create unique flavor profiles.
  • Remember your preferences for sweetness and flavor intensity when experimenting with new combinations.

Recording Successful Recipes

  • When you discover a syrup and sauce combination you love, note it for future reference.
  • Share your successful recipes with friends or online communities to inspire others to try new customizations.

Customizing your Starbucks drinks with syrups and sauces is a fantastic way to explore new flavors and create beverages that are uniquely your own.

You can take your coffee experience to the next level with a little creativity and a willingness to experiment.

So, the next time you visit Starbucks, don’t hesitate to ask your barista about the available syrups and sauces, and let your imagination run wild!


Understanding the differences between Starbucks syrups and sauces is key to elevating your coffee experience.

By familiarizing yourself with their unique characteristics, flavors, and customization options, you can create a drink that perfectly suits your taste preferences.

Whether you prefer the versatility of syrups or the indulgent richness of sauces, Starbucks offers a wide array of choices to satisfy every craving.

So, the next time you visit your local Starbucks, don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations and discover your new favorite beverage.

With a little creativity and the helpful guidance of your barista, you can unlock a world of delicious possibilities.

Personalizing your drink is all part of the fun, so embrace the opportunity to make your Starbucks experience your own.

Frequently Asked Questions 

How Many Pumps of Starbucks Syrup Are in a Grande?

Grande drinks at Starbucks typically contain 4 pumps of syrup.

What Flavor Syrups Does Starbucks Have?

Starbucks offers various syrup flavors, including Vanilla, Caramel, Hazelnut, Cinnamon Dolce, Toffee Nut, Peppermint, Raspberry, and seasonal options.

Is There a Difference Between Starbucks Caramel and Starbucks Dark Caramel Sauce?

Starbucks’s dark caramel sauce is thicker and richer in flavor than regular caramel sauce.

Can You Buy Starbucks Syrups and Starbucks Sauces to Use in Your Home?

Some Starbucks syrups, like Vanilla, Hazelnut, and Caramel, are available in stores and online. However, sauces are not typically sold for home use.

What Does “No Classic” Mean at Starbucks?

“No classic” means the customer does not want the classic syrup (simple syrup) added to their drink

Viktor Edwards
Viktor Edwards

Viktor Edwards brings over a decade of experience to his craft, having honed his skills in some of the most renowned establishments. A graduate with a degree in Culinary Arts from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, Viktor's journey into the world of fine drinks began shortly after completing his education. His career took off when he joined our website's team in 2021, bringing with him a passion for creating innovative beverages that tantalize the palate while offering a nod to classic flavors. Beyond his professional pursuits, Viktor is an avid cyclist and enjoys exploring the great outdoors, believing that inspiration can be found in the natural world around us.

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