A high-powered blender is the way to go here in order to really ensure your drink is well-mixed as it would be if ordering from your favorite coffee shop.
Technique tip: This recipe can easily be double or tripled to serve a few jealous friends looking for their caffeine fix without the dreadful drive-thru line.
Swap option: Use any of your favorite flavored syrups such as vanilla, hazelnut or any seasonal flavors. Adjust the amount of syrup based on the amount of syrup you prefer.
In a small bowl, combine instant coffee with 1 tablespoon of very hot water. Allow to dissolve and mix to combine. This is what will give you the subtle coffee flavor in your drink. Instant coffee is best here because the flavor is more concentrated and won't water down your drink. You can also use 2 tablespoons of strongly brewed coffee but it might not have the same flavor.2.
Using a high-speed blender, add ice, milk, dissolved coffee, caramel syrup and xanthan gum. The higher quality the blender, the smoother and creamier your drink will be. You can sub in any milk you prefer such as almond, oat or skim. If you want to make this into a salted caramel Frappuccino, add a pinch of flaky sea salt to the blender before blending. If you don't have xanthan gum, you can still make this recipe but be aware that the texture may be a bit icy as opposed to light and creamy. I suggest blending a bit longer if you don't use xanthan gum.3.
Blend on low speed, slowly increasing the speed to high. Allow to blend on high speed for at least 30 to 40 seconds. The Frappuccino should be creamy and well-blended, appear voluminous and have air bubbles throughout it. You may need to scrape down the sides of the blender and re-blend if it still has chunks of ice in it.4.
Transfer to a drinking glass and top with whipped cream and caramel syrup, if using. If you want to be extra fancy, make your own sweetened whipped cream. Simply whip heavy cream with a pinch of powdered sugar until soft peaks form. The canned stuff we all know and love is perfect here, though! Feel free to get fancy with the garnishes, such as sprinkles, chocolate bits, flaky salt, crumbled cookies, etc.