Recipe: Maple Mocha

Maple Mocha from 100 Days of Real Food

Mocha Updated: I got a freestanding milk frother since this post first published, and I love it! Here’s the frother I now use…

I seem to get a lot of questions about how to sweeten coffee on a real food diet…so I’ve finally decided to address it in an official recipe. For starters PLEASE throw away your Splenda or other imitation sweeteners. I am begging you! :) Even though our family rarely does sugar anymore I would much rather have regular white table sugar (that has been around for thousands of years) over something that was (relatively recently) invented in a lab just to imitate sugar. Enough said about that.

As you’ve probably gathered from the title this is not a recipe for just plain ol’ coffee because that is just not how I roll. I am a mocha girl and always have been. My victim of choice used to be a white chocolate mocha to be exact, and I don’t even want to think about what the ingredients might be in one of those. But just in case I could convince one more person to stop ordering them I just got off the phone with Starbucks…

Starbucks white chocolate syrup: sugar, condensed skim milk, sweetened condensed skim milk, coconut oil, cocoa butter, natural flavors, salt, potassium sorbate, monoglycerides

Okay, well at least I can (almost) pronounce everything…I guess that is a positive, but what is the point in consuming a large dose of all that stuff when it could be so much simpler (and cheaper) if you make it at home!? Now if I am not at home my new drink to order is a latté (which is just plain espresso and milk) with a little honey added to sweeten it. And as you can see from the recipe if you want to make these mochas at home it is necessary to have an espresso maker. I have the simplest espresso machine imaginable, and it has worked wonderfully for almost a decade.

Now if you are one of those that likes to get creative please know that the cocoa/maple syrup combination in this recipe can be used as a “chocolate sauce” for just about anything. You can drizzle it on some ice cream, or I even use it to make both cold and hot chocolate milk for my girls. I bet it would be good mixed into regular coffee too. So enjoy!

4.8 from 15 reviews
Maple Mocha
Serves: 1
  • ½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa (this recipe will work with regular cocoa, but I think it is SOOO much better with the pictured “special dark” variety…which most stores carry)
  • 1 teaspoon 100% pure maple syrup (honey would work as an alternative)
  • 1 shot of espresso
  • ¾ cup of milk
  1. Heat ¾ cup milk in a glass measuring cup in the microwave (for about 2 minutes) or by using a milk frother.
  2. While the milk is heating up, stir together the cocoa and maple syrup until the mixture looks "wet."
  3. Pour the hot espresso and milk into the chocolate mixture…and voila! You have a “mocha.”

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  1. Heather |

    whaaaaat?!! I just tried this and added it to my regular brewed coffee, and it is A-MAZING!!! Converted from my Coffeemate Vanilla creamer!!

  2. alicia |

    Hi! I have been following your site for awhile, but wanted to officially take the pledge. Can you substitute regular brewed coffee for the espresso in this recipe? I don’t have an espresso machine. Thank you!

    • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

      Hi Alicia. Yes, I do all the time. Just use an espresso grind or brew a regular grind very strongly. ;)

  3. Lauri |

    I just tried this, also using regular brewed coffee instead of espresso. It wasn’t sweet enough for my taste so I added more maple syrup. Anyway, I never thought I could give up my artificially sweetened morning coffee BUT I CAN! I believe we need to cut ourselves a lot of slack as we make changes so I’m ok with the extra syrup, at least for now. My plan is to slowly reduce it as my taste buds adjust to less and less. Thanks Lisa for the challenge!!

  4. carly |

    This tasted fantastic!! I just used regular coffee. A nice change of pace when I want my coffee a little different. I will definitely make it again and again and again!

  5. Katie |

    Any suggestions on how to make this drink iced? Would I have to hear everything in order to get the powder mixed and then put it over ice? That is what I would suspect. Love your blog and cookbook!

    • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

      Hi Katie. Yes, you could also put it in the fridge or freezer so you don’t have the problem with melting ice. I know that requires extra time and less instant gratification. ;)

  6. Kim |

    I would also like to hear about an iced version…I am lucky enough to have a nespresso machine (although the espresso isn’t organic), but i don’t like hot drinks! thanks!

  7. Ashley |

    This was really good! I used almond milk since I’m lactose intolerant. I didn’t think it would be sweet enough for me, but it was!

  8. Corina |

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I was addicted to Starbucks skinny vanilla lattes and never thought this would sufficiently replace it, but I absolutely prefer it. I love knowing exactly what’s in it and it’s the perfect amount of sweetness. As others mentioned, I don’t have an espresso maker, but I brew regular coffee and add that as well as the milk. I’ve raved about this fantastic recipe to many people. Thanks for doing the hard work and sharing it!

  9. Faith Gutierrez |

    Great recipe! My poison of choice was always cinnamon cream coffee. I’ve tried so many recipes, but haven’t found a good homemade “real food” version. Any suggestions?

    • Amy Taylor (comment moderator) |

      Hi Faith. I would use this recipe minus the cocoa and maple. Use honey to sweeten and add cinnamon.

  10. |

    Oh. My. Gawd! I love it when something this simple is so delicious! I was looking for recipes using maple syrup but not expecting to find a drink. Thank you for sharing! Now I’m off to look at more of your website.

  11. Gina |

    Hi Lisa, I’m such a fan of your website and blog. A friend introduced me to your website last summer, and I instantly began cutting out processed food. I’ve been looking for a warm drink to enjoy in the morning because I’m not a coffee drinker, and hot tea just doesn’t taste good without sugar. I just made your maple mocha without the coffee! I used 1 cup of Organic Rice Dream Rice drink, 2 teaspoons of the special dark variety unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1 teaspoon of pure organic maple syrup. It’s delicious!
    I was wondering if you have any tips for lunch ideas for middle school and high school students. I’m a teacher and a mother of two teenagers. It’s sad to see how popular processed food is among teens. I’d love to hear any thoughts you have about that.

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