Maple Mocha

17 Reviews / 4.8 Average
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. It only takes four ingredients to make a tasty coffee drink that is better for you than the ones at your local coffee shop.
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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

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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!

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180 thoughts on “Maple Mocha”

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  1. I am new to your site and I am surprised you are using a microwave (I can’t remember the last time I did use one.) Any particular reason you are still using one?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Francoise. The Leakes have looked at both sides of the research and are comfortable with occasional use of the microwave. ~Amy

  2. I do have an expresso maker, however don’t always take it out. I have made the pumpkin spice latte and the maple mocha latte both on the stovetop with a good “frothy” latte result (for those who may not have an expresso machine). I just put the milk on the stovetop and cook on medium until there is steam, then take off the stove and whisk until frothy. Then, I use my Keurig with a mykcup and put expresso in there. These are great recipes you provide and super easy to do! Thank you

  3. I will begin by saying that I like your site and have found the recipes to be very good, but I really can’t believe being a “real food” person and therefore seemingly health-conscious, that you advocate using a microwave??

  4. Really the perfect mocha! I’ve been making my own mochas for many years, and often it’s too acidic, too bitter, too chocolately. The maple syrup is a very good, mild, but rich sweetener.

  5. Just read this post. I use a moka pot and battery powered whisk from IKEA which were about $15 total to make my lattes on the stovetop. Cheaper and more reliable than a cheap espresso maker.

  6. Just made this in my coffee. It’s pretty good. Who’d have thought Elf was right, maple syrup is good in everything! Lol

  7. 5 stars
    I am so happy to say no to a Starbuck’s treat and go home and make this (I actually don’t use the maple syrup often, but it is even more divine when I do!). Anyway, I’ve taken it to the extreme where I prepare my milk and cocoa powder in a batch on the stove top, put it in a drink tupperware in the fridge. In the busy mornings, I shake it up, pour as needed, microwave, add coffee and go! Thanks for another great recipe and another change of habit!!! :D

  8. 5 stars
    Lol! I just realized that I have evolved closer to a half teaspoon of Maple and a heaping teaspoon of cocoa. I guess I know where my weakness lies!! :) Happy Real Foods!

  9. Hi. I’m glad that I found your site. And I’m glad that there are a lot of folks interested in keeping their kids healthy.
    One sad thing about this recipe is the use of Hershey’s chocolate. The major chocolate companies make use of, and are aware that they make use of, slave labor for harvest and production. This also includes child slavery.
    The health of every child is important. I would urge folks to look into the chocolate industry and to purchase fair trade chocolate products.
    Thank you, and keep up the good work!

  10. Delicious! I just whipped this up and put some in milk for my two boys. The best chocolate milk we have ever had! Thanks for such a super easy and healthy alternative to Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup. My boys are glad to be allowed chocolate milk again.

  11. 4 stars
    Thanks for the tip about using maple syrup, prior I was using Ghirardelli sweetened cocoa I am now switching to regular cocoa and maple syrup! I have been making my own mocha’s for over a year now and I use an Aeropress coffee and espresso maker, it’s the closest thing to get a shot of espresso without buying an espresso machine. Thanks for the great website.

  12. Hi,

    I cannot easily find the answer on your site. What do you recomend to use to sweeten a regular cup of coffee? Also maple syrup or honey?


  13. Hey everyone! I am in Canada and shop at Superstore most of the time and have not been able to find Hershey’s “special dark”cocoa, let alone any Hershey’s cocoa. ANyone know where to find it? Thanks

  14. 4 stars
    I made this this morning. Didn’t think it’d turn out well b/c we like a LOT of cream and sugar in our coffee. I used 1.5t of cocoa powder and a tablespoon of maple syrup just in regular coffee. Topped it off with some organic whole milk. So surprised it actually tastes very good! Thanks! Good alternative to flavored creamer!

  15. I just wanna say thank you for this amazing, yet simple recipe! It has saved me once I gave up my Starbucks habit. I also got a handheld milk frother and it works brillantly. Thank you again for all the work you’ve put into this website. It has dramatically changed our lifestyle.

  16. I made this for the first time this morning and it is great! I’m normally a black coffee or an unsweetened cappuccino drinker, but every now and then I like to splurge with a mocha. This was so easy and great. Thanks for the recipe!

  17. Our son (now 41…sheesh!) used to enjoy “The Woodsman Special” as a special treat. It’s just skim milk, with a touch of real maple syrup and a sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg on top.

  18. That sounds pretty darn good. I’m not a usual sweet coffee drinker but I can be swayed. The combo of chocolate powder and maple syrup (or agave) mixes well with plain yogurt too

  19. Thank you! Trying to find a way to wean myself off coffee someday! This looks like a perfect alternative to try and change my coffee habit! I learn so many things from your site and become more aware of what put into my body. Thanks again! :)

  20. Mmm sounds good, though I wouldn’t go for the Hershey’s. I try to go fair trade chocolate whenever possible. I wonder if there’s a good dark fair trade cocoa. I’m ready to go order a krups now!

  21. YUM, just made myself a cup of this mocha and it is delish! Thanks for the recipe. My preferred unsweetened natural cocoa is Ghiradelli and Chatfield’s, both available at Whole Foods.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Jonna. Both of the sweeteners you mentioned are processed and would not be considered “real food”. Jill

  22. Do you think you could use raw cacao powder for this with the same effect? I just hate to use Hersheys. I’m sure it is highly processed and probably GMO.

  23. I’m blessed to have a lovely low-end commercial espresso maker, so it makes getting a nice mocha at home (for much less!) quite a bit easier. Three things to note, however:
    {1} Special Dark has dutched cocoa in it – so it’s not as “natural” ans the plain ol’ Hershey’s. If you want a darker mocha, add more cocoa.
    {2}Ghiradelli 100% natural cocoa makes this ever-so much more wonderful (and *everything* chocolate more wonderful). It’s worth the splurge for your really special recipes.
    {3} For many years I made home-made hot cocoa by bringing milk up to 170-180F (scald, not scorched) on the stove or in the microwave, then added 2-3 tsp. cocoa, dash of salt (to counteract the cocoa’s slight bitter edge), 1/2 tsp vanilla and 2 tsp. honey. Then, whip out your immersion blender that your Auntie Clara got for you last Christmas – but you never quite knew what to do with – and give it a good whirl! So delicious, and so natural, even in the days before I knew about the 100 day challenge :)

  24. So I was super excited to try this out, because I LOVE coffee and am really trying to find a good “real food” sweetener to add in on occasion! I made a 12 ounce pot of coffee, pulled out my pitcher, added about 10 ounces of half-n-half and the maple/chocolate mixture (which I doubled to match a 12 ounce pot of coffee – I ended up using 6 tsp. of cocoa and did 10 tsp. of maple syrup – hope I did that right :) After the coffee had cooled I added it to the pitcher. Aftere shaking it really well, I put it in the fridge and let it sit overnight. I poured myself a nice cup of iced maple mocha coffee this morning and it was delicious! I had to shake it really good before I poured it as I noticed the cocoa was at the bottom, but it tasted great! Thanks for the recipe! Excited to try some more!

  25. I love your blog Lisa. I have been telling all my friends (mostly with kids) to check it out. I am originally from Charlotte. Anyway, I made the chocolate syrup from Deliously Organic that you posted about and use it in my regular coffee with my half and half from a local dairy farm in Michigan. It taste like a mocha except for the froth.

  26. I can’t seem to find the recipe where you give this sauce being made in a “bulk” batch and keep it in the fridge. Can you link me to it?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Michelle. I don’t recall the syrup recipe in bulk. You could always just multiply the recipe and store it in the refrigerator like you state. Jill

  27. Thanks Lisa for all of your awesome ideas! I always look forward to discovering your new posts. As a family that eats healthy and as “real” as possible, we love all of your recipe and meal ideas. Everything I have tried so far has turned out great. Question about the maple mocha, would it turn out okay if I used 100% cacao (like you use in the power balls) instead of cocoa?

  28. I just tried your maple mocha recipe this morning, but since I don’t have an espresso maker I made this with equal parts strong coffee and equal parts milk. I used almond milk, though, and it came out really good! Now I will keep a stash of ingredients at work and use the coffee here and I can make an afternoon treat! Thanks!

  29. JoAnna Courtenay

    a real quick way to get a nice froth for your cup, put your milk in a pot heat it up then get an ordinary kitchen whisk and whip the heck out of it. YOu get a beautiful foam and it is soooo cheap : ). I used to work in a coffee shop here are a few tips skim milk doesn’t foam well the higher the fat content the better the foaming, also after it is nice and foamy make it thicker this way. Lightly pound your milk/foam mixture a few times on the counter as this will compress your foam and make it a delicious yummyness. : )
    thanks for the mocha recipe!

  30. Love the recipe. Hate the idea that you nuke your milk. Running a microwave creates more cancer causing radiation to be emitted into your home. (Much higher levels than a lot of the other electronics in your home.) Ditch the nuker and just keep a damp cloth by the espresso maker and do a quick swipe of the steam wand. Spilled milk is much easier to clean up than a radiation “leak”. ;-)

  31. Cynthia Sommer

    Ok, love your site and the info provided! Got led to this recipe via the Starbucks info you posted today. But wouldn’t the cocoa beans also not be organic and use pesticides? Didn’t know if you had any info on that or not.

    Thanks! :D

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Cynthia. I have not specifically looked into what you mention, but, I do know that you can buy organic cocoa. Jill