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. Sorry, I haven’t had time to go through all the comments, but has anyone made this in bulk and if so how much and how long does it keep?

    Thanks :)

  2. Just curious sonce there are much better cleaner chocolate or coaco products why you would use hersheys, a company that uses vanillin in their chocolate which is a cheap gross additive in your recipe. Recipe souds good and i would like to try it but wonder if you are doing real food why you would use this product?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. This was a post that happened early in Lisa’s real food journey. There are many good brands to choose from today.

  3. This was so good! I mixed together the cocoa and syrup and then added that to my mug along with a little cream. Then I brewed my coffee right into the mug. Very yummy!

  4. Why do you use a separate milk frothed instead of the one on the espresso machine? (Forgive me if this is a silly question. I have never owned either appliance, but I would love to make these mochas.)

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi. The frother on their little machine didn’t work well. They now have an espresso machine that does everything. :)

  5. Is the chocolate sauce you refer to for flavoring cold milk just the cocoa powder and maple syrup combo? Should it be used for only the amount of mill in the recipe? Thanks!!

  6. Thank you for sharing! I will be trying this tomorrow. I used to drink a mocha everyday until I decided to go sugar free. I still needed my morning coffee fix so here’s a recipe I came up with….

    1 cup hot coffee
    1.5 tsp coconut oil
    1 agave nectar

    I blend it up in my ninja and it’s wonderful! Not to mention all the benefits of coconut oil ;)

  7. I love flavored coffees,but cant have them unless like torani syrups.but I get a headache.I’m diabetic.I love mocha,carmel coffees,anythingAny Ideas. I cant use Maple still to much sugar for me…So appreciated…

  8. 5 stars
    It’s been a few months since I’ve gotten into clean eating and just drink my coffee with a little milk or almond milk now. This was a nice treat, a great alternative to the chemical filled versions! This will be a permanent addition to my Saturday mornings.

  9. I am starting the Real Food mini pledge. I love my coffee with my artificial creamer but I know I need to give it up. I want to try this recipe but I was wondering if you could make this in a large quantity and keep in the fridge so I don’t have to make it every morning?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. I keep a little jar of almond milk sweetened with maple syrup in my fridge as a creamer. You do the same with cream.

      1. Pioneer Woman has a great recipe for an iced coffee concentrate to keep in the fridge up to 2 weeks. I do that and add what I want each day in the way of creamers, sweeteners based on my 100 days commitment. Check it out.

  10. 5 stars
    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. Faith Gutierrez

    5 stars
    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?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

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

  12. 5 stars
    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!

  13. 5 stars
    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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

    1. 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. ;)

  16. 5 stars
    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!

  17. 5 stars
    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!!

  18. 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!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

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

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

  20. 5 stars
    I would never have believed that I could find some way to not only ditch my sugar/artificial sweetener requirement for my coffee, this recipe actually kicked up the flavor too many notches to count!!

    I’m fortunate to have access to real maple syrup (like in a mason jar straight from the tree). I took 1tbsp of the syrup, 1tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, and 4oz of unsweetened plain almond milk (I’m lactose intolerant) and frothed the ingredients together in a container. I then added the mixture to fresh-brewed coffee made in my french press…..

    I don’t ever want my coffee any other way. Period. BRAVO.

  21. 4 stars
    I just made this using strong coffee in lieu of espresso, and I used the magic bullet to froth the milk/cocoa mixture as another reader suggested. It worked beautifully. Thanks for a new “real food” way to enjoy my morning coffee!

  22. Finally got around to trying this, but I used regular brewed coffee instead since I don’t have an espresso machine. It is great!! Definitely found a new way to drink my coffee, since I know that creamer and sugar I love has got to go!! :)

  23. You can also “double brew” regular coffee or use a coffee press if you don’t have an espresso machine. Works well. This mocha sounds yummy! I am also a fan of the special dark cocoa!

  24. No sugar in the coffee? Oh my! Does the honey or maple flavor the coffee in any way? Does brown sugar or raw sugar “count” as processed/refined sugar?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Stephanie. Both honey and maple syrup do add a little flavor to the coffee. I’ve grown to prefer maple much to my surprise. :) And yes, both of those do count as refined sugars in terms of the pledge rules. ~Amy

      1. I have always been a mocha person but moved to hot chocolate after discovering some great mixes (think ground chocolate and cocoa powder). I am now hooked on my own hot chocolate. Which is hot whole milk, cocoa powder and a half a teaspoon of honey. Everything else is way too sweet for me now.
        I like this recipe- it makes me think that you have the same cooking style that I have. Thanks for sharing!

  25. How would you scale this up when using a carton (32oz) of half n half as your milk base? I want to use half&half, honey, and unsweetened cocoa. Would heating it all together on the stovetop work to keep the honey dissolved and not scald the milk?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Christa. We’ve not tried with such a large amount but I imagine it would work as long as your heat is not too high. ~Amy

  26. Another idea for regular coffee drinkers is to add pure white unrefined local honey and unsweetened vanilla almond milk to your coffee! It’s seriously delicious! I am more of a die hard espresso drinker and was an avid Starbucks snob, but since I really can’t afford to spend nearly $5 a day on coffee (and I don’t own an espresso machine) the almond milk and honey are great ways to sweeten coffee naturally :)

  27. I do not have a espresso machine or press do you think extra strong coffee would work for this? Just bought your book and in the learning process right now :)

    1. You don’t need a fancy espresso maker. You can pick up a stovetop espresso maker at World Market or TJMaxx. I use it every day during the summer to make iced mochas and periodically in the cooler months for regular mocha. I also recommend aerolatte handheld frother for the milk.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Rachel. Sure. I make shots of espresso in my regular coffee maker with espresso ground beans. Not having a frother will not affect the taste. ~Amy

  28. 5 stars
    I make this, or a version of this every morning. Aeropress 3 shots over honey or the mocha version, topped off w ice and milk. No need for 5 pumps of flavored simple syrup.

  29. This Maple Mocha sounds amazing and I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for a yummy alternative to both dairy and gluten, and to all the other yucky additives that makes up our foods these days.

  30. KellKeljerchannell

    I was wondering what to do for iced tea. My husband drinks a lot of tea which is made with all the bad stuff. Trying to find a tea that’s good to make and sweeten with honey or maple syrup. I hope you have an answer! Thanks for all this wonderful information!!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi there. It may take some trial and error to find the one you like best. I’ve used a number of brands that taste great sweetened with honey. I brew my tea pretty strong and think it is a personal choice. :) ~Amy

  31. Great recipe! I too am a mocha fanatic and as a money saving solution, have agreed to start making my own instead of buying them. This is delicious and I love that it tastes great iced too! Thank you!!

  32. Lisa,
    The white table sugar used today has not been around !,000 years. It is a recent addition since the discovery of the cane it comes from around 1492 (except for those folks who already lived in the area). But, for today’s sugar it is also heated, treated and bleached. There is no nutritional value left. The main sweet substance I recommend is raw, unfiltered honey (except for babies).

  33. Please be aware that Hershey’s chocolate is NOT fair trade and in fact much of the chocolate that feeds our insatiable American appetites is acquired through child labor and exploitation in Africa. I would suggest a fair trade cocoa!!

  34. Other reputable sources say microwave ovens can be safely used. The Center for Science in the Public Interest also published an article on microwave ovens being safe to use. The article is a PDF document. It is titled, Microwave Myths–Fact vs. Fiction.
    It is from their Nutrition Action Newsletter April 2005. If it doesn’t come up, go to their website at then search for the article.