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This healthy version of a Starbucks favorite combines the rich, decadent flavors of chocolate and coffee with a hint of sweet and salty caramel. Low calorie, low sugar, and high protein, my Salted Caramel Mocha Protein Shake is the perfect on-the-go healthy breakfast to get you moving in the morning, and it’s an ideal snack when you’re looking for a nutritious afternoon pick-me-up!

Salted Caramel Mocha Protein Shake with text overlay

I’ve mentioned my love for coffee on this blog about one, two, or ten times. Maybe it’s sad to admit, but my morning cup is one of the highlights of my day! It’s the little things…

That’s why I’m so excited to share today’s recipe with you. It’s perfect for busy mornings when you need a quick, healthy breakfast (and your coffee fix) STAT! You might also enjoy a shake for a sweet afternoon snack when you need a boost to get you through until dinner.

Mason jar full of healthy smoothie in salted caramel mocha flavor with two straws

How to Make a Salted Caramel Mocha at Home:

When making a cold coffee beverage, it’s always KEY to use a strong coffee so that your final product doesn’t end up tasting watered-down and just…blah. These days you can find bottles of dark roast iced coffee ready to go in just about any grocery store. If you prefer, you can also just brew a cup of your favorite coffee and chill it in the refrigerator overnight. Whatever is easiest!

Overhead image of whipped cream and caramel sauce on salted caramel mocha protein shake

What’s in a Salted Caramel Mocha?

In addition to the cold coffee, you will also need unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other milk of your choice), chocolate protein powder, unsweetened cocoa powder, caramel extract, salt and ice. If you want a coffeehouse-style drink, you can garnish your shake with the optional toppings: whipped cream and caramel sauce!

Ingredients for salted caramel mocha protein shake

This IdealLean Chocolate Brownie is my favorite protein powder, which has 0 grams of sugar and only 80 calories per scoop. It adds the perfect thick, creamy texture to the smoothie! I also like this Quest Chocolate Milkshake protein powder.

That said, you can substitute with your own favorite protein powder — or see my notes below for a recipe variation without protein powder.

Container of IdealLean Chocolate protein powder for protein shake

Once you have your ingredients ready to go, this is just a 2-minute “recipe!”

Start by adding the ice to your blender. You can play with the amount of ice in your shake, based on the thickness that you prefer. I like a THICK smoothie that I can eat with a spoon, so more ice is always my preference!

Then just toss in the rest of your ingredients (coffee, milk, protein powder, cocoa powder, caramel extract, and salt).

Salted caramel mocha ingredients in blender before mixing

Whiz until thick and smooth!

Overhead image of salted caramel mocha in blender smooth

Once your ingredients are all combined, you can garnish your Salted Caramel Mocha with a little bit of whipped topping and salted caramel sauce, if desired. Personally, I wouldn’t skip this step. That caramel sauce is a MUST in my world!

Close up image of salted caramel mocha protein shake with pink and white striped straw

COOK’S TIPS AND RECIPE VARIATIONS:

  • If you’re preparing this healthy smoothie for kids, you can omit the protein powder and substitute with Greek yogurt. Since the protein powder adds not only thickness, but also flavor to the smoothie, you’ll want to use a sweetened vanilla Greek yogurt or use a plain Greek yogurt and add your own sweetener, to taste. You will also need an additional 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder for that chocolate taste. The taste and texture of the smoothie recipe with yogurt will not be quite the same as the protein powder version, but your family will still love it!
  • Keep the healthy smoothie recipe low sugar by using unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a sugar free protein powder.
  • I prefer whey protein for flavor and thickness in this smoothie, but if you prefer a plant-based breakfast, you can substitute with a vegan protein powder.
  • You can find caramel extract in the baking aisle of most grocery stores (near the vanilla extract) or online here. Don’t skip this ingredient — it MAKES the shake!

Front view of glass of salted caramel mocha protein shake with whipped cream and caramel sauce

Skip the Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino and instead whip up your own healthy version at home! Chocolate, coffee, caramel, and a little boost from some caffeine. Could you ask for a better way to start your day?

Healthy Salted Caramel Mocha surrounded by chocolate chips

You might also enjoy these protein shakes:

Salted Caramel Mocha Protein Shake

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings 1 person
Calories 100.9 kcal
This healthy version of a Starbucks favorite combines the rich, decadent flavors of chocolate and coffee with a hint of sweet and salty caramel. Low calorie, low sugar, and high protein, my Salted Caramel Mocha Protein Shake is the perfect on-the-go healthy breakfast!

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup brewed coffee cooled
  • ¼ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or other milk of your choice
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon caramel extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ - 2 cups ice
  • Optional: whipped topping and/or salted caramel syrup for garnish

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to blender and combine! Garnish with whipped topping and salted caramel syrup, if desired.

Notes

For purposes of calculating nutrition information, I used my favorite IdealLean Chocolate Brownie Protein Powder (which has 80 calories per scoop). You can substitute with a different protein powder, but the nutrition information may vary.
Nutrition information does not include optional toppings.
COOK'S TIPS AND RECIPE VARIATIONS:
  • If you’re preparing this healthy smoothie for kids, you can omit the protein powder and substitute with Greek yogurt. Since the protein powder adds not only thickness, but also flavor to the smoothie, you’ll want to use a sweetened vanilla Greek yogurt or use a plain Greek yogurt and add your own sweetener, to taste. You will also need an additional 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder for that chocolate taste. The taste and texture of the smoothie recipe with yogurt will not be quite the same as the protein powder version, but your family will still love it!
  • Keep the healthy smoothie recipe low sugar by using unsweetened vanilla almond milk and a sugar free protein powder.
  • I prefer whey protein for flavor and thickness in this smoothie, but if you prefer a plant-based breakfast, you can substitute with a vegan protein powder.
  • You can find caramel extract in the baking aisle of most grocery stores (near the vanilla extract) or online here. Don't skip this ingredient -- it MAKES the shake!

Nutrition

Serving: 1smoothieCalories: 100.9kcalCarbohydrates: 3.2gProtein: 21.5gFat: 1.4gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.6gSodium: 752.5mgPotassium: 265.5mgFiber: 2gSugar: 0.1g
Keyword: salted caramel mocha, salted caramel mocha frappuccino
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This post was originally published in March, 2015. It was updated in January, 2019.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. Um, do you have any left? I’m on my way over, okay! You had me at salted caramel!!

  2. I cant believe how good this looks and to know its packed with so much protein too. And I have to say, those serving glasses are adorable. I have similar ones but they never had something so delicious in them before 😉

  3. Love this idea, esp.the little added protein! Blair, I would love for you to share this at my new link party Making Memories Mondays going on now! 🙂
    Cathy

  4. This looks so yummy that I can’t wait to make one tomorrow!! All of these protein smoothies sound delicious.

  5. This looks so good! You have so many great shake recipes. Pinning and thank you for sharing with all of us at Merry Monday!