Review: Caramel Waffle Cone Frappuccino from Starbucks

I tend to like my coffee and lot like I like my ice cream: cold, creamy, sweet, and in a waffle cone. And since the Texas heat has already started pushing 90 at the beginning of May, it seems like a perfect time to check out the new Caramel Waffle Cone Frappuccino from Starbucks.Starbucks Caramel Waffle Cone FrappuccinoThe Starbucks description:

We blend waffle cone-flavored syrup and dark caramel sauce with milk and ice. Then top it with whipped cream, real pieces of waffle cone and more dark caramel sauce. It’s a carnival delight, all grown up.

When considering a Frappuccino, I guess there’s an important point to get out of the way. And that is that there are essentially two types of people in this world: those who have a Frappuccino every day, and those who do not (I may be generalizing things a tad bit). I fall into the latter category and tend to only seek out the sweet, rich coffee drinks when new flavors are added. Unfortunately, the Caramel Waffle Cone Frappuccino doesn’t do enough to distinguish itself from the regular Caramel Frappuccinos offered by Starbucks.Starbucks Caramel Waffle Cone FrappuccinoIt starts out on a high note. The whipped cream, dark caramel sauce, and crunchy, glazed bits of waffle cone instantly create the sensation of ice cream in a waffle cone. The first sip or so, before the viscous coffee base begins to pool, even tastes of coffee ice cream in a waffle cone. The waffle cone pieces are the star, with a super crunchy texture and complex burnt sugar sweetness and buttery flavor.Starbucks Caramel Waffle Cone FrappuccinoHowever, the taste is short-lived. The drink begins to melt quickly and the icy, light coffee flavor takes over. It’s hyper-sweet and familiar—not bad, but nothing above and beyond what caramel syrup, whole milk, and too much ice can provide. The coffee flavor comes across as watered down, and the dark caramel sauce drizzle gets lost in the lighter, saccharine flavors. While Starbucks advertises a waffle cone-flavored syrup, I really didn’t pick up any flavors of waffle cone on the drink itself. Light caramel, yes. Waffle cone? No way. I get it—waffle cone is not really so much a flavor as a texture sensation, but after the first few-spoonfulls of whipped cream and waffle pieces are consumed, there’s just nothing setting the drink apart. And if you’re anything like me, and are looking for a texture sensation to break up the gritty ice and coffee combination, then you’re going to be mildly disappointed.Starbucks Caramel Waffle Cone FrappuccinoThe Caramel Waffle Cone Frappuccino isn’t a bad drink, but it tastes too familiar and too sweet.  The flavors that should define it—the waffle cone pieces and the dark caramel syrup—are applied with too much restraint, and make it hard to warrant a repeat buy for non-regular customers.

Pros: Glazed brown sugar and butter flavor in the waffle cone pieces provide memorable taste and crunchy texture. Dark caramel syrup has an excellent and deep flavor.

Cons: "Waffle cone syrup” is overly sweet and tastes like regular caramel syrup. Watered down coffee flavor. Not enough textural contrast to offset the gritty base.

Taste: 5.50/10
Value: 4.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.50/10
Price: $4.25 (half price from 3-5pm until May 15)

Overall GrubGrade: 5.50/10

More Info:
Nutrition Facts:
Tall 12-ounce:
300 calories, 12 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0.0 grams trans fat, 46 grams of carbs, 160 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of sugar, 0 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, 110 mg caffeine

6 comments on “Review: Caramel Waffle Cone Frappuccino from Starbucks

  1. Jonathan Wayne says:

    Frappuccinos aren’t usually my favorites although when they are half off they quickly do become more appealing, but this one is one of my favorites, the s’mores one is very good too. Eating the waffle cone pieces at the very end is pretty good too.

  2. Caitlin J says:

    I agree, I wasn’t too impressed with this one and found it very comparable to their regular caramel frappuccino aside from the waffle pieces on top, which unfortunately weren’t enough to make me get it again (especially for the regular price). I miss their caramel ribbon crunch frappuccino and was really hoping it would be more like that!

  3. Roy Wilbury says:

    Tried this out yesterday. I kind of already knew what to expect, as many of Starbucks’s novelty flavors usually tend to be pretty close to something they already have. I actually found mine under-sweetened, which may just be a result of the so-so Starbucks drive-through I visited. I usually go “no whip” on my drinks, but went all out for this one since I knew the waffle cone pieces might well be the only thing distinguishing this drink.

    As reported, this thing is pretty much a caramel frappucino. I’m sure the syrup is technically slightly different, but as many would guess, “waffle cone” isn’t exactly a strong distinguishable flavor in and of itself. Consequently, this came off as a less sweet version of a caramel frappucino. Also, in a slight case of “pizza box won’t fit through the drive through window at McDonalds” syndrome, the waffle pieces are mostly too large to fit in the straw. So you end up with a puddle of liquid whipped cream and soggy cone pieces at the end.

    Overall, “meh.” They should just bring back more varied, distinguishable flavors like coconut, orange, etc.

  4. Terri Keilly says:

    Tried this a coupla days ago and will not be buying again. I’m a frappucino addict and like most of them no matter what the flavor but this was weird tasting – straight-up caramel is better. Years ago they had maple frappucinos in the fall which were outstanding but despite my pleading, they refuse to bring it back.

  5. Karen says:

    I agree. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while, but holding off. I tried it today at the airport, and I was underwhelmed. I ordered no whip, which I always forget means that I don’t get the drizzles or fun stuff on top. Boo. It tasted like a slightly watered down caramel frappuccino. I’m still a loyal Starbucks patron, but I will be going straight back to my iced mocha when I want a high calorie coffee drink in the future.

  6. Jan says:

    I drink regular caramel Frappuccinos quite often so I thought I’d try this one. The waffle cone pieces on top were tasty but I wasn’t a fan of the drink itself. After a few sips it had a strange aftertaste. I offered it to my daughter thinking maybe it was just me since I like the regular caramel so much but she thought it tasted weird too.

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