Starbucks 2021 Vegan Holiday Drink Guide

Starbucks 2021 Vegan Holiday Drink Guide

‘Tis the season for Starbucks and their NEW Holiday Drinks beginning November 4! We have been waiting with anticipation for what Starbucks was going to bring to us; especially if any of their Holiday Drinks could already be vegan or be made vegan. 

First, what are Starbucks’ 2021 Holiday Drinks? They include a New Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte, Peppermint Mocha Latte, Caramel Brûlée Latte, Chestnut Praline Latte, Toasted White Mocha and an Irish Cream Cold Brew.

Which Drink(s) Are Vegan? …or can be made Vegan?

Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte, Iced or Hot

Do your happy dance!! Starbucks is finally bringing us vegans a drink that needs NO modifications.

The NEW Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte can be ordered iced or hot and is inspired by a traditional German Christmas cookie called, Spritz (or Spritzgebåck). The name comes from the German word, spritzen, which means, “to squirt,” referring to the technique of pushing the spritz cookie dough through a cookie press. 

I was intrigued by this cookie because I’m partially German and had never heard of it. I ended up reading a lot about them, referenced many traditional recipes and ultimately, created my own Vegan Spritz Christmas Cookie. If you’re intrigued like I was, then please have fun with this BONUS recipe! 

They taste like a cross between a sugar cookie and shortbread; buttery soft inside with a very light crunch on the outside.

Traditionally a cookie press is used to create the shapes but I do not have one so my recipe is adjusted a little to make it easier to pipe. 

Ingredients I used… but substitute as you need:

1 Preheat oven 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2 Blend the softened (room temp is best) butter, sugar and salt for a few minutes until fluffy (I do 3-4 minutes), using a mixer. I used my hand held mixer. 
3 Add the egg, cream and vanilla extract. Mix again but do not overmix. You can use your mixer on low or do this step by hand with a whisk. 
4 Gently sift in the flour and mix on low until just combined. Check the bottom of your bowl to make sure it is all combined. 
5 Use a pastry bag to pipe various shapes onto your parchment lined baking sheet. I used my star tip and had fun with the shapes. I noticed if I kept piping up, sort of like creating a vertical tree, it cooks down into a nice shape with a star on the top. If you are adding, sprinkles, you can do so here. 
6 Bake for 11-13 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden. Carefully transfer to a cooling wrack. Cooking time will depend on the size of your shapes, your oven and altitude. The amount of cookies you can create will depend on the size and shapes as well. 
7 Once completely cooled, you can decorate with jam, melted chocolate or leave them as is. Store in an airtight container for close to a week. 

For Starbucks’ NEW Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte, they use a Sugar Cookie Syrup, Starbucks’ Blonde Espresso Roast (my favorite!), Almond Milk and top it with Red and Green Sprinkles. How fun is that!?

Starbucks 2021 Vegan Holiday Drinks plus our Vegan Spritz Cookies!

Peppermint Mocha Latte, Iced or Hot

I love a peppermint mocha combo and let me tell you, Starbucks does a great job with this one! You can order a Peppermint Mocha Latte iced or hot.

To make it vegan, order with your choice of non-dairy milk (oat, soy, almond, coconut) and NO whipped cream or dark chocolate curls. The ingredients will be:

Your Choice of Non-Dairy Milk, Mocha Sauce (Water, Sugar, Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Natural Flavor), Brewed Espresso, Peppermint Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavor, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid)

Chestnut Praline Latte

I feel like we’re all supposed to be drinking a Chestnut Praline Latte while sitting by a fireplace in a cabin up in the mountains. How nice does that sound?

For us, we can at least order it vegan and pretend. 

To order the Chestnut Praline Latte vegan, ask for your choice of non-dairy milk (oat, soy, almond, coconut) and advise NO whip. The ingredients will be:

Your Choice of Non-Dairy Milk, Chestnut Praline Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavor, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate), Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid), Chestnut Praline Topping (Spiced Sugar (Cane Sugar, Cinnamon, Ginger, Clove), Toffee Sugar (Cane Sugar, Vegetable Colors (Pumpkin, Apple, Purple Carrot, Hibiscus), Natural Flavors, Salt, Annatto, Baking Soda)

Irish Cream Cold Brew

This one is tricky because unless you can have someone verify the taste difference, I’m not sure how close a modified version could be. However, you CAN modify the Irish Cream Cold Brew. 

The Irish Cream Cold Brew contains ice, brewed coffee, Irish cream cold foam, Irish cream syrup and a cocoa powder topping.

To order vegan, ask for NO Irish cream cold foam, as it contains dairy, and substitute with a non-dairy milk of your choice (oat, soy, almond, coconut). Again, you can try it out but I will mention the Irish cream cold foam has additional flavors like vanilla and more Irish cream syrup so we’re not sure if the flavor profile can be replicated. 

The ingredients will be:

Ice, Brewed Coffee, Non-Dairy Milk of Your Choice, Irish Cream Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid), Cocoa Powder Topping (Cocoa Powder Processed With Alkali, Sugar)

Coffee Blends

You can find the Starbucks Reserve Christmas 2021 coffee in select stores. 

Are the New Holiday Food Options Vegan?

Starbucks is offering a Reindeer Cake Pop, Snowman Cookie, Cranberry Bliss Bar and Sugar Plum Cheese Danish as their Holiday options. 

Are any of them vegan? Nope! They all contain dairy and eggs. 

What Is On the Menu You Can Get?

  • Plain, sprouted grain or multigrain bagel. Look for packaged Organic Avocado Spread, Justin’s Hazelnut Butter or Classic Almond Butter & spread on.
  • Chickpea Bites & Avocado Protein Box
  • Hearty Blueberry or Classic Oatmeal. Order with steamed oat, soy, almond or coconut milk OR hot water–in place of dairy milk.
  • Strawberry Overnight Grains. Includes oatmeal (in coconut milk), quinoa and chia seeds with shaved coconut, strawberries and toasted almonds. 
  • Fruit Bars, Mixed Nuts and a few more items you can see on our Starbucks Vegan Guide.
Starbucks 2021 Vegan Holiday Drink Guide. VeggL
Starbucks 2021 Vegan Holiday Drinks: (left to right) Chestnut Praline Latte, Peppermint Mocha Latte and Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte. Also pictured are our Vegan Spritz Cookies!

Why Are the Toasted White Mocha and Caramel Brulee Lattes NOT Vegan?

The Toasted White Mocha and Caramel Brulee Latte both contain sauces that have dairy.

Toasted White Mocha Sauce: Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Natural Flavor, Salt, Potassium Sorbate, Monoglycerides

Caramel Brulee Sauce: Corn Syrup, Water, Sugar, Skim Milk Powder, Natural Flavors, Salt, Mono And Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin, Sodium Bicarbonate

With both of these drinks, had the sauce been vegan, we could have modified it to be ok but that is not an option. 

In all honesty, I LOvE that Starbucks has brought us a vegan as-is drink but you cannot go wrong with any of these! The Chestnut Praline Latte, Peppermint Mocha Latte and Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte are all so different yet feel like the Holidays. One is warm, one feels sassy and the other is sweet. 

To see all of Starbucks’ Vegan Options, visit our Starbucks Vegan Guide


VeggL is the passion project of Jen & Ryan. Both vegan (Jen since 2012, Ryan since 2018), they wanted to help other vegans & plant based folks through an incredibly frustrating process--trying to figure out what you can eat & where in the US. Pictured w/ our pups, Mia & Chompers.

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