If you found this article looking for our Starbucks 2023 Vegan Holiday Guide, click here!
Has anyone else been anticipating the release of Starbucks holiday menu? It is officially here! Did they give us any new flavor combos or bring back any old favorites?
Our Starbucks 2022 Vegan Holiday Guide will give you those answers, including if any can be modified to be vegan & dairy free.
What is on Starbucks’ 2022 Holiday Menu?
- Peppermint Mocha
- Caramel Brulee Latte
- Toasted White Chocolate Mocha
- Chestnut Praline Latte
- Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte
- Chocolate Pistachio Swirl
- Reindeer Cake Pop
- Sugar Plum Cheese Danish
- Cranberry Bliss Bar
- Snowman Cookie
What is NOT an Option?
…and cannot be modified to make vegan.
- Caramel Brulee Latte (contains dairy in the caramel brulee sauce and whip)
- Toasted White Mocha Chocolate Mocha (contains dairy in the toasted white chocolate mocha sauce and whip)
- Chocolate Pistachio Swirl (contains egg & dairy)
- Reindeer Cake Pop (contains egg & dairy)
- Sugar Plum Cheese Danish (contains egg & dairy)
- Cranberry Bliss Bar (contains egg & dairy)
- Snowman Cookie (contains egg & dairy)
What is Vegan?
…or can be modified.
First, let me give you a cheat sheet for ordering at Starbucks.
You have 4 non-dairy milks you can choose from:
And 3 cup sizes:
Now, on to the holiday drinks…
Peppermint Mocha, Iced or Hot
The Peppermint Mocha is NOT vegan as-is. In its original form, it has whipped cream and dark chocolate curls. Both of these contain dairy. But the good news is, you can make it dairy-free!
HOW TO ORDER VEGAN: Order an iced or hot Peppermint Mocha with your choice of non-dairy milk (oat, soy, almond or coconut), NO whip and NO chocolate curls.
The ingredients list will look like this… Non-Dairy Milk of your choice +
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, Iced or Hot
The Chestnut Praline was a favorite of mine from last year but it is NOT vegan as-is. In its original form, it has dairy milk and whipped cream.
HOW TO ORDER VEGAN: Order an iced or hot Chestnut Praline Latte with your choice of non-dairy milk (oat, soy, almond or coconut) and NO whip.
The ingredients list will look like this… Non-Dairy Milk of your choice +
BREWED ESPRESSO, CHESTNUT PRALINE SYRUP [SUGAR, WATER, NATURAL FLAVOR, CITRIC ACID, PRESERVATIVE: POTASSIUM SORBATE], VANILLA SYRUP (SUGAR, WATER, NATURAL FLAVORS, POTASSIUM SORBATE, CITRIC ACID)], CHESTNUT PRALINE TOPPING [SPICED SUGAR (SUGAR, CINNAMON, GINGER, CLOVE), TOFFEE SUGAR (SUGAR, VEGETABLE COLORS (PUMPKIN, APPLE, PURPLE CARROT, HIBISCUS), NATURAL FLAVORS, SALT, ANNATTO, BAKING SODA)]
Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte, Iced Or Hot
This one debuted last year (2021) as Starbucks’ ONLY dairy-free as-is drink on the holiday menu. And it’s back!
The ingredients are:
ALMONDMILK [FILTERED WATER, ALMONDS, SUGAR, CALCIUM CARBONATE, SUNFLOWER LECITHIN, SEA SALT, XANTHAN GUM, GUAR GUM, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, VITAMIN D2 (ERGOCALCIFEROL)], WATER, BREWED ESPRESSO, SUGAR COOKIE FLAVORED SYRUP [SUGAR, WATER, NATURAL FLAVOR, PRESERVATIVE: POTASSIUM SORBATE, SALT, CITRIC ACID], RED & GREEN SPRINKLES TOPPING [SUGARS (SUGAR, POWDERED SUGAR (SUGAR, CORN STARCH)), CORN STARCH, NATURAL FLAVOR, VEGETABLE JUICE FOR COLOR (PURPLE SWEET POTATO, SPIRULINA), CARNAUBA WAX, RIBOFLAVIN FOR COLOR, TURMERIC AND BETA CAROTENE FOR COLOR, PALM OIL]
–> Do you remember in last year’s holiday guide, I shared with you a recipe I created? It was the cookie this drink was inspired from, a German Christmas cookie called Spritz (or Spritzgebåck).
They are so good! And perfect with a cup of coffee.
You can reference the Starbucks 2021 Holiday Guide for the recipe if you’re interested in making them.
This drink can also be ordered as a Frappuccino! A Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Frappuccino (contains caffeine) or a Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Creme Frappuccino (no caffeine). If you do though, you HAVE to order with NO whip. Why Starbucks created a dairy free drink and then automatically adds a dairy whipped cream to it is beyond me.
It’s the same with the Apple Crisp Oatmilk Frappuccino. Again, dairy whipped cream is automatically added to an already dairy-free drink. Order without.
Other Holiday Drink Options
The following drinks are other options that we feel has that holiday spice and could be another option if the ones they brought back do not tickle your fancy.
Cinnamon Dolce Latte, Iced or Hot
Not sure why this one is not highlighted on their holiday menu… It’s cinnamon! In it’s original form, it is NOT vegan as-is. It contains whipped cream and a cinnamon dolce topping. Both contain dairy.
HOW TO ORDER VEGAN: Order a latte with cinnamon dolce syrup and your choice of non-dairy milk.
Starbucks Blonde Vanilla Latte, Iced or Hot
This is a favorite of mine! I love Starbucks’ Blonde Roast. It’s so smooth. And then you pair it with vanilla. It’s like you’re on a cloud. 😉
In its original form it is NOT vegan-as is.
HOW TO ORDER VEGAN: Order a Blonde Vanilla Latte with your choice of non-dairy milk.
Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato, Iced or Hot
This debuted in the fall of 2022 and it is still on the menu. It’s creamy with sweet apple. I was a big fan.
This one is vegan as-is so no changes need to be made.
I do want to notate the ingredients because I had a VeggL user tell me their Starbucks barista told them there is dairy in it. According to Starbucks’ ingredients list, it 100% does not have dairy.
OATMILK [OATMILK (WATER, OATS), CANOLA OIL, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM CARBONATE, TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, SEA SALT, DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, RIBOFLAVIN, VITAMIN A, VITAMIN D2, VITAMIN B12], BREWED ESPRESSO, APPLE BROWN SUGAR SYRUP [SUGARS (INVERT SUGAR, BROWN SUGAR), WATER, NATURAL FLAVORS, SALT, PRESERVATIVE: POTASSIUM SORBATE, MALIC ACID], SPICED APPLE DRIZZLE [SUGARS (CORN SYRUP, INVERT SUGAR, APPLE JUICE CONCENTRATE, SUGAR), WATER, CINNAMON, SALT, PRESERVATIVE: POTASSIUM SORBATE, CARAMELIZED SUGAR (FOR COLOR, WHEAT), MALIC ACID, NUTMEG]
-caffeine free drinks-
Who doesn’t love warm hot chocolate on a cold snowy day?
Now, I have never ordered a hot chocolate from Starbucks but I want to mention for those that like what they like, Starbucks does not use hot chocolate powder. Your drink is a mix of milk and their mocha sauce. I have discovered that to some this matters.
It is NOT vegan as-is though. It automatically comes with dairy milk and whipped cream. Both contain dairy.
HOW TO ORDER VEGAN: Order a Hot Chocolate with your choice of non-dairy milk and NO whip.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
A hot chocolate with a hint of peppermint. Yum! This one also needs modifications. In its original form, it contains dairy milk, whipped cream and dark chocolate curls. All 3 contain dairy.
HOW TO ORDER VEGAN: Order a Peppermint Hot Chocolate with your choice of non-dairy milk and NO whip or dark chocolate curls.
Starbucks has a nice selection of hot teas.
- Emperor’s Clouds & Mist. This is nice green tea.
- Chai Tea. An infusion of black tea, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, star anise, cloves and cardamon essence.
- Earl Grey. An infusion of black tea, bergamot essence and lavender flowers.
- London Fog Latte. Order with your choice of non-dairy milk. This one is Earl Grey Tea + milk + vanilla syrup.
- Royal English Breakfast Tea. A blend of black teas.
- Royal English Breakfast Tea Latte. Order with your choice of non-dairy milk. This is the Royal English Breakfast Tea + milk + classic sugar syrup.
- Mint Majesty. An infusion of spearmint leaves, peppermint leaves and lemon verbena.
There are a couple of more hot tea choices. Ask your barista if these do not work for you.
Vegan Food Options
Since Starbucks has not brought us any new vegan-friendly food options this holiday season, we can choose from what we are already familiar with:
- Chickpea Bites & Avocado Protein Box
- Plain, Cinnamon Raisin and Everything Bagel (be aware there is also an everything & cheddar bagel that is not vegan). Look for packaged Organic Avocado Spread to spread on. Justin’s Hazelnut Butter or Classic Almond Butter may also be an option–check with your location for availability.
- Rolled & Steel Cut Oatmeal with Blueberries (not labelled vegan but no animal derived ingredients) … comes with whole grain oatmeal, nut medley, blueberries and agave nectar syrup. It is optional to add in a splash of a non-dairy milk.
- Rolled & Steel Cut Oatmeal (not labelled vegan but no animal derived ingredients) … comes with whole grain oatmeal, brown sugar, dried fruit and a nut medley. It is optional to add in a splash of a non-dairy milk.
- Strawberry Overnight Grains … comes with oatmeal (in coconut milk), cooked steal cut oats, red quinoa and chia seeds with shaved coconut, strawberries and toasted almonds
We had really hoped Starbucks would bring us a new holiday drink (and a vegan-friendly pastry perhaps) but maybe they are choosing not fix what isn’t broken.
You still have plenty of drink options to bring out the joy and merriment within. You can also visit our Starbucks Vegan Guide for a complete list of drinks and food you can order.
Jen & Ryan