Cracking the McDonald’s Coffee Code

Wow, my Boo to McDonald’s post certainly received a lot of responses and I loved hearing how you all make your iced coffees. It gave me so many great ideas and so I decided to approach this in my traditional test kitchen fashion and try to crack the code. For all my hard work, I finally got a vanilla coffee I love and a lot of belly aches, constant shakes, and a little bit of time in the bathroom… BUT it was totally worth it!

Are you ready?

Here is my magical formula that gave me the best vanilla coffee without the chemical nastiness that McDonald’s was giving me.

First up, I made my own coffee syrup. I used the coffee syrup recipe that I highlighted in my Get Your Java Fix from Slashfood. I used the recipe that they list for the Vanilla Bean, but substituted the bean with two tablespoons of vanilla extract. The two tablespoons number came from Ashley, a friendly McDonald’s employee, who shared her secret for making the coffees at home. I stored the syrup in a mason jar and am keeping it in the fridge.

To make the coffee, I fill the cup with ice. Next fill your cup halfway with coffee (I used my Folger’s Gourmet Vanilla Biscotti) and then almost halfway with milk. Top the coffee with two tablespoons of your homemade vanilla coffee syrup and then a splash of fat-free vanilla creamer (inexpensively purchased at Aldi or make your own).

With this combination, I did not need to add any extra sugar and it is just as sweet as McDonald’s and just as tasty too! The splash of vanilla creamer gave it a richer taste, but the skim milk and fat-free creamer gave me a better calorie combination.

Published June 23, 2008 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

comments powered by Disqus