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Copycat Starbucks Strawberry Merry Cream Blended Cream Frappuccino Recipe

starbucks drink on a table
starbucks drink on a table - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

There are a few things that come to mind when we think Christmas: lights, Santa, shopping, and joy (or we'd hope so, anyway). All around the world the holidays are celebrated in the same familiar ways. And yet, Christmas in Japan looks very different from Christmas in America. Not only is Christmas Eve treated like a Valentine's Day (according to Japan Rail Pass), Christmas Day is commonly celebrated around a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. But wait: That seems awfully American, doesn't it? Not so: American KFC locations aren't even open on Christmas Day.

Another indicator of the festive season? Starbucks releasing their highly-anticipated holiday drinks, which usually involve a heavy hand of peppermint, gingerbread, or creme brulée-esque caramel. In other countries, the flavors differ, highlighting the traditions of that culture. The most popular Japanese holiday dessert is a Christmas cake known as kurisumasu keki, which is a light and fluffy sponge cake laden with rich white frosting and fresh strawberries. There, Starbucks' holiday drink is modeled after kurisuasu keki, layered first with blended vanilla cream, then with sugared strawberries, then topped with a rich and fluffy mascarpone cream. The topping is cutely called "merry cream" because it's a special, enriched mixture that completes the tart confection (and like we said, joy is universal).

For a taste of Japan this Christmas, give this copycat version of the Strawberry Merry Cream Blended Cream Frappuccino a try (and make sure to pair it with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken).

Read more: 25 Best Ice Cream Brands Ranked

The Ingredients Needed For A DIY Strawberry Merry Cream Frappuccino

ingredients on a table
ingredients on a table - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

This Frappuccino is made up of three parts: the ice cream base, the strawberry layer, and the whipped topping. For the base, you'll need milk, vanilla ice cream, and vanilla extract. Keep the extract handy and grab heavy whipping cream, sugar, and mascarpone for the whipped topping. (If you can find it, crema di mascarpone will make whipping easier; it's a softened version of regular mascarpone. Otherwise, plan to leave your mascarpone at room temperature for about an hour so that it softens before using.) From there, you'll just need about a dozen fresh strawberries with their leafy stems removed.

Step 1: Add Strawberries To A Food Processor

strawberries in a food processor
strawberries in a food processor - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Add strawberries to a food processor.

Step 2: Chop The Berries

chopped strawberries in a processor
chopped strawberries in a processor - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Pulse strawberries until chopped into small pieces, but not completely blended.

Step 3: Stir With Sugar

sugar and strawberries in a bowl
sugar and strawberries in a bowl - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Transfer to a bowl and stir the 2 tablespoons sugar into the mixture.

Step 4: Macerate The Berries

macerated strawberries in a bowl
macerated strawberries in a bowl - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Let rest until macerated, about 30 minutes. Strawberries should be very soft and surrounded by liquid.

Step 5: Combine The Merry Cream Ingredients

merry cream ingredients in a bowl
merry cream ingredients in a bowl - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

To make the merry cream, add mascarpone, whipping cream, 1 teaspoon sugar, and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl or the base of a stand mixer.

Step 6: Whisk Until Whipped

whipped cream in a bowl
whipped cream in a bowl - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Whisk by hand or with stand mixer until soft peaks form. Set aside.

Step 7: Combine The Blended Cream Ingredients

ice cream and milk in a blender
ice cream and milk in a blender - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

To make the blended cream base, add 1 cup ice, milk, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, and ice cream to a blender.

Step 8: Blend

ice cream and milk blended in blender
ice cream and milk blended in blender - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Blend until very smooth, about 35 seconds.

Step 9: Add The Vanilla Cream To Glasses

vanilla cream in glass
vanilla cream in glass - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Divide the blended cream between two glasses.

Step 10: Top With Berries

strawberry and cream in glass
strawberry and cream in glass - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Top with macerated strawberries.

Step 11: Top With Merry Cream And Sprinkles

frappuccino in a glass
frappuccino in a glass - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Top with a dollop of merry cream and (if desired) sprinkle with red sanding sugar just before serving.

Can The Strawberry Blended Cream Frappuccino Be Stored?

frappuccino on a table
frappuccino on a table - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

For the best results, we recommend blending this Frappuccino right before serving. The base is very similar to a milkshake, and after blending it will begin to melt and separate due to the ice. The strawberries, on the other hand, will fare well on their own. To save some time in serving, you can make the strawberries up to 3 days in advance and store the mixture in the refrigerator until ready to use. The whipped cream can be made about 2 hours in advance, though it may need a quick refresh with the whisk before serving, so simply store it in the bowl you were whisking in. If you've already made the Frappuccino and would like to store leftovers, simply cover the cup with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. It will look and taste about the same for a day; after that, it will start to become watery.

What Is Mascarpone Cheese Used For?

mascarpone whipped topping
mascarpone whipped topping - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Mascarpone cheese is a rich and faintly sweet Italian cheese that is most similar to cream cheese or crème fraîche in taste and texture. Unlike cream cheese, it doesn't have any tangy or sour flavor at all, making it best for very sweet applications. You might recognize it from its use in tiramisu, where it's whisked into the whipped filling and layered between lady fingers. Mascarpone is a staple ingredient of the dish, so if you've had tiramisu, it's likely you've had mascarpone. It's otherwise fairly versatile and can be used anywhere you might use cream cheese, like frostings or sweet dips. You can also use it for savory applications, such as a super-rich mac and cheese or crab rangoon dip. If you have a little extra mascarpone leftover after making this drink, try using it to make pancakes (and top them with some of the macerated strawberries, for good measure).

What Can I Do With Extra Merry Cream?

whipped cream in a bowl
whipped cream in a bowl - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

If you resisted licking every last drop of merry cream from the bowl, first of all, you're better than us. Secondly, we recommend keeping that leftover cream. Not only is it delicious, but mascarpone is too expensive to go to waste. If you only have a little bit of the whipped topping left, grab a few Nilla wafers or spare strawberries and use it as a simple dip. You can also store it for the next day (the mascarpone stabilizes the cream, so it won't fall as quickly), then spread it on your morning waffles or use it on top of your coffee. The mascarpone merry cream also works well in desserts like cakes and cupcakes, where it can be mixed with cinnamon, nutmeg, or even espresso to add different flavors. If you have extra macerated strawberries, enjoy the merry cream in a shortcut Japanese Christmas cake: Just add a dollop to a slice of angel food cake and top with the chopped strawberries.

Copycat Starbucks Strawberry Merry Cream Blended Cream Frappuccino Recipe

starbucks frappuccino on a table
starbucks frappuccino on a table - Michelle McGlinn/Tasting Table

Prep Time: 45mCook Time:Yield: 2 ServingsIngredients

  • :::For the strawberry layer:::

  • 1 cup strawberries, leafy tops removed

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • :::For the merry cream:::

  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese

  • ½ cup cold heavy whipping cream

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • :::For the blended cream:::

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ cup vanilla ice cream

Optional Ingredients

  • Red sanding sugar, for serving

Directions

  1. Add strawberries to a food processor.

  2. Pulse strawberries until chopped into small pieces, but not completely blended.

  3. Transfer to a bowl and stir the 2 tablespoons sugar into the mixture.

  4. Let rest until macerated, about 30 minutes. Strawberries should be very soft and surrounded by liquid.

  5. To make the merry cream, add mascarpone, whipping cream, 1 teaspoon sugar, and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl or the base of a stand mixer.

  6. Whisk by hand or with stand mixer until soft peaks form. Set aside.

  7. To make the blended cream base, add 1 cup ice, milk, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, and ice cream to a blender.

  8. Blend until very smooth, about 35 seconds.

  9. Divide the blended cream between two glasses.

  10. Top with macerated strawberries.

  11. Top with a dollop of merry cream and (if desired) sprinkle with red sanding sugar just before serving.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.