Health

Here's What's Actually In The Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino

Magic, rainbows, and smiles, but tbh mostly sugar.

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As you sip, it changes not just color, but flavor, making it as magical as the make-believe creature it's named for.

@sbuxuva / Via instagram.com

According to Starbucks, it starts off "sweet and fruity transforming to pleasantly sour." You can swirl it "to reveal a color-changing spectacle of purple and pink."

And that pink and blue dust on the whipped cream? Starbucks says those are "fairy powders."

But what exactly is this magical drink made of?

Sally Tamarkin / BuzzFeed News / Via starbucks.com

For starters, a standard Unicorn Frappuccino is made with whole milk and whipped cream. A grande has 410 calories (though of course this info changes if you get a lower-fat or non-dairy milk, or skip the whipped cream).

Aside from the milk and ice, the Unicorn Fappuccino is made with a bunch of flavored syrups and sauces (Starbucks' Crème Frappuccino Syrup, vanilla syrup, mango syrup, classic syrup, and white chocolate mocha sauce), and the fairy powders are actually a mixture of sugar and food colorings made from fruit and vegetables.

The drink's most magical ingredient of all? Sugar!

Sally Tamarkin / BuzzFeed News / Via starbucks.com

Sugar plays an important role in the Unicorn Frappuccino as it's a core ingredient of the syrups and sauces that give the drink its color and flavors.

A grande Unicorn Frappuccino has 59 grams (or ~15 teaspoons~) of sugar. Let's put that into context.

@byefructose / Via instagram.com

• One 12-ounce can of Coca Cola has 39 grams of sugar.

• One Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar has 24 grams of sugar.

• One Twinkie has 16.5 grams of sugar.

• One serving of Ben & Jerry's Brownie Batter Core ice cream has 27 grams of sugar.

• One serving of Frosted Flakes has 10 grams of sugar.

That's about one and a half times the maximum amount of added sugar that's recommended for your body per day.

Tschon / Getty Images

Since eating too much sugar is associated with obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar to 24–36 grams per day (6–9 teaspoons). FYI: "Added sugar" is any sugar that is added to food during processing or preparation, so not the sugar that is naturally found in fruit and dairy.

So, even if you ordered a tall Unicorn Frappuccino (which has 39 grams of sugar), you'd still be consuming more added sugar in a single drink than is recommended for a whole day.

All that said, if you have a sweet tooth, this might be the Hypercolor sugar vehicle you're looking for. Plus: It's Instagrammable AF.

@theinfophile / Via instagram.com

For my part, after taking a sip, I feel that the Unicorn Frapp looks more magical and delightful than it tastes.

But again, even if you don't enjoy drinking it, it's obviously a solid win for the 'gram.

To see some first-sip reactions and ~tasting notes~, watch this video!

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Sally Tamarkin is a health editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Sally Tamarkin at sally.tamarkin@buzzfeed.com.

Caity Arthur is a health video producer for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Caity Arthur at caity.arthur@buzzfeed.com.

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