Get ready for a drink that’s like a warm hug on a frosty morning or a chill sip on a sunny day – say hello to the High Protein Sugar Cookie Latte! This recipe is all about merging that cozy, freshly baked cookie vibe that we all love this time of year with the creamy goodness of a latte, plus an added protein boost for good measure.
Whether you’re bundled up in blankets or still wearing t-shirts outside this time of year, this drink has you covered with both hot and iced versions. Don’t let the name fool you into thinking this is a complicated drink to make at home – just 4 ingredients and you’re all set to whip up something that tastes as good as your fave sugar cookies.
I Don’t Have an Espresso Machine – Can I Still Make This?
Absolutely! I skipped the usual steamed milk part of a latte to keep this drink super simple to make at home. As for the espresso, a strong brewed coffee, instant espresso, or even cold brew will work just fine.
If you’re a latte purist and still want to use steamed milk in this drink, you would normally just use the steam wand of an espresso machine to both heat the milk and build the volume of the milk by creating a microfoam (the one where the milk looks glossy). When you’re in Starbucks, this is the part of the process where you hear that really high pitched gurgling/whistling noise. If you don’t have an espresso machine, all you have to do instead is heat the milk in the microwave to just before boiling, then use a milk frother to add volume – which is exactly what this recipe calls for! Adding in whey protein will improve the frothing ability of your milk, especially if using a non-dairy milk. To get even closer to a traditional steamed milk without an espresso machine, there are also some really great standalone milk steamers on the market for around $30 that will give you that same gorgeous microfoam you’d get from the steam wand of an espresso maker.
If you’re new to steaming milk with an espresso machine, check out this video or this blog post for tips. If you’re frothing the milk with a hand frother, check out this video or this blog post for tips.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe at home!
Espresso – A full-bodied, fresh brewed espresso works great in this recipe, but if you can get your hands on a blonde espresso, go for that instead. It’ll help make sure the sugar cookie flavor is able to shine through. And if you don’t have an espresso maker, a strong brewed coffee or cold brew will work too!
Sugar cookie syrup – There are ways to make your own sugar cookie syrup at home, but I opted for a pre-made, sugar free version that would bring home the flavor and still keep the macros looking good for this drink. I used the Jordan’s Skinny Syrups Sugar Free Sugar Cookie brand – this flavor used to be available on Amazon, but I can only find it on their website this year. You may also be able to find it in a gift pack in other locations like Target. If you don’t care about the macros for this drink and want to make your own sugar cookie syrup at home, try this recipe or this one.
Almond milk – Whatever milk you like is fine here! Normally lattes include steamed milk, but I opted to instead froth it up with some whey protein for extra protein in my almond milk. If you want to steam the milk instead of frothing it, regular dairy milk (skim or 2%) is your safest bet. Soy and oat milk are usually pretty reliable, but check out my notes on the testing I did on a bunch of different brands/types of milk here. If in doubt, anything marked “barista” should work well.
Whey protein – This is a totally optional ingredient! Use whatever vanilla flavored whey you have. I don’t recommend using a non-dairy protein powder since they tend to be gritty or have a distinct flavor that will interfere with your latte experience. When frothing the whey with the almond milk, be careful not to froth it too much or you’ll end up with a ton of bubbles that make drinking your latte a challenge.
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- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, (8 fl oz)
- 2 tbsp Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein Powder, Vanilla Ice Cream, (16 grams)
- 1 1/2 fl oz espresso
- 2-3 pumps Jordan's Skinny Syrups Sugar Cookie, (about 1 fl oz)
Instructions for Hot Latte
- Heat almond milk in microwave or on the stovetop over medium heat until near boiling. Using a milk frother, whisk whey protein into almond milk until smooth.
- Pour espresso into a mug, then add sugar cookie syrup and milk/whey mixture. Stir to combine before serving and top with whipped cream and sprinkles, if desired.
Instructions for Cold Latte
- Using a milk frother, whisk whey protein into almond milk until smooth.
- Add ice to a serving glass, then add espresso and sugar cookie syrup. Pour milk/whey mixture over espresso. Top with whipped cream and sprinkles, if desired.