What is in Dunkin Donuts mocha syrup?

Dunkin Donuts mocha syrup is made up of several key ingredients that give it the sweet chocolatey coffee flavor that customers love. The main ingredients in Dunkin Donuts mocha syrup include high fructose corn syrup, water, cocoa processed with alkali, natural and artificial flavors, potassium sorbate, salt, and caramel color.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

The first major ingredient in Dunkin Donuts mocha syrup is high fructose corn syrup. This sugary syrup is made from corn starch that has been processed to convert some of its glucose into fructose. High fructose corn syrup is added to sweeten the mocha syrup and balance out the bitterness of the coffee and cocoa flavors. It makes up one of the largest proportions of ingredients in the Dunkin Donuts mocha syrup recipe.


The second main ingredient is water. Water helps dissolve the sweeteners and thickeners to give the mocha syrup a smooth, pourable consistency. The water dilutes and balances out the sweetness from the high fructose corn syrup. It allows all the rich chocolate and coffee flavors to come through without being overly sweet.

Cocoa Processed with Alkali

Cocoa processed with alkali, usually referred to as “Dutched cocoa,” is what gives Dunkin Donuts mocha its signature chocolate flavor. The alkali process gives the cocoa a darker color and deeper, richer chocolate taste compared to natural cocoa. Just a small amount of Dutched cocoa delivers a robust chocolate flavor that complements the coffee notes.

Natural and Artificial Flavors

In addition to chocolate and coffee notes from the cocoa and coffee extracts, Dunkin Donuts mocha syrup contains additional natural and artificial flavors. These proprietary blends of flavor compounds enhance the sweet chocolate and roasted coffee taste. Vanilla is likely one of the main natural flavors used.

Potassium Sorbate

Potassium sorbate is added as a preservative in small amounts. Since the Dunkin Donuts mocha syrup contains water and sugars, potassium sorbate helps prevent mold and bacterial growth. This keeps the mocha syrup fresh and safe to consume during storage and use in the restaurants.


A pinch of salt is also included in the Dunkin Donuts mocha syrup recipe. Salt enhances the sweet and bitter flavors and allows them to pop. Just a small amount rounds out the flavors and prevents the sweetness from being one-dimensional.

Caramel Color

For that dark, rich brown color that customers expect in a mocha, Dunkin Donuts adds caramel color to its syrup. Caramel color comes from cooking down sugars to create a dark brown liquid that mimics the appearance of natural cocoa and coffee colors. It allows Dunkin to achieve the ideal shade of brown.


Some versions of the Dunkin Donuts mocha syrup may also contain additional sugars like sucrose or brown sugar. These extra sugars would further enhance sweetness and taste.

Cocoa Powder

In addition to the Dutched cocoa, some recipes may include extra cocoa powder. This would reinforce the deep chocolate flavor in the syrup.

Coffee Extract

To give the mocha syrup its signature coffee taste, concentrated coffee extracts are often added. Coffee extracts made from robust coffee beans add a rich, roasted coffee flavor without the acidity.

Other Potential Ingredients

Depending on the specific Dunkin Donuts recipe, other potential ingredients could include:

  • Corn syrup for extra sweetness and thickness
  • Chocolate or coffee emulsifiers like mono- and diglycerides to stabilize the syrup
  • Thickeners like xanthan gum to give the syrup viscosity
  • Artificial coffee and chocolate flavors for a more intense taste
  • Caramelized sugar for color and flavor

Nutrition Facts

Dunkin Donuts mocha syrup has the following nutrition facts per 1 tablespoon (15ml) serving:

Calories 40
Total Fat 0g
Sodium 15mg
Total Carbohydrates 10g
Sugars 9g

As you can see, Dunkin Donuts mocha syrup is high in sugar with 9g per serving. The calories and carbohydrates also come mainly from the added sugars. There is no fat, protein, or fiber in the mocha syrup.

Serving Suggestions

Dunkin Donuts uses their mocha syrup to make a variety of delicious coffee drinks including:

  • Mocha latte – Espresso and steamed milk combined with mocha syrup
  • Iced mocha – Sweetened iced coffee with milk and mocha syrup
  • Frozen mocha – Frozen coffee blend with mocha syrup
  • Mocha swirl iced coffee – Iced coffee with a swirl of mocha syrup

Customers can also add mocha syrup to any hot or iced coffee drink for a chocolatey mocha flavor. Mocha sauce pairs especially well with Dunkin’s signature vanilla and caramel flavors. Drizzle extra mocha sauce on top of your iced coffee or latte for a sweet finishing touch.

The mocha syrup can also be used at home to make decadent desserts and drinks like:

  • Mocha smoothies – Blend ice, milk, coffee, cocoa powder, and mocha syrup
  • Mocha milkshakes – Mix ice cream, milk, and mocha sauce
  • Mocha brownies or chocolate cake – Add a swirl of mocha into the batter
  • Mocha truffles – Mix chocolate and mocha syrup then chill until firm

Try heating the mocha syrup and pouring it over ice cream for an easy mocha sundae. The options are endless for using Dunkin Donuts mocha syrup in delicious homemade treats!

History of Dunkin Donuts Mocha Flavor

Dunkin Donuts has offered its signature mocha coffee flavor for decades. Originally only available seasonally, mocha gained popularity in the 1990s as Americans developed an appreciation for gourmet coffee drinks. Dunkin began offering mocha year-round due to customer demand. The mocha syrup recipe has likely evolved over the years but always delivers that sweet chocolate coffee taste.

Availability of Mocha Syrup

While Dunkin Donuts mocha syrup is made proprietary for the restaurants, home cooks can recreate it with simple ingredients. Many copycat recipes use corn syrup, cocoa powder, instant coffee granules, vanilla, and chocolate syrup. The key is getting the proportions of sweetener, chocolate, and coffee flavors balanced just like the Dunkin original. Whip up a batch and enjoy mochas at home!

Nutritional Value of Added Sugars

It’s important to note that Dunkin Donuts mocha syrup is high in added sugars with no significant nutritional value. Consuming too many added sugars like those in the mocha syrup can negatively impact health:

  • Weight gain – Extra calories from added sugar are stored as fat
  • Tooth decay – Sugar feeds bacteria that erode tooth enamel
  • Diabetes risk – Large amounts of added sugars spike blood sugar
  • Inflammation – High blood sugar from sugar intake causes inflammation
  • Heart disease – Excess sugar consumption strains the cardiovascular system

While an occasional mocha treat is unlikely to cause harm, health authorities recommend limiting added sugars to no more than 25 grams or 6 teaspoons per day for women and 38 grams or 9 teaspoons for men. Just 1 tablespoon of Dunkin Donuts mocha syrup already contains 9 grams of added sugar.

Creating a Healthy Mocha

Fortunately, there are easy ways to enjoy the delicious mocha flavor while limiting added sugars:

  • Use stevia or monk fruit sweetener instead of sugar
  • Choose low-fat or skim dairy to reduce calories
  • Include antioxidant-rich cocoa powder for health benefits
  • Flavor with cinnamon for extra warmth without sugar
  • Whip up a homemade mocha recipe with natural ingredients
  • Ask for light syrup or extra coffee and less mocha
  • Select small or medium sizes instead of large
  • Consider black coffee with chocolate shavings on top

Savoring mocha as an occasional treat can be part of a balanced diet. Being mindful of added sugars and portion sizes allows you to enjoy that chocolatey coffee flavor while maintaining health.


Dunkin Donuts’ sweet, creamy mocha syrup contains ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, cocoa, coffee extract, and thickeners to deliver a chocolatey coffee taste. The classic mocha flavor profile has been popular with customers for decades. While the Dunkin mocha syrup is high in added sugars, you can customize your mocha drink to reduce sugar and calories while still enjoying the indulgent flavor. Sip your mocha slowly to make that rich, chocolatey coffee experience last!

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