Dunkin’ Donuts vs. Starbucks: The Ultimate Holiday Drink Rematch


Megan Mesikapp

A Dunkin’ Donuts holiday cup.

Tis the season to be jolly…while sipping on the perfect holiday drink. With the temperature dropping and Mariah Carey slowly defrosting, what better way to celebrate than with a cozy winter drink?

We are back with another Dunkin’ Donuts vs. Starbucks seasonal drink showdown. Today we are putting the two holiday menus to the test not only to answer which one tastes better but also to examine which one’s a better bang for your buck.


Cookie Butter Cold Brew vs. Sugar Cookie Latte

Starbucks’ Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte boasts a high reputation, becoming a top holiday drink after its introduction in 2021. While we opted to get this drink with oat milk for a creamier taste, we still got to experience the entirety of the nostalgic sugar cookie flavor.

Topped with red and green sprinkles, the drink is reminiscent of making Christmas cookies and taking a stroll through the neighborhood to check out all the best lights and decorations. The taste is like no other — potentially the best drink to grace the Starbucks menu. 

After an entire holiday season of purchasing this drink, our pockets will definitely hurt, but it’s a price we’re willing to pay. As John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave” … the Sugar Cookie Latte.  

When Dunkin’ came out with their Cookie Butter Cold Brew, we were oh so intrigued. The name hinted at similar flavors as the Sugar Cookie Latte, with the difference being that it is a cold brew rather than a latte. 

The drink comes with cold foam and is topped with cookie butter crumbles — it definitely puts on a good show, but that first sip was like a Broadway star entering the stage, violently screaming and proceeding to make an angry rampage through the crowd, throwing bags of sugar in everyone’s eyes.

It was disgusting. The cookie butter crumbles tasted like play-doh and the coffee itself was just terrible. It will never live up to the Sugar Cookie Latte.


Peppermint Mocha Latte vs. Peppermint Mocha

Dunkin’s Peppermint Mocha Signature Latte can definitely be a hit or miss depending on who you talk to. Its controversial flavor profile is a mix of mint and chocolate syrup that is reminiscent of mint chocolate chip ice cream. The sweet syrup at the bottom of the cup causes the drink to start off very sweet, but as the syrup slowly mixes in with the coffee, it’s Christmas in a cup.

For some, this drink may leave you feeling like you drank a whole cup of toothpaste. But if you are a fan of the peppermint and chocolate combo and love a good sweet coffee, then Dunkin’s Peppermint Mocha Latte is the perfect holiday drink for you.

On the other hand, the Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks was honestly mid. It just tasted like hot peppermint syrup mixed with water and was incredibly underwhelming. It definitely wasn’t worth the money, and Starbucks has done better. The mocha flavor was lacking in this peppermint mocha. 

For this sweet peppermint coffee, Dunkin’s version was definitely the superior option. While this particular flavor combo may not be everyone’s cup of tea, Dunkin’ trumps Starbucks in both the quality/taste and cost-effectiveness categories.


Toasted White Chocolate Signature Latte vs. Toasted White Chocolate Mocha

The Toasted White Chocolate Signature Latte at Dunkin’ Donuts has officially surpassed our expectations. After the last seasonal Dunkin’ vs. Starbucks showdown, the bar was on the floor.

The toasted flavor almost reminded us of a s’more and set up the day perfectly. With whipped cream, caramel drizzle and cinnamon toppings, this holiday drink is for our sweet coffee lovers. So if you are in the mood for a sweet treat then this latte is sure to brighten your day.

While Starbucks’ Toasted White Chocolate Mocha matched the quality and flavorful experience of Dunkin’s Toasted White Chocolate Signature Latte, the expensive price for a tiny cup left us feeling ripped off to say the least. 

Even though both drinks tasted pretty similar, we would recommend Dunkin’s version simply because you really get your money’s worth and a little bit extra.


Final Thoughts

What this rematch comes down to is simple: quality over quantity. With that being said, this holiday season, Dunkin’ Donuts managed to pull off both. Not only are the holiday ambiance and music on point, but so are the drinks. Starbucks, however, fell short this season. There are just so many “signature” drinks on their menu that they fail to fully deliver quality in any of them, with the exception of their Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte.

So if you are looking for a drink to put you in the holiday spirit, then walk over to Dunkin’ Donuts. Your wallet and your taste buds will thank you later.