THE MOST TRUSTED COPYCAT RECIPES
THE MOST TRUSTED COPYCAT RECIPES

McDonald's

Products: 124 of 45
Show: 24
  • Not rated yet
    McDonald's Caramel Frappe

    McDonald's contribution to the frozen coffee drink battle is a concoction that’s similar Starbucks super popular Frappuccino, but the Caramel Frappe is a much creamier creation. Many would say that’s a big plus. Starbucks doesn't use cream in their trademark beverage, but the McDonald’s drink includes both cream and milk: aka half-and-half. 

    For my McDonald's Caramel Frappe recipe below, you'll want to hunt down some caramel that comes in a squirt bottle (Hershey or Starbucks is good) so that you can easily drizzle it over the whipped cream topping.

    Find more of your favorite famous drink recipes here

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  • Not rated yet
    McDonald's Bacon, Egg & Cheese McGriddles

    It was the creator of Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Crust Pizza who came up with the idea to cook bits of maple syrup into small pancakes for a new sweet-and-savory breakfast sandwich offering from the world’s #1 fast food chain. Tom Ryan’s idea became a reality in 2003 when the McGriddles—with maple-flavored griddle cake buns—debuted on McDonald’s breakfast menu, and the sandwich is still selling like hotcakes today.

    To make four homemade McGriddles, you’ll first need to produce eight perfectly round griddle cakes that are infused with sweet maple bits. Recipes that instruct you to make hard candy from maple syrup for this hack will fail to tell you that the shattered shards of hard candy don't completely melt when the griddle cakes are cooked, resulting in a distinct crunch not found in the real McDonald’s product. Also, breaking the hard maple candy into small, uniform chunks is both difficult and messy. My solution was to make a flavorful maple gummy puck that could be neatly petite diced and sprinkled into the batter as it cooks.  

    Just be sure to use maple flavoring rather than maple extract for the maple gummy. Maple flavoring has a more intense flavor than the extract, and the dark brown caramel coloring will make your maple bits look like pancake syrup. You’ll also need one or two 3½-inch rings to make griddle cakes that are the perfect size for your clones.

    My McDonald's McGriddles copycat recipe duplicates the bacon version of the sandwich, but you can replace the bacon with a patty made from breakfast sausage for the sausage version, or just go with egg and cheese.

    Get more of my McDonald's copycat recipes here.

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  • Not rated yet
    McDonald's Mighty Hot Sauce

    This super-spicy, slightly-sweet dipping sauce was introduced in the Fall of 2020 with the debut of the Spicy McNuggets, and it was the first new McDonald’s dipping sauce since the 2017 re-release of the infamous Szechuan Sauce (sauce mob details and hack here). The Mighty Hot Sauce was only offered for a limited time, and it vanished along with the Spicy McNuggets later that year. But not for long. Due to a social media outcry, Spicy McNuggets and Mighty Hot Sauce came back to the Golden Arches on February 1, 2021, for another limited-time-only run.

    Now you can get that same heavenly heat any time you want at home with my simple Mighty Hot Sauce recipe and use it as a dip for chicken fingers, wings, or whatever. This hack will give you about ½ cup of the sauce, but feel free to double it for a mightier portion. Just add another 20 seconds to the cooking time.

    If you want the best McDonald’s match use Texas Pete’s cayenne sauce for your hack. If you can’t find that brand, go with Frank’s.

    Click here for more great McDonald's copycat recipes. 

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  • Not rated yet
    McDonald's Chicken McNuggets

    When dippable tempura-battered chicken chunks made their debut at select McDonald’s restaurants in 1981, America couldn’t get enough…literally. Supply chain issues prevented the burger chain from meeting high demand in all markets for many months, and it wasn’t until two years after the McNuggets were first introduced that they were finally available at every McDonald’s in the country.

    The famous finger food was invented by McDonald’s first executive chef, Rene Arend, who discovered that reconstituted chicken blended with flavor enhancers, enrobed with tempura batter, and deep-fried until golden brown, made a simple, portable snack. The chicken was formed into four “B” shapes designed for dipping—the bell, the bow-tie, the ball, and the boot—and served along with child-friendly dipping sauces such as ranch and barbecue, so the breakout finger food product became a huge winner with kids.

    To make a home version that looks and tastes like McNuggets I dissected a real one and discovered that the chicken in the middle is coated twice: once with dry, seasoned breading, and then once more with wet batter before frying. The chicken in McNuggets is puréed not ground, and the best way to prepare it is with a food processor. “Ground” chicken in grocery stores is often puréed, then pushed through a die to look more appealing in the package, similar to how ground beef is presented. For my Chicken McNugget recipe below, it's best to use a home food processor, but if you don’t have one, ground chicken from your butcher will work.

    If I had to identify a secret ingredient in this hack it would be Knorr chicken bouillon powder. It contains many of the same ingredients found in real Chicken McNuggets, so once you get that crucial flavoring component, you’re well on your way to an amazing knockoff of an iconic American food.

    This recipe was our #5 most popular in 2022. Check out the other four most unlocked recipes for the year: Rao's Traditional Meatballs (#1), Chipotle Pollo Asado (#2), Wendy's Seasoned Potatoes (#3), Cheesecake Factory Spicy Cashew Chicken (#4).

    Check out this list of our most popular recipes of all-time.

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  • Not rated yet
    McDonald's Strawberry and Creme Pie

    Tiny apple pies have been a signature dessert on the McDonald’s menu for decades, but the chain upped its pie game recently with a tasty new treat featuring a duo of fillings in a flaky, lightly-iced crust. And no one has developed a good hack...until now.

    To duplicate these personal McDonald's Strawberry and Crème pies at home, I’ve created a new crust formula and filled it with thickened, puréed frozen strawberries next to a sweetened cream cheese filling. You'll find everything you'll need in my McDonald's Strawberry and Cream Pie recipe below. 

    To apply the perfect amount of filling, you can convert small plastic storage bags into mini piping bags by snipping off a corner. Squeeze the fillings onto the dough, then seal up the pies, brush them with light icing, and pop them in the oven. This recipe makes ten pies, which is a good thing because everyone who watches you make these will want one.   

    Find my McDonald's Apple Pie recipe in "Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step".

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 4)
    McDonald's Hotcakes

    With the invention of the Egg McMuffin in 1971, McDonald’s became the first fast food restaurant to open for breakfast, but only in select locations. The morning sandwich was so successful that in 1977 the chain went national with a full breakfast menu rollout, including scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, sausage, bacon, and these popular golden-brown hotcakes.

    Many pancake recipes require buttermilk for lift, but since the McDonald's original recipe doesn't use it, you won't need it here for this clone. And you won't miss it. My McDonald’s Hotcakes recipe still makes fluffy pancakes even without buttermilk, since the formula contains plenty of baking powder for a perfect rise and beautiful browning. It's a handy recipe to have on hand when you don't have any buttermilk in the fridge and you don't feel like dashing off to the market.

    Once your batter is mixed, measure ¼ cup into a heated nonstick pan, and in under 3 minutes you’ll have a perfect 4½-inch hotcake—the exact size of the original. This recipe makes 16 hotcakes, and you can freeze the leftovers, then easily reheat a stack for just 1 minute in your microwave whenever you need a quick a.m. belly filler.

    Find more cool breakfast copycat recipes here.

    Read more
  • Not rated yet
    McDonald's Sweet & Spicy Jam

    Sugar and spice make this rare McDonald’s sauce very nice, but it was only available for a limited time at the chain. Fortunately, that short time window was long enough for me to procure several samples of the new McNuggets dipping sauce, and reverse-engineer a sweet copycat that can step up now that the tasty original is gone.

    This flavorful jelly brings the heat with ground cayenne pepper and cayenne pepper sauce, which, along with the minced red bell, give the sauce its red tint. The real thing also contains Szechuan peppercorn extract which adds a magical numbing effect to the flavor profile. So, for my McDonald's Sweet & Spicy Jam copycat recipe, I’m including just a bit of ground Szechuan peppercorn, which you can grind from whole peppercorns, or buy pre-ground.

    When your cooked sauce cools it will thicken and become jelly, thanks to the magical properties of pectin. Loosen it up by stirring it before serving alongside a variety of finger foods, including crispy chicken strips and nuggets, fried shrimp, eggrolls, jalapeño poppers, baked brie, and lamp chops.

    Find more McDonald's famous dipping sauces here.

    Read more
  • Not rated yet
    McDonald's Szechuan Sauce

    This once dead sauce was brought back to life by a cartoon show and a sustained social media campaign from scores of obsessed fans prodding and poking at McDonald's. Unfortunately, how the fast food giant chose to comply with their demands turned out to be one really bad idea.

    Learn more and get my recipe for free on my Food Hacker Blog here.

    Read more
  • Not rated yet
    In-N-Out Double-Double Hamburger

    This legendary hamburger is a construct of simple ingredients, but until now, no one has succeeded in creating a perfect clone recipe—most likely because they miss the subtleties that make this 70-year-old recipe so great.

    Learn more and get my recipe for free on my Food Hacker Blog here.

    Read more
  • Not rated yet
    McDonald's Mambo Sauce

    One of two new sauces McDonald’s debuted in late 2023 is inspired by the famous Washington D.C.-area sauce originally offered at chicken wing restaurants and Chinese takeout joints in the 1960s. The sweet, sour, and spicy mambo sauce—also called mumbo sauce—is used as a dip for all kinds of finger foods including fried chicken, chicken wings, chicken nuggets, French fries, and eggrolls.

    But McDonald’s only offered the sauce in small blister packs, which were available for about a month. So, if we want to bring back the great flavor of the limited-time-only sauce we'll need a handy home hack. Fortunately, I got my mitts on enough of the sauce before it went away to whip up this exclusive knockoff.

    My McDonald's Mambo Sauce copycat recipe is super easy, requires only common ingredients, and will make 1½ cups of the versatile stuff you can use for dipping anything that needs to be perked up.

    You might also like my clones for McDonald's sweet and spicy jam, hot mustard, sweet and sour, honey mustard, and Szechuan dipping sauces. Find all my McDonald's copycat recipes here.

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  • Score: 4.81 (votes: 89)
    McDonald's Special Sauce (Big Mac Sauce)

    A big part of the Big Mac's appeal is the tasty "secret" spread slathered onto both decks of the world's most popular double-decker hamburger. So what's so special about this sauce? It's basically just thousand island dressing, right? Pretty much. But this sauce has a bit more sweet pickle relish in it than a typical thousand island salad slather. Also, I found that this clone comes close to the original with the inclusion of French dressing. It's an important ingredient—ketchup just won't do it. That, along with a sweet-and-sour flavor combo from vinegar and sugar, makes this sauce go well on any of your home burger creations, whether they're Big Mac clones or not. 

    My McDonald's special sauce copycat recipe is super easy, but if you don't feel like making it at home, try my Burger Special Sauce for a killer bottled version of McDonald's Big Mac Sauce.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.70 (votes: 20)
    McDonald's French Fries

    They're the world's most famous French fries, responsible for one-third of all U.S. French fry sales, and many say they're the best. These fried spud strips are so popular that Burger King even changed its own recipe to better compete with the secret formula from Mickey D's. One-quarter of all meals served today in American restaurants come with fries; a fact that thrills restaurateurs since fries are the most profitable menu item in the food industry. 

    Proper preparation steps were developed by McDonald's to minimize in-store preparation time, while producing a fry that is soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. My McDonald's French Fries recipe requires a two-step frying process to replicate the same qualities: the fries are par-fried, frozen, then fried once more to crispy just before serving. Be sure to use a slicer to cut the fries for a consistent thickness (1/4-inch is perfect) and for a cooking result that will make them just like the real thing. As for the rumor that you must soak the fries in sugar water to help them turn golden brown, I also found that not to be necessary. If the potatoes have properly developed, they contain enough sugar on their own to make a good clone with great color.

    Now, how about a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder to go with those fries? Click here for a list of all my McDonald's copycat recipes.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.82 (votes: 44)
    McDonald's Big Mac Hamburger

    Brothers Dick and Mac McDonald opened the first McDonald's drive-in restaurant in 1948, in San Bernardino, California. When the brothers began to order an increasing amount of restaurant equipment for their growing business, they aroused the curiosity of milk-machine salesman Ray Kroc. Kroc befriended the brothers and became a franchising agent for the company that same year, opening his first McDonald's in Des Plaines, Illinois. Kroc later founded the hugely successful McDonald's Corporation and perfected the fast food system that came to be studied and duplicated by other chains over the years. The first day Kroc's cash register rang up $366.12. Today the company racks up about $50 million a day in sales in more than 12,000 outlets worldwide, and for the past ten years a new store has opened somewhere around the world an average of every fifteen hours.

    The double-decker Big Mac was introduced in 1968, the brain-child of a local franchisee. It is now the world's most popular hamburger. Follow my Mcdonald's Big Mac hamburger recipe below for that same popular taste at home.

    I'm including my special sauce recipe here, or follow this link to grab a bottle of my Burger Special Sauce. A killer knock off of McDonald's Big Mac Sauce.

    For a live demo of this classic hack, check out this video.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 16)
    McDonald's McRib Sandwich

    If you're like me, that "limited-time" the McRib Sandwich is on sale is much too limited. But that's okay. If you've got a food processor, you'll never have to go without the taste of the saucy sparerib sandwich that's dressed with pickles and onions and served on a soft, warm sandwich roll. 

    For my McDonald's McRib copycat recipe, the food processor is essential for grinding up meat that's been cut away from the bones of a large rack of uncooked pork spareribs. Once you shape the meat into patties and freeze it, you'll be able to make homemade McRibs any time you want in your own kitchen in less than 10 minutes. Follow these steps exactly, and you will be shocked at how similar your home version tastes to the real McRib McCoy.

    Check out my video demo: How to clone a McRib.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Step-by-Step by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.70 (votes: 10)
    McDonald's Egg McMuffin

    In March 1988 the first McDonald's in Belgrade,Yugoslavia, set an all-time opening-day record by running 6,000 people under the arches. In early 1990, when a Moscow McDonald's opened, it became the busiest in the world by serving more than 20,000 people in just the first month of operation. The McDonald's Rome franchise racks up annual sales of more than $11 million. And in August of 1992, the world's largest McDonald's opened in China. The Beijing McDonald's seats 700 people in 28,000 square feet. It has over 1,000 employees, and parking for 200 employee bicycles. McDonald's outlets dot the globe in fifty-two countries today, including Turkey, Thailand, Panama, El Salvador, Indonesia, and Poland. About 40 percent of the McDonald's that open today stand on foreign soil—that's more than 3,000 outlets.

    Back in the United States, McDonald's serves one of every four breakfasts eaten out of the home. The Egg McMuffin sandwich was introduced in 1977 and has become a convenient breakfast-in-a-sandwich for millions. The name for the sandwich was not the brainstorm of a corporate think tank as you would expect, but rather a suggestion from ex-McDonald's chairman and CEO Fred Turner. He says his wife Patty came up with it.

    For my McDonald's Egg McMuffin recipe, you will need an empty clean can with the same diameter as an English muffin. A 6 1/2 ounce tuna can works well.

    I've copied a ton of items from McDonald's. Find your favorites here.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.00 (votes: 11)
    McDonald's Filet-O-Fish

    The year 1963 was a big one in McDonald's history. The 500th McDonald's restaurant opened in Toledo, Ohio, and Hamburger University graduated its 500th student. It was in that same year that McDonald's served its one billionth hamburger in grand fashion on The Art Linkletter Show. Ronald McDonald also made his debut that year in Washington, D.C., and the Fillet-O-Fish sandwich was introduced as the first new menu addition since the restaurant chain opened in 1948.

    Now, you can use my easy McDonald's Filet-o-Fish copycat recipe to make it at home. Complete the meal with my recipe for McDonald's French Fries.

    Update 8/4/19: Current versions of this sandwich come with the bun untoasted. For a classic version, make yours as described below, or skip step 2. Be sure to microwave your finished sandwich for 10-15 seconds to warm up your bun, and steam the sandwich before serving.

    Source: More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 3)
    McDonald's Hamburger /Cheeseburger

    Ronald McDonald is an international hero and celebrity. In Japan, since the "R" sound is not part of the Japanese language, everyone knows the burger-peddling clown as "Donald McDonald." And in Hong Kong, where people place a high value on family relationships, he is called Uncle McDonald, or in their language, "McDonald Suk Suk."

    These burgers were the original hallmark of the world's largest fast-food chain. In 1948, when brothers Dick and Mac McDonald opened their first drive-in restaurant in San Bernardino, California, it was this simple sandwich that had hundreds of people driving in from miles around to pick up a sackful for just 15 cents a burger.

    Try my McDonald's Hamburger copycat recipe below, and find more of my McDonald's copycat recipes here.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 3)
    McDonald's Quarter Pounder with cheese

    What is the McDonald's sign referring to when it says "Over 100 billion served?" That's not the number of customers served, but the number of beef patties sold since McDonald's first opened its doors in the forties. A hamburger counts as one patty. A Big Mac counts as two.

    McDonald's sold its 11 billionth hamburger in 1972, the same year that this sandwich, the Quarter Pounder, was added to the growing menu. That was also the year large fries were added and founder Ray Kroc was honored with the Horatio Alger Award (the two events are not related). In 1972, the 2,000th McDonald's opened its doors, and by the end of that year McDonald's had finally become a billion-dollar corporation.

    Use my McDonald's Quarter Pounder recipe below and start your own count at home.

    Find more of my McDonald's copycat recipes here. 

    Source: More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.67 (votes: 27)
    McDonald's Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry Shakes

    Check out my McDonald's Shakes recipes below and see how simple it is to re-create any of the three flavors of McDonald's thick shakes from scratch. Just three ingredients for each clone. Really. And the secret ingredient for the chocolate and strawberry flavors is Nesquik mix. Throw everything in a blender and press a button. And if you want your shake thicker, just put it in the freezer for a while. Ah, creamy, frosty goodness.

    Now, how about a Big Mac and homemade McDonald's french fries?

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 4)
    McDonald's Breakfast Bagel Sandwiches

    Hold an entire breakfast in two hands and bring it right up to your face for a bite. McDonald's Spanish Omelet Bagel features the easy-to-make secret dill mayo-mustard sauce AKA "Breakfast Sauce", copied here with just two ingredients. The only requirement is that you have a small 6-inch skillet to make the omelette for each sandwich. My McDonald's Spanish omelette bagel copycat recipe makes four sandwiches, so you'll be able to feed the whole crew. 

    Check out my other copycat recipes for the Ham & Egg, and Steak & Egg Bagels in Even More Top Secret Recipes.

    This is fun, right? Check out more of my copycat recipes for McDonald's favorites here.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.38 (votes: 16)
    McDonald's Hot Mustard Sauce

    I finally got on the case to create a McDonald's hot mustard sauce copycat recipe—as it turns out, it's an easy hack. Dried mustard mixes it up with sweet and sour flavors in a saucepan over medium heat. Cornstarch thickens and stabilizes, and a little habanero pops in for the perfect spicy punch. Use it for dipping, use it for spreading...use it again and again, since you'll be making about a cup of the stuff. 

    Find more of my McDonald's recipes here.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.26 (votes: 38)
    McDonald's Shamrock Shake

    You'll only need four ingredients to re-create the flavors of McDonald's annual St. Patrick's Day shake. The two ingredients that make this holiday shake special are the mint extract and green food coloring. Make sure your extract says "mint" and not "peppermint". And if you don't care to have shakes that are green like the real ones, you can forego the food coloring.

    Try my McDonald's Shamrock Shake recipe below, and get my recipe for McDonald's Oreo Shamrock McFlurry here.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

    Update 3/14/17: For a thicker, mintier shake, add only 1 cup of milk. If your blender can't mix it up, add 1/4 cup of milk at a time until it blends. Also, the new Shamrock Shakes have whipped cream and a cherry on top.

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  • Score: 4.06 (votes: 16)
    McDonald's Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce

    My McDonald's Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce copycat recipe below recreates he sauce you get with your order of McNuggets at the world's largest hamburger outlet. Now, instead of shoving a fistful of the little green packs into your backpack, you can make up a batch of your own McDonald's sweet and sour sauce to use as a dip for store bought nuggets, chicken fingers, fried shrimp, and tempura. It's a simple recipe that requires a food processor or a blender, and the sauce will keep well for some time in the fridge.

    Find more McDonald's famous dipping sauces here.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.90 (votes: 10)
    McDonald's Fruit & Walnut Salad

    McDonald's enlisted Destiny's Child, Venus Williams, and Bob Greene (Oprah's trainer) to kick off its balanced lifestyles campaign in the spring of 2005, starting with this salad and the tagline "Get a fruit buzz." Most of the recipe is no big secret: two kinds of sliced apples, red seedless grapes, and low-fat vanilla yogurt. If there is a secret ingredient it's the candied walnuts which we can clone from scratch using honey, peanut oil, sugar and vanilla. Use my McDonald's Fruit and Walnut Salad recipe below to get a fruit buzz at home.

    See if I cloned more of your favorite McDonald's menu items here.
     
    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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Products: 124 of 45
Show: 24

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  • Not rated yet
    McDonald's Mambo Sauce

    One of two new sauces McDonald’s debuted in late 2023 is inspired by the famous Washington D.C.-area sauce originally offered at chicken wing restaurants and Chinese takeout joints in the 1960s. The sweet, sour, and spicy mambo sauce—also called mumbo sauce—is used as a dip for all kinds of finger foods including fried chicken, chicken wings, chicken nuggets, French fries, and eggrolls.

    But McDonald’s only offered the sauce in small blister packs, which were available for about a month. So, if we want to bring back the great flavor of the limited-time-only sauce we'll need a handy home hack. Fortunately, I got my mitts on enough of the sauce before it went away to whip up this exclusive knockoff.

    My McDonald's Mambo Sauce copycat recipe is super easy, requires only common ingredients, and will make 1½ cups of the versatile stuff you can use for dipping anything that needs to be perked up.

    You might also like my clones for McDonald's sweet and spicy jam, hot mustard, sweet and sour, honey mustard, and Szechuan dipping sauces. Find all my McDonald's copycat recipes here.

    Read more
  • Not rated yet
    In-N-Out Double-Double Hamburger

    This legendary hamburger is a construct of simple ingredients, but until now, no one has succeeded in creating a perfect clone recipe—most likely because they miss the subtleties that make this 70-year-old recipe so great.

    Learn more and get my recipe for free on my Food Hacker Blog here.

    Read more
  • Not rated yet
    McDonald's Szechuan Sauce

    This once dead sauce was brought back to life by a cartoon show and a sustained social media campaign from scores of obsessed fans prodding and poking at McDonald's. Unfortunately, how the fast food giant chose to comply with their demands turned out to be one really bad idea.

    Learn more and get my recipe for free on my Food Hacker Blog here.

    Read more
  • Not rated yet
    McDonald's Sweet & Spicy Jam

    Sugar and spice make this rare McDonald’s sauce very nice, but it was only available for a limited time at the chain. Fortunately, that short time window was long enough for me to procure several samples of the new McNuggets dipping sauce, and reverse-engineer a sweet copycat that can step up now that the tasty original is gone.

    This flavorful jelly brings the heat with ground cayenne pepper and cayenne pepper sauce, which, along with the minced red bell, give the sauce its red tint. The real thing also contains Szechuan peppercorn extract which adds a magical numbing effect to the flavor profile. So, for my McDonald's Sweet & Spicy Jam copycat recipe, I’m including just a bit of ground Szechuan peppercorn, which you can grind from whole peppercorns, or buy pre-ground.

    When your cooked sauce cools it will thicken and become jelly, thanks to the magical properties of pectin. Loosen it up by stirring it before serving alongside a variety of finger foods, including crispy chicken strips and nuggets, fried shrimp, eggrolls, jalapeño poppers, baked brie, and lamp chops.

    Find more McDonald's famous dipping sauces here.

    Read more
  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 4)
    McDonald's Hotcakes

    With the invention of the Egg McMuffin in 1971, McDonald’s became the first fast food restaurant to open for breakfast, but only in select locations. The morning sandwich was so successful that in 1977 the chain went national with a full breakfast menu rollout, including scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, sausage, bacon, and these popular golden-brown hotcakes.

    Many pancake recipes require buttermilk for lift, but since the McDonald's original recipe doesn't use it, you won't need it here for this clone. And you won't miss it. My McDonald’s Hotcakes recipe still makes fluffy pancakes even without buttermilk, since the formula contains plenty of baking powder for a perfect rise and beautiful browning. It's a handy recipe to have on hand when you don't have any buttermilk in the fridge and you don't feel like dashing off to the market.

    Once your batter is mixed, measure ¼ cup into a heated nonstick pan, and in under 3 minutes you’ll have a perfect 4½-inch hotcake—the exact size of the original. This recipe makes 16 hotcakes, and you can freeze the leftovers, then easily reheat a stack for just 1 minute in your microwave whenever you need a quick a.m. belly filler.

    Find more cool breakfast copycat recipes here.

    Read more
  • Not rated yet
    McDonald's Strawberry and Creme Pie

    Tiny apple pies have been a signature dessert on the McDonald’s menu for decades, but the chain upped its pie game recently with a tasty new treat featuring a duo of fillings in a flaky, lightly-iced crust. And no one has developed a good hack...until now.

    To duplicate these personal McDonald's Strawberry and Crème pies at home, I’ve created a new crust formula and filled it with thickened, puréed frozen strawberries next to a sweetened cream cheese filling. You'll find everything you'll need in my McDonald's Strawberry and Cream Pie recipe below. 

    To apply the perfect amount of filling, you can convert small plastic storage bags into mini piping bags by snipping off a corner. Squeeze the fillings onto the dough, then seal up the pies, brush them with light icing, and pop them in the oven. This recipe makes ten pies, which is a good thing because everyone who watches you make these will want one.   

    Find my McDonald's Apple Pie recipe in "Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step".

    Read more
  • Not rated yet
    McDonald's Chicken McNuggets

    When dippable tempura-battered chicken chunks made their debut at select McDonald’s restaurants in 1981, America couldn’t get enough…literally. Supply chain issues prevented the burger chain from meeting high demand in all markets for many months, and it wasn’t until two years after the McNuggets were first introduced that they were finally available at every McDonald’s in the country.

    The famous finger food was invented by McDonald’s first executive chef, Rene Arend, who discovered that reconstituted chicken blended with flavor enhancers, enrobed with tempura batter, and deep-fried until golden brown, made a simple, portable snack. The chicken was formed into four “B” shapes designed for dipping—the bell, the bow-tie, the ball, and the boot—and served along with child-friendly dipping sauces such as ranch and barbecue, so the breakout finger food product became a huge winner with kids.

    To make a home version that looks and tastes like McNuggets I dissected a real one and discovered that the chicken in the middle is coated twice: once with dry, seasoned breading, and then once more with wet batter before frying. The chicken in McNuggets is puréed not ground, and the best way to prepare it is with a food processor. “Ground” chicken in grocery stores is often puréed, then pushed through a die to look more appealing in the package, similar to how ground beef is presented. For my Chicken McNugget recipe below, it's best to use a home food processor, but if you don’t have one, ground chicken from your butcher will work.

    If I had to identify a secret ingredient in this hack it would be Knorr chicken bouillon powder. It contains many of the same ingredients found in real Chicken McNuggets, so once you get that crucial flavoring component, you’re well on your way to an amazing knockoff of an iconic American food.

    This recipe was our #5 most popular in 2022. Check out the other four most unlocked recipes for the year: Rao's Traditional Meatballs (#1), Chipotle Pollo Asado (#2), Wendy's Seasoned Potatoes (#3), Cheesecake Factory Spicy Cashew Chicken (#4).

    Check out this list of our most popular recipes of all-time.

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    McDonald's Bacon, Egg & Cheese McGriddles

    It was the creator of Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Crust Pizza who came up with the idea to cook bits of maple syrup into small pancakes for a new sweet-and-savory breakfast sandwich offering from the world’s #1 fast food chain. Tom Ryan’s idea became a reality in 2003 when the McGriddles—with maple-flavored griddle cake buns—debuted on McDonald’s breakfast menu, and the sandwich is still selling like hotcakes today.

    To make four homemade McGriddles, you’ll first need to produce eight perfectly round griddle cakes that are infused with sweet maple bits. Recipes that instruct you to make hard candy from maple syrup for this hack will fail to tell you that the shattered shards of hard candy don't completely melt when the griddle cakes are cooked, resulting in a distinct crunch not found in the real McDonald’s product. Also, breaking the hard maple candy into small, uniform chunks is both difficult and messy. My solution was to make a flavorful maple gummy puck that could be neatly petite diced and sprinkled into the batter as it cooks.  

    Just be sure to use maple flavoring rather than maple extract for the maple gummy. Maple flavoring has a more intense flavor than the extract, and the dark brown caramel coloring will make your maple bits look like pancake syrup. You’ll also need one or two 3½-inch rings to make griddle cakes that are the perfect size for your clones.

    My McDonald's McGriddles copycat recipe duplicates the bacon version of the sandwich, but you can replace the bacon with a patty made from breakfast sausage for the sausage version, or just go with egg and cheese.

    Get more of my McDonald's copycat recipes here.

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    McDonald's Mighty Hot Sauce

    This super-spicy, slightly-sweet dipping sauce was introduced in the Fall of 2020 with the debut of the Spicy McNuggets, and it was the first new McDonald’s dipping sauce since the 2017 re-release of the infamous Szechuan Sauce (sauce mob details and hack here). The Mighty Hot Sauce was only offered for a limited time, and it vanished along with the Spicy McNuggets later that year. But not for long. Due to a social media outcry, Spicy McNuggets and Mighty Hot Sauce came back to the Golden Arches on February 1, 2021, for another limited-time-only run.

    Now you can get that same heavenly heat any time you want at home with my simple Mighty Hot Sauce recipe and use it as a dip for chicken fingers, wings, or whatever. This hack will give you about ½ cup of the sauce, but feel free to double it for a mightier portion. Just add another 20 seconds to the cooking time.

    If you want the best McDonald’s match use Texas Pete’s cayenne sauce for your hack. If you can’t find that brand, go with Frank’s.

    Click here for more great McDonald's copycat recipes. 

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    McDonald's Oreo Shamrock McFlurry

    To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the famous green mint-flavored Shamrock Shake first served in 1970, McDonald’s created this new minty McFlurry, with crumbled Oreo cookies mixed in. If you’re a Shamrock Shake fan, you’ll go nuts over this new twist. You may never again crave a regular Shamrock Shake.

    This dessert-in-a-cup is thicker than the traditional Shamrock shake, since it’s made with soft-serve vanilla ice cream rather than milkshake mix. To simulate McDonald's Oreo Shamrock McFlurry at home, you mix the ice cream with milk, Shamrock syrup (made with the recipe below), and Oreo crumbs in a frozen glass or ceramic bowl. The cold bowl keeps the ingredients thick until you spoon everything into a glass.

    The secret syrup recipe here makes around 8 tablespoons of green mint syrup, which will be enough to make four minty homemade McDonald's Oreo Shamrock McFlurry milkshakes.

    Follow this link for more of my McDonald's clone recipes. 

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    McDonald's Strawberry Banana Smoothie

    McDonald's refreshing smoothie is easy to knock off at home in a blender with fresh bananas and boxed frozen strawberries that come in syrup. Thaw out those strawberries before adding them and include some of the syrup when measuring. My McDonald's strawberry banana smoothie recipe makes 2 medium drinks so you can share, or one really big drink for a very hot and thirsty you.

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    McDonald's Caramel Frappe

    McDonald's contribution to the frozen coffee drink battle is a concoction that’s similar Starbucks super popular Frappuccino, but the Caramel Frappe is a much creamier creation. Many would say that’s a big plus. Starbucks doesn't use cream in their trademark beverage, but the McDonald’s drink includes both cream and milk: aka half-and-half. 

    For my McDonald's Caramel Frappe recipe below, you'll want to hunt down some caramel that comes in a squirt bottle (Hershey or Starbucks is good) so that you can easily drizzle it over the whipped cream topping.

    Find more of your favorite famous drink recipes here

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    McDonald's McLobster Sandwich

    On a trip through Maine, I saw a sign advertising a lobster sandwich at the world's most famous hamburger chain. Lobster at McDonalds? I just had to get a closer look. When I got inside, a woman behind the counter told me that the sandwich is served only at select McDonald's locations, mostly in Maine, for a limited-time only during the summer months. So I ordered one and sat down in the dining room to examine it. When I opened up the wrapper, I found chilled fresh lobster chunks tossed in mayonnaise and piled on a hoagie roll with a leaf of lettuce—it's McDonald's version of a lobster roll. I took a bite, and it tasted pretty darn good. I ate the whole thing, ordered another one, and got back on the road. Driving off, I thought about how strange it was to eat lobster at McDonald's.

    You can use my McDonald's McLobster sandwich recipe below and enjoy this delicious lobster roll anytime, anywhere.

    I've cloned a ton of sandwiches from McDonald's. See if I hacked your favorites here.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    McDonald's Big Mac Reduced-Fat

    When the first Big Mac was served by a McDonald's franchisee in 1968, it was a time when all food in America was prepared with little attention to the amount of fat. Some low-calorie products had been developed, but they were not hugely popular, and most Americans ate and prepared food using whatever ingredients made it taste the best. Around 27 years later, McDonald's responded to the public's rapidly changing, health-conscious eating habits with the McLean Deluxe, a burger with a significantly reduced amount of fat. But the McLean Deluxe was not a commercial success; it never even came close to selling as fast as the other McDonald's burgers. Soon, the McLean Deluxe was history. And today, as reduced-fat products in supermarkets are selling faster than ever, McDonald's has not replaced the McLean Deluxe on its menu. The Big Mac is still king, with its 31 grams of fat. Here's a clone to make a version of the Big Mac at home with less than half the fat of the original.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 burger
    Total servings–2
    Calories per serving–500 (Original–560)
    Fat per serving–13g (Original–31g)

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur. 

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    McDonald's Arch Deluxe Reduced Fat

    McDonald's introduced its new sandwich in 1996 with a $200 million marketing blitz aimed at winning over grown-ups. We watched Ronald McDonald golf, dance, and hang out with sophisticated human beings, rather than his usual gang of puppets. These messages were supposed to tug at the adult market lost to more inspired sandwich creations from chains like Wendy's and Arby's and Carl's Jr.

    Did the campaign work? So far, the sales figures have been less than stellar for the burger with even more fat in it than a Big Mac. But the sandwich, with its specially developed Dijon mustard-mayo sauce, does have its share of devoted fans. Perhaps even more of us would get on Team Arch Deluxe if we could make a clone using reduced-fat ingredients to knock the fat down to nearly one-third that of the original, as I have here.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 burger
    Total servings–1
    Calories per serving–430 (Original–550)
    Fat per serving–11g (Original–31g)

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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I'm Todd Wilbur, Chronic Food Hacker

For over 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original copycat recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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