Home Beverages Copycat Starbucks Caramel Macchiato Recipe

Copycat Starbucks Caramel Macchiato Recipe

Wish you could make your favorite Starbucks drink at home? This easy-peasy Starbucks caramel macchiato recipe makes that possible!

It tastes like the real thing- sweet, caramel-licious, and indulgent, with rich espresso for balance. Delicious. 

Copycat Starbucks Caramel Macchiato Recipe featuring Glass mug with homemade Starbucks caramel macchiato with whipped cream and drizzle of caramel on top.
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Starbucks Caramel Macchiato Recipe

The Starbucks caramel macchiato is a fan-favorite. But I don’t want to spend $5 dollars every time a caramel craving hits.

So I created a copycat recipe you can make at home!

With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a coffee drink that’s even better than the real deal!

My homemade version combines two shots of espresso, buttery caramel, steamed milk, and vanilla to mimic the flavors of Starbucks to a T. It comes together in just a few minutes and tastes absolutely divine.

So skip the coffee shop line and whip up this deliciously sweet, yet simple, caramel macchiato at home.

Starbucks Caramel Macchiato ingredients: espresso, milk, caramel syrup and whipped cream.


  • Vanilla Syrup- This sweet, aromatic delight adds a touch of warmth and depth to your caramel macchiato. You can use whatever brand you like. Or make it yourself
  • Milk- Go for 2% or whole milk to froth like a pro. Want a dairy-free option? Almond, soy, or oat milk will work just as well.
  • Espresso- Bold and rich, espresso brings a much-needed caffeine kick to the party. Opt for beans roasted for espresso, or grab a finely ground dark roast coffee.
  • Whipped Cream– For that extra bit of necessary indulgence. 
  • Caramel Sauce- Caramel sauce is the perfect finishing touch, adding a layer of irresistible sweetness. Plus, it wouldn’t be a caramel macchiato without it. 

How to Make Starbucks Caramel Macchiato

Follow these simple steps to make your own Starbucks caramel macchiato:

1. Add the vanilla syrup and caramel sauce to your mug. Pour the vanilla syrup into the bottom of your mug. The recipe calls for 1 tablespoon.

But you can adjust to your liking.

Then, drizzle 2 tablespoons of caramel sauce all around the inside. Again, you can add more or less to your tastes. 

2. Brew your espresso. Pull an espresso shot (about 2 ounces) and set it to the side. You can also do it after you warm the milk. 

(Keep reading for alternatives.)

3. Time to heat and froth the milk. If you have an espresso machine with a milk frother, use that. It should warm the milk as it froths it.

If not, you can heat the milk on the stove or the microwave. Then, use a milk frother, mini electric whisk, or a hand whisk to make it frothy. 

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4. Make the macchiato. Pour the milk into your mug and follow it up with a shot of espresso. Stir to combine. 

5. Finish it with whipped cream and more caramel sauce. Last (but not least), finish your coffee with whipped cream and caramel sauce.


Top view of homemade Starbucks caramel macchiato in a clear glass mug on a wooden cutting board. A second mug to the right in the background.

Tips & Variations

  • Get the right grind. Finely grind your coffee beans for that perfect, bold espresso flavor. A good grind makes all the difference!
  • Swap out your syrups. Mix things up by trying different flavored syrups, like hazelnut or toffee. Or use caramel syrup for an extra caramelly coffee. 
  • Try making it dairy-free. Swap out regular milk for almond, soy, or oat milk to create a tasty dairy-free version. It’s just as delicious.
  • Add a touch of spice. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon or a pinch of nutmeg for an extra layer of warmth and flavor.
  • Need an espresso alternative? No problem! Try a Moka pot, French press, or AeroPress for a strong coffee close to espresso. You can double up on coffee grounds in your drip coffee maker (if all else fails). Use a strong roast. 
  • Sweeten to taste. Adjust the vanilla syrup to your liking – more for a sweeter treat or less for a strong coffee kick.
  • Cool it down. Turn your caramel macchiato into an iced version by pouring it over ice. Also, use cold, frothy milk instead of warm.
  • Try creative (and delicious) toppings. Experiment with different toppings like crushed cookies, chocolate shavings, or even a dash of cocoa powder. 
  • Fresh is best. Ditch the store-bought stuff and make your own buttery caramel sauce. It’s not as difficult as you think. The flavor will blow your mind!
  • Go for whole milk! Choose whole milk for a richer, creamier caramel macchiato that feels like a true indulgence. Skim milk works, but hey, why not go all out?
A glass mug with homemade caramel macchiato topped with whipped cream and drizzle of caramel syrup on a wooden cutting board- close up side view.

Recipe FAQ

Caramel Syrup or Sauce? 

Go for the real deal with caramel sauce or even salted caramel. Trust me, it’s worth it!

Can You Use Regular Coffee Instead of Espresso? 

It will not taste the same. But you can try espresso pods or a strong-brewed coffee as a workaround.

What’s in a Caramel Macchiato? 

Just 5 simple ingredients: espresso, vanilla syrup, caramel sauce, steamed milk, and optional whipped cream.

Caramel Macchiato vs. Latte- What’s the Difference? 

In Starbucks lingo, a caramel macchiato has espresso, steamed milk, vanilla syrup, caramel sauce, and whipped cream. 

A caramel latte skips the vanilla syrup and whipped cream.

Can You Make an Iced Caramel Macchiato? 

Absolutely! Mix the ingredients while the espresso is warm, then chill in the fridge for an hour. Serve over ice! 

Copycat Starbucks Caramel Macchiato Recipe



Prep time


Cooking time





This copycat Starbucks caramel macchiato tastes just like the real thing! So, save yourself some time and money by making it at home with this easy recipe.


  • 1 tablespoon vanilla syrup

  • 2 tablespoons caramel sauce

  • 2 ounces espresso

  • 8 ounces milk

  • Whipped cream for serving

  • Caramel sauce, for serving


  • Pour the vanilla syrup into your mug. Then, drizzle 2 tablespoons of caramel sauce inside the mug.
  • Brew your espresso. Set aside. (Can do after the milk if you prefer.)
  • Heat the milk on the stove or the microwave to about 150°F. It should be hot, but not boiling Then, use a milk frother, mini electric whisk, or a hand whisk to make it frothy. 
  • Pour the milk into the mug, followed by the espresso. Stir to combine.
  • Top with whipped cream and extra caramel sauce.
Starbucks Caramel Macchiato Recipe

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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