Beverages, Recipes

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.

The Starbucks caramel macchiato is a fan-favorite beverage. But waiting in lines and spending extra money is so last year. 


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Why not whip it up at home?

This heavenly copycat is incredibly delicious and super easy to make. Plus, it’s much cheaper than buying it from Starbucks. 

And way more convenient. 

Try the copycat Starbucks caramel macchiato today!

Starbucks Caramel Macchiato Recipe

The Starbucks caramel macchiato is a coffee-based drink that combines bold espresso with sweet caramel and frothy milk. 

And let’s not forget the cherry on top! A generous dollop of fluffy whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel. Doesn’t that sound fantastic?

Now, this drink is surprisingly easy to make! 

You might think you need some fancy, expensive equipment to whip this up, but guess what? You don’t! 

This recipe only needs five simple ingredients, plus your trusty espresso maker. And a way to froth your milk (even a whisk will do!).

With practice, you’ll impress your friends and family with your barista skills in no time.

The best part? By making your caramel macchiato at home, you save some serious cash. But you won’t skimp on taste! 

And you can customize your drink. Want an extra drizzle of caramel? Go for it! 


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Or how about an additional shot of espresso? That’s fine, too. 

And you cannot ignore the convenience of making your bougie coffee at home. No driving, no long lines, nada. 

Plus, you can enjoy your caramel macchiato at home, wearing your coziest pajamas. What could be better than that?

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. 

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! 

Starbucks Caramel Macchiato Recipe