Starbucks Caramel Macchiato Copycat

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See how easy it is to make the very popular Starbucks Caramel Macchiato drink at home in just 5 minutes.

Drizzling caramel sauce on top of a Caramel Macchiato drink.

Recipe Highlights

  • Starbucks Caramel Macchiato is a hot espresso drink made with espresso, milk, vanilla syrup, and caramel drizzle.
  • The name of the drink is a little confusing since there isn’t any caramel in the coffee. It’s flavored with vanilla syrup and the caramel is only drizzled on top of the drink.
  • Macchiato means “stained” or “marked” and the Caramel Macchiato is made by adding espresso into frothed milk, leaving a dot or a mark of espresso on top.
  • Espresso for the drink can be made with an espresso machine or a Nespresso.
  • Frothed milk for the drink can be made using a French press or a milk frother.

RELATED: Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato Copycat

Ingredient Notes

Starbucks Caramel Macchiato copycat ingredients.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Four photo collage with steps to make Caramel Macchiato.

For full ingredients and instructions, scroll down to the recipe.

  1. Froth milk.
    Frothed milk can be made using an electric milk frother or with the steam wand from an espresso machine. Another method is to simmer milk on the stovetop, pour it into a French press, then pump the plunger a few times to create froth.
  2. Put vanilla syrup and frothed milk into a cup.
  3. Add espresso shots.
    Use 2 Nespresso espresso pods or pull 2 shots from an espresso machine.
  4. Drizzle caramel sauce on top.

Using a Nespresso

The easiest way to make espresso at home is a Nespresso machine.

My Nespresso Pick

Photo Credit: amazon.com

This Nespresso model makes espresso and brewed coffee and costs around $200. Tip: Skip the Aeroccino and get a bigger milk frother.
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1 shot of espresso = 1 Nespresso espresso capsule

To make a Caramel Macchiato, use 1 or 2 Nespresso espresso capsules or 1 double espresso capsule.

Don’t use the coffee capsules for the Vertuo machines which make 7.77 ounces of coffee, and not espresso.

Nespresso sells Starbucks capsules in espresso and blonde espresso capsules for both the Vertuo and Original machines.

Starbucks uses regular espresso to make a Caramel Macchiato but try making it at home with their blonde espresso, which is more popular.

My Nespresso Starbucks Pod Pick

Photo Credit: amazon.com

To recreate Starbucks drinks at home, go for this popular blonde espresso.
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Expert Tips

  • Milk will increase in volume when steamed or frothed, so to get 1 ½ cups of frothed milk for this recipe, use 1 cup of cold milk (dairy or non-dairy).
  • For a drink to be called a Caramel Macchiato, the vanilla syrup and frothed milk needs to go into the cup first, then the espresso, followed by the caramel drizzle. It’s the espresso crema mark on top of the milk that makes a drink a Caramel Macchiato and not a latte.
  • If the espresso goes in first followed by the milk, then it’s just a latte since it would be missing the drink’s signature espresso crema mark in the milk. 
  • If you don’t have an espresso machine or a Nespresso, you can use instant coffee. Combine 1 tablespoon of instant coffee and 1/4 cup hot water to replace the 2 shots of espresso in the recipe.
  • Make a batch of homemade vanilla syrup ahead of time. It’ll keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Questions You May Have

How is a Caramel Macchiato different from a latte?

A Caramel Macchiato is a vanilla flavored latte but the order in which the ingredients go into the drink is what makes it different. Frothed milk goes in first, then the espresso. In a latte, the espresso goes in first, then the frothed milk.

How is this different from a vanilla latte with caramel drizzle?

All the ingredients would be the same, but the Caramel Macchiato is made by assembling the drink with vanilla syrup, frothed milk, the espresso, then the caramel drizzle. The vanilla latte would have the frothed milk last, then the caramel drizzle.

How many shots of espresso goes into the drink?

Starbucks makes theirs with 1 shot for a short (8 ounces) and tall drink (12 ounces) and 2 shots for a grande (16 ounces) and venti (20 ounces). You can use 1 or 2 shots of espresso, depending on how strong you want the drink.

Do you stir before drinking?

Nope. The drink is intended to be layered and not mixed together. Drink it as it, without stirring. You’ll taste the caramel drizzle with the milk first, then get more of the espresso as you keep sipping.

What’s the difference between an Espresso Macchiato and a Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks?

There are 2 macchiato drinks on the Starbucks menu and they’re completely different. The Espresso Macchiato is a small drink with espresso and a tiny bit of milk, and the Caramel Macchiato is an upside down latte with caramel drizzle.

Starbucks Caramel Macchiato drink in a glass mug.

Related

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Starbucks Caramel Macchiato Copycat

Author: Jee Choe
A recreation of a classic Starbucks drink.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Drinks
Yield1 serving (16 ounces)

INGREDIENTS
 

  • 1 ½ cups 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla syrup
  • 2 shots of espresso (2 Nespresso espresso capsules)
  • 2 teaspoons caramel sauce

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Froth milk.
    Frothed milk can be made using an electric milk frother or with the steam wand from an espresso machine. Another method is to simmer milk on the stovetop, pour it into a French press, then pump the plunger a few times to create froth.
  • Put vanilla syrup and frothed milk into a cup. Add espresso shots.
    Use 2 Nespresso espresso pods or pull 2 shots from an espresso machine.
  • Drizzle caramel sauce on top.

NOTES

  • Starbucks makes theirs with 2% milk but you can use any milk you like but some milk will froth better than others.
  • Milk will increase in volume when steamed or frothed, so to get 1 ½ cups of frothed milk for this recipe, use 1 cup of cold milk (dairy or non-dairy).
  • For a drink to be called a Caramel Macchiato, the vanilla syrup and frothed milk needs to go into the cup first, then the espresso, followed by the caramel drizzle. It’s the espresso crema mark on top of the milk that makes a drink a Caramel Macchiato and not a latte.
  • If the espresso goes in first followed by the milk, then it’s just a latte since it would be missing the drink’s signature espresso crema mark in the milk. 
  • If you don’t have an espresso machine or a Nespresso, you can use instant coffee. Combine 1 tablespoon of instant coffee and 1/4 cup hot water to replace the 2 shots of espresso in the recipe.
  • Make a batch of homemade vanilla syrup ahead of time. It’ll keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Using A Nespresso Machine

 
  • 1 shot of espresso = 1 Nespresso espresso capsule
  • To make a 16 ounce (grande) Starbucks drink, you’ll need 2 Nespresso espresso or ristretto capsules. You can also use 1 Vertuo double espresso.
  • With the Vertuo machine capsules, only use espresso capsules and not the coffee capsules that make 7.77 ounces.
  • Recommended Nespresso capsules to make Starbucks drinks at home:
    Starbucks Blonde Espresso Roast Nespresso Vertuo capsules
    Nespresso Original capsules
  •  

    NUTRITION

    Calories: 327 | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 257mg | Potassium: 633mg | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 375IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 440mg | Iron: 2mg
    Did you make this recipe?Mention @coffeeatthree and use hashtag #coffeeatthree!

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