Craving a Caramel Macchiato? Who can resist this tempting coffee drink with caramel flavours and hot, steamy milk? Follow this specialty coffee recipe to save time and money by making your favourite caffeinated treat at home. It’s easier than you think!
The best way to fend off chilly winter temperatures is to cozy up under a blanket with a warming winter beverage. Pop a Cookies n Cream Hot Chocolate Bomb into a mug of hot milk and let your troubles melt away. Or, steep up some sweet and tart Hibiscus with warming spices and enjoy this Jamaican style Sorrel Drink hot or cold.
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I consider the Caramel Macchiato to be a ‘gateway’ coffee beverage. The espresso blends so well with all the sweet caramel and creamy milk, you almost don’t notice it’s there. My obsession with this espresso drink started when I was in university (surprise!) and continues to this day, It’s what I order from the coffee shop down the street when I need a HUGE pick me up.
The beauty of this recipe is that you can make or buy all the components. It’s up to you. Store bought coffee syrup and caramel sauce are both easily found at most grocery stores. If you have a fancy espresso machine at home, then you’ve got this recipe in the bag.
However, you can also make the shots of espresso with a simple stovetop espresso maker and heat the milk up on the stove. Use a simple wire frother to whip up the coffee or simply top with whipped cream before you add a luxurious drizzle of caramel sauce.
What is a Caramel Macchiato?
A Caramel Macchiato is an espresso based creation with frothy, steamed milk and a whole lot of sweet sweet caramel. Milk based coffee drinks all contain milk and espresso, yet they are different from each other. The difference between a latte, macchiato, and cappuccino is in the ratio of milk to espresso and whether or not there is foamed milk at the top.
In Italy, a macchiato is a strong espresso-forward drink with a small amount of steamed milk. In Italian ‘macchiato‘ means ‘spotted’ and refers to the spots of espresso on top of the milk that remain after the espresso is poured into the milk.
Outside of Italy, mainstream coffee chains have morphed this beverage into one that closely resembles a latte. They contain a much larger amount of milk and a sturdy layer of foam which is necessary to hold up that tasty caramel drizzle.
Ingredients for this Recipe
- Caramel Syrup
- Caramel Sauce
For the ultimate creamy macchiato, use either homogenized (3% MF) milk or ‘barista’ style (4.25% MF) milk. Or, just use whatever milk you regularly use. Note that milk (dairy or otherwise) with a lower fat content will not froth up as well as one with a high fat content.
We buy whole roasted espresso beans and grind them just before brewing. This is the best way to get the most flavour out of espresso beans. However, you do you. Use your favourite espresso, freshly ground or not and make it using the method of your choice.
*One thing to note is that brewed espresso will get bitter the longer it sits, so have your milk ready before you brew the espresso and pour it in immediately.
This recipe features both caramel syrup and caramel sauce. One is a light syrup made with only sugar, water, and vanilla extract. The other contains these same three ingredients plus whipping cream (vegan options are available in stores). You can buy the syrup and sauce, or make your own using the instructions outlined below.
How to Make a Caramel Coffee Syrup (Light Syrup)
A light caramel coffee syrup is simple to make and very handy to have around for when the caramel macchiato craving hits. It’s essentially a simple syrup, similar to what is used in cocktails. The difference is that the sugar is caramelized before more water is added to thin it out.
To make caramel coffee syrup: combine 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup of water, and 1 teaspoon of honey in a small, sturdy pot (with a lid). Stir the mixture over low heat until dissolved. Next turn the heat up to medium high heat. Cover, and allow it to boil for 2-3 minutes
Remove the cover and stir vigorously as the caramel continues to cook. The caramel is done when it reaches a light amber colour but you can take it further, if you like. Next, remove the caramel from the heat and carefully (it’s going to spit a lot!!) stir in 1/2 cup water. Finally, stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Store light caramel sauce in the fridge for up to 3 months.
How to Make Caramel Sauce Drizzle
You can usually find caramel sauce in the same aisle as the ice cream cones and chocolate sauce. However, it’s super easy to make at home. This Life Changing Caramel Sauce is one of my favourites on desserts such as bread pudding, brownies, and bowls of vanilla ice cream. Note that you can make it with or without the added alcohol.
Here’s a quick recap of how to make caramel sauce drizzle (check the post for more detailed instructions). In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon light corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water.
Cook the mixture on high heat (without stirring!) until the sugar becomes caramelized. It’s a judgement call, really. I like mine a bit darker than a copper penny. Once you have the colour you like, carefully stir in 1/2 cup whipping cream and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Let it cool to room temperature.
How to Make a Caramel Macchiato
Warm the milk and light caramel syrup together in a small saucepan (or in microwave) over medium-low heat. When the milk mixture is hot pour it in a mug. Carefully froth the milk with wire milk frother or use the steam wand on your espresso machine.
Next, brew the espresso according to your preferred method. Pour the hot espresso directly into the hot frothed milk. If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can use strongly brewed coffee with a French press or drip coffee maker. Note that it will not taste the same as when you use shots of espresso.
To finish, use a spoon to drizzle caramel sauce over the milky foam. Or, if you prefer a bit more decadence, you can top the macchiato with whipped cream and then finish with a drizzle of caramel sauce.
If you make this Caramel Macchiato recipe please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.
Craving a Caramel Macchiato? Follow this specialty coffee recipe to save time and money by making your favourite caffeinated treat at home. It's easier than you think!
- 6 oz milk
- 2 oz espresso
- 1 Tablespoon caramel coffee syrup
- 2 Tablespoons caramel sauce (for drizzling)
- Warm milk and caramel syrup together in a small saucepan (or in microwave) over medium-low heat.
- When milk mixture is hot pour it in a mug. Carefully froth it with wire frother or use the steam wand on your espresso machine.
- Brew the espresso. Pour the espresso directly into the hot frothed milk.
- Use a spoon to drizzle caramel sauce over the milky foam. Or, if you prefer you can top with whipped cream, then drizzle the caramel sauce.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 325Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 307mgCarbohydrates: 70gFiber: 0gSugar: 69gProtein: 7g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.
I love that I can make this at home! ❤️ Your photos are fantastic, Bernice!!
Thank you Terri!
I made this delicious coffee at home before work and hands down it’s better than coffee shop.
And you know all of the ingredients, too!
This is the perfect Caramel Macchiato at home , you will never want to pay the high dollar prices at the coffee shop. This is my husbands favorite thing to get and now we can make it at home. Thanks !!
This is one of my favorite drinks and I love this macchiato recipe! It’s better than Starbucks and will be my new go-to in the mornings 🙂 I’m so excited!
What a great way to start the day. Thank you Kathryn.
This is a wonderful thing when you don’t want to get in your cold vehicle to fet a delicious coffee! Love that you have a caramel sauce recipe that is so so easy!. Thank you so much for sharing this and wow your macchiato is beautiful.😍🥰❤
for sure! I’m such a homebody now.
this was my go-to back in the day before work. I like this recipe now i can make it at home!
I had one yesterday for a quick pick me up!
This was delicious and really easy to make here at home! I’m going to save a lot of money now that I can make a delicious version in my own home. I’ve made Starbucks way too rich over the years!
I agree, keep that money in your pocket and have your treat too!
Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe! Will surely have this again! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!
Wonderful Allyssa, glad you enjoyed the macchiato.
I love Caramel Macchiato’s and I’m actually taking a break from Starbucks at the moment, so I’m pumped I found your recipe! Now I can make the perfect Caramel Macchiato at home. Thank you!
What perfect timing. Enjoy!
I needed to read this recipe! I am headed to the store tomorrow to grab all of these ingredients! Will be giving this a try soon!
Super!! Enjoy your cozy latte day.
Oh this is one of my favorite drinks to get at a coffee shop! I love that I can make it at home now. What a great recipe and easy to follow instructions!
Super easy and way too convenient haha! Enjoy.
Since this whole pandemic started, we have not been to the coffee shop. Not only has it saved us lots of money, but now we can make these delicious drinks right a home.
That’s dedication. I have been through the drive thru but I long to sit, relax, and people watch. Until then, it’s coffee at home.