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How to Make a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato - With This Easy Copycat Recipe

Updated on December 15, 2012
The Caramel Macchiato is one of Starbucks most popular beverages.
The Caramel Macchiato is one of Starbucks most popular beverages. | Source

Starbucks Caramel Macchiato is an espresso based beverage that is sold at Starbucks locations all around the world. The Caramel Macchiato was originally served hot, but has been adapted into a cold, iced beverage as well.

For the hot version of the drink it starts with pumps of vanilla syrup in the bottom of the cup. Next, hot steamed milk is added to the cup with a small amount of foam on the top making sure to leave a little room in the cup. Then shots of espresso are poured into the cup through the foam. This is called “marking” the foam; the term macchiato actually means marked in Italian. Finally, the caramel sauce is added on top, in a back and forth hash-mark design.

The proportions of the ingredients are adjusted depending on the size of the beverage. For a tall Caramel Macchiato the barista will use 2 pumps of vanilla and 1 shot of espresso; for a grande 3 pumps of vanilla and 2 shots of espresso are used; and when making a venti sized drink 4 pumps of vanilla and 2 shots of espresso are included. The steamed milk and caramel are not measured exactly and are instead eyeballed.

The cold version is made pretty much the same way, except that cold milk is substituted for the steamed milk, and a scoop of ice is added before the shots are poured in. The cold beverage is one of the most unique looking drinks served, as you can see the separation of color between the cold milk and shots of espresso in the clear cup cold beverages are served in.

A grande sized Caramel Macchiato made with 2% milk has 240 calories and 7 grams of fat. This can be reduced by making the beverage with skim milk or with sugar free vanilla syrup.

Other variations to the standard Caramel Macchiato recipe include making it with different flavor syrups such as hazelnut or toffee nut, adding whipped cream on top, or making the beverage with additional espresso shots for a stronger flavor. The Caramel Macchiato is one of the top selling beverages at Starbucks as well as being a popular drink elsewhere. Starbucks sells their espresso beans, syrups and caramel sauce in the store; this means that you can recreate this beverage at home if you have your own espresso maker. Enjoy!

This video shows how a caramel macchiato is carefully made.  This isn't a Starbucks film, but gets the basic idea across.  This is easily a drink you can make at home if you have an espresso maker.


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      Fay Paxton 6 years ago

      Thank you so much for this. My daughter will love you forever. I think she lives for a caramel machiato.