Iced Caramel Macchiato

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See how easy it is to make this Starbucks favorite at home in less than 5 minutes using a Nespresso machine. The trick to making this drink is all in how it’s assembled.

Iced Caramel Macchiato drink in a glass cup.

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One of the most popular drinks at Starbucks, the Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato is a vanilla flavored espresso drink with cold milk, ice, and caramel drizzle. The only part of the drink that’s caramel is the drizzle on top.

This is my go-to drink at Starbucks and the first time I learned how to make this drink at home, I made it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. for a solid month. I was addicted, and I think you will too!

I got the recipe from a Starbucks barista (with exact instructions and ingredient measurements) and it’s the recipe I’m sharing with you here.

What’s unique about this drink is how it’s made. The vanilla syrup and milk are on the bottom, then espresso shots are poured on top of the milk and ice. A drizzle of caramel finishes the drink. For a drink to be an Iced Caramel Macchiato, the milk has to be at the bottom and the espresso on top.

To make this drink at home, you’ll need espresso and the easiest way to make espresso is with a Nespresso.

RELATED: Iced Americano

Ingredient Notes

Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato copycat recipe ingredients.
  • Espresso: Starbucks uses their signature dark roast espresso to make the drink. Use their espresso roast or a dark roasted coffee to get the closest in flavor.
  • Caramel sauce: It’s a little tricky to make this at home, so it’s best to buy it instead of making it from scratch. You can also use caramel syrup, which doesn’t contain dairy, but it’s not as rich in flavor as caramel sauce.
  • Vanilla syrup: This is super easy to make, so definitely go for homemade if you can. You can also use store-bought, directly from Starbucks.
  • 2% milk: Starbucks uses 2% milk to make this drink but you can use any kind you like.
  • Ice: Use filtered water to make ice. Starbucks makes their ice with triple filtered water.

For full ingredients and detailed instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Espresso shots poured on ice, milk, and vanilla syrup.

Step 1: Put vanilla syrup, milk, and ice into a cup, in that order. Add espresso shots.

Use 2 Nespresso espresso capsules to make espresso or 2 espresso shots from an espresso machine.

Carmel drizzled on espresso shots, ice, milk, and vanilla syrup,

Step 2: Drizzle caramel on top of the drink.

To drizzle the caramel like Starbucks, use their crosshatch design, which is 7 times vertically across the surface of the drink, 7 times horizontally, then 2 circles around the edge of the cup.

Jee’s Note

The drink is to be sipped without mixing or stirring. The first few sips will be espresso sweetened with caramel then as the espresso makes its way down the cup, it’ll taste like a vanilla latte.

Using a Nespresso

Nespresso machines are the easiest way to recreate Starbucks drinks at home.

1 shot of espresso = 1 Nespresso espresso capsule

To make a grande size Iced Caramel Macchiato, use 2 Nespresso espresso capsules or 1 double espresso capsule. You can use any espresso capsule you like, but to make it taste closest to the one at Starbucks, use their capsules.

Make sure you don’t use the coffee capsules for the Vertuo machines which make 7.77 ounces of coffee, and not espresso.

Starbucks uses regular espresso to make Iced Caramel Macchiato, but try making it at home with their Blonde espresso, which is smoother in taste.

Expert Tips

  • The drink must be made in a certain order for the drink to be an Iced Caramel Macchiato. Milk and vanilla syrup must be put into the cup first so that they’re at the bottom of the cup and then the espresso so that it sits on top. The caramel drizzle is added last, sitting on top of the drink, not stirred in.
  • If you don’t have an espresso machine or a Nespresso, you can use instant coffee. Combine 1 tablespoon of instant coffee and ¼ cup hot water to replace the 2 shots of espresso in the recipe.
  • You can get vanilla syrup directly from Starbucks by going to any of their locations and asking if they have any vanilla syrup available for purchase. They’ll sell it to you if they have enough in stock. It should cost around $25.

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Iced Caramel Macchiato (Starbucks Copycat)

By: Jee Choe
A Starbucks copycat recipe to make this refreshing and caffeinated iced drink at home.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1 serving (16 ounces)

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Put vanilla syrup, milk, then ice into a cup. Top with espresso shots.
    Add ingredients into the cup in that order. Use 2 Nespresso espresso pods or 2 espresso shots from an espresso machine.
    3 tablespoons vanilla syrup, 1 cup 2% milk, 1 cup ice, 2 capsules Nespresso espresso
  • Add caramel drizzle to the top of the drink.
    To add caramel just like Starbucks, drizzle in a crosshatch pattern, layering the caramel drizzle 7 times vertically across the surface of the drink, 7 times horizontally, then 2 circles around the edge of the cup.
    1 tablespoon caramel sauce

Notes

  • The drink must be made in a certain order for the drink to be an Iced Caramel Macchiato. Milk and vanilla syrup must be put into the cup first so that they’re at the bottom of the cup and then the espresso so that it sits on top. The caramel drizzle is added last, sitting on top of the drink, not stirred in.
  • 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.
  • Starbucks uses 2% milk for most of their drinks but you can use any kind you like.
  • The drink is to be sipped without mixing or stirring. The first few sips will be espresso sweetened with caramel then as the espresso makes its way down the cup, it’ll taste like a vanilla latte.
  • If you don’t have an espresso machine or a Nespresso, you can use instant coffee. Combine 1 tablespoon of instant coffee and ¼ cup hot water to replace the 2 shots of espresso in the recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 335Carbohydrates: 69gProtein: 8gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 236mgPotassium: 454mgFiber: 1gSugar: 56gVitamin A: 259IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 310mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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