Do you love sipping on Starbucks Caramel Macchiato but it’s just too painful on the pocket?
I’ve been enjoying this delicious drink for years until I finally decided to go make one at home. Now, whenever I crave something sweet to go with my caffeine fix, my go-to beverage is a homemade caramel macchiato. Or a mocha 😉
In this article, I’ll let you in on my caramel macchiato recipe that brings the coffee shop to your kitchen counter. Trust me, this will make your mornings worth getting up for.
What is a Caramel Macchiato
Caramel macchiato is a sweet coffee drink that adds a twist to the classic macchiato, by combining the rich espresso and foamy milk with sweet caramel sauce and vanilla syrup. This harmony of flavors creates a truly decadent beverage that is perfect for warming you up on chilly mornings or late-night musings.
The origins of the caramel macchiato can be traced back to Italy, where “macchiato” simply means “stained” or “marked.” The traditional version of this drink typically involves adding just a small amount of foam on top of a shot of espresso. However, the modern variation that most people are familiar with today features lots of frothy steamed milk topped off with deliciously gooey caramel drizzle, made popular by Starbucks, the “candy shop of coffee” as I like to call them.
Jokes aside, this is a truly yummy treat. What I love about this recipe is that by tweaking the ratios of macchiato and adding the flavors of caramel and vanilla, you can have a totally different drinking experience — it indulges you in a delectable drink that hits your sweet tooth while satisfying your coffee needs.
Equipment & Ingredients Used to Make a Caramel Macchiato
Here are the things that you will need to make a caramel macchiato:
- Espresso machine: Used to extract high-quality espresso for the drink. You can also use other brewing methods to make your expresso.
- Glass or mug: Used as a container to combine all the ingredients. I recommend a 16 oz glass for this recipe.
- Milk steamer/frother: Used to create a velvety milk foam that is combine with the espresso mixture.
- 18 g ground coffee: Used to make a double shot of espresso for the drink. I prefer medium roast as it blends with the flavor of caramel.
- 1 tbsp caramel sauce: Used to give the caramel macchiato its sweet and rich flavor. Set aside a little extra for the caramel drizzle.
- 0.5 tbsp vanilla Syrup: Provides an authentic vanilla taste that is equally important as the caramel in the drink. You can use store-bought or homemade vanilla syrup.
- 230 ml whole milk: Used to create a creamy texture when steamed and frothed for the drink.
Step-by-Step Guide to Make Caramel Macchiato
Preparing this recipe might seem intimidating at first but don’t worry; it’s actually quite simple even if you’re not an experienced barista. Here are the steps to make a caramel macchiato at home:
1. Put the caramel sauce and vanilla syrup together in a pitcher.
- In a pitcher, add 1/2 tablespoon caramel sauce and vanilla syrup.
- There’s no need to mix them just yet.
2. Pull a double espresso shot.
- Add and tamp 18 grams of ground coffee into the portafilter.
- Pull 2 espresso shots straight into the pitcher, over the caramel sauce and vanilla syrup.
3. Mix the espresso, caramel sauce, and vanilla syrup.
- Stir well to combine all three liquid ingredients.
- This step is crucial for the even distribution of flavors throughout the drink.
4. Steam 230ml of milk.
- Using your espresso machine’s steamer or a separate milk frother, steam the milk until velvety foam forms on top.
- Pour the steamed milk into the glass or mug where the final drink will be.
5. Slowly pour the coffee, caramel, and vanilla syrup mixture into the milk.
- Add the prepared mixture of caramel, syrup, and espresso to the glass of frothed milk.
- Ensure that it spreads and blends underneath the milk’s surface while the milk foam settles on top.
Barista tip: You can hide the little coffee spot where you poured your coffee in, by putting a spoonful of foam onto it. This is a great coffee hack not many people know about, but now you do!
6. Add a drizzle of caramel on top.
- Drizzle the rest of the caramel sauce on top in a grid-like pattern.
- Serve while it’s hot and enjoy.
What kind of cup should you serve a caramel macchiato in?
Use a glass mug that can hold about 12 oz of liquid. The transparent glass makes the drink more appealing as it allows you to see how the milk froth and espresso blend creates a layered drink.
Barista Tips for This Caramel Macchiato Recipe
You can make this recipe even better and more suited to your taste. Check out these additional tips to help you make a delicious caramel macchiato every time:
- Use freshly roasted whole beans and grind them right before brewing. They’ll give you a richer flavor with more complexity and nuance than pre-ground coffee.
- I recommend these dark roasted beans with this recipe, since it goes well with the sweetness of the caramel and vanilla.
- Whole milk gives the drink the creamiest texture, but you can experiment with different types of milk. Instead of whole milk, use almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, or cashew milk until you find your perfect match. Just remember that some alternative milks like oat and rice milk have a natural sweetness already.
- I also add a tiny pinch of sea salt to the caramel sauce. It can really enhance the flavor and balance out the sweetness. My grandma said that you always put a bit of salt into anything sweet.
- If you want something for the hot season, make an iced caramel macchiato. The steps are very similar, but instead of steaming your milk, you only add ice. After pouring the mixture of espresso, vanilla syrup, and caramel sauce on top of your iced milk, you then add a layer of milk foam made with a hand frother and drizzle it with more caramel sauce.
- Make the most of your espresso knowledge by also making other espresso-based drinks like lattes, cappuccino, and caffè mocha.
With the simple steps that I just shared with you, you can now make your very own homemade caramel macchiato that’s just as delicious and satisfying as the $6 one from Starbucks.
Say goodbye to overpriced drinks and hello to a cozy morning routine in the comfort of your home. So grab those ingredients and equipment, and let me know in the comments how the recipe went for you.