Starbucks Caramel Sauce Copycat Recipe


Have you had a Starbucks gourmet drink with caramel sauce and thought, “I’d love to be able to replicate that delicious Starbucks Caramel Syrup?” It’s so sweet, creamy, rich and flavorful! You might have experienced it in drinks such as Caramel Macchiato, Salted Caramel Mocha, Caramel Frappuccino, Coffee Jelly Frappuccino, Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino, Caramel Brulee Latte, Cap N’ Crunch Frappuccino, Harry Potter Inspired Butterbeer Frappuccino, Twix Frappuccino, Raspberry Caramel Macchiato.

starbucks caramel sauce

Caramel Sauce Recipe

The other aspect of Starbucks caramel sauce is that it’s so versatile and is good not only on hot coffee drinks.

It’s good on a variety of things such as ice cream, pancakes, apple pie, French toast, cake, sticky buns, apples, donuts, truffles, nuts, pudding, smoothies and more.

How To Make Starbucks Caramel Sauce

Starbucks Caramel Sauce is quite easy to make. Just melt the butter, add the sugar and bring it to a boil until caramelized. Stir in the remaining ingredients and it’s as easy as that.

Caramel Sauce Ingredients

1 cup sugar
3 tbsp water
½ cup heavy whipping cream
4 tbsp butter cold
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt

Starbucks Caramel Sauce Instructions

1. Melt the butter, water, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and let boil for about 1 minute until browned.

2. Reduce heat and stir in cream. Expect caramel lumps to form, stir until smooth.

3. Stir in vanilla and salt. Remove from heat. Serve warm or let cool and enjoy!

Starbucks Naturally Flavored Caramel Syrup

There is a significant difference between Starbucks naturally flavored caramel syrup and Starbucks caramel sauce.

Caramel sauce is a creamier and richer flavored sauce that includes heavy cream in our recipe or milk is other recipes.

Caramel sauce, on the other hand, does not include milk and is waterier comparatively.

More About This Syrup

Caramel syrup can be homemade or purchased at the store. If you want the Starbucks brand you can buy it online.

Nutrition & More

If you’re someone who has dairy sensitivities or dairy allergies, you’re going to want to choose caramel syrup to avoid the heavy cream, which is what makes the caramel sauce a sauce as opposed to a syrup.

Caramel syrup in essence is fat free. It simply includes sugar and water as ingredients.   

But caramel sauce is higher in fat because of the addition of heavy cream into the mixture.

starbucks caramel sauce

Questions You May Have

Following are some frequently asked questions regarding Starbucks caramel sauce.

Is there a difference between caramel sauce and caramel syrup?

Traditionally, caramel sauce is made with dairy and includes either heavy cream or milk.

Caramel sauce is richer in flavor as opposed to caramel syrup with is waterier.

Can I make this drink without coffee?

Caramel sauce can be made without coffee and is not just for coffee. It can be used to enhance a variety of foods and drinks depending on your preference. 

Can I buy the Frappuccino base syrup instead of making it?

Yes, you can find it online and buy it from online vendors.

Starbucks Copycat Recipes

Following are some popular Starbucks copycat recipes that use the delicious Starbucks caramel sauce recipe included above.

Starbucks Copycat Iced Caramel Macchiato Recipe

Use 2 oz espresso, 1 tbsp vanilla syrup, 2 tbsp caramel sauce, 8 oz milk, and ice. Blend it all together and add the ice. Then add caramel and vanilla sauce until your heart’s content. Enjoy.

Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino Blended Beverage

Starbucks have several blended beverages on their menu, one of which is the Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino Blended Beverage.

This drink is made with a buttery caramel syrup that is blended into the coffee, along with milk and ice.

It is also topped with whipped cream and a caramel drizzle.

Better Than Starbucks Caramel Macchiato

Following is a recipe for making a caramel macchiato that is similar to the Starbucks version.

Use 1 cup of strong black coffee, 1-3 tsp sugar, 1 tbsp heavy cream, whipped cream is optional. Drizzle and mix in some caramel sauce. Serve and enjoy!

Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino Copycat

To make a Starbucks caramel Frappuccino, you’ll need the following ingredients listed below.

Recipe Highlights

The Caramel Frappuccino uses both the caramel syrup and the caramel sauce.

The caramel syrup along with coffee, milk and ice get blended in the blender.

Then they’re topped with whipped cream and drizzled with the caramel sauce. Serve and enjoy.

Ingredient Notes

3 Tbsp caramel sauce and a drizzle for the top
1 ½ tsp instant coffee
½ cup whole milk
1 cup ice
3 tbsp homemade Frappuccino base syrup

Whipped Cream

½ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp vanilla syrup

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Add instant coffee, milk, Frappuccino base syrup, and ice together and blend until smooth.

2. Top with whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce. Serve and enjoy!

starbucks caramel sauce in a jar

Expert Tips

Follow the recipe above to add ingredients in order as listed on the recipe. If you add them in a different order, the recipes will not turn out right.

You can use simple syrup in place of sugar where listed, if desired.

Hot vs Iced Coffee

Some people prefer hot coffee and some prefer iced coffee. It’s a matter of personal preference.

And some say it depends on the weather. For example, if it’s hot outside they might prefer to enjoy iced coffee instead of adding a hot beverage to their already hot body.

And if it’s cold outside, they might prefer a hot coffee to help warm up.

Homemade Caramel Sauce

One of the benefits of consuming homemade caramel sauce as opposed to store-bought caramel sauce is that it tastes better and isn’t chock full of preservatives and unnecessary chemicals.

The other benefit is that you can save yourself so much money by making your caramel sauce and blended coffee drinks at home.

Saving upwards of $5 each time you enjoy a drink is so worth it. And you can make ones that taste just as good at home.

Fontana Caramel Sauce

You might have heard of Fontana caramel sauce. And it’s a popular name brand. If you’re a huge Starbucks fan, you’ll want to know that Fontana syrups are essential Starbucks syrups with a different brand.

This helps them to keep the Starbucks experience distinct from home.

Starbucks Caramel Syrup Recipe

Use ¾ cup sugar, 1 ½ cups water divided and 1 tsp caramel flavored extract. And follow the instructions in the next paragraph. 

Starbucks Caramel Syrup for Coffee and Tea

To make this recipe use the ingredients listed above and mix sugar and ¾ cup of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and let boil until caramelized. Remove from heat and add remaining water. Allow to cool.

Step 1: Dissolve Sugar in Water.

Dissolve ¾ cup sugar in ¾ cup water.

Step 2: Wait for Sugar to Caramelize.

Boil until the sugar mixture begins to caramelize.

Step 3: Add Caramel Flavoring and Additional Water.

Remove from heat and add the additional water to the caramel flavoring.

Where to Buy a Bottle of Starbucks Syrup

If you want to enjoy a Starbucks copycat drink you might be wondering where to buy a bottle of Starbucks syrup. If you don’t want to make it homemade, you can buy a bottle online.

See How Easy it is to Make Simple Syrup

Simple syrup is a syrup that is used to help flavor a mixed drink. You can see our recipe for simple syrup here. And this recipe for Peppermint Simple Syrup might also come in handy.

How to Make Caramel Simple Syrup

The only thing that’s needed to make caramel simple syrup is granulated white sugar and water. You’ll need two cups of each.

To make it place the sugar in a medium saucepan over low heat. Allow the sugar to start melting slowly.

As the sugar begins to melt, stir slowly. Once the sugar has melted, bring it to a boil and continue to boil until it reaches a dark amber color.

Remove from heat. Wearing oven gloves for protection, slowly pour the water into the cooked sugar, stirring until smooth. Let cool and store to keep fresh.

Caramel Sauce vs. Caramel Drizzle

Caramel sauce and caramel drizzle can be one in the same thing, depending how they are presented. Caramel sauce refers to a caramel liquid that includes dairy as an ingredient making it rich and smooth.

Caramel drizzle can be caramel sauce or caramel syrup. It refers more to how the liquid product is presented.

A drizzle is typically a thin stream of caramel that is added to a food with a back and forth motion.

The Best Caramel Sauce Recipe

We think this is one of the best caramel sauce recipes because it is rich in flavor, easy to make and tastes almost identical to the real Starbucks caramel sauce.

Try it for yourself and see what you think.

Starbucks Sauce vs Syrup: Adding To Your Coffee Experience

We have explained the difference between Starbucks Sauce vs Syrup in that the sauce is the one that contains the dairy ingredient and tastes richer.

But adding either of these flavorings to your coffee experience can enhance it greatly.

Whether you enjoy hot coffee or cold coffee, adding syrups and sauces just might be the deal breaker to drinking coffee at home for you.

Used for Sauces and Syrups

Sauces and Syrups that are flavored take a drink such as coffee and make it something even better.

It takes it from plain and makes it gourmet in a sense. And then if you’re going to blend it with milk or ice, it makes it an even larger ticket item. Just observe any coffee house menu and see what we mean.

Starbucks Sauces

Starbucks sauces can be found in flavors including caramel, pumpkin, chocolate, white chocolate, and mocha, to name a few.

Starbucks Syrups

Starbucks syrups can be found in flavors such as caramel, raspberry, hazelnut, vanilla, peppermint, and chestnut praline, to name a few.

Customizing a Drink With Sauces and Syrups

Customizing a drink with sauces and syrups helps to take it from meh to gourmet. It makes it something special.

There are so many sauces and syrups as well as uses for them, that there are really unlimited options.

Try making and customizing your drinks and home to see what your favorites are.

Best Caramel Drinks At Starbucks: 10 Starbucks Caramel Drinks To Try

Below are what some believe to be the best caramel drinks to try at Starbucks. And since it’s fun to make things at home, you might like to experiment making your own copycat recipe based on the description.

10 Caramel Starbucks Drinks To Try

Here are the 10 Caramel Starbucks Drinks To Try

1. Caramel Macchiato

A caramel macchiato drink is made with freshly steamed milk, vanilla syrup, a bit of espresso and it’s topped with caramel drizzle as the star of the show.

2. Salted Caramel Mocha

Mocha sauce is mixed with toffee nut syrup, Starbucks espresso and steamed milk to make a wonderful salted caramel mocha.

It’s then topped with whipped cream, caramel drizzle and sugar and sea salt to make a delicious Salted Caramel Mocha.

3. Caramel Frappuccino

Caramel Frappuccino is made by blending caramel syrup, coffee, milk and ice. It’s topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of buttery caramel sauce.

4. Caramel Coffee Jelly Frappuccino

Make this drink with three layers. Those layers are coffee jelly, caramel Frappuccino blended with ice and milk, and top it off with whipped cream and a caramel drizzle.

It’s a perfect caramel coffee jelly Frappuccino.

5. Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino

Blend caramel syrup with coffee, ice and milk, then top it with dark caramel sauce, whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce and crunchy caramel topping for a beautiful Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino.

6. Caramel Brulee Latte

Caramel Brulee Latte is made from espresso, steamed milk, caramel brulee, whipped cream and more caramel brulee.

7. Cap N’ Crunch Frappuccino

This one comes from the Starbucks secret menu. If you like Cap N’ Crunch Cereal, then you’re probably going to like Cap N’ Crunch Frappuccino.

Use strawberries and crème Frappuccino, caramel syrup, toffee syrup, hazelnut syrup, and top it off with whipped cream. 

8. Harry Potter Inspired Butterbeer Frappuccino

This one also comes from the Starbucks secret menu. It uses the base of Crème Frappuccino, add caramel syrup, toffee nut syrup, caramel drizzle and is topped with whipped cream for a Harry Potter Inspired Butterbeer Frappuccino.

9. Twix Frappuccino

A Twix Frappuccino begins with espresso coffee blended with milk and ice. Use caramel syrup, hazelnut syrup, chocolate syrup, and top it with whipped cream and Twix stick.

10. Raspberry Caramel Macchiato

The Raspberry Caramel Macchiato is on the Starbucks secret menu. It is the same as the Caramel Macchiato but uses raspberry syrup on the bottom instead of vanilla syrup. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are frequently asked questions that relate to homemade Starbucks Caramel Sauce. If you have a question that’s not answered here, feel free to drop it to us in the comments box below. 

What’s the best way to use this caramel sauce?

The best way to use this homemade caramel sauce is in your favorite coffee drinks.

It’s delicious in coffee frappuccino, cold coffee drinks, classic espresso beverages, pumpkin spice latte, signature caramel macchiato, white chocolate mocha, signature cafe beverages, and probably the most popular includes being drizzled in iced caramel macchiatos. 

And hey, if you’re not into coffee or a similar drink, use it on top of ice cream. It’s that delicious.

It’s made with simple ingredients with a simple recipe and natural flavors.

What’s the best thing about this caramel sauce recipe?

It’s hard to name just one thing. But we love the unique flavor and the fact that it includes a slightly buttery flavor.

It’s so good that your sweet tooth craving for that sweet taste might not know it’s not the real thing. 

These are part of what make it have its delicious flavor and is so readily enjoyed by nearly a ton of people.

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

3 thoughts on “Starbucks Caramel Sauce Copycat Recipe”

  1. Tastes great. The issue is that the caramel seizes as soon as it’s added to a cold drink like a macchiato. It forms a hard lump.

    • Thanks for using the recipe. Likely it was cooked too long because this shouldn’t happen. This is a dissolvable caramel syrup when added to drinks or a great drizzle for desserts. Hope that helps.

    • 5 stars
      Yeah, the instruction “boil until brown” is the key. It seems like there is very little room between cooking it a bit too little and it desolves on the way down in the drink, and cooking it a bit too much and it becomes way too chewy to be able to drink. This is a yummy, workable recipe though, so I’m going to keep making it til I get the perfect hardness. Our kids can eat the mistakes over ice cream 🙂


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