Create the Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato with this simple copycat recipe

7 min read APR 08, 2023

As health-conscious people, we don’t usually indulge in the sugary drinks most often found at chain coffee shops such as Starbucks. However, there is something to be said about an Iced Caramel Macchiato on a hot summer day––even if just for a cheat day treat.

The good news? Most of Starbucks’ drinks can be made at home, with your own coffee (for example, the low acid and much healthier overall Lifeboost Coffee) and your own milk and flavoring preferences.

Let’s show you how to recreate the deliciousness of a classic Starbucks’ Iced Caramel Macchiato from the comfort of your own home in just five minutes. The key to enjoying this sweet treat is to have a good espresso or Nespresso machine.

Once you’ve mastered these basic steps, experiment a bit with some healthier options––switch out the standard vanilla syrup with one made from stevia or plant-based sugars for example. This way you can treat yourself with a bit less guilt!

Recipe Highlights

  • Delight in the divine combination of espresso infused with vanilla, delightfully chilly milk, and a silky smooth caramel drizzle. Every sip will tantalize you as the sweet drip is the only element to bestow that lingering flavor of caramel.
  • This one-of-a-kind beverage will excite your taste buds - it begins with a luscious blend of vanilla syrup and steamed milk in the cup. A freshly brewed espresso adds depth, followed by an indulgent drizzle of caramel for that final touch.
  • The espresso must be poured over the milk to make an Iced Caramel Macchiato, not vice versa.
  • Take an Iced Vanilla Latte and give it a dazzling twist by starting with espresso at the bottom, followed by steamed milk, and ultimately topped off with alluring caramel drizzle.
  • Recreate your favorite Starbucks beverage easily using either a Nespresso or an espresso.

Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato

The Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato is a beloved drink among coffee lovers. It is a beverage made with espresso, vanilla syrup, 2% milk, and ice – all topped off with caramel sauce in a crosshatch design. Customers can choose from three different sizes of this drink: tall (12 ounces), grande (16 ounces), and venti (24 ounces).

For those looking for fewer calories or less caffeine, the tall size provides 180 calories and 75 mg of caffeine; the grande has 250 calories and 150 mg of caffeine, while the venti contains 350 calories and 225 mg of caffeine. Customizations like ordering "upside down" or adding extra caramel drizzle are also available to make it unique to your taste.

The Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato will satisfy you whether you're searching for a classic flavor or a new twist on an old favorite.

Ingredient Information


Starbucks is devoted to proffering the best flavor in every cup of latte by using its signature dark roast espresso. To achieve this taste profile, you can pick between their espresso blend or a coffee bean that has been carefully roasted until deeply flavorful.

Caramel Sauce

Crafting this at home can be complicated, so if you'd like to make your life easier, consider buying it instead. If you want to avoid dairy products altogether, caramel syrup is an option - however, it's not as flavorful as traditional caramel sauce.

Vanilla Syrup

Making homemade vanilla syrup is incredibly easy and rewarding. Nevertheless, the store-bought syrup will still proffer a delicious flavor if you don't have the time or resources to make your own. Either way, adding some sweetness to drinks with a splash of vanilla syrup will surely bring out the best in them.

2% milk

At Starbucks, most of their drinks are made with 2% milk as a default option. Nevertheless, customers can customize their beverage and switch out the 2% milk for a different type of dairy, such as whole or skim, if they choose.


Transform your drinks into flavorful refreshers by adding filtered water to produce ice cubes. Starbucks refuses to settle and has taken this up with its triple-filtered water, offering an unmatched flavor sensation in all its iced beverages.

Steps to Follow

1. Fill a cup with vanilla syrup, milk, and ice before adding the delicious combination of two Nespresso pods or pulling two shots from an espresso machine.

2. Drizzle a layer of sweet caramel over the top.

Use a Nespresso

Nespresso machines proffer a convenient way to enjoy barista-level coffee drinks right in your home. With the simple push of a button, each Nespresso capsule can produce one shot of rich and flavorful espresso with Starbucks-quality results.

To make a big size Iced Caramel Macchiato, use two Nespresso capsules. Ensure that the capsules are not for the Vertuo machines, which produce 7.77 ounces of coffee and not espresso.

For a taste closest to what you get at Starbucks, opt for their espresso capsules - they use regular espresso, but many prefer the blonde espresso when making it at home, as it has been more popularly reviewed.

Ensure all ingredients are properly combined and thoroughly stirred before adding ice cubes to get the perfect iced macchiato. Serve in your favorite tall tumbler glass with a straw, and enjoy.

Expert Tips

Pour milk and vanilla syrup into the cup to prepare a delectable Iced Caramel Macchiato. Ensure the liquids settle at the bottom before adding a shot of espresso for contrast. Finally, top off your drink with a generous drizzle of caramel without stirring it in. You can create the perfect refreshing and indulgent summertime treat with proper care.

The ideal way to enjoy the drink is to not mix or stir it. Upon taking a sip, you will be met with an espresso flavor sweetened by caramel notes. As you continue drinking, the espresso taste will become more subtle and be replaced by creamy vanilla latte-like flavors.

To achieve Starbucks' signature caramel topping, start by drizzling a layer of caramel across the surface of your drink in a crosshatch pattern. Continue layering the caramel seven times vertically, then seven times horizontally. Finally, add two circles around the outer edge of the cup for a finished look.

Vanilla syrup can be easily acquired from Starbucks. Simply head to one of their stores and inquire if they have vanilla syrup in stock. If so, you can purchase it for approximately fourteen dollars. Purchasing your vanilla syrup from Starbucks is a convenient way to get the flavor you love without worrying about running out.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

How do I store leftover vanilla syrup?

If you purchase store-bought vanilla syrup, it's best to refrigerate it and use it within a month. Nevertheless, an airtight container kept at room temperature for the homemade syrup should keep it fresh for up to a month. So if you make your own, you don't have to worry about keeping it in the refrigerator unless you plan on using it beyond a month.

Does Starbucks use triple-filtered water in its iced beverages?

Yes, Starbucks uses triple-filtered water for all its iced beverages. It ensures that no impurities from regular tap water interfere with the flavor profile, allowing for an unparalleled taste experience. The triple filtration process also helps preserve and enhance the flavors of the espresso and syrups used in making your favorite drinks.

How many Nespresso capsules should I use for one cup?

For a big size Iced Caramel Macchiato, use two Nespresso capsules. Ensure that the capsules are not for the Vertuo machines, which produce 7.77 ounces of coffee and not espresso.

What's in Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato?

Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato is the perfect treat for coffee lovers looking for a sweet and refreshing beverage. This grande-sized drink is crafted with two shots of espresso, three pumps of vanilla syrup, and 2% milk and topped off with an artful drizzle of caramel sauce. All these flavors combine to create an unforgettable taste that will satisfy your cravings anytime. Enjoy this delicious iced macchiato and let it refresh you like never before.

Can I make this drink without espresso?

You can still make a delicious latte without an espresso machine or Nespresso. Instead of espresso, use more concentrated coffee or cold brew to replicate the desired taste. It will assist you enjoy your favorite latte recipes even when you can't access an espresso machine. Plus, it's a great way to try new flavors and get creative with your coffee drinks.

Can I make this drink with Oat milk?

Oat milk is an ideal substitute for dairy in drinks, as it can easily replicate regular milk's creamy texture and delicious flavor. Thanks to its use by Starbucks, oat milk has become a popular choice for those looking for non-dairy alternatives without sacrificing taste. It is perfect for making coffee, tea, or any other drink that requires a creamy texture; your beverage will surely have excellent flavor when made with oat milk.

What is an Upside Down Iced Caramel Macchiato?

Indulge in the delightful taste of an upside-down Iced Caramel Macchiato. Start by pouring caramel sauce into the cup before adding espresso, then pour in cold milk and top it off with ice. To sweeten things up, a drizzle of vanilla syrup completes the perfect drink. Enjoy this unique twist on your favorite coffee beverage.

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Espresso.


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