Better Than Starbucks Caramel Macchiato Recipe

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How to make a Caramel Macchiato at home better than Starbucks. Easy coffee recipe of rich coffee, steamed milk, and homemade vanilla syrup.
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Making a Caramel Macchiato at home is better than a trip to Starbucks. Making a Caramel Macchiato at home is also a lot easier than one would think. It is all about figuring out what ratio of espresso, milk, and sweetness that you prefer.

Those that know me well, know that I’m obsessed with that perfect cup of coffee. My mornings don’t start until I have my favorite latte in hand.

So when my favorite coffee shop closed it’s doors near me several years ago, I knew I had to figure out a way to continue enjoying my favorite coffee house drink, a caramel macchiato, at home.

Starbucks Copycat Caramel Macchiato Recipe
Starbucks Copycat Caramel Macchiato Recipe

How to Make a Caramel Macchiato at Home like Starbucks?

Espresso and milk is the base for most coffee house drinks, the hard part is figuring out what ratio you like best. But I was determined to figure it out. The hint of vanilla paired with the sweet delicousness of caramel continues to call my name.

Some days I like a bold, intense espresso flavor to get me going while others I prefer a sweeter sip.

An espresso machine is a must in my opinion and so is the use of espresso roast coffee. This intense blend of coffee adds that “coffee house” flavor to the beverage that really makes it stand out against all other coffee.

Whether you pick up the espresso blend of your favorite coffee shop brand or a more budget-friendly alternative from the grocery store, espresso is called espresso because it gives your at home latte’, cappuccino, or in our case caramel macchiato that unique coffee shop taste.

Homemade Caramel Macchiato Recipe
Homemade Caramel Macchiato Recipe

Why an espresso machine?

There is something unique about how an espresso machine is able to extract that pure, intense coffee flavor from the finely ground beans that just can’t be achieved from a coffee maker.

Some espresso machines can be very expensive and overly elaborate. But a simple espresso machine is really all you need.

You can find a budget-friendly espresso machine in stores or online. You might even luck up and find one at a garage sale or thrift shop. Once you learn how to make espresso, the machine really doesn’t matter as long as it produces espresso.

I’ve had several machines throughout the years. My current favorite is one I found at a thrift shop for only $5.

Making your own coffee house inspired drinks at home is all about figuring out your personal taste.

Use this recipe as a start and adjust it to your own personal preferences.

Before you know it, you’ll be sipping on your own custom, delicious, coffee shop inspired beverage that’s a bit more budget-friendly and a lot more convenient than a trip down the street.

Starbucks Caramel Macchiato Recipe
Starbucks Caramel Macchiato Recipe

What can I substitute for Espresso?

If you don’t have an espresso machine don’t worry about it. Now a days there are plenty of instant espresso options on the market that taste great!

Don’t like espresso?

Use your favorite coffee and brew it with double the strength.

Want to reduce the amount of caffeine but still enjoy a caramel macchiato?

Can’t tolerate caffeine but miss all your coffee house favorites?

No problem! I recently found a 100% caffeine-free coffee alternative that literally tastes just like coffee. I’m obsessed, it is SO good!

Better Than Starbucks Caramel Macchiato Copycat Recipe

Caramel Macchiato Recipe

The Domestic Diva
How to make a Caramel Macchiato at home better than Starbucks. Easy coffee recipe of rich coffee, steamed milk, and homemade vanilla syrup.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1


  • 1 1/2 cups steamed whole milk
  • 1/8 cup espresso
  • 2 1/2 tbsp vanilla simple syrup *
  • Drizzel: Caramel Ice cream Topping
  • Extra Creamy Whipped Cream

Vanilla Simple Syrup *

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


How to Make a Caramel Macchiato:

  • Using an electric milk frother or milk frothing attachment on your espresso machine, steam the whole milk until hot.
  • Pour the hot, steamed milk into a large coffee cup
  • Brew espresso roasted coffee according to the direction of your espresso machine.
  • Once brewed, add 1/8 cup of hot espresso to the steamed milk. (add more or less espresso to taste depending on how strong of a coffee flavor you prefer, but start out with less and slowly add a little bit at a time as espresso is very strong). 
  • Then, add the vanilla simple syrup to taste (again more or less depending on your desired level of sweetness). 
  • Stir until combined. 
  • Top with extra creamy whipped cream if you desire. Drizzle the caramel ice cream topping in a zig zag pattern on top of the whipped cream. 
  • Serve hot and enjoy carefully.

How to Make Homemade Vanilla Syrup:


In this recipe, I used caramel ice cream topping because it is a thick caramel sauce that can easily be found at the grocery store. All you need is a tiny bit drizzled over top of your finished drink. Caramel ice cream topping is different from caramel syrup in it’s consistency. To top our coffee house drink, we definitely want the thicker sauce. For the ever popular salted caramel macchiato, choose a salted caramel ice cream topping instead of regular caramel.
Check out my favorite kitchen gadgets for stay-at-home chefs on Amazon. 
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What is your favorite coffee house drink?

If you love coffee, you’ll want to check out our other coffee recipes like:

Homemade Sweet Cream Coffee Creamer Recipe
Homemade Sweet Cream Coffee Creamer Recipe
Make Your Own Iced Coffee

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  1. I would love to be able to make this at home. Starbucks is too expensive! My kids would love this.

  2. I love a good ice coffee. Yesterday, we finally broke down and bought some cold brew. My son made a cup and it was delicious. No need for watered down coffee by making ice coffee using regular hot coffee.

  3. This Caramel Macchiato looks absolutely fantastic and we will have fun making it some of these afternoons!

  4. That looks so delicious, I know so many people that would love this. Thanks for sharing!

  5. This seems simple enough to make, and I love caramel, I wish I liked coffee better though. I’ll share this with my son and DiL that are coffee fanatics!

  6. This looks so good! I’ll have to try making my own!

  7. This is my favorite drink when out. I am saving this so I can start making it at home.

  8. This sounds pretty amazing!!! I’ve never tried a caramel macchiato in Starbucks but I can imagine it’s good as their caramel frappuccino is. I need to try your version!!!

  9. I have been sick for a couple of days so coffee has been off of the agenda. This is sumptuous and tempting to me though, so I must be getting better!

  10. Oh wow! This looks so delicious! Will have to give this a try!

  11. I LOVE Starbucks but don’t love the price. Thank you for sharing such a delicious looking, super easy recipe for this copycat!

  12. I wish I had everything on hand to make this drink right now.

  13. Richelle Milar says:

    Oh my! This looks absolutely delicious and tasty! Can’t wait to try this recipe for my family!

  14. Monica Simpson says:

    This is what I need in my daily life! I can’t drink coffee without caramel!

  15. This recipe looks amazing. I definitely need to give this a try. I have not even tried a caramel macchiato before.

  16. This is great! My daughter has been looking for a recipe!

  17. This is my favorite coffee drink. I like that I can make it at home.

  18. Amber Myers says:

    This is the perfect fall drink. I am excited to try it out!

  19. How long does the simple syrup recipe stay good for? Would you store it in the fridge?

    1. Yes definitely store the simple syrup in the fridge. Mine has stayed good for several weeks. However there could be a variety of factors that would cause it to go bad. If you notice a change in color, smell, or see mold, definitely discard it and make a new batch.

  20. Awesome!!! I used the recipe and it tastes like the real thing. My wife and I are really enjoying the taste and the convenience. Thank you have saved much time and money$$$

    1. That’s great, Jeff! Thanks for coming back to the blog and sharing how it turned out.

  21. I made this recipe today and it is delicious!!

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