How To Make Starbucks-Style Caramel Macchiato At Home

Make this coffee shop drink, hot or cold.

IMAGE Roselle Miranda

Miss hanging out in cafes and sipping on your favorite coffee? If caramel macchiato is one of your favorites, don't worry: you can actually make it at home! It's one of those drinks that seem deceptively easy to make since there are a few parts to the drink. 

There are four parts to the caramel macchiato: 

  1. 1 espresso 
  2. 2 vanilla syrup  
  3. 3 steamed milk and froth 
  4. 4 caramel syrup 

You need to make and prepare each of these components first before you can put it together to create the signature beverage. 

Here are all the ingredients plus a few tips on how to make this coffee drink at home: 

Photo by Roselle Miranda
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How to Make Vanilla Syrup

First, you need to make each of the syrups. Here's how to make the vanilla syrup:

  1. 1 Bring 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar to a boil. Simmer for 1 minute. 
  2. 2 Remove from heat and set aside to let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. 
  3. 3 Add and stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Transfer to a container and let cool completely. 

How to Make Caramel 

The second syrup is caramel and this requires more cooking than the vanilla syrup. Here's how to make caramel syrup: 

  1. 1 In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1/3 cup sugar in 2 tablespoons salted butter, occasionally stirring with a silicone spatula, until the sugar is melted.
  2. 2 Let simmer without stirring until the small, fast-forming bubbles turn into large, slow-forming bubbles. Swirl as needed to prevent any one spot from turning too dark.
  3. 3 Remove from heat. Pour in 1/4 cup all-purpose cream, then stir, being careful of the steam.
  4. 4 Once mixed and homogenous, transfer to a squeeze bottle and set aside to cool completely. Makes about 1/3 cup caramel syrup. 

If you simmer the sugar too long, it can cool down and be too thick to drizzle easily once cooled. Thin it down with 1 to 2 tablespoons more heated cream to reach drizzling consistency. 

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How to Make Frothy Milk 

The steamed milk and the froth that results are probably the hardest part of making the macchiato. The froth easily dissipates if it's not frothed enough. This is easy to do if you have a frother from when you indulged your dalgona coffee fix or have invested in an espresso maker with a frother.

However, even if you don't have a frother, you can still make it. To ensure you achieve maximum froth, here are steps plus tips to remember to make it work:

  1. 1 Heat 1 cup fresh milk. Do it in a saucepan or microwave, frothy milk is best achieved when the milk is hot. 
  2. 2 Grab a whisk and a bowl, transfer the hot milk to the bowl, then start whisking. Use the largest whisk and biggest bowl you have to incorporate air better and faster into the hot milk. 
  3. 3 Once you have create enough froth, you're ready to assemble.    

How to Make A Caramel Macchiato At Home 

Time to assemble this beverage. Here's how to do it step by step: 

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  1. 1 Make 1 espresso shot (about 2 tablespoons) or a strong 1/3 cup brewed coffee. Set aside.  
  2. 2 Pour about 1 tablespoon vanilla syrup into the bottom of a mug. 
  3. 3 Fill the mug with the hot milk. Scoop the milk froth on top. 
  4. 4 Pour the espresso shot into the mug through the froth. 
  5. 5 Squeeze caramel all over the top of the milk froth. 
  6. 6 Enjoy! 

Want to make this into an iced coffee beverage? Make it without the milk froth and substitute it with whipped cream on top.   

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