Learn how to make an iced caramel macchiato at home and you can enjoy this popular Starbucks inspired coffee drink in under 10 minutes!
Sweet, refreshing and super easy to make, this caramel iced coffee recipe is not only pretty to look at, it tastes delicious too (and costs way less than Starbucks!)
What is a Caramel Macchiato?
So what exactly is an iced caramel macchiato?
Starbucks introduced the hot caramel macchiato recipe over two decades ago and it is still one of their most popular coffee drinks.
It wasn’t long before the drink was made available in an iced version for lovers of iced coffee.
A Starbucks iced caramel macchiato is made with milk, vanilla syrup, caramel sauce and espresso.
Iced Caramel Macchiato vs Iced Caramel Latte
So why is the drink called a macchiato and not a latte or iced coffee?
It comes down to the order of ingredients in the glass.
A traditional Italian espresso macchiato is actually a shot of espresso “stained” with a small amount of textured milk.
The Starbucks macchiato recipe is a traditional macchiato in reverse – milk “stained” with espresso. This reverse order is what gives the cold caramel macchiato a pretty layered look.
In an iced coffee or iced latte, the coffee is typically added to the glass first, then topped with milk and stirred to combine.
The reverse order of ingredients is what differentiates it from a traditional iced coffee or iced latte.
So now we know what a macchiato is, let me show you how it is made.
Iced Caramel Macchiato Ingredients
To make your own iced caramel macchiato you will need:
- Vanilla syrup
- Caramel sauce (or syrup)
- Ice cubes
The vanilla syrup is an important ingredient in this recipe for iced caramel macchiato.
It flavors the milk and reduces some of the bitterness from the espresso shots.
I love the Torani range of flavored syrups.
They have a huge range of flavors and have sugar free and puremade ranges too.
My iced caramel macchiato recipe tastes best when made with shots of espresso from an espresso machine.
If you don’t own an espresso machine, a moka pot or Keurig makes a similar strong brew.
You can use any type of coffee grounds to brew your espresso, but I think a medium-dark or dark roast is best, as the flavor can hold up against the milk and syrup.
The drink is topped with caramel sauce. I love the Ghirardelli caramel sauce for a decadent option, but any brand works just as well.
If you don’t have caramel sauce, you can also use caramel syrup.
The Ghirardelli caramel sauce comes in an easy to use squeeze bottle and is perfect for iced coffee, ice cream and milkshakes.
They also have a huge range of flavors (including hot fudge sauce…) and are perfect to keep on hand for your favorite drinks and desserts.
How to make An Iced Caramel Macchiato At Home
Step 1 – Brew your espresso
The first step is to brew your espresso.
If you are using an espresso machine, pull a double shot and set aside.
With a moka pot, brew a small pot and measure about 60ml of brewed coffee to use in your iced macchiato.
Step 2 – Layer your drink
Now we are ready to build your layered iced caramel macchiato drink.
First add the vanilla syrup to the base of your glass.
I have listed 1 tablespoon in the recipe, but this caramel iced macchiato recipe is completely customizable to your preferences.
Add the ice cubes to the glass and gently pour your milk over the ice so as not to disturb the vanilla syrup too much.
Step 3 – Add your espresso
Next you want to carefully pour your espresso over your milk.
Pour gently and gradually to encourage the espresso to sit on top of the milk for a little while!
Should you stir an iced macchiato?
No you shouldn’t stir your caramel iced macchiato. When the drink is layered, you taste different flavors – working your way through the caramel, espresso and vanilla flavored milk.
If you mix the drink, these flavors will combine. It will still taste good, it just won’t look the same or have the same layered flavor taste.
Step 4 – Top with Caramel Sauce
Finally, drizzle your caramel sauce or syrup over the top of your drink.
I have listed 1 tablespoon, but again, totally up to you how much caramel sauce you add.
And that’s it! Pop a straw in and enjoy your delicious homemade caramel macchiato.
DIY Iced Caramel Macchiato Variations
Why not try these variations when you make your own iced caramel macchiato coffee?
- Why not try an iced salted caramel macchiato? The Ghirardelli sea salt caramel sauce is the perfect addition to this drink.
- For extra caramel flavor, add 1/2 tablespoon of caramel syrup to the base of your glass and mix with the vanilla syrup.
- Top with whipped cream and caramel sauce for the ultimate iced caramel macchiato coffee treat.
More Coffee Recipes to Try
If you loved this homemade iced caramel macchiato recipe recipe, here are some more great coffee drinks recipes to make at home.
- 30 Cold Coffee Recipes To Try
- Iced mocha coffee
- Homemade peppermint mocha frappe
- How to make cold brew in a French Press
- How to make Dalgona coffee
Looking for a new coffee maker? Our in depth coffee maker reviews can help you choose.
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- 1 tablespoon vanilla syrup
- 1/2 cup ice cubes
- 1 cup cold milk
- 2 shots espresso
- 1 tablespoon caramel sauce
- Brew 2 shots of espresso and set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon of vanilla syrup to the bottom of a large glass.
- Add 1/2 cup of ice to the glass and pour 1 cup of milk over the top.
- Slowly pour your espresso shots over the milk.
- Finish with a drizzle of caramel sauce on top.
To achieve the upside down caramel macchiato look, it is important to add your syrup, ice and milk to the glass first and to slowly pour your espresso over the top.
For an extra caramel taste, add some extra caramel sauce to the base of the glass with the vanilla syrup.
I have used caramel sauce in this recipe, but you can also use caramel syrup.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 249Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 210mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 0gSugar: 30gProtein: 9g
Please note that nutrition information is a computer generated estimate and should not be interpreted as a dietitian's advice. Values can vary greatly among brands, amounts and ingredients used.