As a barista (and certified coffee master, thank ya very much) at Starbucks in sunny South Florida, I can confidently say that I’ve made my fair share of iced Caramel Macchiatos. Even though it sounds fancy, I’m here to tell you that it’s actually super simple to make at home. As an added bonus, it doesn’t require any impossible to acquire syrups or sauces to make it taste like the real deal. This will definitely make it easier on the wallet, since a bottle of could set you back $65 or more.

The word “macchiato” means “to mark/stain” in Italian, which is why this drink is layered with milk on the bottom and the espresso on top. Although this idea makes a lot more sense in the hot form of the drink and you’re not really supposed to drink all of the sugary milk before you hit the espresso, it’s all about aesthetic in the iced form. But have no fear- a few swirls of the straw and you’re all set to go.

Courtesy of Morgan Nielsen

#SpoonTip: Running late? Don’t want to exert the effort to mix the drink up yourself? Ask for your iced caramel macchiato “upside down.” Sure, it totally defeats the purpose of a “macchiato”, but you were probably going to do it yourself anyway.

With all of that being said, read on to learn the witchcraft behind this tasty beverage to save yourself a few bucks and a few minutes of standing in line by making it yourself at home. Happy sipping!

Iced Caramel Macchiato Copycat Recipe

Courtesy of Morgan Nielsen

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1 "tall" (12 ounce) serving


2 teaspoon vanilla syrup

8 oz Cold milk of choice

4-5 Cubes of ice

2 oz Espresso

1 teaspoon Caramel sauce

STEP 1: Add vanilla syrup into your cup or glass. I used Starbucks brand vanilla syrup, which you can get for around $12 for a one-liter bottle. You can get it from any Starbucks store, as long as the store has enough on hand to spare one. Otherwise, you can use any vanilla flavored coffee syrup

Courtesy of Morgan Nielsen

STEP 2: On top of the syrup, pour in the milk of your choice. I used soy milk, but you can use whatever suits your fancy.If you’re using espresso, eight ounces of milk is perfect. If you’re using regularly brewed coffee, then I’d go with four ounces of milk to up the coffee:milk ratio.

Courtesy of Morgan Nielsen

STEP 3: Add ice. 

STEP 4: This is where it may get tricky. Starbucks obviously uses shots of espresso pulled from a multi-thousand dollar machine that literally no one can buy, but we can make do without. If you do happen to have an espresso machine or a pod-style coffee machine that can pull shots of espresso, then congrats! Just pour two shots over the icy vanilla milk mixture. Here, I used espresso pods from Starbucks’ Verismo machine.

Don’t have an espresso machine? No worries. As I mentioned above, just use half of the milk and top off the cup with strongly brewed regular coffee.

Courtesy of Morgan Nielsen

STEP 5: Drizzle with one teaspoon of caramel sauce. I used this recipe because it’s dank af, but any kind of thick caramel sauce will do. 

Courtesy of Morgan Nielsen

STEP 6: Enjoy your awesome “Starbucks” beverage from the comfort of your own home!