Get our FREE coffee cheat sheet and get your coffee brew perfect every time.
When you sign up to our newsletter

    By entering your email address you agree to receive emails from Above Average Coffee. We'll respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time.

    Caramel Starbucks Drinks (The Sweetest Side of Coffee)

    by Scott Deans | Last Updated: May 25, 2022

    This site participates in various affiliate programs including Amazon’s. Purchases made via our links may result in commission at no additional cost to you.

    With a Starbucks on practically every corner, they make it easy to get a coffee fix. But, what do they offer in the way of caramel?

    Starbucks has four different caramel syrups, and four different caramel toppings listed on their menu. You can try drinks from the well-loved Caramel Macchiato to their (almost vegan) Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Macchiato and in between.

    For all the caramel and coffee lovers, we have a list of treats in store for you! We’ll show you all of the Starbucks Caramel drinks we found on the menu, and give you some tips for creating off-the-menu caramel drinks. Let’s dive into some caramel goodness!

    A starbucks caramel frappuccino

    Caramel Syrups and Sauces at Starbucks

    The main difference between caramel sauces and caramel syrups is that the sauces contain milk products (like cream and butter) while caramel syrup doesn’t. Here are a few fun facts about Starbucks’ tasty caramel flavorings.

    1. Caramel syrup

    Caramel syrup does not contain any milk products. In fact, Starbucks lists just three simple ingredients for their caramel syrup: cane sugar, natural flavors, and vegetable colors. Caramel syrup is generally used for iced coffee drinks. This is because it is thinner and dissolves easier into cold drinks than caramel sauces.

    2. Caramel sauce

    caramel syrup dripping from a spoon

    The main ingredients in caramel sauce are sugar, corn syrup, butter, and heavy cream. Caramel sauce is used in Frappuccinos, as a drizzle topping, and also to line the inside of iced coffee cups.

    3. Dark caramel sauce

    Starbucks dark caramel sauce has a deeper, richer taste than regular caramel sauce. This sauce contains sweetened condensed milk and butter among other ingredients. The Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino is the main drink using this dark sauce.

    4. Caramel Brulee Sauce

    This seasonal caramel sauce is a favorite among customers. When the winter season rolls around, the caramel brulee sauce has its time to shine in the Caramel Brulee Latte.

    4 Caramel Toppings for Starbucks drinks

    If you love the taste of caramel, why not add a caramel topping to your favorite Starbucks beverage? Here are four caramel toppings Starbucks offers.

    1. Salted caramel cream cold foam

    Caramel syrup is whipped together with vanilla sweet cream cold foam. Then a pinch of salt is added to round out these sweet flavors. This delicious cold foam is used to top cold brews. But why not try this topping on an iced mocha, as well?

    2. Caramel drizzle

    A Skinny Caramel Macchiato

    Caramel drizzle is just a light topping of caramel sauce. This topping is added to many caramel beverages and frappuccinos. The buttery taste adds a little extra energy to any drink!

    3. Caramel sugar topping

    This crunchy caramel sugar topping is delicious but underused. It seems the only drink at Starbucks to use this topping is the Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino. When you create your own secret caramel recipe, don’t forget to ask for this topping!

    4. Caramel brulee topping

    The caramel brulee topping is seasonal just like the caramel brulee sauce. This crunchy, caramel-y topping is delicious on top of hot or cold drinks. To try it, catch the Caramel Brulee Latte (or frappuccino) between November and January before it goes away!

    Starbucks Ordering Hacks for Caramel drinks

    For the “best” caramel drink order at Starbucks, here are a few helpful hacks:

    Get more drink with a cold venti

    Grande Starbucks iced coffees are the same size as Grande hot drinks. However, you get an extra perk when you order the Venti size. A Venti iced drink holds 24 fl oz. These cold cups are significantly larger than the hot venti size cups (which are only 20 fl oz in size) so there is room for ice. Order light ice to get more coffee in your cup!

    Substitute syrups

    If your order already has a sauce or syrup, you can substitute another sauce or syrup in its place. This means that you can replace a vanilla syrup with caramel syrup or a caramel syrup with dark caramel sauce. Pack in as much caramel into your drink as you want!

    Order Vegan with Caramel Syrup

    Caramel sauce contains milk products, but caramel syrup does not! So, if you want your Starbucks order to be vegan, substitute caramel sauce for caramel syrup and choose a vegan-friendly milk option.

    Ice your favorite drinks on hot days

    close up of an iced latte from above

    Any hot espresso-based drink can also be an iced drink at Starbucks if you ask. Instead of steaming the milk, the barista will pour cold milk over your espresso so no hot liquid melts the ice. An ice-cold coffee is a refreshing treat on hot days.

    Take Starbucks home

    To make your own Starbucks caramel coffee drinks at home, you can buy Starbucks’ caramel syrup or Starbucks’ Fontana Caramel Sauce on Amazon.

    With a few tips under your belt, let’s check out all of the caramel drinks we found on Starbucks’ regular menu. (Did we miss any? Let us know!) We’ve included a few popular Secret Menu Drinks, as well!

    The Best 15 Starbucks Caramel Drinks

    Caramel Starbucks Drinks (Grande Size)CaffeineCaloriesSugar
    1.Caramel Macchiato150 mg25033g
    2. Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew185 mg22024g
    3. Salted Caramel Mocha175 mg47059g
    4. Caramel Apple Spice.0 mg38070g
    5. Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Macchiato150 mg20029g
    6. Caramel Brulee Latte (Seasonal)150 mg41048g
    7. Caramel Frappuccino90 mg38054g
    8. Salted Mocha Frappuccino100 mg42063g
    9. Caramel Ribbon Crunch Crème Frappuccino0 mg42046g
    10. Caramel Brulee Frappuccino (Seasonal)90 mg40058g


    1. Caramel Macchiato

    A squiggly caramel macchiato

    Starbucks caramel macchiato is one of the best-loved items on the Starbucks menu. But what exactly goes into this tasty drink? The caramel macchiato is made like an inverted latte. It has steamed milk on the bottom with a shot of espresso poured over the top. Surprisingly the caramel macchiato doesn’t contain any caramel in the drink itself. Instead, the vanilla syrup is the main flavor for this light and delicious drink, and the caramel drizzle is reserved for the topping. When the days get warm, try an Iced Caramel Macchiato.

    2. Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew

    Next up, is a cold brew coffee. The flavor of a Starbucks cold brew is smoother and richer than the regular iced coffee drinks. A touch of caramel is added to this drink then it is topped off with a salted cold foam. The sweet and salty flavors complement each other nicely. When it is poured over ice, the Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew is an unequaled delight!

    To pack in some extra caffeine, ask for a Salted Caramel Cream Nitro Cold Brew.

    3. Salted Caramel Mocha

    This drink combines mocha sauce with toffee nut syrup in espresso and steamed milk. Sounds yummy, but stay tuned for the topping… you’ll get whipped cream, caramel drizzle, and sugar and sea salt on top. It sounds like Fair Day in a cup! Since only the sea salt topping is seasonal, you can enjoy this drink year-round. Caramel and mocha are a winning combination whatever the season!

    4. Caramel Apple Spice

    A Glass of Caramel Apple Spice

    The Caramel Apple Spice takes adds cinnamon syrup to steamed apple juice with whipped cream. A nice buttery caramel drizzle tops it off. While you don’t get any caffeine in this fallish and festive drink, you should get a nice energy buzz from the 70 grams of sugar.

    5. Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Macchiato

    This delicious Horchata-inspired coffee drink combines espresso with almond milk and cinnamon dolce syrup. With caramel and a dusting of cinnamon dolce to top it off, this drink is a lovely pick-me-up on a warm day. To make this drink fully vegan, you can cut the caramel sauce topping and ask for a spot of caramel syrup instead.

    6. Caramel Brulee Latte (Seasonal)

    Want to try out how creme brulee tastes as a coffee drink? In the winter months, you can try it out for yourself at Starbucks! The Caramel Brulee Latte is made up of an espresso base, steamed milk, and a tasty caramel brulée sauce. This sauce is a bit richer than the syrup, however, it does not contain butter like the regular caramel sauces. To top it off, you have vanilla whipped cream and a festive sprinkling of caramel brulée bits.

    Starbucks Caramel Frappuccinos

    Starbucks frappuccinos are a delicious middle ground between a cold drink and ice cream. Most use whole milk instead of Starbucks’ usual 2% milk. This makes them especially creamy! They come in all kinds of flavors and many of them get pretty extra when it comes to toppings. You can order a coffee frappuccino or try blended drinks that are caffeine-free. Here is a list of Frappuccinos with a caramel flair.

    7. Caramel Frappuccino

    A close up of a Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino

    The Caramel Frappuccino keeps things fairly simple blending caramel syrup, coffee, milk, and ice until it becomes an extravagant treat for your tastebuds. The whipped cream and caramel sauce finish this buttery drink off nicely. A Starbucks suggestion is to try this drink affogato-style by pouring the espresso on top of all that caramel goodness.

    8. Salted Caramel Mocha Frappuccino

    Did you know the salted caramel mocha also comes in a frappuccino version? This ice-cream type drink is delicious for a treat-yourself-Tuesday or on any day for that matter. You get all the mouth-watering deliciousness of the mocha and caramel flavors in a frozen drink. Whipped cream, caramel drizzle, and (if it’s in season) a blend of turbinado sugar and sea salt make the perfect finish.

    9. Caramel Ribbon Crunch Crème Frappuccino

    If you are a caramel lover, the caramel ribbon crunch creme frappuccino is right up your alley! A non-caffeinated icy blend of caramel syrup milk and ice is topped with dark caramel sauce, whipped cream, and caramel drizzle. Caramel sugar topping is then sprinkled over the top. This drink gets serious about the caramel!

    10. Caramel Brulee Frappuccino (Seasonal)

    The Caramel Brulee Frappuccino uses Frappuccino Roast Coffee instead of espresso. But it still packs in all the flavors you love in the Caramel Brulee Latte and blends them with ice for those days you want a cold drink. Topped with whipped cream and caramel brulée bits this is a caramel treat to enjoy while it is in season.

    Secret Menu Caramel Drinks

    The Starbucks secret menu is not officially associated with Starbucks. However, the ingredients to make the drinks can all be found at Starbucks. Most of these fun recipes were concocted by Starbucks baristas. Here are some of our favorite Secret Caramel Drinks.

    Caramel Secret DrinksBase DrinkExtra syrupsTopping
    11. Caramel Pumpkin MacchiatoCaramel Macchiato (no vanilla)Pumpkin saucePumpkin spice topping
    12. Harry Potter–Inspired Butterbeer FrappuccinoVanilla Bean Crème FrappuccinoToffee nut syrup, Caramel SyrupWhipped cream, Caramel drizzle
    13. Iced White MochaIced White Chocolate Mocha (no whip)Caramel drizzlesweet cream foam and caramel drizzle


    11. Caramel pumpkin macchiato

    For the PSL-lovers who are also a fan of caramel, this Secret Menu drink is one you don’t want to miss. Pumpkin spice and caramel? It can’t get any more fall-ish than that! To create this drink, ask the barista for a Caramel Macchiato. Then, instead of the vanilla syrup, ask for pumpkin sauce. Simple as [pumpkin] pie!

    12. Harry Potter–Inspired Butterbeer Frappuccino

    This Butterbeer Frappuccino is where make-believe meets real-life goodness. To enjoy this treat, ask the barista for a Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino. Add in three pumps of toffee nut syrup and caramel syrup pumps. Then top it off with whipped cream and caramel drizzle. This icy drink is certainly magical!

    13. TikTok Iced White Mocha

    TikTok. You can find interesting dance moves as well as great coffee ideas. The Iced White Mocha was certainly inspired! Ask for the well-loved White Chocolate Mocha, but without the whip. Instead, top it off with sweet cream foam and caramel drizzle. This light, caramel topping is a perfect finish for this sweet coffee drink!

    Wrap up

    If you love caramel and coffee, Starbucks has a wide array of options. If you don’t find the exact combo for your tastebuds, use the caramel syrups, sauces, and toppings to create your own caramel dream. Hey, it might even go viral on TikTok!

    FAQs

    What is a mocha?

    A caffe mocha has an espresso base topped with steamed milk like a latte. Most coffee shops use chocolate shavings, cocoa powder, or chocolate syrup to give this drink its chocolate flavor. If you like lattes and hot chocolate, a mocha is sure to be a treat!

    What are piccolo lattes?

    A piccolo coffee is a shot of ristretto with 40–60 ml of steamed milk on top. One shot of espresso between 20 and 30 ml is topped off with just enough steamed milk to fill a demitasse glass. You’ll even get some micro foam to top it off. Starbucks stores in some countries serve piccolo lattes, however, U.S. locations do not.

    What is a long shot at Starbucks?

    Regular espresso shots are usually pulled in 28 seconds or less. However, a long shot at Starbucks will run for 45 seconds. This makes the long shot about double the size of a regular espresso. Even though they have roughly the same amount of caffeine, the long shot will not taste as strong as a regular shot of espresso.

    Can you guess what keeps me up at night? You guessed it! Copious amounts of coffee beans. What? I brew them first.