Skip the drive to Starbucks and make your own Caramel Macchiato at home for a fraction of the cost! 

I like to splurge at Starbucks on occasion, but I must admit that I’m far too cheap to go there on a regular basis and shell out $5 each time for what’s little more than coffee, milk, and sugar. 

Caramel Macchiato - With Espresso, Foamed Milk, and Caramel Sauce

Yes, I realize that I pay an absurd $24/lb for my parmigiano-reggiano, but that’s because there’s really no substitute and it’s not something I could realistically make at home. 

A Caramel Macchiato on the other hand is quite easy to make yourself, if you’ve got a way to make espresso.

There are machines like the uber popular Nespresso (affiliate) that make this super easy. There are also more “fancy” ways to make espresso yourself, and my coffee and espresso crazed husband favors this Mypressi Twist handheld espresso maker.

Once you’ve got the espresso taken care of, really all you need is some foamed milk and caramel sauce.

Caramel Macchiato in White Cup with Drizzle

Oh, and this is a “coffeehouse style” caramel macchiato, like the one that you’d pick up at a Starbucks. A real macchiato is just espresso with steamed milk (my husband made me put that in here). Okay, let’s make it!

How to Make a Caramel Macchiato:

To get started, place a tablespoon of caramel sauce into the bottom of the cup:

Adding Homemade Caramel Sauce and Milk to White Cup

While most places use plain simple syrup or caramel flavored simple syrup, using actual caramel sauce gives the best flavor. 

Instead of just adding sweetness, the caramel adds a ton of flavor too.

Next, you’ll need to add your espresso to the cup, a doubleshot, in particular:

Mypressi Twist Handheld Espresso Maker - Making Fresh Espresso

We use this Mypressi Twist handheld espresso maker (affiliate), but there are machines that make this even easier for you, like Nespresso machines.

Next, you’ll need some foamy hot milk. There are lots of different methods you can use like a jar in the microwave or with a pot with an immersion blender, but if you want to make yourself some elaborate coffee drinks at home, it may be worthwhile to get an actual milk frother. Otherwise, here are 8 ways to froth milk.

Start by pouring the hot milk into the cup:

Adding Fresh Steamed Milk to the Espresso and Caramel Sauce

Then you can spoon the milk foam on top of the drink:

Adding Foam Milk to the Fresh Espresso

Drizzle the top with fresh caramel sauce for extra flavor and a nice look:

Drizzling Caramel Sauce on Top of Drink to Finish

Then it’s ready to enjoy alongside some fresh Scones or a hot plate of Crepes

Caramel Macchiato in White Mug

Coffeehouse Style Caramel Macchiato

For a fraction of the cost, you can make coffeehouse style Caramel Macchiato at home!

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  • 2 tbsp caramel sauce divided
  • 1 doubleshot espresso (1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup milk steamed with foam*


  • In the bottom of a mug (I recommend at least 8 ounces in capacity), add 1 tablespoon of caramel sauce.
  • Add the espresso directly on top of the caramel, then pour in the hot milk. Spoon the remaining milk foam on top.
  • Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of caramel over the milk foam. Enjoy promptly!


*A dedicated milk frothing device is best, but there are other ways to foam milk. Here are 8 other ways. Skim milk is regarded as the best milk for lots of bubbles.


Calories: 160kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Sodium: 195mg, Potassium: 165mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 120IU, Calcium: 163mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Post updated in November 2019. Originally published March 2012.