Try this homemade version of the most popular Starbucks drink – Caramel Macchiato! Lightly sweetened vanilla milk mixed with smoky (homemade!) espresso and topped with buttery caramel sauce!
I’ve got great news for you, friends! You can make your favorite Starbucks Caramel Macchiato at home! Yep, you read it right. You don’t need to travel far or spend extra $$ to get a cup of one of those treats. You can prepare it at home without any fancy equipment. (If you already own an espresso machine, good for you! You can use this recipe as well.)
First things first: ESPRESSO. While living with my mom in Italy, I picked up that classic Italian habit: enjoying a cup of bittersweet espresso after almost every meal. Espresso was prepared in a “macchinetta” or “moka”. A macchinetta is made up of 3 major parts: the bottom chamber (where you add water), the middle chamber (where you add coffee) and the top chamber (where your finished espresso will travel). In my opinion, a macchinetta is an amazing machine that makes a REAL espresso without taking up a lot of space on your kitchen counter and making your wallet thinner. I have a pretty old macchinetta that I brought from Italy many years ago, but this is the one I am dreaming of buying next: Bialetti Moka Express 3-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker. If you are an espresso lover, this is something that will make you happy! Here is a Youtube video I found on how to use a macchinetta:
You are probably wondering what kind of COFFEE BEANS are used to make espresso. Here is something you might not know: “espresso” is defined by the process, not by the type of bean. Unlike brewing drip coffee, making espresso means forcing hot water through finely ground beans with a high degree of pressure. So, basically, any coffee bean can make espresso as long as it’s prepared this way. You may choose to buy Starbucks Espresso Coffee Beans or use the coffee beans you have at home. Test a few kinds of coffee to see which one works best for you. By the way, if you own an espresso machine, feel free to use that instead ( 🙂 ).
Once we have all the espresso lessons behind, we are ready to make that amazing Caramel Macchiato we all love so much. Let’s get started!
CARAMEL SAUCE. I used generic caramel sauce I bought at a local store, but it was too watery. However, I had a great experience with this Ghirardelli Caramel Flavored Sauce in the past. It is AMAZING!
While the espresso is being made, warm up the milk with some sugar. Add vanilla extract to the milk and give it a stir. Pour the milk into the cup(s), reserving room for the foam and espresso. In order to get that beautiful foam, insert a whisk into the cup and whisk the milk. (You can whisk the milk in the sauce pan if the cup is too narrow).
Once the milk starts looking frothy, pour the espresso into a measuring cup.
Then, pour the espresso on top of the frothy milk creating a “mark” on the foam. (Macchiato means “marked” in Italian).
And the last step is to drizzle the caramel on top. At Starbucks, we make two circles around the edges of the cup and then we make a grate pattern in the middle.
Whoa-la! A Grande Caramel Macchiato is ready! The only difference between this Caramel Macchiato and a store-bought one is that I am missing my name on the cup. 🙂
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