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How to Make Caramel Syrup for Coffee

spoonful of caramel syrup

If you’re a fan of flavored coffee drinks but don’t love how expensive they are at your favorite coffee shop, we have some good news. Making flavored syrup to use in coffee is easier than most people think. Coffee syrups generally don’t require many ingredients, can be made in large batches, and stay fresh for several months.

In this article, we’re going to teach you how to make one of our favorite caramel coffee syrup recipes. Caramel syrup is very versatile and can liven up all of your homemade coffee beverages. We’ll teach you how to make caramel syrup and give you some ideas for what kind of drinks you can use it in. Let’s get started!

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Caramel Syrup Recipe

There are only five ingredients you need to make caramel syrup for coffee.

a jar of caramel syrup
Image Credit: Max Griss, Unsplash
Equipment
  • Small saucepan with lid
  • Glass jar for storage
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ¾ cup of water (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt

1. Boil the first three syrup ingredients.

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, ¼ cup of water, and the corn syrup. Stir continuously over low heat until the ingredients are dissolved and well-mixed.

Once the mixture is smooth, turn the heat up to medium and put a lid on the saucepan. Boil the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients.

Remove the lid and stir the syrup continuously until you have a thick, light brown syrup. Then remove the syrup from heat and add the remaining ½ cup of water. Be careful! Add the water slowly to avoid splashing boiling syrup on yourself.

Stir in the vanilla extract and add a pinch of salt. Stir to incorporate these ingredients into the syrup.

3. Let cool and enjoy!

Let the syrup cool and store it in a glass jar with a lid in the refrigerator. It will stay for several months—although ours never seems to last that long anyway!

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Using Your Caramel Syrup in Coffee

Now that you have a nice fresh batch of caramel syrup, what should you do with it? Caramel syrup is good in virtually any drink you can think of, but we’ll share some of our favorites.

cloud caramel macchiato and slice of cake
Image Credit: joloei, Shutterstock

Caramel Latte

This one is a classic for a good reason: it’s simple and delicious. If you have an espresso machine, you should use it, but you can make a reasonable facsimile with a regular cup of strong coffee.

Equipment
Ingredients
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon caramel syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Double shot of espresso (or 1 cup of strong coffee)
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Steps

  1. Pull a double shot of espresso. If you don’t have an espresso machine, brew a regular cup of coffee slightly stronger than you usually would make. The additional strength will help the coffee shine through the milk and caramel syrup.
  2. Froth ½ cup of whole milk or your favorite alternative non-dairy milk. If you don’t have a steam wand, you can use a whisk, although you should be prepared to have a sore arm tomorrow.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and caramel syrup to your coffee and stir vigorously until the syrup is completely dissolved. Make sure there are no lumps of syrup left.
  4. Slowly add the frothed milk to your coffee.
  5. If you’re feeling fancy or want a little extra sweetness boost, top with whipped cream and drizzle some caramel syrup over the top.
caramel latte
Image Credit: Kari Shea, Unsplash

Regular Caramel Coffee

This recipe is perfect for people who don’t have an espresso machine or don’t have the time to craft a specialty latte but still want a sweet coffee treat. It’s as easy as you think but still delicious.

Equipment
  • Coffee maker
  • Mug
  • Spoon
Ingredients
  • 1 cup of coffee
  • 1-2 tablespoons caramel syrup

Steps

  1. Brew 1 cup of coffee using your favorite method. We recommend making the coffee slightly stronger than usual to help balance the caramel syrup’s sweetness. If you usually brew with a 1:16 coffee to water ratio, try 1:15 instead.
  2. As soon as your coffee is finished brewing, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of caramel syrup, depending on how your sweet tooth feels.

This recipe is perfect for busy mornings, but there is one possible pitfall. If you don’t drink your coffee relatively quickly, the syrup could start to clump as the coffee cools. This won’t be a problem most of the time but could become an annoyance, especially if you use more caramel syrup.


a jar of caramel syrup

Caramel Syrup Recipe

We're going to teach you how to make one of our favorite caramel coffee syrup recipes. Caramel syrup is very versatile and can liven up all of your homemade coffee beverages.
5 star average
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 4 mins
Total Time 9 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 2 drink(s)
Calories 25 kcal

Equipment

  • Small saucepan with lid
  • Glass jar for storage

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ¾ cup Water
  • 1 tsp Corn syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions
 

  • In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, ¼ cup of water, and the corn syrup. Stir continuously over low heat until the ingredients are dissolved and well-mixed.
  • Once the mixture is smooth, turn the heat up to medium and put a lid on the saucepan. Boil the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and stir the syrup continuously until you have a thick, light brown syrup.
  • Remove the syrup from heat and add the remaining ½ cup of water. Be careful! Add the water slowly to avoid splashing boiling syrup on yourself.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract and add a pinch of salt. Stir to incorporate these ingredients into the syrup.
  • Let the syrup cool and store it in a glass jar with a lid in the refrigerator. It will stay for several months—although ours never seems to last that long anyway!

Nutrition

Calories: 25kcal
Keyword caramel syrup, coffee syrup

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Conclusion

Caramel syrup is one of the most popular flavored syrups to use in coffee, and it’s surprisingly easy to make. Most people have all the necessary ingredients in their pantry already, and it only takes a few minutes to whip up a batch that will last you months.

We hope you’ll try and enjoy our two recipes, but realize that the possibilities are only limited by your culinary creativity. Caramel syrup can be a key ingredient in countless coffee drinks, and part of the fun is trying it in different recipes and discovering what you like.


Featured Image Credit: Dovile Ramoskaite, Unsplash

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Sean Brennan

Sean’s obsession with coffee started when he received his first French press as a gift almost ten years ago. Since then, his love of coffee – and the number of coffee gadgets he owns – has grown considerably. A scientist by training, there is no stone he has left unturned in the never-ending quest for the perfect cup of coffee. He has spent many hours tuning his pour-over technique, thinking about how to best compare grind quality, and worrying about whether the Nicaraguan or Kenyan beans will make the best cold brew. These days he favors the Hario V60, and starts each day by hand grinding his coffee before enjoying a cup prepared with care and attention to detail.

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