Caramel Macchiato Recipe

5 min read FEB 17, 2022

There are many trendy coffeehouses that have come up over the years, and they’re all serving fancy-sounding drinks. Whether it’s frappuccinos, cafe lattés, or other drinks like a caramel macchiato, they have customers lining up. 

Although these options are delicious, we can’t keep handing over our hard-earned cash for a coffee every time. This put us on the search for a healthy caramel macchiato that we can make at home. 

So here we are; a caramel macchiato recipe that isn’t afraid to bear it all. 

How to Make a Caramel Macchiato at Home

While it’s nice to go grab a caramel macchiato from your local coffee shop, it’s always better to know that you can make the exact same thing at home and save a few extra bucks. 

A caramel macchiato isn’t hard to make, at all. All you need is a way to make espresso and you’re pretty much good to go. 

Sure, there are espresso machines that can do the job well but there are also ways of making espresso yourself without any of the fancy equipment. As soon as you’ve got the espresso down, then it’s just foamed milk and some caramel sauce.

Making Espresso Without the Machines

While the oh-so-popular espresso-pod machine is marketed just about everywhere, you’d think that’s your only way of making one. Well, Clooney can keep his machine: we’ve got our own ways of doing things without one.

how to make a caramel macchiato

You’ll need one of the following appliances and a bag of dark roast coffee beans to get started. We recommend the caramel macchiato from Lifeboost Coffee; available in either ground or beans. 

The Italian Moka Pot

You can never go wrong with a Moka pot. These exceptionally crafted pots have three chambers: the bottom, medium, and upper chamber.

The bottom chamber is filled with hot water, and the medium chamber holds the coffee. The top chamber is where all the coffee is gathered. 

The water in the bottom chamber has to be heated and creates pressure that pushes the hot water through the medium chamber. 

The water then mixes with the ground coffee and extracts all the delicious flavors which then end up in the top chamber, and voilà! 

Keep in mind that this kind of coffee is somewhat stronger than drip coffee. Using a strong roast and more coffee is going to give you a coffee with a much darker color. 

For a Moka pot, the ideal ratio between coffee and water is two tablespoons of coffee for every half-cup of water.

The French Press

The iconic French press is available in any price range and helps to make a good cup of coffee. 

hot caramel macchiato

The hot water and coffee have steeped in the same chamber for a few minutes, now, by pushing the press down you’ll get a deep, dark shade of coffee. 

How strong the coffee is, is dependent on the type of coffee you’re using. This method needs at least two tablespoons of coffee for every cup of water.

Steaming the Milk

In the Microwave…

Grab something that’s microwave-friendly like a coffee mug or other and add your preferred amount of milk. Now, whether it’s full-cream, low-fat, or fat-free milk, that’s all up to you.

If you’re going to use a frother, then you won’t need as much milk, a quarter of a cup should probably be fine. 

Put that milk-filled mug or container in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds. Larger amounts of milk, like half a cup or a full cup, have to be heated for 30-40 seconds or so.

For this part, you’ll need a thermometer. The ideal temperature for the milk should be close to 150℉.

…Or on the Stove

Steaming milk on the stove is gonna be just a tad more effort than the microwave but it’s still reasonably easy to do.

Grab a small-sized pot, add the amount of milk you want and turn on the heat. A small heads-up on the amount of milk: using a smaller amount does need you to stir it more often to keep it from scalding.

The temperature of the stove’s element should be low to medium because milk tends to burn easily at higher temperatures, and that’ll just ruin the taste of the coffee.

Gently stir the milk until the temperature is almost 150℉, so you’ll need that thermometer handy with you. Depending on whether the stove is gas or electric this process could be one to three minutes long.

Making Caramel Macchiato

So, now that we’ve got our espresso and steamed milk ready, it’s about time to put ‘em in the same mug along with the caramel sauce. 

how to make caramel macchiato

The caramel sauce can be bought in stores or you could even make that at home. For the sake of keeping things straightforward let’s use the store-bought caramel sauce.

Add a tablespoon of caramel sauce to the bottom of your coffee mug. Not only does it add to the flavor we’re after but it also adds to the sweetness. It’s recommended that you use between one and two tablespoons of sauce.

Add your steamed milk to the mug, using your preferred amount. You can add vanilla syrup to the milk, too, but that’s just if you want to know how to make caramel macchiato sweeter. About 2 tablespoons of vanilla sauce are the recommended amount.

You could also make your own salted caramel macchiato by adding ¾ teaspoon of sea salt. However, that needs to be done by making your own caramel sauce. 

Lastly, pour the espresso into the mug. You’ll notice that it has “stained” the milk, which is why the Italians call it a macchiato. “Macchiato” is a translation that means “stained” or “marked”. 


Well, that macchiato was definitely earned, right? Sure, you could’ve spent the $5 at a cafe but there’s nothing like knowing you made it yourself in the comfort of your own kitchen.

If you’re worried about the calories, check out our recipe for a skinny caramel macchiato here.

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