How to Craft: Iced Caramel Macchiato

By: Brandon Allison

In this recipe, we will take a look at how to craft an iced caramel macchiato, a coffee shop staple.

The iced caramel macchiato is an interesting drink for a few reasons. One, it’s actually an upside-down latte! Also, contrary to popular belief, it actually takes vanilla flavoring in the drink, not caramel. The caramel comes from it being topped with a coating of caramel sauce upon finishing the construction of the beverage. 

The iced caramel macchiato is a fan favorite drink in part to its delicious flavor of course, but also its unique appearance. Who doesn’t want to drink something as pretty looking as what we are about to make?

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How-to Video

Recipe Card


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Iced Caramel Macchiato Ingredients

Gather up your ingredients and then you can either watch our quick 60-second how-to video. Or, jump to the recipe card!


  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Milk/Creamer of your choice
  • 3 oz. freshly brewed espresso
  • Caramel sauce
  • Your Favorite Coffee Cup!      
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Spillin' the Beans, coffee
Hot Stuff mugs, fun mugs, mugs for coffee lovers
latte mugs, gift mugs
coffee mugs, mugs for coffee lovers, gift mugs
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Iced Caramel Macchiato

Learn how to craft this classic coffee shop staple: the iced caramel macchiato! This drink is a delicious blend of vanilla, espresso, and caramel all with a unique upside down finish.
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Beverages
Servings 1 Serving
Calories 150 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces espresso (freshly brewed)
  • 2 tablespoons caramel sauce/drizzle The caramel drizzle is completely up to the creator. Some enjoy just a slight drizzle on top to finish the drink, while many covering their glass in it to get caramel flavor throughout.
  • Milk/Creamer Once again, the milk is completely based on the creator's preference!


  • To start the process of crafting the iced caramel macchiato, you will first need to pour the vanilla extract into your cup.
    Barista Tip: Many enjoy this drink with extra caramel, which can easily be executed by lining your glass with a coating of caramel drizzle. It definitely makes the drink much sweeter and more delicious!
  • After the vanilla, you will use whichever milk you prefer and fill your cup about ¾ of the way full. It is recommended you stir the milk around with the vanilla so that it doesn’t settle at the bottom.
  • Next, you will add a few ice cubes over the milk and this will create the bed that your espresso sits on top of.
  • Brew your 3 ounces of espresso into a small glass and pour it over the ice and watch as it creates a beautiful layer effect in your cup.
  • Top with a generous layer of caramel sauce and get creative! Many baristas enjoy creating a “cross-hatch” pattern or a nice, big swirl!
Keyword Caramel, coffee drinks, espresso, Macchiato
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With That, Your Iced Caramel Macchiato Is Complete!

This is an interesting drink because you immediately taste the warmth of the espresso atop your cup, but as you continue to drink you’re immediately cooled off through the milk while being met with the flavors of vanilla and caramel. As you continue to enjoy your beverage, it will all mix together and create a deliciously strong coffee that can be enjoyed at any time of any day!

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More Caffeinated Blessings

For more of our delicious recipes, visit, where more recipes will be added so you will never run out of great tasting options to try!

Take a little tour of our website where you’ll find info on making various types of coffee and interesting reads on the latest in the world of coffee.

The iced caramel macchiato is a staple in the world of coffee. You can find this on the menu at any coffee shop from your local hole in the wall, to the largest chains in the world. It combines classic flavors of caramel and vanilla while still packing that strong coffee punch that we love.

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Why are macchiatos layered or “upside down”?

Macchiatos are prepared this way because the word macchiato translates in English to “stain/stained” so in terms of coffee, the drink is stained with the espresso on top and it will slowly steep down into the rest of the cup.

Why do caramel macchiatos get vanilla flavoring?

A shaken espresso differs from a latte in that it uses much less milk. Shaken espressos typically have more ice and by shaking the drink and creating the layer of froth, it fills more of the glass than a typical latte. 

What is the difference between a stirred and upside-down caramel macchiato?

This is a very common question because it can be quite confusing to have three versions of the same drink (stirred, upside down, and of course standard). However, the stirred caramel macchiato is crafted the exact same way but at the end, it is physically stirred with a spoon. Some prefer this style as everything is already mixed together and so you get the full flavor of the drink from the start. The upside-down version of the beverage is literally a reverse-stepped caramel macchiato. The bottom of the cup gets caramel sauce and espresso, then milk and ice, and at the very end, it is topped with vanilla flavoring.

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About the Author

Brandon Allison is a recent graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s in Mass Communications and Media and plans to create content on various topics. Brandon was a barista while in college and has a love and passion for all things coffee, excited to share his knowledge, recipes, and creations.

Spillin' the Beans, coffee
Spillin' the Beans, coffee
Spillin' the Beans, coffee
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