Love copycat Starbucks drinks? If you want a healthier version or are craving it in the off-season, make our salted caramel mocha latte and enjoy it at home!
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Why This Recipe Works
- It's made with homemade syrups. Using your own salted caramel sauce and chocolate sauce improves the flavor and eliminates any funky artificial flavors or preservatives.
- It's made with whole milk. Although Starbucks uses 2% milk in their recipe, using whole milk in this one adds extra creaminess, which is delicious!
- It's made with the same coffee that Starbucks used. They used their Espresso Roast beans for this drink, so make sure to brew that in your espresso machine or moka pot for the most similar result.
It doesn't take a lot of fancy ingredients to whip up one of these Starbucks salted caramel mocha lattes at home! Let's talk about the key ingredients you'll need for this simple coffee recipe.
- Whipping Cream and Butter: These fats will make the caramel sauce smooth and creamy. Let them warm up to room temperature before using.
- Chocolate: Melting chocolate into the cream to make a ganache or chocolate sauce will add a rich flavor to the drink.
- Salt: You can use regular table salt in this recipe to make the salted caramel.
How to Make
Gather the ingredients for the salted caramel sauce for our salted caramel mocha latte. You'll need granulated sugar, heavy whipping cream, water, butter, and salt. It's really important to measure out all the ingredients before you begin making it.
- Pour the sugar and water into a 1-quart saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and boil until it turns a deep amber color. Do not stir as it boils; this will cause it to crystallize. Once it's golden brown, immediately remove it from the heat and whisk in the butter and cream until smooth. Pour it into a jar and set it aside to cool.
3. Heat the cream in a saucepan until it's barely simmering, then remove from the heat, add the chocolate, and whisk until smooth.
4. Pour 2 tablespoons of the sauce into a glass. Add 1 tablespoon of the chocolate milk and ⅓ cup of steamed milk.
5. Add one-third cup of hot coffee and stir until all the sauce is dissolved.
6. Top with homemade whipped cream, a drizzle of sauce, and a sprinkle of coarse sea salt. Enjoy while it's still hot.
The latte mocha drink is named after mocha coffee beans, which are usually used to make the drink. This kind of arabica coffee has natural hints of chocolate flavor. A salted caramel mocha latte also contains hot chocolate, cocoa powder, or some other kind of chocolate flavoring, such as syrup and a special caramel sauce with a slightly salty flavor.
A salted caramel mocha latte has the rich, creamy taste of homemade caramel sauce and the roasted flavor of freshly brewed coffee with subtle hints of chocolate. You’ll also get an extra burst of creamy and salty flavors from the decoration.
These two coffee drinks are quite similar, so many people get them confused. For a macchiato, the order of ingredients in the glass is steamed milk, foamed milk, and espresso. For a mocha, the order of ingredients in the glass is espresso, steamed milk, foamed milk, then whipped cream.
At Starbucks, it was a seasonal drink, released each fall at the same time as the pumpkin spice latte. However, it was discontinued by Starbucks after the 2020 fall season. Now with this amazing recipe, you can make it anytime you want in your own home.
- Use vegan butter to make the salted caramel sauce for your latte.
- Use coconut milk or cream instead of dairy.
- Use vegan chocolate chips for the chocolate milk.
- Use homemade salted caramel sauce. Homemade sauce for your latte tastes 10 times better than store-bought! Refrigerate leftovers for up to 1 week.
- Easily clean a sticky pot and utensils. Simply fill the pot with tap water, add the sticky utensils, and boil for a couple of minutes. Rinse and clean as normal.
- Need a mocha latte in a hurry? Make the sauce and chocolate milk ahead of time and refrigerate until needed.
- Make sure the coffee for your latte is fresh. Bitter coffee will affect the taste of the salted caramel mocha latte.
- Cutting calories? Use frothed milk instead of the cream and skip the decoration on your salted caramel mocha latte.
More Starbucks Copycat Drinks You'll Love
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Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha
For the Salted Caramel Sauce
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup filtered water
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
For the Chocolate Sauce
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
For One Mocha
- 2 tablespoons salted caramel sauce
- 1 tablespoon chocolate milk
- ¼ cup moka pot coffee or espresso
- ⅓ cup whole milk, steamed
For Decorating One Mocha (Optional)
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon salted caramel sauce
- ⅛ teaspoon smoked salt, or flaky salt
Making the Caramel Sauce
- Measure out the ingredients before you start.
- Pour the sugar in a heavy based 1-quart saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Pour in the water and whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Boil over medium-high heat until it turns amber, about 7 minutes. Never stir it; doing so will crystallize it. Once the caramel begins to turn color, watch it very closely because it can burn in a matter of seconds. Be careful, as it is hotter than boiling water.
- Once the caramel is a good color, immediately remove it from the heat and carefully add the butter, cream, and salt and whisk until well combined. Use caution, as the mixture will bubble up when you add the butter and cream.
- Pour the sauce into a bowl or glass jar and set aside to cool. You should have about ⅔ cup (160 ml) of sauce.
Making the Chocolate Sauce
- Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it barely reaches a simmer. Immediately remove it from the heat and add the chocolate. Whisk continuously until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Refrigerate leftovers.
Making the Mocha Latte (10 minutes)
- Brew the coffee using a moka pot, or prepare 2 shots of espresso with a machine. Steam ⅓ cup of milk (heat to 139-149°F) in the microwave, on the stovetop, or with a steam wand.
- For one latte, pour 2 tablespoons of caramel into a mug. Add 1 tablespoon of chocolate sauce, ¼ cup of coffee (2 shots), and ⅓ cup steamed milk and stir well to combine.
- Beat the heavy whipping cream with a handheld electric mixer until stiff peaks form. It should be stiff enough not to fall out of the bowl if it's turned upside down. Pipe the cream on top of the mocha to decorate.
- Dizzle with additional caramel sauce and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Enjoy immediately.
- Make your own caramel sauce. Homemade always tastes better than store-bought.
- Sticky pot and utensils? Fill the pot with tap water, add the utensils, and bring to a boil. Let the water boil for about 5 minutes, then rinse. All the sticky caramel will be gone!
- Need to make ahead? Whip up the chocolate milk and caramel sauce in advance and refrigerate until needed, or make up the whole mocha and just warm it up on demand.
- Use freshly brewed coffee for the best flavor.
Our salted caramel mocha latte recipe was originally published on January 11, 2018 and was updated on August 23, 2019 and on September 30, 2022 with resized images and refreshed content.