Learn how to make an amazing Starbucks mocha at home with this salted caramel mocha recipe.  It’s the perfect dessert drink for family and friends during the holidays.  Top with whipped cream and a drizzle of salted caramel, and you’ll be in heaven!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
person holding a salted caramel mocha
Beverages

Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha Recipe

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This recipe was originally published on January 11, 2018.

Our of all the Starbucks copycat drinks that I’ve made, our family enjoys this salted caramel mocha the most.  You don’t even have to be a coffee fan to enjoy this drink!  If you’re wanting a healthier version than the Starbucks one, or are craving this drink during the off season, making this easy recipe is the answer.

glass of salted caramel mocha

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What’s a mocha coffee?

The mocha drink is named after mocha coffee beans, which are usually used to make the drink.  This kind of arabica coffee has a natural hints of chocolate flavor.  Mocha drinks also contain hot chocolate, cocoa powder, or some other kind of chocolate flavoring, such as a syrup.

person holding a glass of salted caramel mocha

What does salted caramel mocha taste like?

Salted caramel mocha has the rich, creamy taste of homemade salted caramel sauce and the roasty 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 of whipped cream, salted caramel sauce, and coarse sea salt.

holding a glass of salted caramel mocha

Salted Caramel Mocha vs. Caramel Macchiato

These two coffee drinks are quite similar, so many people get them confused.  Here’s the differences between these two popular drinks.

  • Caramel macchiato. The order of ingredients in the glass is steamed milk, foamed milk, espresso, then caramel drizzle.
  • Caramel mocha. The order of ingredients in the glass is espresso, steamed milk, foamed milk, then whipped cream and caramel drizzle.

Does salted caramel mocha have caffeine?

Yes, salted caramel mocha does contain caffeine, unless you make your mocha with decaf coffee instead of espresso.

salted caramel mocha topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce

Is salted caramel mocha a holiday drink?

At Starbucks, the salted caramel mocha is a seasonal drink.  It’s typically released each fall at the same time as the pumpkin spice latte.  The best part?  You don’t have to wait until fall to get a salted caramel mocha; you can make your own with this recipe!

people doing a toast with two salted caramel mochas

How many calories is salted caramel mocha?

A Starbucks salted caramel mocha (Grande with 2% milk, whipped cream, and caramel drizzle) is 470 calories.  My recipe (5 fl oz of mocha with whipped cream and caramel drizzle) is 347 calories.

How to Make a Vegan Salted Caramel Mocha

  • Use vegan butter to make the caramel sauce.
  • Substitute the heavy whipping cream with coconut cream.
  • Use vegan chocolate chips for the chocolate milk.

glass of salted caramel mocha with whipped cream

How to Make Salted Caramel Mocha

Gather the ingredients for the salted caramel sauce.  You’ll need granulated sugar, heavy whipping cream, water, butter, and salt.  It’s really important to measure out all the caramel ingredients before you begin making it.

ingredients for salted caramel sauce

Pour the sugar and water into a 1-quart saucepan and set over medium-high heat.  Whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved.

dissolving sugar in water with a whisk

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and boil until it turns a deep amber color.  Do not stir the caramel as it boils; this will cause it to crystallize.

Once the caramel is golden brown, immediately remove it from the heat and whisk in the butter and cream until smooth.  Pour it into a jar and set aside to cool.

caramel sauce in a pot with a whisk

Gather the ingredients for the chocolate milk.  You’ll need heavy whipping cream, milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, and 60% cacao chocolate chips.

ingredients for chocolate milk

Sift the cocoa powder into a small saucepan to prevent lumps.

sifted cocoa powder in a saucepan

Gradually add the heavy whipping cream, whisking constantly until the mixture is smooth.

whisking cocoa powder and cream in a pot

Whisk in the milk and bring to a gentle simmer.  Immediately remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the chocolate chips until evenly mixed.  Pour the chocolate milk into a blender and blend for 30-60 seconds until frothy and well mixed.

foamy chocolate milk in a blender

Make sure you have all the ingredients for the salted caramel mocha: homemade salted caramel sauce, homemade chocolate milk, freshly brewed coffee, and heavy whipping cream.  Things are looking good around here!

coffee, caramel sauce, chocolate milk, and heavy cream

Pour 2 tablespoons of the salted caramel sauce into a glass.  Add 1 tablespoon of the chocolate milk and 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream.

glass with chocolate milk, cream, and caramel sauce

Add 1/3 cup of hot coffee and stir until all the caramel sauce is dissolved.

stirring a salted caramel mocha

Top with homemade whipped cream, a drizzle of salted caramel sauce, and a sprinkle of coarse sea salt.  Enjoy while it’s still hot.

two glasses of salted caramel mocha

Pro Tips for Making Salted Caramel Mocha

  • Use homemade caramel sauce.  Homemade tastes 10 times better than store-bought!
  • Be careful when making caramel.  It gets hotter than boiling water.
  • Easily clean a sticky pot and utensils after making caramel.  Simply fill the pot with tap water, add the sticky utensils, and boil for a couple minutes.  Rinse and clean as normal.
  • Need a mocha in a hurry?  Make the caramel sauce and chocolate milk ahead of time and refrigerate until needed.
  • Make sure the coffee is fresh.  Bitter coffee will affect the taste of the mocha.
  • Cutting calories? Use half-and-half instead of cream and skip the decoration.

two glasses of salted caramel mocha with spoons

Our Go-To Kitchen Tools for Salted Caramel Mocha

Enjoy the taste of Starbucks from the comfort of your home with these copycat recipes.

pouring pumpkin milk into glass for pumpkin spice latte two glasses of peppermint mocha people doing a toast with two glasses of smoked butterscotch latte

The pleasure of a 5-star review for this salted caramel mocha would be greatly appreciated.

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person holding a salted caramel mocha

Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha Recipe


  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 mocha 1x

Description

Learn how to make an amazing Starbucks mocha at home with this salted caramel mocha recipe.  It’s the perfect dessert drink for family and friends during the holidays.  Top with whipped cream and a drizzle of salted caramel, and you’ll be in heaven!


Scale

Ingredients

For the Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
  • 1/4 cup filtered water (60 ml)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (42g)
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (60 ml)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the Chocolate Milk

  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted (6g)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (120 ml)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (120 ml)
  • 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (45g)

For One Mocha

  • 2 tablespoons salted caramel sauce (30 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate milk (15 ml)
  • 1/3 cup strong coffee (80 ml)
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (45 ml)

For Decorating One Mocha (Optional)

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (120 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon salted caramel sauce (15 ml)
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Instructions

Making the Salted Caramel Sauce (10 minutes)

  1. Measure out the butter and cream before you start making the caramel.
  2. 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.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to boil over medium-high heat until it turns amber, about 7 minutes.  Never stir the caramel; 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 when handling the caramel, as it is hotter than boiling water.
  4. Once the caramel is a good color, immediately remove it from the heat and add the butter.  Whisk it into the caramel until fully combined, then add the cream and salt and whisk until well blended.  Use caution, as the mixture will bubble up when you add the butter and cream.
  5. Pour the caramel sauce into a bowl or glass jar and set aside to cool.  You should have about 2/3 cup (160 ml) of sauce.

Making the Chocolate Milk (10 minutes)

  1. Sift the cocoa powder into a small saucepan, then whisk in the cream until well mixed.  Whisk in the milk and continue to stir until the mixture until the cocoa powder has dissolved into the milk and cream.
  2. Place the chocolate milk over medium-low heat and stir occasionally until it just starts to simmer.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate chips.  Whisk until they have fully melted into the chocolate milk.
  3. Pour the chocolate milk into a blender and blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until well blended and foamy.  You should have about 1 cup (240 ml) of chocolate milk.

Making the Mocha (10 minutes)

  1. Make some strong coffee.
  2. Beat the heavy whipping cream with a handheld electric mixer until stiff peaks form.  The cream should be stiff enough not to fall out of the bowl if it’s turned upside down.
  3. Snip the corner off of a sandwich bag and put a star piping tip in the hole.  Spoon the whipped cream into the bag to create a piping bag.
  4. For one mocha, pour 2 tablespoons of caramel sauce into a mug.  Add 1 tablespoon of chocolate milk, 1/3 cup of coffee, and 3 tablespoons of cream and stir well to combine.
  5. Pipe the homemade whipped cream on top and drizzle with the leftover caramel sauce.  Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and enjoy immediately.

Notes

  • The undecorated mocha will keep well in the fridge, so feel free to make it up ahead of time.  Just make sure to shake or thoroughly stir the mocha and warm it up before serving.
  • The pleasure of a 5-star review for this salted caramel mocha would be greatly appreciated.
  • 👩🏻‍🍳 Want to see our latest recipes?  Subscribe to our email newsletter to get our latest recipes, fun food facts, food puns, and behind the scenes news about our blog.
  • Category: Beverage
  • Method: Boiled
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: salted caramel mocha, starbucks copycat recipes

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6 thoughts on “Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha Recipe

  1. I made this drink today and it tasted great. The recipe taught me how to make homemade caramel sauce and chocolate milk and I have enough left to make two or three more mochas. I just need to practice and perfect the art of whipped cream so that this drink will look as good as it tastes.

  2. The subtle hint of salt and caramel blending with the coffee ☕️ is so delicious! The whipped cream and drizzle of caramel really tops it off.

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