Copycat Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice Cider

*Recipe updated Oct 6, 2016
This tastes exactly like the Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice… because it IS the recipe. We have had rave reviews from those who have tried it (read comments below).Starbucks Cider

Last year Emily introduced me to Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice. It instantly became my holiday drink of choice. I would go to Starbucks all the time on cold, snowy days to get it. The downside was… it was burning a hole in my pocket (Starbucks is expeeennnsive)! Finally I decided to ask the girl at Starbucks how they make it. She said she couldn’t tell me but I could watch her. So she did it all right in front of me. When I asked her how much syrup is in one pump she said “it is supposed to be 1/4 oz. but it can vary slightly”.. that was all I needed to know.


So then I did some math. 1oz. = 2 Tbsp. so we can figure that .25oz = 1/2 Tbsp. The Starbucks people put 3 pumps of syrup in a 12oz cup, making it 1 1/2 Tbsp per 12oz of apple juice. To simplify it further…ย  2/3 of 12oz. is 8oz (or 1 cup) and 2/3 of 1 1/2 Tbsp is 1 Tbsp. Sooooooo, for each cup of cider you simply add 1 Tbsp. of syrup. Easy enough right? See, MOM, I didn’t waste ALL of my time goofing off in school ๐Ÿ˜‰


Update: One of our readers commented and let us know that before Starbucks used the Cinnamon Dolce flavored syrup, they actually just used cinnamon syrup. You can find Torani or DaVinci cinnamon syrup for a fraction of the price of the Starbucks brand (just use the same amounts as mentioned in the recipe).

Copycat Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice Cider

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  • 2 c. apple juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Syrup (buy it straight from Starbucks for about $7. It will last you a very very very long time. Totally worth it.)
  • Whipped cream
  • Caramel topping


  • Combine apple juice and syrup. Warm to desired heat (I did it in a hot chocolate maker and it turned out perfect. I loved the "whipped" taste it added. You could possibly try it in a blender for the same effect.. just be careful if it's really hot).
  • Top with whipped cream and caramel topping.


Another reader mentioned making your OWN syrup (to save even MORE $$) by combining:
1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and simmering in a pot over medium heat for 5 minutes until it reduces.


As far as the apple juice brand, it really doesn’t matter. Another reader said that Starbucks will often just use a generic brand so any kind of apple juice will be fine and it will still taste just like Starbucks. I have also had some questions about my hot chocolate maker.. I use the “Cocomotion” but as far as I know it has been discontinued ๐Ÿ™


Looking for more drinks to warm you up this Fall/Winter?

If you love this Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice Cider and want even more variety, you have got to try our Pumpkin Steamers recipe (it tastes like Fall in a mug). If you want to spice things up, try our Mayan Hot Chocolate (smooth chocolate with a little spicy kick.. don’t worry, it’s not too spicy). We also have a fun collection of Candy Bar Hot Chocolates (Twix, Almond Joy, and Reeses… I love all three and honestly can’t pick a favorite)! If you want to check out ALL of our drinks (all family-friendly), click HERE (we have tons)!


  1. Unknown says:

    Oh. My. Goodness. My husband and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this drink! We recently moved to a very small rural area where there are no Starbucks (a place like this really does exist)and I was just thinking I was going to have to treat myself when we go visit family for the holidays. THANK YOU! Now we can make it anytime, yay!!

  2. Lindsey says:

    OH MY! I LOVE this stuff! Can't wait to try it out myself! Thanks!

  3. Hoku says:

    I look forward to trying your recipes! Love the simplicity!

  4. the mama monster says:

    i love these too! and disneyland has even a better version.

  5. Andrea says:

    THANK YOU!! So good & perfect for the upcoming winter season.

  6. Denise and Nathan says:

    hELP!!! What kind and how much caramel sauce do you use?? This looks soooo good!!! I love your website!!!

  7. Erica says:

    I just used the caramel in the jar that you put over ice cream. I just did a heaping spoonful. You just drizzle it over the whipped cream so you can put as much or as little as you want on it and it won't really affect the taste.



  8. Cami says:

    mmmmmm….sounds yummy. Just sent my husband to Starbucks and picked up a bottle! This will perfect for our Christmas Eve Dessert beverage! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Cailey says:

    Oh my gosh can I tell you how much I love you right now?!!! This is one of my most favorites! Yay!!!! THANK YOU!

  10. Molly says:

    Divine!!!! Hot Chocolate Maker?? Which kind to you have?? Would you recommend buying one? Love all your recipes!! Thanks!!!

    • Erica says:

      I just have the Cocomotion brand hot chocolate maker. I think I got it at Walmart for like $10. Nothing fancy but it does the trick! You don’t need one for the recipe but it makes it nice and frothy and it mixes it up really well. Thanks for the compliments!!!

  11. Ashley says:

    Love the recipe! If you have an espresso machine/steamer, I usually just mix all that (Cinnamon Dolce, I add the Caramel with the cinnamon dolce, and apple juice) and then put it under the steamer to heat up ๐Ÿ™‚ and then “fancy” it up with whipped cream and little caramel drizzle on top! Perfect fall drink. And to make it more “adult”, a little amaretto or grand marnier ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Soyk says:

    I really fell in love love to my drink caramel apple spice amazing that why I love it and my wife can make for me one ๐Ÿ˜‰ like everyday!!!! I will make give you treat in Love!!!!

  13. Rachel says:

    Soooooo trying this ASAP!! I keep raving to my husband about how delicous this stuff is. But I think he would have a cow over the bill if I ever took him there. So excited!! Thank you!

  14. Sarah says:

    I also found how to make the cinnamon syrup at home for even more cost savings:

    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 tsp cinnamon

    Simmer in a pot over medium heat for 5 minutes while mixture reduces. Add 1 tbsp per 8 oz of cider per the recipe above.

  15. Stargazer says:

    I also noticed at my local Starbucks that the apple juice they use is the el cheapo brand from the store…they had the bottles all lined up and I could see the brand name.

  16. Anissa says:

    I will say that I have tried this recipe and it is spot on. I have tweaked it some by adding caramel to the bottom before pouring the hit juice in and then mixing it together and it tastes so good. I still added the whipped cream & caramel to the top. So so good. Saving myself a lot of $$$$$$.

  17. Kathie says:

    You have made our day!! We didn’t even know about the cinnamon syrup. MMMM, it is delicious!!!

  18. deb says:

    I recently tried this delicious drink at Starbucks and loved it. Had it over the holidays almost every day, thanks to gift cards I received for Starbucks. Thanks for sharing the recipe, as I too find their prices too expensive to endulge in beyond the holidays. Happy New Year!

  19. Summer says:

    I worked at Starbucks for 5.5 years. It’s amazing how simple most of their drinks are to recreate. This is exactly how it’s made. You could even make your own cinnamon simple syrup if you wanted.

  20. Melissa says:

    Before Cinnamon Dolce syrup was introduced they just used plain old cinnamon flavored syrup. You can buy Torani or DaVinci syrups at Business Costco or Cash and Carry for about $3.50/bottle saving you even more money.

    • Melissa says:

      P.S. Cinnamon Dolce is just cinnamon/brown sugar flavor (sweet cinnamon). I’m not sure if other brands have comparable flavors.

  21. Christy says:

    So excited to see this recipe! I got a caramel apple spice yesterday, and wondered if I could make them on my own. They are so delicious! Can’t wait to try one at home.

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