This Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice Cider Copycat is my Fall drink of choice! This delicious warm apple cider drink is THE actual recipe used at Starbucks.
Copycat Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice Recipe
I know that when people think of Starbucks seasonal drinks, they think of the classic PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte), but not our family! Last year Emily introduced me to this Caramel Apple Spice Starbucks drink. It instantly became my holiday drink of choice. I would go to Starbucks all the time on cold, snowy days to get it. I am not the only one who feels this way! One person in the comments 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!!”
How I Got the Starbucks Copycat Recipe for Caramel Apple Spice
The downside of my love for Caramel Apple Spice was it was burning a hole in my pocket – Starbucks is expensive! 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 ¼ 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 = ½ Tbsp. The Starbucks people put 3 pumps of syrup in a 12oz cup, making it 1 ½ Tbsp per 12oz of apple juice. To simplify it further… 2/3 of 12oz. is 8oz (or 1 cup) and 2/3 of 1 ½ Tbsp is 1 Tbsp. So, 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 😉
Other Tips From Our Readers
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).
Another reader mentioned making your OWN syrup (to save even MORE $$) by combining ½ cup water, ½ cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and simmering in a small pot over medium heat for 5 minutes until it reduces.
A lot of our readers also like making their own whipped cream. You can do this by using a hand mixer or stand mixer. Beat 2 cups of heavy cream with a few tablespoons of white sugar.
What Brand of Apple Juice and Caramel Sauce Should I Use?
As far as the apple juice brand, it another reader said that Starbucks will often just use a generic brand so any kind of apple juice will be fine and the flavor will be the same as 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 🙁
For the caramel sauce, we like to use Torani sauce as well. This isn’t a Torani ad, it is just what we like! However, you can use any caramel sauce or caramel ice cream topping that you like for your caramel drizzle.
I heard recently that Starbucks stopped selling their Cinnamon Dolce Syrup in bulk. I tried some other syrups and found that the Torani Brown Sugar Cinnamon Syrup is almost an exact match!
Looking for More Drinks to Warm You Up This Fall and 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 drink recipes (all family-friendly), click HERE (we have tons)!
How to Make Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice Drink
Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice Cider Copycat
- Combine apple juice and syrup. Warm in the microwave or over the stovetop.
- Top with whipped cream and caramel topping. Optional: Top with a few dashes of cinnamon and a cinnamon stick for garnish.