Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha


Well, it’s getting towards that time of year again. The leaves will soon be turning yellow, and fall will be upon us. We love nothing more than curling up with a tall, steaming Starbucks salted caramel mocha. That said, if you can’t get your hands on a cup, it doesn’t mean that the season is ruined. Why? Because today we are going to teach you how to make your very own homemade version! We’ll also run through some tips and tricks and share some vital information with you so that yours tastes just as good as the real thing. Enjoy!

starbucks salted caramel mocha recipe

What is Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha?

This drink has been featured on the Starbucks menu for several years and is a firm favorite. The basis of the drink, as you’d expect from Starbucks, is coffee. This combined with delicious toffee and nut flavors along with salty caramel and creamy milk foam… Not forgetting a decent blob of whipped cream and even more caramel sauce, of course. You might not see it on the menu for a while, though…

Is the Salted Caramel Mocha Seasonal?

It is indeed. Starbucks has traditionally served this drink from September onwards. For many people, they see it as ‘the taste of fall’.

Want the bad news?

Starbucks has said that they won’t be bringing it back in 2021! As a result, you’ve got a few options…

Find a different Starbucks drink… Boo!


Follow our recipe and learn to make a Starbucks salted caramel mocha at home?

What’s your choice?

Good, we are happy to see you! 

Is A Salted Caramel Mocha Good?


We don’t write these recipes for fun, you know! Alright, we do, but in answer to your question, yes, they are good. In fact, they are really good. We were so disappointed when Starbucks said they wouldn’t be putting them on the menu in 2021. In fact, we were so disappointed that we just had to come up with our own recipe!

Does Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha Have Caffeine?

As with the vast majority of Starbucks drinks, salted caramel mocha does have caffeine. It is similar to a latte, which is a coffee made with foamy steamed milk. As a result, you will find that the regular version does contain caffeine.

In our  Starbucks salted caramel mocha recipe, we’ve tried to stay true to the original, so it does feature some coffee. However, if you check our tips and tricks section, you will find ways to make it without caffeine!

What is Mocha?

Mocha is actually a type of coffee bean that is used specifically in mocha coffee. If you pick good quality and strong-tasting beans, you’ll be able to detect chocolate notes for sure. Over the years, people sought this taste with lower quality beans… As a result, the ‘cheats’ version of mocha now contains chocolate as well…

That said…

Hot chocolate and tasty coffee do make for a wonderful combination.

How To Make

Ok, we know you probably haven’t got a full barista setup like Starbucks, so this will take a little preparation, but don’t worry, the end result is well worth it.

We start by assembling our ingredients… Yes, that does include pulling out the tallest mug we can find. Why do we assemble the ingredients? Well, this is actually a three-part recipe. We make each individual component of the Starbucks salted caramel mocha before combining it at the end for the perfect taste…

This does need a little organization. 

We start by making the salted caramel sauce. This is achieved by creating a sort of loose sugar syrup. We mix water and sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan and cook over medium heat until it turns a straw color. 

Once this happens, we add a good helping of butter. 

But we don’t stop there. We also add a good helping of heavy cream… Have we forgotten something? Oh yeah, this is a Starbucks salted caramel mocha recipe! So we obviously need to add salt. 

Once that has all been combined, we put it aside to cool while we make the rest.

The rest?

Yeah! We need to whip up some smooth and silky chocolate milk, not to mention the mocha!

The chocolate milk is actually really easy. We add cocoa powder and milk to a pan. Once it has dissolved, we throw in a good handful of chocolate chips before giving it a good whisk to make it really foamy.

The final stage is making the Starbucks salted caramel mocha.

We brew a few shots of espresso and add this to a tall mug. We then add a splash of chocolate milk and some cream before giving it a good stir. We drizzle in a few tablespoons of caramel, top the entire lot with whipped cream and then add even more caramel.

If that sounds fiddly, well, it is, a bit… But the good news is we’ve got plenty of little ‘cheats’ below in our tips and tricks that will help make it quicker and easier.

Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha

4 from 5 votes
Recipe by Laura Ritterman Course: DrinksCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





Make this delicious copycat Starbucks salted caramel mocha recipe in your kitchen today. Whipped cream and caramel sauce, what more could you want.


  • Salted Caramel Sauce
  • 5 tablespoons 5 white sugar

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 cold water

  • 3 tablespoons 3 unsalted butter

  • 4 tablespoons 4 heavy cream

  • A large pinch of salt to taste

  • Chocolate Milk
  • 2 teaspoons 2 cocoa powder

  • 6 tablespoons 6 heavy cream

  • ½ cup milk

  • 1 small 1 handful of chocolate chips

  • Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha
  • 2 tablespoons 2 homemade Starbucks salted caramel sauce

  • ½ cup of chocolate milk

  • 1 1 shot of espresso

  • 3 tablespoons 3 heavy cream

  • To Garnish
  • 3 tablespoons 3 whipped heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons 2 homemade salted caramel sauce

  • Small pinch of sea salt.


  • Making authentic Starbucks salted caramel sauce
  • In a small saucepan, add the sugar and the water and place on medium heat. Once the syrup reaches the right temperature, it will begin to gently bubble. Don’t be tempted to boil it as it will burn. Once it begins to bubble, stir regularly and keep a close eye on it. Eventually, it will start to darken and turn a golden yellow color.
  • As soon as it reaches the correct color, remove the syrup from the heat. Throw in your butter and whisk until fully combined. Then, add the cream along with the pinch of salt. Stir well. You should be left with a thick caramel sauce! Amazing, right?
  • Set aside and allow to cool while you prep the rest.
  • Making The Chocolate Milk
  • In a small pan, combine the cocoa powder and cream. Using a small whisk, beat until you have a loose paste. (the reason to do this is that it prevents you from getting lumps in your chocolate milk).
  • Once you have formed a paste, place the pan on medium heat and then add the milk. Gently heat and stir until all the ingredients are combined. Once the mixture begins to gently bubble, go in with your chocolate chips. Constantly stir so that the chips don’t burn or stick.
  • As the chocolate melts, it will become incorporated into the milk.
  • Some people like to blend the chocolate milk to make it frothy at this point. We prefer to use a whisk to save washing up.
  • Assembling the finished drink
  • Take a shot of espresso and add it to a tall mug. Add your two tablespoons of salted caramel sauce and stir to combine.
  • Add three tablespoons of heavy cream and your half cup of chocolate milk.
  • Top the glass with a few tablespoons of whipped heavy cream. Drizzle with homemade caramel sauce and finish with a small pinch of sea salt.
  • Get stuck in and enjoy

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Tips and Tricks

  • You may notice that this recipe involves quite a lot of preparation. There are a few things that you can do to reduce the effort.
  • When we haven’t got time to make the caramel sauce, we simply use the store-bought version. Don’t worry if you can’t find salted caramel sauce. Literally, all you need to do to make your own is add a pinch or two of sea salt.
  • The caramel sauce is the most time-consuming part, so why not make it ahead. If you keep it refrigerated in an airtight container, it will last for around three weeks! It is also an awesome sauce for things like ice cream and is heavenly on apple pie!
  • Keep a very close eye on your syrup. It is very easy to burn. Oh, and before we forget, this isn’t one to make with the kids running around. Sugar can get dangerously hot. It’s also sticky, which can cause nasty burns. Be sure not to leave the hob unattended. 
  • Some people suggest putting the whipped cream into a piping bag for the top of your Starbucks salted caramel mocha. Here’s what we think… Ain’t no-one got time for that. As the cream heats, it sinks anyway, so just spoon it on unless you are mad about the presentation. It tastes the same.
  • You can make a caffeine-free version of this drink. Just use caffeine-free espresso.
  • If you haven’t got a fancy coffee machine, don’t panic. Remember, we are combing this with chocolate and salted caramel anyway, which masks the taste of the coffee. Feel free to use coffee granules if you don’t mind the taste. It will save you loads of time.
  • Ever tried banana salted caramel. For a real treat, give this a go. Add half a mashed and ripe banana to your syrup while you cook it. This is really sublime!
  • You might find that you’ve got a sticky pan after making the caramel sauce. Here’s a great way to get it off easily. Add some dish soap and a cup of water to the pan and place it on high heat on the hob. Allow it to boil for around 5 minutes. You should find that once you’ve tipped the water away, the pan is as clean as a whistle! 
  • When we said authentic Starbucks salted caramel mocha recipe, we meant it! Just like Starbucks, you can make this recipe vegan. Swap out the butter for vegan butter, and coconut milk makes a great substitute for regular milk.
  • Speaking of butter, here’s a great tip. We said to use unsalted butter in the caramel sauce. If you’ve only got salted butter, go ahead and use that. It will actually save you a step. Just remember not to add any more salt to your caramel sauce! 
  • Be sure to use the ‘paste’ method when making your chocolate milk. If there’s one thing, we can’t stand, it is lumped in our hot chocolate!
  • Don’t panic if you want a nice foamy Starbucks salted caramel mocha but haven’t got a blender. Here’s an easy way to get it foamy and creamy. Add it to a flask or shaker. Give it a vigorous shake before adding the whipped cream on top. Be careful when opening the lid, as it might become a little pressurized with steam.
  • If heating milk in a pan is too much effort, here’s a tip. Microwave it instead! Just follow the instructions we gave above, but instead of a pan, make your foamy milk in a bowl instead! 


Starbucks salted caramel mocha is creamy, chocolatey, and really tasty! It is a bit fiddly to prepare, but the end result is well worth it. In fact, aside from the coffee, you can make the other parts any time you like. This drink contains everything we love at Starbucks. It’s got a smooth and delicious caramel sauce, a hint of hot chocolate, and of course, a decent helping of caffeine… Oh, and whatever you do, don’t forget the whipped cream. It wouldn’t be a Starbucks without it! What is your favorite Starbucks drink? What else have they decided to miss out on the menu? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll see if we can make a copycat recipe! 


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