Save some money this holiday and try making your favorite Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte at home. Read on to see my simple recipe that closely replicates the drink, you won’t know the difference.
When it is almost November and the Christmas lights go up and the jingles start playing, I know it’s only a matter of time before I can enjoy my favorite Starbucks holiday drinks again. Like the rest of the world, I enjoy a nice cup of Peppermint mocha but not as much as my all-time favorite, the Caramel Brulee Latte. Being such a big fan of caramel, of course, I would pick the Caramel Brulee latte over any other holiday drink (sorry to the peppermint lovers). The rich sweetness of the caramel flavor is enough reason why not to mention it comes in the creamy goodness of a latte. I’m already having a craving just writing about it.
That’s why I knew, I couldn’t wait all year long before Starbucks rolls out their holiday menu again. So, I went on a mission to come up with the best recipe that best replicates this amazing holiday drink. Now, I’ve finally found it, and I can’t wait to share it with you. But before that, let’s go through some fun and important facts about the Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte.
Brief History Of The Drink.
I’ve always been a curious cat, wanting to know the origin of everything, and my favorite drinks are no exceptions. For some reason, drinks and food always taste better when you have knowledge about their history and what inspired their creation, or is it just me? Oh well, my curiosity, led me to do a little background research on the Starbucks Caramel Brulee latte, and I found some interesting facts.
You may already know that the Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte was first released in 2009. It quickly became a fan favorite (with good reason) and is now considered the 2nd best Starbucks holiday drink after the Peppermint Mocha. But did you know, that it is a French-inspired drink? Because it is.
In French, the term ‘Brulée’ directly translates to ‘burned’. In cooking, however, the term refers to a French technique of creating a hardened topping by torching a layer of sugar. The drink’s topping actually almost mimics a Crème Brulée. So, every time I order a Caramel Brulee Latte, I can’t help feeling a little French.
What’s In A Starbucks Caramel Brulée Latte – (Ingredients)
Now that you know the interesting origin of this amazing drink, let’s move on to what makes it so good. What are the ingredients found in the Caramel Brulee Latte? Well, the drink is pretty simple with no more than three ingredients if you minus the toppings. The drink comprises brewed espresso, steamed milk, Caramel Brulee syrup, whipped cream, and Caramel Brulee toppings.
The espresso Starbucks uses for this drink is their Starbucks Signature Espresso blend. They also use their brand of Caramel Brulee sauce. The sauce is made up of sugar, skim milk powder, corn syrup, some natural flavors, and preservatives like salt. As for the milk, they use 2% milk, which is usually their standard unless specified otherwise. The Caramel Brulee topping they use is simply sugar, corn syrup, vegetable and fruit colors like apple and hibiscus, and some added natural flavors.
According to Starbucks, the drink doesn’t have any outstanding allergens, although if you are lactose intolerant you may want to skip out on the whipped cream and swap the milk for plant-based. Otherwise, Starbucks usually cautions its customers to be careful regardless since their equipment is used to make different drinks, so one may end up reacting as a result. But this has rarely ever happened.
Starbucks Caramel Brulée Latte: Sizes, nutrition, Caffeine & Calories
What Sizes Are Available
When it comes to the sizes, there are four available options. You can either have a short size (8 fl oz), tall size (12 fl oz), grande (16 fl oz), or venti (20 fl oz). The drink can be overly sweet for some people. So, if you are going to try it for the first time, I would advise starting with a short size and progressing from there. I usually alternate between a tall and grande size depending on my pocket. I don’t know if anyone has ever splurged on a venti, but I know even I, being the sweet tooth I am, cannot handle that kind of sugar overload.
Often, I hear people, especially dieticians, complaining about how unhealthy Starbucks drinks can be. Usually, I’m on the defensive side and could argue that it is a matter of perception and what a person’s preferred diet is. But as much as I love the Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte, I have to admit, it isn’t one of the healthiest drinks. If anything, it tilts more towards an unhealthy drink, especially if you are on a strict diet or have an underlying medical condition. But that’s not to say that Starbucks should do away with the drink. On the contrary. As I said, healthy is a matter of perception. So, let me share with you some important nutritional facts and let you make the judgment. Before I proceed, please note that these facts are based on a grande size and calculated using the standard diet of 2,000 calories per day.
The Caramel Brulee Latte is considered to be among the high-calorie drinks at Starbucks, with 410 calories in a grande serving. That’s actually about an entire breakfast calorie requirement. The calories majorly come from the carbs and sugar, which is 22% of the daily intake requirement. Which makes sense considering caramel is literary all sugar. The rest of it comes from the fat you’ll get from the milk and whipped cream, forming 18% of your daily intake of fats. The majority of that is 9g of saturated fat, which is almost half of the daily required intake of saturated fats. The amount of cholesterol and sodium are also significant but not alarming, and you also get a decent 12g of proteins.
All things considered; the original Caramel Brulee Latte may not be your best choice. This is especially if you are on a low-calorie diet, or keto diet, or have underlying issues like high cholesterol. But in the end, the key is moderation. Reducing the size of the drink and the number of Caramel Brulee sauce pumps reduces the overall calorie count as well as carbs and sugar. By swapping your milk for healthier versions like non-fat milk or plant-based options, and opting out of the whipped cream you can reduce the fat.
Below is a table that summarizes all the facts I’ve discussed above:
|Calorie count (out of 2,000 calories daily intake)||410|
|Nutrient Content (per Grande serving)||% of Daily Value|
|Total Fat (14g)
Trans Fat (0.5g)
Saturated Fat (9g)
|Total carbohydrates (61g)
While the sugar content of the drink is high (as expected of a caramel drink), what I love about the Caramel Brulee latte is that the caffeine level is not high. A grande size only has 150mg which is typical of most lattes. This is equivalent to a regular cup of morning joe. It gives you the right dose of energy you need for your day. It’s also barely a quarter of what a regular adult is advised to take per day, that is, 400mg. But then again, I’ve seen many coffee addicts who take way more than that in a day, without adverse issues.
So, What Does Starbucks Caramel Brulée Latte Taste Like?
Heavenly! That’s the term I would use to describe the Starbucks Caramel Brulee latte in one word. But seriously, the drink is deliciously sweet and yet smoky thanks to the Caramel Brulee sauce. That is the difference between it and the regular Starbucks caramel syrup which is more buttery. That hint of smokiness is what gives the drink a unique twist. Pair that with the milky creaminess of a latte topped with whipped cream and crunchiness or the Caramel Brulee topping. The contrast in texture is what makes the drink even more enjoyable to have.
Ways To Customize A Caramel Brulée Latte At Starbucks
The beauty of Starbucks is that it allows room for creativity. You can create so many variations of your favorite drink, such that there is no chance it will ever get boring. It’s no exception with the Caramel Brulee Latte. There are so many variations of the drink beginning with an iced Caramel Brulee latte. Just swap the steamed milk for whole milk and serve over ice with the same toppings, and you have yourself and refreshing and sweet cold beverage. You can also turn it into a Frappuccino if you want to mask some of the sweetness. Swap the espresso for Frappuccino coffee syrup, and blended ice and cream and there you have it.
But if you are stuck on having the latte version, there are so many variations you can create from it. You can play around with the milk options, although be warned that plant-based milk may alter the flavor of the drink. You could also add new flavors or sweeteners and even increase or reduce the shots of espresso. As for the toppings, you have a wide selection of sprinkles, whipped cream, and drizzle sauces. It’s up to you to decide what type of drink you are going for and then create it.
Equipment needed to make Starbucks Caramel Brulée Latte at home.
- Espresso machine/Moka pot/French Press/Keurig machine.
- Milk frother
Ingredients needed to make Starbucks Caramel Brulée Latte at home.
- 2 shots of espresso
- 1 cup of milk
- 3 tablespoons of Caramel Brulee sauce
- Whipped cream
- Crashed caramel candy
How to make Starbucks Caramel Brulée Latte at home – Directions.
- Start by preparing your 2 shots of espresso. You can only pull two shots at a time from most espresso machines, but feel free to add a shot if you feel the drink would be strong enough.
- Steam and froth your milk until it is warm and foamy. I used 2% whole milk for this recipe, but you can swap it for your preferred milk choice, whether it’s non-fat or non-dairy.
- Add the espresso shots to your mug, along with the foamy steamed milk and caramel Brulee sauce, then mix well. h
- Top off your mug with whipped cream and sprinkle the crashed caramel candy on top. You can also add a drizzle of the caramel syrup, but this is optional.
- I use the Starbucks Signature espresso blend, which is what Starbucks also uses for this drink. You can use any preferred dark roast blend to brew a really strong espresso-like coffee (half a cup) if you are using a normal coffee machine, French press, or Moka pot. Alternatively, you could brew the coffee using your preferred K-cup if you own a Keurig machine.
- I use my espresso machine to steam and froth my milk because it comes with this setting. You can, however, use a milk frother or do it by hand. You can either whisk the milk vigorously as you warm it or place it in a tightly sealed microwave-proof container and shake it vigorously before warming it in the microwave.
- If you want to reduce the sweetness of the drink, you can always make your own caramel syrup/sauce and control the amount of sugar you use. But if you are like me and want to save yourself the trouble you can buy unsweetened syrup instead. I use the exact Caramel Brulee sauce Starbucks uses so I can replicate the taste.
- If you want to sweeten your drink a little more you can add French vanilla syrup (1 tablespoon). If you just want the flavor, then using an unsweetened vanilla syrup works too.
- I like to add some cream to my milk at times to make the latte thicker and match up to the café-quality lattes.
- For a completely vegan version, you can use vegan milk and syrups for this recipe as well.
- If you prefer making your own toppings instead of store-bought caramel candy, you can melt some sugar by baking it until it’s golden brown. Allow it to cool and then break it into crumbles.
- In case you want to reduce the calorie count of the drink, you can reduce the amount of whipped cream or opt-out of it completely. You can also use skim milk or no-fat milk.
Does Starbucks still have the caramel Brulée latte?
Yes, Starbucks does still have the Caramel Brulée latte, but it is only available during the holiday season between November and January the following year.
Does Starbucks sell its caramel Brulée sauce?
Some customers have reported that it is possible to buy the sauce directly from Starbucks, but this is not confirmed. You can, however, buy the exact sauce, at Walmart or on platforms like Amazon.
How much is the caramel Brulée latte at Starbucks?
The price of the drink varies depending on the size. For example, for a tall size, it’s $3.95. For a grande size, it is $4.65 and for a venti size, you’ll get it at $4.95.