Look at that coffee on the counter. It’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s icy, it’s caffeinated — it’s a copycat recipe of Starbucks Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew! Made with 5 simple ingredients in about as many minutes, this sweetly salted, caramel-infused glass of creamy coffee goodness is about to become your new morning obsession.
As a working mom of two kiddos, my mornings are a whirlwind of to-do lists and time crunches. But this Starbucks-inspired salted caramel cold brew has become my daily 'me time' amidst the chaos. If you love caramel flavor mixed with coffee, this drink is like hitting the jackpot. It starts with a super smooth coffee base that's just the right amount of strong and has been lightly sweetened with a touch of caramel. The balance is spot-on —sweet without being cloying, bold without being bitter.
But what makes this caramel sweet cream cold brew extra dreamy is the rich and creamy topper. The caramel-infused rich cold foam is lightly salted, which might sound a bit odd at first, but trust — it's the perfect counter to the sweet caramel. It's a fluffy cloud of dessert-y heaven that takes a regular caramel cold brew to whole new echelons of deliciousness.
As I juggle getting ready for work and prepping my kiddos for the day ahead, knowing that I have a delicious, slightly indulgent, under-250 calorie homemade version of this coffee masterpiece waiting for me makes everything a bit easier. So, to all my fellow busy bees out there looking for that perfect morning pick-me-up, listen up — my salted caramel cream cold brew Starbucks copycat recipe is the extra bit of oomph your mornings have been missing! It'll be the new best part of your day!
- What is salted caramel cream cold brew?
- What does it taste like?
- Why You’ll Love This Cold Brew With Salted Caramel Cold Foam
- Ingredients Needed
- How To Make Starbucks Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew
- Optional Variations & Dietary Adjustments
- Serving Suggestions
- Recipe Success Tips
- Homemade Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew Nutrition
- More Cold Brew Recipes
- Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew (Starbucks Copycat)
What is salted caramel cream cold brew?
This ambrosial Starbucks favorite starts with a base of expertly brewed cold brew coffee, known for its smooth, robust flavor and low acidity. But the magic truly begins with the addition of a light caramel sweetness. The coffee forms a perfect backdrop for the caramel's rich, buttery tones, creating a delightful contrast that's neither too sweet nor overpowering.
But the pièce de résistance for this salted caramel cream cold brew recipe is the topping — a rich and creamy salted caramel cold foam. With a texture somewhere between latte foam and whipped cream, it's a crown worthy of coffee royalty. Add in the brûléed sugar undertones of salt-kissed caramel and a pinch of sea salt, and that creamy crown becomes fit for a celestial being.
What does it taste like?
Imagine a light and airy caramel ribbon weaving through a forest of coffee trees, playing hide and seek with your tastebuds. As you sip further, a playful swirl of salted caramel cold foam cascades over your lips, like a fluffy cloud of joy, balancing the sweetness with a charming hint of salt.
It's a frothy dream, a creamy waltz that pirouettes on your tongue, leaving a trail of creamy sweetness and a zing of salt that sings a merry tune. In this cup lies not just a drink, but a small, sweet adventure to brighten your day.
Why You’ll Love This Cold Brew With Salted Caramel Cold Foam
- Quick & Easy - You can whip up this Starbucks salted caramel cold brew recipe in just 5 minutes, which is at least as long as it would take to order in-store.
- Perfectly Self-Indulgent - I think one of the hardest but most important things to learn about being a mom is: you can’t fill others up if your own cup isn’t full. This salted caramel cold foam cold brew tastes deliciously extravagant, but at just over 200 calories per serving, it’s not an over-indulgent treat. It’s just the thing to fill both your proverbial and literal cups!
- Beautifully Balanced - You know how some coffee drinks just taste like sugar bombs? This salted cream cold brew is not one of them. You can taste the deep notes of coffee, smooth cream, and salty-sweet caramel in turn, none stealing the spotlight too long. It’s even balanced from a visual standpoint. The bright cream cold foam against the dark backdrop of coffee creates a perfect chiarascuro that slowly dissolves into a tanned ombre. Gorgeous!
As promised, you need just a handful of ingredients to make a foam-topped salted caramel cold brew Starbucks would be proud of. Here’s what to grab:
- Heavy Cream & Whole Milk - This dreamy dairy duo is responsible for the thick texture of my salted caramel cold foam recipe.
- Caramel Syrup - I recommend making your own from scratch to save quite a bit of money. Otherwise, feel free to use store-bought.
- Sea Salt - The pixie dust that transforms Starbucks caramel cream cold brew into a grown-up delight.
- Cold Brew Coffee - The roasty, toasty, caffeinated heart of our drink.
- Caramel Sauce - Totally optional, but excellent for when you’re feeling a little extra. You deserve it!
Ready to customize your cup? Here are some easy swaps to try:
- Heavy Cream & Whole Milk - For a dairy-free version, feel free to swap in your favorite dairy-free, barista blend plant milk (coconut milk works well) and vegan heavy cream. You can also use 2 tablespoons of half-n-half and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream, or 2 tablespoon heavy cream and 1 tablespoon skim milk.
- Caramel Syrup & Sea Salt - Store-bought salted caramel syrup can be substituted for the caramel simple syrup and sea salt in the cold foam. It can also be used in the cold brew but that may make it a little saltier than desired, depending on your palate.
- Cold Brew Coffee - Make you own cold brew with a French press or other method, or use storebought! You can also use brewed regular coffee that has been chilled, or espresso that’s been mixed with ice and water to make an iced americano. Any cold coffee works great!
- Caramel Sauce - Feel free to use any other topping your heart desires. A sprinkle of cinnamon for warmth, some toffee or browned butter cookie bits for crunch, or even a drizzle of chocolate for one more layer of yumminess.
How To Make Starbucks Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew
Step 1: Add the heavy cream, whole milk, caramel syrup, and sea salt to a small glass or container.
Step 2: Froth the salted cold foam with a handheld milk frother for 5-15 seconds. Set aside.
Step 3: Pour 1 tablespoon of caramel syrup into a tall glass.
Step 4: Pour in the cold brew coffee. Stir to combine.
Step 5: Top with ice.
Step 6: Top with the salted caramel cold foam. Drizzle with caramel sauce and/or another sprinkle of salt. Drink up!
Optional Variations & Dietary Adjustments
As much as I love this salted cream cold foam cold brew, there are plenty of ways for you to make it your own. Here are a few ideas:
- Vegan Delight: Swap the dairy-based milk for a barista blend plant-based alternative, use coconut cream or vegan whipping cream, and use vegan caramel sauce for a coffee drink that's as caring as it is flavorful.
- Sugar-Free Serenade: Feel free to use sugar-free caramel syrup to maintain the rich flavor without getting your blood sugar out of whack.
- Spiced Autumn Twist: Add a dash of cinnamon or pumpkin spice to the cold brew and foam. You can also replace some of the caramel syrup with my apple brown sugar syrup for caramel apple vibes. YUM!
- Mocha Caramel Fusion: Mix in some chocolate syrup with the caramel in the cold brew for a turtle-inspired twist. Top with a chocolate drizzle over the salted foam for an extra indulgent treat.
- Nutty Caramel Dream: Add a hint of hazelnut or almond syrup to the cold brew, giving it more of a toffee nut vibe.
- Treat Yo' Self: Pair your coffee with a warm, buttery croissant with some homemade chia jam. It’s like wrapping your morning in a cozy, flaky, butter-laden hug.
- Choco-Chip Waffle Wonder: Dive into a chocolate chip waffle that's just the right mix of crispy, fluffy, and chocolatey — a perfect mate for the caramel tones in your brew.
- Donut Shop Dupe: Match your homemade fancy coffee with a healthy whole wheat donut for a superb weekend glow-up.
- Nutty Buddies: Nuts and salted caramel are a match made in toffee heaven. Serve your Starbucks caramel cold brew alongside a bowl of peanut butter chocolate overnight oats for a breakfast that'll make you week in the knees.
- Protein Power Party: Put down that grainy protein bar and pair your caramelly iced coffee with sweet, edible protein cookie dough. It'll make your feel like a kid again, but without the sugar hangover!
Recipe Success Tips
- Invest in a Handheld Frother. It makes the process of making cold foam so much easier.
- Start with a high-quality cold brew or make your own by steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for 12-24 hours. The quality of your cold brew is the foundation of your drink, so choose a roast that you love.
- Balanced Caramel Sweetness. Use a good-quality (preferably homemade) caramel syrup, and add it to taste. If your syrup is already salted to begin with, decrease or omit the added salt.
- Perfecting the Salt Balance. Be careful with the salt in your caramel foam. Too little and you'll miss the complexity; too much, and it can overpower the drink. Use fine sea salt for better control and add it incrementally, tasting as you go.
- Layer with Care. Gently pour your salted caramel foam over the iced cold brew. The floating ice helps to create a beautiful layering effect between the coffee and foam. Don't forget to serve it in a clear glass so you can admire your handiwork.
- Customize Your Coffee Strength. Adjust the strength of your cold brew according to your preference. If you like a stronger coffee flavor, use less water in your cold brew concentrate.
It varies by location, but generally speaking, you can always expect to pay at least $5 for a fancy Starbucks drink. When you make it at home, though, you can have it for pennies on the dollar. 😉
If you order it at Starbucks, it will have dairy. If you make it at home, you can easily make it vegan. Check out my instructions for vegan salted caramel cold foam in the “variations” section above.
Yes and no. While you’re welcome to whip up the cold foam ahead of time, over time (even as little as an hour or two) it will lose its structure and melt back into a mostly liquid state. That said, you can still speed up your morning process. Measure out the ingredients into a small mason jar the night before (and put the sweetened cold brew in your travel cup), so all you have to do is add ice, froth the foam, and pour it on top.
Homemade Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew Nutrition
First up, let's talk calories. Each serving of this creamy, dreamy beverage comes in at 204 calories without the extra caramel drizzle. For a delicious treat like this to ring in under 250 calories is awesome!
There are also 11 grams of total fat in each serving. Remember, not all fats are created equal. In the case of this drink, a good portion are saturated fats from the dairy that give it that luxurious texture. Then, we have 1 gram of protein – not a significant amount, but it’s there, doing its bit.
As for sodium, there's 318 mg in each serving. It might seem a bit high for a beverage, but it's the salt that brings out that unique sweet-salty flavor balance we all love. Carbohydrates tally up to 25 grams, with sugars accounting for 22 grams of this. The sugar here primarily comes from the caramel, with the remaining little bit coming from the dairy.
Total nutritional content per serving is:
- Calories: 204 calories
- Total Fat: 11 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Sodium: 318 mg
- Carbohydrates: 25 grams
- Sugar: 22 grams
*This nutritional information is an estimate and calculated based on the ingredients used to create the recipe. The nutritional value of your ingredients may differ slightly. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.
More Cold Brew Recipes
Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew (Starbucks Copycat)
Salted Caramel Cold Foam
- Make the salted caramel cold foam. Add the heavy cream, whole milk, caramel syrup, and sea salt to a small glass or container and froth with a milk frother for 5-15 seconds. Set aside.
- Stir together the cold brew coffee and 1 tablespoon caramel syrup in a tall glass, then top with ice.
- Top with the salted caramel cold foam. Drizzle with caramel sauce and/or sprinkle with more sea salt. Drink up!