Make your own caramel iced coffee at home with this easy recipe. This sweet and creamy DIY version tastes just as good as (if not better than!) any iced coffee you can buy at Starbucks, Dunkin', or anywhere else. Plus, making your coffee at home is guaranteed to save you time and money - it's a win-win!
I love an iced coffee. I don't love spending $5 on a glass of ice topped with what feels like five sips of coffee. And I love a local coffee shop, but I usually don't spare myself 20 minutes to stop for coffee in the morning before work. This recipe is the answer to my dilemmas -- and maybe to yours too! It's a super easy, sweet, creamy iced coffee, swirled with homemade caramel sauce, and made in under 5 minutes. IT IS SO GOOD.
Why you'll love this homemade iced coffee recipe
In case you need more convincing, here are a few of the perks to making your own caramel iced coffees:
It's cheaper. The most expensive items you'll need for this recipe are coffee and cream, and I guarantee that you can purchase both of these items for the cost of 3-4 iced coffees from a coffee shop. I don't know exactly how many homemade iced coffees you'll get out of one bag of coffee, but it's definitely wayyyy more than 3-4.
It's convenient. Going to a coffee shop involves - at the minimum - getting dressed, walking/driving somewhere, waiting in line, ordering, waiting some more, and finally getting your coffee. Making your own iced coffee involves walking into your kitchen and pouring 4 ingredients into a glass filled with ice. If your coffee and caramel are pre-prepped it literally takes 2 minutes.
It's customizable! Like your coffee a little less sweet? Just add less caramel. Looking for something extra-creamy? Add an extra tablespoon of cream. Make it work for you.
How to make a caramel iced coffee
So now that you're good and convinced, let's dive into how to make a homemade caramel iced coffee:
Start by pouring chilled coffee over ice.
I brew coffee in the morning and always have a little left over that I refrigerate for the afternoon, but you can also use store-bought or homemade cold brew if you want to be a little fancier about it.
Add milk and cream.
(This swirl action is the best part!)
Add caramel sauce.
For this I use my homemade caramel sauce made with milk. It lasts for a while and one batch will make you plenty of iced coffees.
Stir it all together and you're good to go! (Pair this with a coffee scone for extra deliciousness.)
Best types of coffee for this recipe
Like I mentioned above, cold brew coffee is technically the best option for any iced coffee drink. There are plenty of methods for making it at home, or you can purchase pre-made cold brew from the grocery store (I personally love Chameleon cold brew).
That being said, buying cold brew can be expensive, and I haven't personally committed to the homemade cold brew bandwagon. Instead, I just brew my coffee as normal using my French press or pour over and refrigerate a small portion for iced coffee.
What caramel to use for this recipe
If at all possible, I would absolutely use homemade caramel sauce for this iced coffee. It's just going to taste better. I highly recommend this caramel sauce recipe -- it really doesn't take very long to make and only requires a few basic ingredients. Make it ahead of time so it's ready to go for iced coffee throughout the week.
Like hot lattes, iced lattes use espresso, contain a higher proportion of milk to coffee, and typically have a small layer of foam. Iced coffee, on the other hand, is made with chilled coffee or cold brew, and contains less milk.
Although the two terms are often used interchangeably (most recipes for iced caramel lattes are really just iced coffee), this drink is better categorized as the latter. I consider this a win since iced coffee is generally a little simpler to make and doesn't require any special kitchen appliances.
Yes! If you prefer, you can swap the coffee for 2-3 shots of espresso and use a full cup of milk (preferably cold frothed) to turn this recipe into an iced latte.
While I strongly prefer cow's milk in all of my iced coffee recipes, unsweetened, non-dairy milk can be substituted. I would recommend oat milk!
More homemade coffee drinks
If you're into this whole coffee-shop-at-home vibe, here are a few more recipes you can try (including a few Starbucks copycats)!
Caramel Iced Coffee (Latte)
Make your own iced caramel latté at home with this easy recipe. This sweet and creamy DIY version tastes just as good as (if not better than!) any iced latté you can buy. Plus, making your coffee at home is guaranteed to save you time and money - it's a win-win!
- Prep Time: 2 minutes
- Total Time: 2 minutes
- Yield: 1 iced latté 1x
- Category: beverages
- Cuisine: American
- ½ cup (4 fluid ounces) chilled coffee or cold brew
- ¼ cup (2 fluid ounces) milk
- 1 tablespoon whipping cream
- 1 ½ tablespoons caramel sauce
- Combine all ingredients: Add ice to glass. Pour in coffee, milk, cream, and caramel.
- Stir: Stir until entirely smooth and enjoy!
Optionally, you can also blend the coffee, milk, cream, and caramel together and pour over ice for a frothier drink.
Turn this into an iced caramel latte: Swap the coffee for 2-3 shots of chilled espresso, and use a full cup of milk. Cold froth your milk for best results.
Keywords: caramel iced coffee, iced caramel coffee, iced caramel latte, homemade iced caramel latte, iced coffee, Starbucks copycat, Dunkin' copycat
Quick Note: This is an updated version of a post that originally appeared on Bright-Eyed Baker in 2012, with a new and improved rendition of the original recipe.