The next time you’re craving a creamy iced caramel latte, skip the coffee shop and use this easy recipe to make one at home instead! This DIY version comes together in just 5 minutes with 3 simple ingredients: espresso, milk, and caramel sauce. It couldn’t be easier!
If spending $5 daily on an iced latte is part of your summer morning routine, I can’t say I blame you. But what if you could sip on an even better iced caramel latte at home, minus the trip to the coffee house and for less money to boot? In fact, this is one of my FAVORITE coffee drinks to make, and I think you'll feel the same way!
What You’ll Love About This Recipe
This caramel iced latte recipe is:
- Easy to make - Just 5 minutes, 3 basic ingredients, and 3 easy steps required.
- Inexpensive - The ingredients add up to roughly $1 per latte, a fraction of the price you'd pay at a coffee shop.
- Better Tasting - Like most homemade recipes, iced caramel lattes are better at home! Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts don’t hold a candle.
- Customizable - Use your milk and coffee beans of choice to dial in the flavor, and add just enough caramel sauce to suit your preferred level of sweetness.
Made as written, this iced latte has the perfect milky creaminess, just the right amount of bold espresso flavor, and a buttery, sweet (but not too sweet) caramel finish. Paired with a date scone or a slice of banana oat bread, it's the ultimate morning treat or afternoon pick-me-up!
What is an Iced Caramel Latte Made Of?
An iced latte is simply espresso combined with foamed milk and served over ice. To make your iced latte caramel flavored, all you need to add is the caramel sauce! Here are a few things to note about these ingredients:
- Milk - I think whole milk tastes best in this drink, and it also tends to create a richy, creamy milk foam when frothed, which is exactly what we're looking for here. That said, there's no hard and fast rule - feel free to experiment with the milk of your choice. My favorite non-dairy milk option is unsweetened oat milk, which also tends to foam really well.
- Caramel sauce - You can use store-bought or homemade caramel sauce, but homemade is always better! My favorite caramel sauce recipe is made with just milk and sugar, and it works perfectly in this drink
- Espresso - You'll need 3 ounces of espresso to make this latte - one espresso shot per ounce. There are lots of options for making espresso at home - you can use anything from an intricate espresso machine to a Nespresso (a good intermediate option) or a simple Moka pot.
You can use beans specifically roasted for making espresso, or any variety of dark roast coffee beans, which will give you that same rich flavor. What’s more important than the variety of coffee beans is the way they're ground - an espresso grind has a finer texture than what you’d use for other brewing methods.
But Wait - Can I Make This With Coffee Instead?
Strictly speaking, an iced latte is made with espresso, not coffee. If you absolutely don’t have another option, you can swap the espresso with ½ cup of strong coffee (chilled) or cold brew coffee. But better yet, make my caramel iced coffee instead!
Whichever recipe you decide to follow, please don't use instant coffee! It's great for adding extra flavor to coffee banana bread and other baked goods, but nowhere near as good as freshly-brewed coffee or espresso for drinking purposes.
How to Make an Iced Caramel Latte
Start by filling a tall glass with ice - these tumblers are my current favorite for any cold coffee drink!
Froth the milk and caramel sauce together - ideally with an electric frother - and pour this over the ice in your glass. If you don’t own a frother, you can also use a blender, or just combine the two ingredients in a mason jar and give it a good shake.
Pour the espresso on top, stir, and drink up!
Tips For Perfecting This Recipe
- Although you don’t need to wait for your espresso to cool down completely before adding it to an iced latte, I like to brew mine and then pop it in the refrigerator for a couple of minutes while frothing my milk. The ice in the drink will do the rest of the work to cool things down.
- For an extra treat - especially if you like your coffee on the sweeter side - serve your iced latte with whipped cream and a caramel drizzle.
- You can also drizzle the inside of your glass with caramel sauce before assembling your iced latte - it’ll make it feel more like it came from a coffee shop!
- To make a salted caramel iced latte, add a touch of sea salt to your caramel sauce, and top your drink with an extra sprinkle of salt.
- And finally, if you tend to drink your coffee slowly, try using coffee ice cubes in this caramel latte to prevent it from tasting watered down as the ice melts. All you need to do is fill an ice cube tray with coffee and freeze it.
Coffee Shop Treats to Serve With This Drink
You can’t truly feel like you’re at your favorite local coffee shop unless you have something sweet to snack on. These are my top picks for baked goods to serve with this cold caramel latte:
Usually, yes. However, you can definitely brew your espresso with decaffeinated coffee beans instead!
Iced coffee - as the name suggests - is made with chilled coffee and typically includes a smaller amount of cold milk or cream that has not been frothed. An iced latte uses espresso and a higher proportion of frothed milk.
Easy Iced Caramel Latte
This homemade iced caramel latte recipe is the perfect caffeinated pick-me-up for hot summer months. It's so much better than any drink you can buy at a chain coffee shop, with a sweet, creamy taste and rich notes of espresso in every sip!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 iced latte 1x
- Category: beverages
- Cuisine: American
- 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) milk of choice (I like whole milk)
- 4 teaspoons caramel sauce (or to taste)
- 3 one-ounce shots of espresso
- whipped cream and extra caramel sauce for garnish, optional
- Add ice to serving glass.
- Froth the milk and caramel sauce together with an electric frother and pour over ice in glass. If you don’t own a frother, you can also use a blender, or combine ingredients in a mason jar and shake until foamy.
- Pour espresso over milk and stir. Top with whipped cream and caramel drizzle if desired.
To make with coffee:
- Swap the espresso with ½ cup of strongly-brewed coffee (chilled) or cold brew. Or, use my recipe for caramel iced coffee instead.