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CARAMEL APPLE SPICE (STARBUCKS COPYCAT)


Close up of a hot apple cider with caramel and cinnamon. The mug of caramel apple spice is sitting on a wooden board, and is surrounded by cinnamon sticks, apples, and a checkered napkin.

If you’re a sucker for a good coffeehouse seasonal drink like I am, you’ve probably enjoyed a Starbucks caramel apple spice at least once. While the Starbucks hot apple cider is a real treat, it is definitely on the (overly) sweet side.


This copycat Starbucks recipe is cozy and satisfying, while toning down to sweetness to a more manageable level. The perfect drink for a cool fall night!


TELL ME ABOUT THIS CARAMEL APPLE SPICE RECIPE


Level of difficulty: Easy.

Flavor: Apple, cinnamon, and caramel

Time: It will take you less than 10 minutes prepare your hot caramel apple cider


Ingredients needed to make a caramel apple spice. Apple cider, cinnamon, caramel sauce, and whipped cream.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED


Apple Cider: fresh squeezed from a local apple orchard or bottled at your grocery store, apple cider (not apple juice) is the base of this caramel apple spice Starbucks copycat recipe

Ground Cinnamon: adding this to your apple cider brings all those cozy fall flavors that you’re expecting in this hot apple cider. Option to sprinkle a little extra on top too

Caramel Syrup or Sauce: the caramel is in the apple cider itself and drizzled on top… does it get any better than that?! This is the one I like to use

Squirt Whipped Cream: sometimes that fun can of squirt whipped cream is just what you need! Using your favorite canned whipped cream makes preparing this drink extra easy


WAIT, YOU SKIPPED THE CINNAMON DOLCE SYRUP?


Yes, yes I did. The Starbucks cinnamon dolce syrup is a fancy cinnamon simple syrup. Apple cider is already sweet...and we’re adding caramel...and we’re topping our drink with whipped cream… plus some extra caramel... the added sugar just isn’t necessary. This version of the Starbucks caramel apple cider skips the white sugar and brown sugar (and other miscellaneous ingredients) used for the cinnamon syrup, and adds our favorite fall spice directly to the drink.


OVERVIEW: HOW TO MAKE THIS COPYCAT STARBUCKS RECIPE


  1. Place apple cider, cinnamon, and caramel into a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to combine and stir periodically throughout the heating process. Warm to desired temperature (approximately 5-10 minutes)

  2. Pour hot cider into a mug, leaving room for whipped cream

  3. Top with whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel, and a dusting of cinnamon


Close up of a hot apple cider with caramel and cinnamon. The mug of caramel apple spice is sitting on a wooden board, and is surrounded by cinnamon sticks, apples, and a checkered napkin.

EXPERT TIPS


How to make this for a pair or larger group. This recipe is written out for a single serving, but you can easily double, or multiply this recipe out for a larger group. A few tips for making this hot apple cider recipe for a group:

  • Make sure you have a medium or large size saucepan to heat your cider in (size will depend on how many servings you are making)

  • Allow yourself more time to heat up your cider. With the larger volume, it will take a little longer to get your cider heated up. Don’t worry, it’s worth the wait!


How to make this into a spiked apple cider. If you’re wanting to turn this into a warm and cozy caramel apple cider cocktail, add a shot of your favorite bourbon or brandy to your serving glass. Do not add your liquor of choice to the apple cider on the stove as you’ll cook off some of the alcohol (and then, what's the point of spiking it?).


Homemade whipped cream is a perfectly acceptable topping for your hot caramel apple cider if you don’t want to use canned. If you have the time and desire to make homemade whipped cream, go for it! Homemade whipped cream is always delicious.


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