Starbucks Dark Caramel Sauce – Make It At Home!

Cakes, Frappuccinos, and even ice cream – you can find just about any occasion for caramel sauce. For an even richer and buttery version, Starbucks Dark Caramel sauce delivers just the right balance of sweet and smoky. 

You can also make dark caramel sauce at home and enjoy the tasty notes of caramel in your favorite cold or hot drinks.

Topics Explored

  1. What is their Dark Caramel Sauce?
  2. Calories
  3. Other Starbucks Sauces
  4. Starbucks Dark Caramel Sauce Recipe (Copycat)
  5. Important Tips
  6. More Questions

What is Starbucks Dark Caramel Sauce?

The Starbucks dark caramel sauce is a rich sauce that combines caramel that is cooked longer than usual with cream.

The dark caramel infuses the sweet and lightly smoky flavor of burnt sugar while the cream give the sauce its signature texture. 

Popular drinks like the Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino are made using dark caramel sauce.

Homemade Dark Caramel Sauce

Wondering what the difference is between dark caramel sauce vs. regular caramel sauce? Dark caramel sauce = deeper, smokier flavor. 

Cooking out moisture from sugar for as long as possible infuses a deeper flavor into the caramel sauce. When compared to regular caramel, the sugar mixture is cooked into a light amber caramel.

Dark Caramel Sauce Calories

A shot of dark caramel sauce in your favorite drink is a delicious treat for the taste buds but what about calories

There is no exact calorie number given by Starbucks. On average, a pump of dark caramel sauce can contain 35-50 calories.

Other Starbucks Sauces

Sweet caramel not your style? There are plenty of other sauces you can choose from to add that little dab of flavor to your favorite drink.

Here are 5 flavorful Starbucks sauces you can try.

Pistachio Sauce

Pistachio Frapp


The Starbucks pistachio sauce has a rich nutty and creamy flavor that pairs well with coffee. It is commonly used in the Starbucks winter menu favorite Pistachio Latte. 

Pistachio sauce is versatile and works with drinks of any temperature. You can enjoy it in a hot latte, iced coffee, or Frappuccino-style.

Used In:

  • Pistachio Latte
  • Pistachio Coffee Frappuccino
  • Iced Pistachio Latte

Mocha Sauce

Chocolaty Chip Crème Frapp


If you love the taste of rich chocolate infused with some coffee, mocha sauce will not disappoint. Mocha sauce works well in hot and cold drinks including popular.

Starbucks regulars like the Iced Caffè Mocha, Hot Chocolate, Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino, and the Mocha Frappuccino.

Used In:

  • Iced Caffè Mocha
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino
  • Mocha Frappuccino

Pumpkin Spice Sauce

Pumpkin Frapp


The warming tones of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg are the main ingredients you’ll find in the pumpkin spice sauce

You can enjoy its rich warming flavor in the fall season in Starbucks fan favorites like the PSL, or the Pumpkin Spice Frapp. 

Used In:

  • Pumpkin Spice Creme
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte
  • Pumpkin Spice Frapp

Caramel Brulée Sauce

Caramel Brulee Latte


Big fan of crème brulée? This sauce is made for you.

The Caramel Brulée sauce combines the sweet taste of caramel with burnt undertones.

The Brulée sauce is a staple in Starbucks’ line of holiday drinks, just in time for Christmas!

Used In:

  • Caramel Brulée Latte
  • Caramel Brulée Frappuccino
  • Caramel Brulée Crème Frappuccino

White Chocolate Mocha Sauce

Iced White Mocha


White Chocolate Mocha sauce tastes exactly like melted white chocolate to me.

You’ll find it used in abundance in Starbucks creme and mocha drinks. Like the Caramel Brulée, white chocolate is also popular during the winter season.

Used In:

  • White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino
  • White Hot Chocolate
  • White Chocolate Mocha

Starbucks Dark Caramel Sauce Recipe (Copycat)

You do not have to make the trip every time you crave the rich taste of dark caramel sauce. You can make your own dark caramel using this dark caramel sauce recipe below.

Starbucks Dark Caramel Sauce Recipe

Copycat Starbucks Dark Caramel Sauce (With Photos)

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Try this simple Starbucks dark caramel sauce recipe that you can whip up in a just few minutes with a few simple ingredients.


  • Granulated Sugar: 1 cup
  • Water: ¼ cup
  • Whipping Cream: ½ cup (room temperature)
  • Vanilla Extract: 1 teaspoon (optional)


  1. Start by pouring 1/4 cup water and sugar into a saucepan. Turn on the burner to cook on medium-high heat. Do not stir the mixture!Sugar in Pot
  2. If you notice sugar crystals start to form, swirl the mixture in the pan to moisten the sugar but do not stir. The syrup should start to change color.Swirl Sugar Syrup
  3. Once the syrup turns into a medium amber color, cook it for a further one minute watching it closely until it turns to a dark brown color. Caramel Darkening
  4. As soon as the syrup turns into a dark brown color with tan bubbles, remove it from the heat immediately and slowly add in the whipping cream.Heavy Cream Caramel
  5. The mixture will bubble for a moment. Wait for the bubbling to stop then whisk the mixture into a smooth creamy consistency*. Whisk Caramel
  6. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature. Once it is cool, pour it into an air-tight container. You can refrigerate it for up to a month.Starbucks Dark Caramel Sauce Recipe Copycat


* Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the mixture for more flavor or skip it altogether.
** When you need to use the sauce, just reheat it in a microwave and add it to your drink.

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Important Tips

Making caramel as dark as possible gives it a richer depth of flavor. You can achieve this by cooking your caramel longer while ensuring it does not burn. 

If you want your dark caramel sauce to turn out perfectly, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Heavy Cream Caramel

1. Watch It Like a Hawk

It only takes a minute for the caramel sauce to go from dark amber to a charred mess.(1)

Keep a close eye on it while cooking at all cost or you’ll have yourself a tub of burnt caramel. Remove your sauce from the heat as soon as the color changes to a deep brown.

2. Don’t Stir Until You Add Cream

When cooking your caramel sauce, avoid stirring the water and sugar mixture. 

Simply moisten the sugar by swirling it in the pan. You should only stir the sauce when adding the cream after removing it from the heat.

3. Room Temperature Cream

When adding the cream to the sauce, stir it in slowly since the mixture will bubble furiously and may rise and sputter.

It is also best to use room-temperature cream since cold cream will stop the cooking process making your caramel seize and you will need to reheat it.

4. Safety First

Always allow the caramel sauce to cool before pouring it into a jar to refrigerate.

Hot caramel sauce can crack glass so avoid pouring it into jars for storage until it has cooled down.

Final Words

Dark Caramel Sauce

Starbucks Dark Caramel sauce is a favorite and for good reason. The rich creamy flavor of dark caramel pairs well with both hot and cold drinks so there are plenty of ways to enjoy it.

You can enjoy it in Frappuccinos or make your own dark caramel sauce at home for drinks. It even works well on ice creams, pies, and of course, pancakes!

More Questions

Is caramel syrup the same as caramel sauce?

Caramel syrup is not the same as caramel sauce. The caramel sauce has a richer creamier texture and is typically made using cream, water, and sugar.

Caramel syrup has a thinner consistency and is made with just sugar, water, and flavoring.

Does Starbucks have dark caramel sauce?

Yes, they carry dark caramel sauce in most of its outlets in North America and some outlets in other regions. It is commonly used in the Starbucks Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino. 

You can also enjoy the rich taste of dark caramel sauce in the popular Coffee Frappuccino.

Does Starbucks sell their caramel drizzle?

Yes, you can buy the Starbucks caramel drizzle via the Starbucks-at-home line but they do not sell dark caramel drizzle. You can also buy flavors like hazelnut and vanilla online or at Starbucks outlets.

However seasonal flavors like pumpkin spice and cinnamon are not always available for sale.

Verified Sources

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