Starbucks apple crisp macchiato is the perfect fall drink for anyone looking to switch things up from the typical pumpkin spice latte. And this year, they officially released the Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato making it completely vegan-friendly.
Sooo, of course I had to try it! And, is the apple crisp macchiato good? My first thought was that it tasted like an apple cinnamon candle. Okay, so maybe not a candle, but what a candle smells like… I’m not doing the best job of describing it, am I? But, it basically tastes like fall in a cup. If you love all things fall, you will probably like it.
Though when talking with my friends, while a lot of them were super excited to try it they thought the apple and/or cinnamon flavor was wayyyy too strong for them. So, naturally I took that as my sign to recreate it.
Why? Because the best part about making your own version is that you get to control each part. Want more syrup? Add more! Need another shot of espresso? Go for it. Plus, making your own is suuuuuper budget-friendly. And healthier!
You can make this recipe either iced or hot – just make sure to take a look at the recipe notes to see how to make each version.
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What is the Starbucks Apple Crisp Macchiato?
The Starbuck’s Apple Crisp Macchiato consists of three parts: the macchiato, apple brown sugar syrup, and the apple drizzle. Let’s break down each part:
Macchiato: A macchiato literally means “stained milk” and it’s an espresso drink with a small amount of milk. For Starbucks specifically, it’s two shots of espresso with a bit of foam milk. They also have a latte macchiato which has steamed milk. This recipe is more similar to the latte version, since there’s a fair amount of milk added! And, to let the apple flavor shine, they use blonde espresso.
Apple Brown Sugar Syrup: This is the syrup they use to flavor the drink, aka the main component of what makes this drink taste like fall in a cup.
The ingredients for it are:
- Sugar (invert sugar & brown sugar)
- Natural Flavors
Basically sugar and flavoring haha. To achieve the apple cinnamon flavor, Starbucks uses natural flavors. Although, they come from natural sources, they often have artificial and/or synthetic chemicals added (which is what gives the drink a pretty strong, slightly artificial tasting apple flavor). But, in this recipe we’re using apple juice to create the apple flavor. If you want it to have a super strong apple flavor, I would recommend adding apple extract.
Spiced Apple Drizzle: The final component is the apple caramel that they drizzle on top.
Here’s what’s in it:
- Sugars (Corn Syrup, Invert Sugar, Apple Juice Concentrate, Sugar)
In order to recreate this, you can add caramel on top, make a syrup out of apple juice, or make an apple caramel. I have instructions for both the apple juice drizzle and apple caramel in the recipe box below!
What do I need to make the Apple Crisp Macchiato?
Okay so now, what are the ingredients for this Apple Crisp Macchiato?
- Non-dairy milk
- Apple Juice
- Brown Sugar
- Cinnamon Sticks / Cinnamon
And that’s technically everything you need. As I mentioned above, you can also add apple extract if you want a stronger apple flavor. And if you want to make the apple caramel you will also need some corn starch and a splash of lemon juice.
How do I make the Apple Brown Sugar Syrup?
To make this Apple Crisp Macchiato, the first step is to make the Apple Brown Sugar Syrup.
To make the syrup, combine apple juice, water, salt, brown sugar, vanilla, and the cinnamon sticks (or ground cinnamon) in a pot and bring to a boil. Then, let simmer for about 15 minutes.
If you want to achieve a thicker, more syrup like texture, you can simmer it for longer. The more the liquid reduces, the thicker it will get! P.S. make sure to leave the lid off the pot, so the liquid has room to evaporate.
If you want a thick syrup but can’t tell if it’s reduced at all, I recommend straining it into a measuring cup to compare how much liquid is left.
Once the syrup has simmered, strain it into a glass jar and let cool. Once cool, you can put the lid on and place it in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
And, what about the Apple Drizzle?
If you want to make the drizzle, I have tested a few different ways of creating it. You can make the apple drizzle two ways: either by making a syrup out of apple juice and brown sugar or by making a simplified apple caramel. Or, if you have caramel on hand you could add a splash of apple extract or apple juice.
How to make the apple juice syrup:
To make a syrup out of apple juice is super easy! It just requires some patience. And, speaking as the most impatient person ever, if I can make it so can you.
You can make it with just apple juice and simply reduce it until it turns into a syrup. But, while apple juice is already pretty sweet, I added a bit of brown sugar to mine to bring out the caramel flavor. All you’re going to do is add the apple juice (and brown sugar, if using) to a pot, and bring it to a boil. Make sure to whisk the mixture together until the brown sugar has dissolved. Once at a boil, let it simmer until it thickens – about 30-40 minutes. Make sure to leave the pot uncovered so it has room to reduce.
After it’s simmered for awhile make sure to check on it every few minutes as you don’t want it to get too thick! The syrup will thicken as it cools, so you don’t want to take it off the stove when it’s already pretty thick (think maple syrup texture). If that happens, you can just add it back to the pot and mix in some more apple juice.
If you don’t notice the syrup reducing/thickening at all, you can turn up the heat a bit. But, you don’t want it to reduce too quickly or else you won’t get as concentrated of an apple flavor.
How to make the apple caramel:
The other way to make the apple drizzle is to make an easy, diy caramel that includes:
- Lemon juice
- Brown sugar
- Apple juice
- Corn Starch
Add all the ingredients, except the corn starch, to a pot. Bring to a boil, and then let simmer. While simmering, whisk in the corn starch. Make sure to keep whisking, so no lumps form. Keep whisking until the sauce thickens, it should take just a few minutes, so make sure to keep an eye on it! It will also thicken as it cools, so don’t let it simmer for too long. Once done simmering, transfer to a clean glass jar and let cool. Then, store any extras in the fridge.
How long can I store this recipe?
This recipe makes enough syrup for 2-4 apple macchiatos depending on how much you use.
You can store the apple brown sugar syrup in the fridge in a clean glass jar for about 1-2 weeks (if it lasts that long!).
Similarly you can store the apple drizzle in a clean glass jar for the same length of time. It will most likely thicken in the fridge, so if you want to thin it out you can add it back to a pot and add a bit more apple juice and/or water.
And, as always, if you make this recipe, please leave a comment and review below. I’d love to hear how it turned out!
Apple Crisp Macchiato (Iced and Hot Version Below)
Apple Brown Sugar Syrup
- ½ cup apple juice
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1-2 sticks of cinnamon, or 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp apple extract (optional)
Apple Drizzle (Version 1)
- 1 cup apple juice
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
Apple Drizzle (Version 2)
- ½ cup apple juice
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1-2 sticks of cinnamon (or 1 tsp ground cinnamon)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 1 tbsp water
Apple Crisp Macchiato
- 2 oz blonde espresso
- 4-6 oz non-dairy milk
- 2 tbsp apple brown sugar syrup
- 1 tbsp apple drizzle
How to make the Apple Brown Sugar Syrup
- Add all the ingredients to an uncovered pot (except apple extract if using) and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and strain into a glass jar. Mix in the apple extract and let the syrup cool.
How to make the Apple Drizzle (Version 1)
- Add the apple juice, and brown sugar if using, to an uncovered pot.
- Bring to a boil, and let simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the syrup has reduced and thickened slightly. If you're unsure you can pour it into a measuring cup and see how much liquid is left. You want it to reduce by about 1/2 – 2/3rds. It will also thicken as it cools.
- Pour the syrup into a clean glass jar and let cool before placing in the fridge.
How to make the Apple Drizzle (Version 2)
- Add the apple juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice to a pot. Bring to a boil and then let simmer over low heat.
- Whisk the corn starch and water together until smooth.
- Add the corn starch mixture to the pot and whisk together over low heat for about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and let the sauce thicken for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Place in a glass jar and let cool before storing in the fridge.
How to assemble an Iced Apple Crisp Macchiato
- To a glass, add a cup of ice. Pour over two shots of espresso, 2 tbsp apple brown sugar syrup (or more depending on preference), add a bit of the apple drizzle to the inside of the cup.
- To a mason jar, add the milk, froth with a hand frother until a layer of foam is created.
- Add the milk into the cup and add more apple drizzle on top. Stir and enjoy!
How to assemble a Hot Apple Crisp Macchiato
- Heat the milk in a microwave safe glass. Once warm, froth until a layer of foam forms (I recommend using a hand frother!)
- Then, to a glass add the espresso, followed by 2 tbsp syrup (or more depending on preference), a bit of apple drizzle, and the milk. Add an additional drizzle on top. Stir and enjoy!
- Why does my pot need to be uncovered?
- By leaving your pot uncovered, you’re giving the liquid room to evaporate and thicken at a faster pace.
- My syrup reduced too much and now it’s too thick. What do I do?
- Don’t worry! Just add it back to your pot and stir in a bit more apple juice until you get the desired consistency.
- How long can I store the syrup?
- You can store both the apple brown sugar syrup and the apple drizzles in a clean glass jar in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
- What non-dairy milk can I use?
- Any non-dairy milk is fine! Both oat milk and almond milk work great. I haven’t tested others, but they should work fine.
- Do I have to use blonde espresso?
- No, you can use whatever espresso you have on hand. However, the stronger the espresso flavor the less you will taste the apple flavor!