Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew: A Sweet-And-Salty Delight!
Are you a fan of the sweet-and-salty combination? I can’t get enough of it, with the contrasting flavours stimulating my palate. It’s why I can’t keep chocolate-covered pretzels in the house. And it’s why I’ve been spending too much money on Starbucks Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew.
I’d much rather give my money to a local roaster for great coffee beans than a corporate coffee chain, so I created a homemade version. I hope you enjoy this easy Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew recipe as much as I do!
What You Need
- 30 g coarsely ground coffee
- 210 ml cold water
- 2 tablespoons caramel syrup or caramel sauce
- ¾ cup ice cubes
- 90 ml half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon vanilla syrup
- Pinch of sea salt
- French press
At a Glance
10 minutes (+24 hours for cold brew)
Notes on Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew Ingredients
Visit the Starbucks website, and you’ll find a disconcertingly extensive list of ingredients for the Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew, including carrageenan, natural flavours, and potassium sorbate (1). Don’t let that concern you. This homemade version uses simple, easy-to-find ingredients with no lab-made flavours or unpronounceable preservatives.
For more recipes that are healthier and tastier versions of some of the best drinks at Starbucks, try our Starbucks Irish Cream Cold Brew recipe or our take on the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew.
Cold Brew Coffee
The essential ingredient in this iced coffee is coffee. You can save time using store-bought coffee or cold brew concentrate. But it is shockingly easy to make your own cold brew at home if you have a little patience.
Brewing your own gives you much more flexibility when pairing the flavour profile of the coffee with the overall drink. I suggest a nutty medium roast from South America as the perfect partner for the sweet caramel flavour of this cold drink.
Dairy and Non-Dairy Alternatives
Half-and-half, which is 10% milk fat, is the best choice to get the appropriate creamy and indulgent texture for this salted cream cold foam cold brew. Because you don’t need as much milk as you would for a latte or cappuccino, the fattier dairy doesn’t feel overwhelming. If you don’t have half-and-half, you can combine equal parts whole milk and heavy cream.
Substitute whole or 2% milk for a lighter version of the salted caramel cream cold foam. However, I don’t recommend skim milk, and it won’t foam as well, and it will make the drink taste thin and dilute.
You can make a vegan-friendly or dairy-free version using almond, oat, soy, or cashew milk. Look for higher-fat versions of these dairy free milk to get the best texture for your salted caramel cream cold foam.
I’ll admit I use store-bought caramel sauce or caramel syrup for this recipe. It really cuts down on ingredients and prep time. But if you want to make your own, it’s not complicated.
Combine 1 cup brown sugar, 4 tablespoons butter, ½ cup half-and-half, and 2 teaspoons vanilla syrup in a small saucepan. Bring it to a simmer and constantly whisk until it thickens. This makes about a cup of sauce, which you can store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
How to Make Starbucks Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew
Making the perfect Starbucks copycat of this drink is a piece of cake and doesn’t require any special equipment. In fact, you can use the same French press to make cold brew coffee AND the salted caramel foam! Once the cold brew has steeped, you’re just a few minutes away from this delightful sweet-and-salty treat (2).
1. Make Cold Brew
Combine 30 grams of coarsely ground coffee and 210 ml of cold water in a French press. Don’t press the plunger down. Let it sit overnight for 16 to 24 hours. A longer steeping time results in a stronger brew.
Press the plunger down when the time is up to filter out the coffee grounds. The ground coffee will absorb some of the water, so you should be left with about 180 ml of cold brew coffee.
If you want your salted caramel cream cold brew in a hurry, skip this step and substitute store-bought cold brew coffee.
Pro tip: If you don’t have a French press, you can make cold brew in a Mason jar. Repeat the same process but filter the cold brew through a cloth or paper coffee filter after steeping.
2. Make The Caramel Cold Brew
Pour the prepared cold brew into a 360-ml tall glass and stir in 2 tablespoons of caramel syrup or caramel sauce. Mix well, then add ¾ cup ice cubes.
For a more intense coffee flavour that won’t dilute even if you take the time to savour your drink, replace the ice with coffee ice cubes. You can make coffee cubes by freezing hot brewed coffee or cold brew in an ice cube tray.
Pro tip: It is always worth matching the temperature of your glass to your drink. For iced coffee like this, use a chilled glass. When making hot coffee or espresso, pre-heat the mug.
3. Make the Salted Caramel Cold Foam
Add the half-and-half vanilla syrup and a small pinch of sea salt to a clean, chilled French press. Vigorously move the plunger up and down to aerate the milk, giving it a thick cold foam texture.
Taste the salted cold foam after frothing to ensure the right salty-sweet balance. If it’s too sweet, add another pinch of salt. If it’s too salty, start over or add more milk and syrup to make a bigger batch.
Pro tip: If you don’t have a French press, there are many ways to make salted cold foam. Add the ingredients to a chilled mason jar and shake it for a minute. Use a handheld milk frother, automatic milk frother with a cold setting, immersion blender, or whisk. You can also use a regular blender, but you may need to make a larger batch.
4. Add The Salted Caramel Cold Foam To The Cold Brew
Pour the salted caramel cream foam over the glass of caramel cold brew and ice. If you’re feeling fancy, top the cold foam with an extra caramel syrup or sauce drizzle and add a flaky salt pinch. Serve immediately.
Can you believe how easy that was? Why have we been paying Starbucks to do it for us? From now on, I will indulge in my Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew habit in my home, using my favourite freshly roasted coffee beans. And I hope you enjoyed this Starbucks copycat recipe enough to do the same!
Let us know what you thought of this recipe by leaving a rating or dropping a comment below. We appreciate your feedback!
The salted caramel cream cold brew nutrition facts vary depending on your ingredients. For the Starbucks drink, a grande size has 240 calories, 26 g of sugar, and 14 g of fat, including 9 g of saturated fat and no trans fat.
You can significantly reduce the salted caramel cream cold brew calories in our Starbucks copycat version if you substitute sugar-free vanilla or caramel syrup and use lower-fat dairy products in the cold foam.
To make your own vanilla syrup for the cold foam:
1. Combine 1 cup water and 1 cup white sugar in a small saucepan.
2. Bring it to a simmer and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Remove from the heat, and add 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract. This vanilla syrup will be sealed in the fridge for 6 weeks.
There is approximately 100 mg of caffeine in this salted caramel cream cold brew Starbucks recipe, with some variation possible depending on steeping time and your choice of coffee beans. A grande Starbucks caramel cold brew has 185 mg of caffeine. The average adult can safely consume up to 400 mg of caffeine daily (3).
- Starbucks. (2023). Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew. Retrieved from https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/2122795/iced/nutrition
- Bui, A. (2017, December 1). The science behind why sweet and salty are the perfect taste combination. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/the-science-behind-why-sweet-and-salty-are-the-perfect-taste-combination-2017-12
- FDA. (2018, December 12). Spilling the Beans: How Much Caffeine is Too Much? Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/spilling-beans-how-much-caffeine-too-much