This creamy salted caramel latte is prepared with espresso, plant-based milk, and homemade caramel! It is rich, perfectly sweet, and has a delicious caramel flavor! A warming and easy-to-make treat to enjoy on chilly afternoons! Just 6 ingredients!
📘 What is a Caramel Latte
A caramel latte is a drink that is made with espresso, salted caramel sauce (or caramel syrup), and milk.
This homemade caramel latte is rich, smooth, and SO creamy! It’s the perfect drink to sip on while watching a movie under a warm blanket! Let’s do it!
🧈 Ingredient Notes
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this delicious caramel latte:
- Sugar – Use granulated white sugar for this recipe. As opposed to coconut sugar or brown sugar, white sugar melts very well and is perfect to make caramel.
- Vegan butter – Use store-bought or homemade vegan butter. It adds richness and a buttery flavor to the caramel.
- Coconut milk – Preferably full-fat coconut milk. Don’t worry, you can barely taste the coconut flavor!
- Vanilla – Use a high-quality vanilla extract for the best taste. Alternatively, you can use vanilla paste if that’s what you have on hand. Want to learn how to make your own? Check out this Homemade Vanilla Extract recipe!
- Salt – To balance with the sweetness, and because caramel is always better with a hint of saltiness.
- Espresso – Use espresso, strong brewed coffee, or cold brew.
- Plant-based milk – You can use your favorite unsweetened plant-based milk. Here, I went with cashew milk but almond milk, soy milk, or even hazelnut milk will work!
☕️ How to Make Caramel Latte
This recipe is not only easy to prepare but also yields enough caramel sauce to make up to 5 lattes! Plus the caramel sauce keeps very well in the refrigerator, so you can enjoy it throughout the week!
First, we start by preparing the salted caramel that will make the base of our latte.
- Add the sugar and a tablespoon of water to a saucepan.
- Heat over medium heat, until the sugar has melted. At first, it will form clumps, which is totally normal, keep heating until the sugar melts.
- Once the sugar is golden brown, immediately stir in the vegan butter. This will help stop the cooking and prevent the caramel from getting darker.
- Next, pour in the full-fat coconut milk and let simmer for another minute, or until the caramel is fully combined with the milk.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and a generous pinch of salt.
To assemble the latte:
- Combine 1-2 tablespoons of the salted caramel sauce with hot espresso. Stir until the caramel has completely dissolved.
- Pour in the unsweetened plant-based milk and enjoy!
- To make your latte extra special, feel free to top it with your favorite vegan whipped cream!
- Depending on how strong your coffee is, you might have to adjust the ratio of milk to coffee. For example, if using a light cold brew, you will only need about 2 tablespoons of milk, while you might need up to 1/2 cup of milk if using a strong espresso.
- If you want some foam on top of your latte, you will need to froth the milk. To do so, use soy milk, or plant-based milk that is made for that. It’s usually sold under the label “Barista edition”.
- To froth the milk:
1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan or in the microwave.
2. Option 1: Transfer to a mason jar and shake for a few seconds or until foamy. Option 2: Use an electric milk frother.
3. Pour the espresso into a glass, stir in the caramel sauce, and finish by pouring in the milk.
You cooked the sugar for too long and burnt the caramel. Make sure to keep an eye on the caramel during the cooking process, the caramel should have a rich amber color, but it shouldn’t be dark brown.
Fill a glass with ice cubes. In a small glass or jar, dissolve the caramel sauce into warm espresso and transfer it to the glass containing the ice. Top with cold milk and enjoy!
You can keep the caramel sauce for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. It will slightly thicken once chilled, so make sure to reheat gently over medium heat to give it a thinner consistency.
This homemade caramel latte has the perfect balance of sweet and salty, with a delicate buttery flavor! It makes a real treat to enjoy during the cold weather, and trust me, it tastes better than Starbucks! Enjoy with a shortbread or chocolate chip cookie on the side!
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp salted caramel adjust to taste
- 1/2 cup espresso or cold brew
- 1/4 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
- Add the sugar and water to a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring regularly using a wooden spatula until the sugar melts (at first it will form clumps, that is normal). Keep heating over medium heat until the sugar turns into a golden brown color. Note: Be careful not to burn the caramel or it will turn bitter.
- Once the caramel is golden brown, immediately add the vegan butter and stir to combine. The caramel will bubble so be careful not to burn yourself. Keep stirring until the butter is fully combined with the caramel.
- Next, pour in the full-fat coconut milk and let simmer over low-medium heat for another 1 minute, stirring constantly, until the caramel is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and salt. Let cool for a few minutes before using. You should end up with about 1/2 cup of salted caramel sauce.
- To make the caramel latte: add 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of salted caramel to a glass. Pour in the hot espresso and stir until the caramel has dissolved and is fully combined with the coffee. Pour in the unsweetened plant-based milk and enjoy!
- You can also top your latte with vegan whipped cream and drizzle extra caramel sauce on top!
- The salted caramel sauce will keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. It will thicken in the refrigerator, so reheat gently over medium heat to make it liquid again.
- Depending on how strong is your coffee, you might have to adjust the ratio of milk to coffee. For example, if using a light cold brew, you will only need about 2 tablespoons of milk, while you might need up to ½ cup of milk if using a strong espresso.
About the Author
Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.
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