If you like to flavor your coffee at home, you will love my caramel syrup for coffee. It’s fat-free and dairy-free, and it’s very easy to make.
With just 4 ingredients, the flavor is hard to beat, and the caramel really shines through. If you are looking for a caramel sauce to pour over ice cream, take a look at my blood orange caramel sauce recipe.
For ease of browsing, you can find my other dessert sauce recipes in one place.
Caramel Syrup, At a Glance
✔️Skill Level: Intermediate
✔️Skills: Caramelizing Sugar
✔️Type: Flavored Syrup for Coffee
✔️Number of Ingredients: 4
✔️Prep Time: 5 minutes
✔️Cook Time: 10 minutes
✔️Yield: about 1 cup of syrup (8 oz)
Jump Straight to the Recipe
Testing the Recipe, for Those Who Are Interested
If you just want the recipe, skip right down to it.
Otherwise, here’s how I tested:
I tested 3 batches of syrup, each with the same amounts of sugar, namely 150 grams or 5.3 oz/3/4 cup.
In batch one, I caramelized half the sugar and used the other half to make a simple syrup to add to it. In batch two, I caramelized all the sugar and stopped the cooking with hot water. For batch 3, I combined equal parts of the first two batches, which equates to caramelizing 113 grams of sugar and dissolving 37 grams into simple syrup.
I tasted all three batches in steamed milk and in coffee.
The third batch yielded the most assertively caramel flavor without a trace of bitterness. The batch with 100% caramelized sugar was assertively caramel, but it had a bitter edge. It’s hard to tame bitterness in caramel without cream, and since this is a coffee syrup I wanted most folks to be able to enjoy, I didn’t want to introduce dairy.
If you like a sweeter caramel, make it with 50% caramelized sugar and 50% in the simple syrup.
How to Make Caramel Syrup for Coffee
Making this syrup is pretty straightforward.
- Make a simple syrup.
- Caramelize sugar and add the hot simple syrup to it.
- Boil for 90 seconds.
- Add vanilla.
The most challenging part of this recipe is caramelizing the sugar. If you have never caramelized sugar before, work over medium heat so the process happens more slowly.
If you are comfortable working with sugar, you can work over higher heat.
Working over lower heat gives you more time to react once the sugar reaches your preferred color. If working over high heat, you might overshoot and end up with an overly-bitter syrup.
Slow and steady wins the race here. I don’t recommend working over anything higher than medium-high heat.
Keep an eye on the sugar, swirl the pan occasionally, and add your hot simple syrup as soon as the sugar is the color you want it to be.
Jenni Says: Add the simple syrup carefully, because the caramel will hiss and splatter. It’s safest to keep the syrup in a pan with a long handle. That way, when you pour it into the caramel, your hand will be well out of the way of the steam that will shoot up from the caramel once the simple syrup hits it.
How Much To Use?
I use between 1/2 oz and 1 ounce per mug of coffee. My mugs hold 2 cups, or 16 oz (454 grams)
Depending on your taste, use 1 1/2 teaspoons-1 Tablespoon (7-14 grams) per 8 oz (227 grams).
The flavor will shine through even if you generally add cream, half and half, or milk to your coffee.
If you have any questions about this post or recipe, I am happy to help.
Simply leave a comment here and I will get back to you soon. I also invite you to ask question in my Facebook group, Fearless Kitchen Fun.
If your question is more pressing, please feel free to email me. I should be back in touch ASAP, as long as I’m not asleep.
A Note About Measurements
My recipes are almost all written by weight, including liquids, unless otherwise specified.
For accuracy and consistency of results, I encourage you to buy–and use–a kitchen scale.
I promise that baking and cleanup will be so much quicker and easier.
This is the scale that I recommend for home use. I have owned and used one for years.
Don't let its small price and small size fool you. The Escali Primo is an accurate and easy-to-use food scale that I have used for years. It's easy to store, easy to use, has a tare function, and easily switches between grams and ounces/pounds for accurate measurements.
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Caramel Syrup Recipe
- 150 grams granulated sugar 5.3 oz, or about 3/4 cup divided use
- 200 grams water 7 oz or 1 cup minus 2 Tablespoons, divided use
- pinch salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a small pan, combine 37 grams of sugar (1.3 oz or about 3 Tablespoons) with 100 grams (3.5 oz or a scant 1/2 cup) water.
- Add a pinch of salt, and heat to a boil. Stir to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved, and let boil for about 30 seconds. Remove from the heat, but keep the syrup convenient to the stove.
- In a medium pan, combine the remaining sugar (113 grams) and water (50 grams), and heat over medium heat, stirring to moisten and help dissolve the sugar.
- Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar caramelizes to a honey color, about 10 minutes. Frequently swirl the pan gently to make sure the sugar caramelizes evenly. As soon as the caramel is the color you want, remove from the heat and pour the reserved hot syrup into the sugar to stop the cooking process.
- Return to the heat and stir to completely dissolve any caramel that may have seized up. Boil for about 90 seconds.
- Remove from heat, and add the vanilla. Stir to combine evenly, then pour the syrup into a clean jar and let cool. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Did You Make Any Changes?
And there you have it, friends. Delicious and easy-to-make caramel syrup to put in your coffee.
Enjoy! Thanks for spending some time with me, and have a lovely day.
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