DIY Apple Brown Sugar Syrup

This apple brown sugar simple syrup adds a fantastic autumn flavor to coffee, tea, or any drink. It’s similar to the famous pumpkin spice syrup but lends a different twist to your favorite fall drinks. It’s perfect for making a DIY Apple Crisp Macchiato at home!

apple brown sugar simple syrup

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Personally, I’d choose a macchiato, latte, cold foam, or anything else flavored with apple brown sugar syrup over its pumpkin spice counterpart, as I like the crispier and brighter flavor profile much better.

Starbucks uses a similar syrup in flavor two fall special offerings, the Apple Crisp Macchiato and the Iced Apple Crisp Shaken Espresso.

This simple syrup has apple flavoring from the apple juice but the combination of spices is what really makes it work. It leads with cinnamon, then adds nutmeg and cardamom to round out the flavors. All of these are common pairings with coffee!

Like in similar syrups, it’s really about the spices that remind you of an apple pie, rather than the apple flavor. So, if the thought of apple and coffee together doesn’t enthrall you, don’t worry, there’s only a hint of actual apple flavor.


Bowl with cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg.

This syrup is simple to make, and you may have all these ingredients on hand in your kitchen already!

  • Water
  • Apple juice
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Cardamom

Idea: Get your spices from Amazon!


Is this the same as what Starbucks uses in its Apple Crisp Macchiato and Iced Apple Crisp Shaken Espresso?

This is very similar to the apple brown sugar syrup used at Starbucks. If you want a copycat syrup to make a drink at home, give this a try.

Does this syrup actually contain apple?

Yes, it contains apple juice.

Can I make this on the stove instead of in the microwave?

Yes, this recipe is for the microwave because I find it easier and faster, but you can follow the same process on a stovetop.

How long is the syrup good for?

Put the finished syrup in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It will stay good for up to three weeks.

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apple brown sugar simple syrup

Apple Brown Sugar Simple Syrup

This syrup is all about fall and pairs perfectly with your morning latte, macchiato or coffee. (Updated August '23)
Print Pin Rate
Course: Simple Syrup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: simple syrup
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 16
Calories: 37kcal


  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom (optional)


  • Whisk water, apple juice and brown sugar together in a microwave-safe bowl.* Microwave mixture for about two minutes until it starts to boil.
  • Take simple syrup mixture out and add spices.** Whisk together.
  • Put back in the microwave and watch until it boils again. Should take under one minute.
  • Remove and let rest until cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


* I like using a large glass measuring cup. That way you can see when it boils and there is plenty of space for the liquid to expand.
** Or you can substitute all the spices for 2 teaspoons of apple pie spice which you can purchase at most grocery stores.
Note: This recipe was updated in August ’23. I switched the amount of juice and water and ask for less cinnamon.


Serving: 2tablespoons | Calories: 37kcal
Tried this recipe?Write a review about how it was!

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  1. I am so excited to try this!! I’m getting apple juice for sure tmrw so I can make this syrup for my cold brew coffees in the morning.

    1. No question is dumb! If you want a swap for brown sugar, white sugar will be your best bet. Maple syrup is already a simple syrup, it isn’t going to work well to replace brown sugar. I do think you could try to use it to replace BOTH the water and the brown sugar in the recipe. I haven’t tested it, but let me know if you do and how it turns out!

  2. So I delayed my response to give both ways a fair go. I did one with water and maple syrup, one with just maple syrup. The texture is absolutely better with no water. But I’m going to need to play with the ratio of Apple juice to get the brightness right. 🤔 it’s close, and really good though!

    1. Thanks for the update! Sounds delish. The nice thing about making this yourself is you can get the apple flavor exactly how YOU want it.

  3. 5 stars
    The Apple Crisp Macchiato is still my all time favorite drink. I kind of obsessed over it and it crushed my heart when it was gone… but this recipe brought it right back to me! I added extra apple juice to really give it the apple flavor and it is perfect! Thank you so much!

  4. 3 stars
    Recipe is pretty tasty but not what I was expecting. The apple was non-existent and the cinnamon took over. Will try making again with a few tweaks. Maybe more apply juice less water.

    1. Thanks for the feedback! It’s easy to adjust the water to juice ratio. Did you use the syrup for a latte or in something else? Let me know how it goes next time.

  5. 5 stars
    Hi! It was my 2nd time trying to make a copycat apple brown sugar. So far, you recipe is pretty similar to Starbucks, only if you reduce the cinnamon to half and double the nutmeg. Also, I put 3/4 apple juice with 1/4 water.
    I went to Starbucks and ordered apple crisps oatmeal latte today and asked them for a pump of apple brown sugar in a little cup. I tasted it and it has some kind of a buttery flavor. Cant figure out what that is!!!!!!any idea…???? Ahhhhhh

    1. I’ll have to get one soon and see if I taste the butter flavor. But, it could also be coming from the oat milk that comes standard this year. You can always add a butter extract or emulsion to get that flavor too. Maybe start with 1/4 teaspoon and see!

  6. LOVE the apple crisp macchiato. I wound up buying a bottle of syrup on Amazon for far more than I wanted to pay, but still went for it because it was cheaper in the long run than going to Starbucks for the drink. Now I’m already hunting for recipes even though I still have half the bottle and am not looking forward to when I run out. Saved this recipe for when the day comes!

    Random question, though. Has anybody tried using apple cider instead of apple juice?

    1. Not a stupid question! I used light brown sugar, but dark would work. Would just give it a bit of a deeper flavor.

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