Starbucks’ apple crisp macchiato has quickly become a fall favorite. It blends fall flavors and spices together with coffee and reminds us all of our favorite apple pie. And thankfully, it’s easy to replicate at home!
Why this drink works
If mixing apple and coffee flavors together doesn’t sound super appealing to you at first, don’t worry! Just like with pumpkin spice syrup, it’s really about the spices and not so much the actual apple flavor.
Traditionally, apple pie uses cinnamon and nutmeg as the base spices. Then, based on preference, you may see cardamom, allspice or ginger added also. All of those spices pair well with espresso and make this drink delicious.
Ingredients in this drink
This recipe has the classic ingredients you’d use for a latte or macchiato-style drink: syrup, espresso, milk, and toppings.
Starbucks uses apple brown sugar syrup as the base flavor for this drink. (If you want to make a similar syrup at home, check out the apple brown sugar simple syrup recipe I’ve created. It’s simple and delish!)
Of course, if you order this at Starbucks, it will include espresso. If you want to make it at home, use espresso if you have an espresso machine or you can use double-strength brewed coffee.
The Starbucks default on this drink is 2% dairy milk, as it is on most of their drinks. If you want an alternate option, I highly suggest oat milk. (Think about how well oatmeal and apples pair together!)
This drink is topped with an apple crisp drizzle at Starbucks. This drizzle is different than the syrup mixed into the bottom of the drink.
But, for making it at home, I suggest using the same apple brown sugar syrup you use in the drink as a drizzle or using caramel sauce. OR, if you want to be really fancy, mix caramel sauce together with the syrup!
What is a macchiato?
This apple crisp macchiato is something I’d call “macchiato-style” as opposed to a true macchiato. This is the same style as Starbucks’ caramel macchiato.
A true macchiato is a drink made with one or two shots of espresso and then marked with a bit of milk. In total, it’s only a few ounces.
The Starbucks “macchiato-style” that is used in this drink is more similar to a traditional latte. The difference between this and a latte is that instead of adding the espresso to the bottom of the drink and then adding the milk on top, the milk is first poured into the drink and then the espresso is added on top.
This creates a different taste as the espresso is not blended as thoroughly throughout the drink as it is with a latte. It ends up creating a layered drink where you taste a slightly different flavor with each sip.
Does the apple crisp macchiato have coffee in it?
Yes, it does have coffee, espresso specifically. If you want a caffeine-free option, you can use decaf espresso or use the apple brown sugar syrup to make a steamer without adding coffee.
Is the apple crisp macchiato dairy-free?
The Starbucks default for this drink is not dairy-free, but if you make it at home, it’s easy to make dairy-free. Choose a non-dairy milk like oat milk to use and make my homemade apple brown sugar syrup. I then suggest using the same syrup as a topping too. Be careful if you decide to use caramel sauce, as that often includes dairy.
Can I make this iced?
Yes, it’s easy to make this drink iced. Follow the same process as below but make sure your milk is cold, and use a bit less so you have room for the ice. Add the ice in after you add syrup to the drink but before the milk and espresso.
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Apple Crisp Macchiato
Apple brown sugar syrup
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup apple juice
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
For the macchiato
- 2 Tablespoons apple brown sugar syrup
- 2 ounces espresso or double strength coffee
- 12 ounces milk of your choice
- apple crisp drizzle or caramel drizzle (optional)
- sprinkle a bit of cinnamon or apple pie spice on top to finish (optional)
Apple brown sugar syrup
- 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 the 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.
Make the macchiato
- Add the apple brown sugar syrup to the bottom of your cup.
- Froth milk and add to cup on top of the syrup. Make sure there is at least a half inch of foam at the top. Leave enough room for the espresso shots.
- Gently pour the two ounces of espresso or double-strength coffee on top of the milk.
- Starbucks uses an apple crisp drizzle to top their drink. I prefer to use more of the apple brown sugar syrup, or caramel sauce.
- You can then finish it with a bit of cinnamon or apple pie spice sprinkled on top!
- See the recipe post for any questions on making the apple brown sugar syrup.
- Makes a 16-ounce drink.