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!
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Why this drink works
If mixing apple and coffee together doesn’t sound super appealing to you at first, don’t worry! Just like with pumpkin spice drinks, it’s more about the spices than 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.
(Related: Five Starbucks fall drinks you need to try!)
Ingredients in this drink
This recipe has the classic ingredients you would 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 this syrup at home, check out the apple brown sugar simple syrup recipe I’ve created.
If you want to purchase the syrup, there isn’t anything that exactly matches, but there are a few you can try. Monin sells caramel apple butter syrup, and Torani has apple syrup, and both will work to give your drink a similar taste.
Of course, if you order this at Starbucks, it will include espresso. Starbucks now uses its blonde espresso as the default. 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 now oat milk. (In 2021 it was 2% dairy milk.) If you want an alternate option, dairy milk, soy or almond are all great choices.
If you make this drink hot, you’ll need to heat and froth the milk. If you don’t have a machine to do this, you can heat the milk in the microwave and froth it using a French press, or even by shaking it vigorously in a closed container.
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.
For making it at home, you have options. I suggest creating this topping by mixing caramel sauce together with the apple brown sugar syrup. You could also use the syrup without mixing it, or use plain caramel sauce.
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 apple brown sugar syrup to make a steamer without adding coffee.
Is the apple crisp macchiato dairy-free?
The Starbucks default now comes with oat milk and is dairy-free. For making at home, you can choose any dairy or alternative milk you like.
How do I make an iced apple crisp macchiato?
It’s easy to make this drink iced. Follow the same process as below but use cold milk. Build the drink by putting the syrup at the bottom, espresso next, milk about halfway up, add ice, and then the espresso and drizzle.
Apple Crisp Macchiato
Apple brown sugar syrup
Spiced Apple Drizzle (optional)
- 3 Tablespoons apple brown sugar syrup
- 2 Tablespoons caramel sauce
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)
- cinnamon or apple pie spice(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.
Spiced apple drizzle
- Stir the apple brown sugar syrup and caramel sauce together in a small container until mixed.
Make the macchiato
- Add the apple brown sugar syrup to the bottom of your cup.
- Froth milk using a frothing tool or French press. Add milk 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 to be added on top.
- Gently pour the two ounces of espresso or double-strength coffee on top of the milk.
- Add spiced apple drizzle on top.
- Optional: Finish 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.