Now you can save a few dollars and make your own vegan caramel latte - only this one is better than what you've been getting at that cafe around the corner. Zero refined sugar! If you don't have a batch of the caramel on-hand, no worries - it requires only three real-food ingredients you probably have in your kitchen and comes together in just 5 minutes! Use oat milk or any you'd like. Instructions to save it for an iced latte later are included. This recipe is vegan and suits a gluten-free, refined sugar-free, whole food plant-based diet.
I'm going to be straight up with you. I'm not a flavored coffee fan. I drank black coffee for decades, then discovered I liked just a dollop of oat milk in my double americano - and that's been my only coffee drink. This caramel latte is the only flavored coffee I like!
We each can have different criteria for the perfect coffee drink. Mine is not too sweet, coffee flavor forward, with just the right flavor combination. For those criteria, mission accomplished! I'm kind of amazed at how great it tastes, since I've never really had a latte I've actually liked before.
Latte ingredients and variations
The ingredients needed to make this latte are simple.
Unsweetened plant-based milk: You could try whichever milk you like the most and see what you think. I prefer oat milk, which creates a nice creaminess without adding excess flavor. I find soy, almond, and other milks tend to alter the flavor too much. Unsweetened is important so that the latte doesn't end up overly sweet. A nice option could be an unsweetened vanilla type of milk to add flavor that goes well with the caramel.
Espresso or strong coffee: Whichever you have access to, use it. If using coffee, I do recommend a strong one so that you have a nice flavor balance.
5 Minute Drizzly Vegan Caramel: You just need unsweetened plant milk, nut butter (almond is great), and date or maple syrup for this quick & easy recipe. 1-3 tablespoons should do it per one-cup serving. The recipe nutrition figures are based on two.
Pinch of Salt (optional): This latte is delicious without added salt; that said, a tiny pinch of quality salt can enhance the caramel flavor. If I add salt, I like using pink or a flake salt - it's nice with a smoked flake salt.
Let's make a vegan caramel latte
Brew your coffee however you like to make it at home and place the equivalent of about two shots of espresso in your cup.
If you don't have a frother that warms your milk, heat the milk on the stove or in the microwave.
Add the caramel to your coffee. You can do this directly in the coffee cup. In the images below, I use a frother to blend the coffee and caramel. It's absolutely ok, though, to simply stir them together with a spoon.
Heat/steam and froth the milk. If using a frother like the one pictured below, you will have heated your milk before frothing, as mentioned above. If using your espresso machine's milk steamer, it will heat the milk while frothing.
Pour the frothed milk into the coffee and caramel. There is an art to doing this, and there are videos you can watch online to learn specific artful ways so that you can create pretty designs on top of your latte. Keeping it simple, it helps to pour some milk into the coffee from a distance with the cup tilted. Stop. Now, pour with the milk pitcher low to the coffee, wiggling the milk to place the white froth where you'd like it.
Caramel latte steps
Pour caramel into coffee, then blend or stir to combine.
Heat/steam and froth the milk. Pour the milk into the caramel coffee.
Tip: With cup tilted toward you, begin pouring the milk, moving it side to side for a moment, then stop. Bring the milk pitcher close to the cup, then pour while wiggling to pour the white froth.
Basic latte art steps
While I didn't have much white foam to work with here, it gives you an idea on how to make little heart shapes.
Place dots of white foam on the surface by pouring them close to the cup. Use a chopstick or other pointy tool to draw a line from top to bottom through the dots. This will create cute little swirly hearts!
This recipe makes one latte to enjoy immediately. If using a pot of strong coffee, making multiple lattes will go a bit faster than pulling them all separately with an espresso machine.
Store for an Iced Caramel Latte Later
I like making a few and storing them in a jar in my fridge so that I can have an iced caramel latte whenever I want to!
How to make a Vegan Caramel Latte
Homemade Vegan Caramel Latte Recipe
- coffee maker or espresso machine
- 2 shots espresso or ½ cup strong coffee
- ½ cup unsweetend plant-based milk I like oat
- 2 tablespoons drizzly vegan caramel sauce or to taste
- Brew strong coffee or espresso however you like to make it at home and place the equivalent of about two shots of espresso in your cup.
- If you don't have a frother that warms your milk, heat the milk on the stove or in the microwave.
- Add the caramel to your coffee. You can do this directly in the coffee cup using a frother or a spoon to to stir the coffee and caramel together.
- Heat/steam and froth the milk. If using a hand-held frother, you will have heated your milk before frothing, as mentioned above. If using your espresso machine's milk steamer, it will heat the milk while frothing. Froth the milk based on your device's instructions.
- Pour the frothed milk into the coffee and caramel. There is an art to doing this, and there are videos you can watch online to learn how to create pretty designs on top of your latte. Keeping it simple, it helps to pour some milk into the coffee from a distance with the cup tilted. Stop. Then, pour with the milk pitcher low to the coffee, wiggling the milk to place the white froth where you'd like it.
- Add a pinch of quality salt, if desired. Serve and enjoy immediately!
- For iced caramel lattes, fill a jar with lattes and store it in your fridge to chill.