7 Best Caramel Sauce for Coffee to Sweeten Your Cup

Last updated on September 5th, 2023 by Catherine Reed

best caramel sauce for coffee

Indulgent, delectable caramel…it’s a flavor adored across the generations, and with good reason. Caramel is gentle, comforting, and even a bit nostalgic.

When added to coffee, whether instant or espresso, caramel gives you that touch of buttery sweetness that many people adore. And by getting your hands on the best caramel sauce for coffee, you can capture that flavor at home.

The right caramel syrup or sauce for coffee quickly melts into your drink, leaving you with a gentle sweetness that comes with a touch of salt to accent the flavor. The taste compliments the coffee, too, with the various notes masking any sense of bitterness.

Plus, caramel sauce for coffee isn’t expensive, and you don’t need a lot of caramel to get a noticeable flavor in your drink. A single container can go a long way, making this a splurge that won’t typically break the bank even if you go high-end.

And we’ve found seven of the best caramel sauce for coffee options around, ensuring there’s a solid option for any coffee drinker.

Don’t have time to read every caramel sauce review? No problem! Here’s a quick look at our top pick for the best caramel sauce for coffee.

Ghirardelli Chocolate and Caramel Sauces 16 oz Squeeze Bottles

Ghirardelli Caramel Sauce is our top choice for the best caramel sauce for coffee. It’s a thicker caramel, making it excellent for lining coffee cups or adding a drizzle with staying power, but thin enough to dispense with ease. The flavor is sweet and buttery but light enough that it won’t overwhelm.

Plus, Ghirardelli Caramel Sauce isn’t overly expensive, and it’s widely available. You can find it for a budget-friendly price at many big box stores with grocery sections, as well as popular online retailers. Essentially, you get a luxury-style product without busting your budget. What’s not to like about that?

Ghirardelli Caramel Sauce
The Ghirardelli Caramel Sauce is highly rated, comes in different sizes, budget friendly and used all over the world for coffee and even toppings for baked goods.

Last update on 2024-01-30

Are you ready to find out more about the best caramel sauce for coffee? Here’s a closer look at Ghirardelli Caramel Sauce, along with the other top picks.


Our List of Best Caramel Sauce for Coffee

#1: Best Overall Pick: Ghirardelli Caramel Sauce

Ghirardelli Chocolate and Caramel Sauces 16 oz Squeeze Bottles

Ghirardelli is the best caramel sauce brand for coffee. It’s thick enough to cling to the side of cups or hold its shape as a drizzle but thin enough to be squirtable. The flavor is sweet and delectable while being subtle enough not to overwhelm your coffee. For between $6 and $9 for a 16-ounce bottle, it’s also not a budget-buster. Plus, it has 4.8-star ratings out of five, so it’s a clear crowd-pleaser, too.

Things I like:

  • Luxurious with a price that doesn’t break the bank
  • Thick enough to hold its shape but thin enough to stay squirtable
  • Rich flavor without being overpowering
  • Widely available at many big box stores and online
  • Multiple bottle sizes are available
  • Blends well into coffee, whether hot or cold
  • Customers love it for coffee, ice cream, sticky buns, and more

Things I don’t like:

  • With larger pump bottles, the pump can get a bit messy

Review:

Honestly, there’s practically nothing to dislike about Ghirardelli as a brand. During my recent trip to San Francisco, heading to the Ghirardelli store was easily one of the highlights, and this delectable Ghirardelli Caramel Sauce is one reason why.

Whether you add it to coffee, ice cream, or pastries, Ghirardelli Caramel Sauce feels like it belongs. It’s buttery and sweet with just a hint of salt, all while being gentle enough to let the coffee flavor shine through. Plus, its deep, golden color is beautiful, which is just an added bonus.

Ghirardelli Caramel Sauce
The Ghirardelli Caramel Sauce is highly rated, comes in different sizes, budget friendly and used all over the world for coffee and even toppings for baked goods.

Last update on 2024-01-30

#2: Best Budget-Friendly Caramel Sauce: Trader Jacques’ Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce

Trader Joe's Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce

If you’re looking for the best store-bought caramel sauce for coffee that doesn’t break the bank, Trader Jacques’ Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce is a winner. It’s rich, buttery, and oh-so decadent, and the touch of sea salt gives it an exceptional depth of flavor. And if you buy it during a shopping trip to Trader Joe’s, this 4.2-star-rated caramel sauce will only cost you around $4 for a 10-ounce jar.

Things I like:

  • Decadent, rich flavor with a touch of sea salt for depth
  • Thick enough to hold onto the sides of cups or standup as a drizzle
  • Affordable price (when purchased at a Trader Joe’s store)
  • Natural ingredients

Things I don’t like:

  • Very thick, so you may need to microwave it a little before blending it into coffee

Review:

Trader Jacques’ Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce is a standout in the world of affordable, jarred caramel sauce. It’s very thick – so much so that you may need to heat it up a little to make it pourable – so it works well for lining cups and as a drizzle. The flavor is exceptionally rich, too, so a little goes a long way.

Plus, along with an affordable price, it features natural ingredients (no synthetic chemicals here!). Ultimately, it’s so good I sometimes want to just eat it with a spoon.

Sale
Trader Jacques’ Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce
The Trader Joe's Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce uses natural ingredients with rich flavor and thick sauce good for cup lining and topping.

Last update on 2024-01-30

#3: Best Healthy Caramel Sauce: Torani Sugar-Free Caramel Syrup

Torani Sugar Free Syrup, Classic Caramel, 25.4 Oz, Pack of 4

Torani Sugar-Free Caramel Syrup is a top choice if you’re looking for a healthy caramel sauce for coffee. It’s a zero-calorie option with only 5mg of sodium, making it ideal for anyone who’s avoiding sugar or watching their salt intake. But even without the sugar and the low amount of salt, you get a rich, buttery flavor like a soft caramel chew. Plus, the price is reasonable, and it has a 4.7-star rating.

Things I like:

  • Sugar-free, zero-calorie caramel syrup
  • Low sodium
  • Syrup blends effortlessly into coffee
  • Customers love that a little goes a long way, ensuring each bottle lasts
  • You can add a pump to the bottle for easy dispensing

Things I don’t like:

  • Not technically a Torani caramel sauce, as it’s a syrup, so it won’t work for drizzles or lining cups

Review:

When it comes to coffee syrups, Torani is “the” brand. It’s popular in cafés and adored by coffee lovers who make café-style drinks at home due to its reputation for incredible flavors. This is easily the best caramel syrup for a latte if you’re avoiding sugar or sodium, as it blends in with just a simple stir.

Even without the sugar, the flavor is delightfully sweet and surprisingly natural-tasting. Plus, it’s reasonably priced, particularly since a little goes a long way.

YouTube video
Torani Sugar-Free Caramel Syrup
This Torani Caramel Syrup is sweet without the sugar. This syrup is good not only for coffee but also for desserts and alcoholic drinks.

Last update on 2024-01-30

#4: Best Caramel Sauce for Iced Coffee: Hollander Caramel Café Sauce

Classic Caramel Café Sauce by Hollander Chocolate Co. | For Caramel Lattes & Deserts | Perfect for the Professional or Home Barista - Net Wt. 91oz (64 fl Oz) Large Bottle (PUMP Included)

Hollander Caramel Café Sauce offers a rich, buttery flavor in a slightly thinner caramel. Since it’s thinner, it’s easier to blend into cold coffee drinks, including iced coffee. But it still works well as a drizzle or for lining cups since it’s thick enough to hold its shape a bit. Plus, it has a 4.6-star rating, and at about $10 to $11 per squeeze bottle, it’s a potentially affordable luxury.

Things I like:

  • Thinner consistency works well for cold coffee drinks, including iced coffee
  • Thick enough for drizzles and lining cups
  • Café-quality product
  • Customers love that there’s no corn syrup and no artificial flavors

Things I don’t like:

  • A bit expensive when compared to alternatives

Review:

If you adore iced coffee or other cold coffee drinks, using a thinner caramel sauce makes blending in the caramel flavor easier. Hollander Caramel Café Sauce hits the perfect spot when it comes to texture. It’s thin enough to work in a squeeze bottle and blend into coffee that isn’t hot but thick enough to work as a drizzle or line cups.

It also doesn’t feature artificial flavors or corn syrup, making it a solid choice for anyone looking to avoid those ingredients.

Hollander Caramel Café Sauce
The Hollander Caramel Café Sauce is made with real cane sugar, natural vanilla, and sea salt. It is perfect for both hot and cold coffee, and as well as with desserts.

Last update on 2024-01-30

#5: Best Salted Caramel Sauce for Coffee: Coop’s Salted Caramel Sauce

Coop's Salted Caramel Sauce: Rich and Buttery, Gourmet, All Natural, Handcrafted, Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Award Winning, Ice Cream Toppings, Desserts, 10 Ounce

Coop’s Salted Caramel Sauce is an all-natural option with exceptional flavor that works perfectly for coffee. It’s a thicker option, so it’s excellent for drizzles and lining cups. But you can also heat it to blend it into your coffee drinks. It also has a 4.5-star rating, showing just how much customers adore it.

Things I like:

  • All-natural caramel sauce
  • Thick enough for cup lining and drizzles
  • Decadent flavor
  • Customers love that the cute packaging makes this option work as a gift

Things I don’t like:

  • More expensive than some other options

Review:

If you adore salted caramel sauce in your coffee, don’t overlook Coop’s Salted Caramel Sauce. Along with an exceptional flavor, this is an all-natural caramel sauce, making it perfect for anyone looking to avoid artificial ingredients.

Plus, since the packaging is also excellent, this is one of the more giftable caramel sauces around, making it ideal for anyone who wants to provide the coffee lovers in their life with a sweet treat.

Coop’s Salted Caramel Sauce
The Coop’s Salted Caramel Sauce is made of fresh-from-farm ingredients that compliments both desserts and beverages.

Last update on 2024-01-30

#6: Best Sugar-Free Caramel Sauce: Jordan’s Skinny Sauce Sugar-Free Salted Caramel

Jordan's Sugar Free Caramel Syrup, 25.4oz, 6 Pack - Gluten Free, Keto, Zero Calorie Coffee Drink Mix

If you want the best sugar-free caramel sauce for coffee (but aren’t worried about sodium), Jordan’s Skinny Sauce Sugar-Free Salted Caramel is a stellar choice. It’s got a 4.2-star rating, and the price is competitive at about $8 per bottle directly from Jordan’s Skinny Mixes. Plus, the flavor is rich, it’s easy to mix into your favorite coffee for that touch of caramel flavor, and it’s thick enough for a drizzle or lining a cup.

Things I like:

  • Sugar-free with zero calories
  • Customers love that it’s made in the USA
  • Works as a drizzle or for lining cups
  • Customers love the rich, sweet flavor

Things I don’t like:

  • A bit thinner than some alternatives

Review:

If you’re looking for salted caramel sauce that blends into coffee effortlessly but want to avoid sugar, Jordan’s Skinny Sauce Sugar-Free Salted Caramel is a winner. It’s thick enough to work as a drizzle or to line cups but thin enough to mix into coffee effortlessly.

Plus, while many sugar-free options have a bit of an aftertaste, this one doesn’t have a particularly noticeable one. That makes it an excellent choice for anyone wary of going sugar-free.

YouTube video
Sale
Jordan’s Skinny Sauce Sugar-Free Salted Caramel
The Jordan’s Skinny Sauce Sugar-Free Salted Caramel comes with zero calories and qualities that are good for drizzling and lining coffee cups.

Last update on 2024-01-30

#7: Best Dairy-Free Caramel Sauce: Monin Caramel Syrup

Monin Caramel Syrup (250ml)

If you want a caramel sauce for coffee with no dairy, Monin Caramel Syrup is a standout option. It has a 4.5-star rating and costs around $18 for one liter. Since a little goes a long way, the price is pretty competitive. Plus, this option has no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or sweeteners, and it’s also allergen-free.

Things I like:

  • Rich, buttery flavor without any dairy
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • All natural flavors and no artificial preservatives
  • Allergen-free

Things I don’t like:

  • As with other syrups, this won’t work well for drizzles or lining cups

Review:

For anyone looking for caramel sauce for coffee with no cream or dairy, Monin Caramel Syrup is a go-to option. The flavor is rich and decadent, so it stands up well to coffee. But unlike caramel sauce – which usually involves milk or cream – this syrup is dairy-free, so you get a similar taste without the dairy.

Plus, it’s made with pure cane sugar and other natural ingredients, making it a solid choice for anyone who wants to avoid artificial sweeteners or chemical additives. As an allergen-free option, it also works well for anyone with allergy concerns.

Monin Caramel Syrup
The Monin Caramel Syrup is made with pure cane sugar and other natural ingredients; good as an allergen-free option.

Last update on 2024-01-30

Types of Caramel Coffee Sauces

Types of Caramel Coffee Sauces
Fresh caramel sauce in a jar.
Photo by Matt Diosdado

Syrups

Caramel syrups are a thinner option for flavoring coffee drinks. The consistency makes it easy to mix into coffee – both hot and cold – with just a few quick stirs. Plus, the flavoring is typically potent, so a little bit of caramel syrup imbues a lot of flavor into a drink.

The issue with caramel coffee syrups is that they aren’t going to work for drizzles or lining cups. However, it’s a great approach if you want the taste of caramel but need to avoid dairy, as syrups typically don’t include any dairy products.

Sauces

Caramel sauces are rich and thick, often with a ganache-like texture and consistency. With caramel sauce, there’s more than sugar and water, as a fat-containing ingredient is typically part of the equation. Usually, that means milk, cream, or a similar dairy product, though there are some vegan alternatives that some brands use instead.

With caramel sauce, it’s easy to get a decadent drizzle or line a cup. If you want to blend it into coffee, it does so with ease if the coffee is hot. For cold coffee, you may need to heat up a caramel sauce a bit if you want to blend the flavor into the drink.

Powders

Caramel powders are a flavor option that blends into the coffee. Usually, it’s a ground form of hardened caramel, though some options sold in stores may contain a variety of preservatives or flavor enhancers.

Ultimately, caramel powder is excellent for imbuing an entire drink with caramel flavor, as some quick blending or rapid stirring can infuse it throughout the whole drink. Some may even work as a sprinkled-on topping, not unlike how you may use cocoa powder to pretty up a coffee drink.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Caramel Sauce for Coffee

How to Choose the Best Caramel Sauce for Coffee
Cups of home made dessert with caramel drizzles.
Photo by Bruna Branco

Choosing the best caramel sauce for coffee to make this list wasn’t an easy feat for me. Why? Because there are just so many amazing options on the market.

So, how on earth do you choose the best caramel sauce for you? Well, by using the right strategy. If you don’t know where to begin, use this buyer’s guide to get on the right track.

Taste

When it comes to flavor additions for coffee, the first thing you want to consider when choosing a caramel sauce for coffee is taste. Do you enjoy sweeter coffee drinks, or do you like a touch of saltiness to balance things out? Are you after a rich, decadent experience, or is just a hint of caramel all you need? Are you worried about any aftertaste from artificial sweeteners, or do you not tend to notice them?

Ultimately, taste is subjective, but it’s also the most critical part of the equation. While Ghirardelli is my perfect caramel sauce for coffee, you might find one of the other options more pleasing. Try a few and see what makes your palette sing.

Sweetness

Yes, caramel sauce is going to be sweet; it’s caramel. But that doesn’t mean that some aren’t sweeter than others.

For example, salted caramel sauces for coffee may have a more balanced flavor than those that aren’t salted. If you’re worried about too much sweetness, then going with a salted version could be for you. If you enjoy a ton of sweetness, then consider going with a traditional caramel sauce.

Thickness

The thickness of a caramel sauce impacts a few things. First, it determines how easy it is to mix into hot and cold coffee. If you prefer cold coffee drinks, a thinner option is your friend. If you drink coffee hot, thicker or thinner can work fine.

How thick the caramel sauce is also determines whether it works for lining cups or drizzles. When the consistency is thicker, the caramel sticks and typically holds its shape better. However, if it’s too thick, it can also sink to the bottom of your cup, so keep that in mind.

Ingredients

As with any food product, caramel sauce makers don’t all use the same ingredients. Some companies produce all-natural caramel sauces. Others use artificial ingredients in their recipes. For example, artificial sweeteners can make a company’s caramel diabetes-friendly or work people on carb-restricted diets, like Keto or Atkins.

Before you buy, check the ingredients list if you have dietary needs or preferences. That way, you can find a brand that aligns with your requirements.

How to Use Caramel Coffee Sauce

How to Use Caramel Coffee Sauce
Caramel on cake.
Photo by Toa Heftiba

When it comes to how to use caramel sauce in coffee, you first need to figure out whether you need to warm it up or not. If your caramel sauce is in a squeeze or pump bottle, heating isn’t usually necessary.

If it’s in a jar, you may need to pop it into the microwave and heat it for about 15 seconds. Give it a quick stir, then heat it another 15 seconds before stirring again, repeating the process until you get a nice, drizzly consistency.

Once the consistency is right, you have options.

  1. You can drizzle caramel inside the cup you’ll use, making it easier for the flavor to mix into the coffee.
  2. Stirring it directly into your coffee – using about one teaspoon to start if you’re using eight ounces of coffee, then adjusting the amount you use to suit your taste – is also an option.
  3. Finally, you can top your café-style drink with whip cream and add a lovely caramel drizzle for a bit of flare and extra flavor.

You can also use caramel sauce in other ways. It’s an exceptional topping for ice cream, particularly if you go with a salted caramel variety for a touch of flavor contrast and greater depth. Caramel sauce is also excellent on desserts and pastries, and I especially love it on stick buns or even cinnamon rolls. And if you’re feeling a bit playful, try it as a topping for pancakes!

How to Make Caramel Coffee Sauce

How to Make Caramel Coffee Sauce
Make your own thick and rich caramel sauce at home.
Photo by Theo Crazzolara

If you adore caramel coffee drinks and don’t want to buy caramel sauce in the store, that’s okay! Making your own isn’t as hard as you’d expect. If you’re wondering about how to make homemade caramel sauce for coffee, all you need is these ingredients:

  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Pinch of sea salt (optional)

For this caramel sauce for coffee recipe, take a medium saucepan and combine the water and sugar. Use medium heat, and stir frequently, making sure that all of the sugar dissolves.

Increase the temperature to high heat and wait for it to boil. Don’t stir during this part. Instead, pick up the pan on occasion and give it a swirl. Continue that process until you see a deep amber color.

Usually, the total time on high heat is about five minutes, but it may take more or less time, depending on how hot your stovetop gets. Vigilance really is the key during the heating process. Caramel sauce can burn fast, so keep your eye on it the entire time.

Once you have the correct color, take the pan off the heat. Carefully stir in the heavy cream, exercising caution since you can get a lot of bubbling during this step. Keep stirring until the bubbling stops, and you have a thick, smooth caramel sauce! If you want, you can add that dash of sea salt and stir that in now.

Let the caramel cool completely. Then, carefully pour it into a jar. On the shelf, it lasts about three days. But if you pop it in the fridge, you can get about three weeks instead, so consider going that route if it’s more than you can use in three days.

Final Verdict

Ghirardelli Chocolate and Caramel Sauces 16 oz Squeeze Bottles

Ultimately, the Ghirardelli Caramel Sauce is my top choice for the best caramel sauce for coffee. It’s thick enough to work incredibly well as a drizzle over a pillow topping of whipped cream but thin enough to blend directly into coffee. The flavor is exceptionally rich, but it also won’t overpower your drink. Plus, it’s easy to find in big box stores all across the country. How’s that for peak convenience?

But if you ever find yourself in San Francisco, it’s worth heading to the Ghirardelli store for a sweet treat you won’t forget.

But that doesn’t mean the Ghirardelli Caramel Sauce is your only option. Need to avoid sugar but still a fan of Starbuck’s Salted Caramel Cold Brew? Go with Torani Sugar-Free Caramel Syrup or Jordan’s Skinny Sauce Sugar-Free Salted Caramel instead.

Need to keep the cost down? Then Trader Jacques’ Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce is a solid choice. Essentially, all of the options above are fantastic, so let your budget, needs, and preferences be your guide.

Ghirardelli Caramel Sauce
The Ghirardelli Caramel Sauce is highly rated, comes in different sizes, budget friendly and used all over the world for coffee and even toppings for baked goods.

Last update on 2024-01-30

FAQs

Is Caramel Sauce or Syrup Better for Coffee?

Whether caramel sauce or caramel syrup is better for coffee depends on how you want to use it. If you’re looking for a velvety drizzle or want to line a cup, you need caramel sauce, as caramel syrup is usually too thin. If you want to blend in caramel flavor but don’t want to heat your caramel up or would prefer to get the job done in just a few stirs, caramel syrup is your go-to option.

Caramel sauce is also more versatile overall. You can use it on ice cream or when you’re baking, for example, while caramel syrup isn’t always the best choice for those applications.

What Caramel Sauce Does Starbucks Use?

If you’re a Starbucks fan and want to replicate the company’s coffee drinks at home, you might think that using the same caramel sauce is the easiest way to do just that. So, what brand of caramel sauce does Starbucks use? Well, the company has its own brand.

Fortunately, you can get Starbucks Caramel Sauce by looking for caramel sauce created by Fontana, which is the company behind the Starbucks product. You can find Fontana caramel sauce online, allowing you to get that same café-style flavor right at home.

What Is the Difference Between Caramel Sauce and Caramel Drizzle?

Technically, there isn’t a difference when it comes to the caramel used in caramel sauce and for a caramel drizzle. A caramel drizzle just denotes how the caramel is applied to a drink, and it is not a description of the type of caramel sauce used. A caramel drizzle is simply caramel sauce applied to the top of a drink in ribbons.

Coffee Has Never Read This Good!

Sign up for a FREE newsletter to the best home brewing tips and guides

Thank you for subscribing to The Cup Coffee House Crew! There's a surprise in your Inbox 🙂

Something went wrong.

Chief Editor

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *