How to Make a Creamy, Comforting Homemade Caramel Latté—With or Without Any Fancy Tools

As the temperatures continue to drop and the days feel shorter than ever, we're welcoming all the caffeine we can get our hands on—and if it comes in the form of a perfectly crafted barista-style coffee drink, even better.

Photo: Getty Images
Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
10 mins
1 latté

After all, what's cooler than cozying up on the couch with a frothy hot latté as you delve into your list of to-dos for the day? Satisfying your fancy coffee drink hankering with a from-scratch version will save you tons of time and money, too (and who needs to be standing in line with a crowd of under-caffeinated people right now?). Our recipe here calls for espresso, which is the key component of any latté recipe, along with steamed milk and milk foam. But if you don't have an espresso or Nespresso machine at home, don't sweat it—simply brew a single cup of extra strong coffee in an Aeropress, pour over cone, French press, or drip machine. Same goes for the milk foam: we'll give you instructions for making perfectly velvety frothed milk without a frothing device, but if you do have one at home, you can skip the first two steps. And FYI, while whole milk is richer, 2 percent milk will foam more due to the higher protein content. To make it dairy free, swap in oat milk.


  • 2 ounces freshly-brewed espresso coffee (2 shots), or 1/3 cup of super strong coffee made with an Aeropress, pour over cone, French press, or drip machine (many machines have a "strong" or "espresso" setting)

  • 6 ounces 2% milk

  • 1/2 ounce caramel syrup (optional)


  1. To make the milk foam without a frothing tool, fill a clean, empty mason jar with the milk, making sure not to fill the container more than halfway so you'll have room for the airy foam. Screw the lid on the jar and give it a vigorous shake for about a minute. The milk should look foamy and have doubled in volume.

  2. Unscrew the lid from the jar and set it aside. Heat the milk jar uncovered in the microwave for 30 seconds. You'll see that the foam has now risen to the top of the jar and looks stabilized, which means it's ready to use.

  3. Pour the warm milk over the hot, freshly-brewed espresso or strong coffee in your mug, then use a spoon to gently scoop the extra frothy milk foam over top. Make sure to use the foam right away, as it will dissolve if left sitting out for more than a few minutes.

  4. Finish with a drizzle of caramel syrup on top. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon or cocoa powder, if desired.

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