Can you use Ghirardelli caramel for coffee?

Quick Answers

Yes, you can absolutely use Ghirardelli caramel sauce to flavor coffee drinks. The rich, sweet caramel taste pairs deliciously with the bitterness of coffee. Stir a spoonful or two of Ghirardelli caramel into your morning coffee, afternoon latte, or after-dinner espresso for a tasty treat.

Using Ghirardelli Caramel in Different Coffee Drinks

Ghirardelli’s thick, creamy caramel sauce is a perfect way to add sweetness and flavor to all kinds of hot and iced coffee drinks. Here are some delicious ways to enjoy Ghirardelli caramel in your coffee:

Caramel Lattes

A caramel latte is a cafe favorite for good reason – the combination of steamed milk, espresso, and sweet caramel is irresistible. To make your own caramel latte at home, make a shot of espresso and steam some milk. Then stir 1-2 tablespoons of Ghirardelli caramel into the hot espresso before adding the steamed milk. Top with a drizzle of extra caramel sauce.

Caramel Macchiatos

For an decadent iced coffee drink, make a caramel macchiato. Brew a shot of espresso and pour it over ice. Add cold milk, then drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of Ghirardelli caramel sauce over the top. Finish it off with a dollop of whipped cream and an extra swirl of caramel if desired.

Caramel Iced Coffee

During the hot summer months, an iced caramel coffee really hits the spot. Brew a pot of nice, strong coffee. While the coffee is still hot, stir in 2-3 tablespoons of caramel per cup of coffee. Let the mixture cool, then pour it over ice and enjoy this sweet iced treat.

Caramel Frappuccinos

Make a blended caramel coffee drink similar to the ones served at coffee shops. In a blender, combine strong brewed coffee, milk, several tablespoons of Ghirardelli caramel, and a handful of ice. Blend until smooth and creamy. Top with whipped cream and an additional swirl of caramel if you like.

Caramel Mochas

For a chocolate-caramel flavor explosion, make a mocha with caramel. Add 1-2 tablespoons of caramel plus 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder to your hot coffee. Top with steamed milk and chocolate shavings for a luxurious treat.

Tips for Using Ghirardelli Caramel in Coffee Drinks

Use good quality coffee

Be sure to start with high quality, freshly brewed coffee so the flavors really shine through. The caramel will sweeten and enhance the coffee rather than cover up undesirable flavors.

Adjust amounts to taste

Feel free to adjust the amount of caramel you add to suit your tastes. Some people prefer a subtle caramel undertone, while others enjoy a very prominent caramel flavor. Add to your own liking.

Try different types of milk

The milk you use can impact the flavor of caramel coffee drinks. Whole milk is creamy and delicious, non-fat milk allows more coffee flavor to come through, and plant-based milks like oat or almond milk provide their own unique flavor profiles.

Top with whipped cream

A dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream on top of a caramel coffee beverage adds even more flavor and texture. Sprinkle the whipped cream with a pinch of cinnamon or cocoa powder for extra flair.

Drizzle on some extra caramel

No such thing as too much caramel! Feel free to drizzle some extra Ghirardelli caramel sauce over the top of your finished coffee drink for an extra hit of sweetness in every sip.

Store caramel sauce properly

Be sure to store an opened jar of Ghirardelli caramel sauce in the refrigerator to preserve freshness. It will keep for about 3 months stored this way. Let it come to room temperature before using for easier pouring and mixing.

Benefits of Adding Caramel to Coffee

Satisfies your sweet tooth

Let’s face it – sometimes you need a little sweetness to balance out coffee’s natural bitterness. Adding caramel sauce satisfies your sugar craving in a delicious way.

Provides flavor complexity

Beyond just making coffee sweeter, caramel adds its own complexity. The vanilla, butter, cream, and brown sugar flavors give your coffee drink more depth.

Fun twist on traditional coffee

Caramel coffee drinks are a unique, fun departure from your regular cup of joe. The sweet flavor transforms your morning brew into a decadent dessert-like treat.

Easy way to spice up basic coffee

If plain coffee has become boring to you, incorporating caramel sauce is an effortless way to liven things up. No extra equipment needed – just stir it in!

Customizable to your tastes

You can control the amount of caramel you add to customize your coffee’s flavor profile exactly how you like it, from a hint of sweetness to an extra sugary treat.

Choosing the Best Caramel for Coffee

When selecting a caramel sauce to mix into your coffee, you’ll want to consider:


Look for a caramel with pleasing, well-balanced flavor notes. It should taste buttery and vanilla-y without being overly salty or bitter.


The caramel should be fluid but still thick and creamy enough to drizzle and mix in without getting watery. Aim for a viscosity similar to honey.

Quality ingredients

Seek out a caramel made with real butter, cream, cane sugar, and vanilla. Avoid artificial flavors and preservatives.

Simple ingredients

Opt for a caramel sauce with few, high quality ingredients you recognize. There’s no need for additives and stabilizers.

Jar vs. squeezable bottle

Jars allow you to scoop out precise amounts to mix in, while squeezable bottles make drizzling on top easy. Choose whichever works best for your needs.


Remember you get what you pay for. Be willing to invest a little more for better flavor and ingredients over cheaper alternatives.

Why Ghirardelli Caramel is an Excellent Choice

Ghirardelli caramel sauce checks all the boxes when it comes to the ideal coffee companion. Here’s why it’s a top shelf choice:

Rich, buttery flavor

It has an utterly delicious caramel taste – the flavor it adds to coffee is well-balanced, buttery, and slightly vanilla-ey without overpowering bitterness or saltiness.

Silky smooth texture

The consistency is flawless – fluid and pourable at room temperature but thick and luscious. It incorporates seamlessly into hot or iced coffee beverages.

Minimal, premium ingredients

Contains only cane sugar, butter, cream, and vanilla extract. No unnecessary stabilizers or chemicals.

Trusted brand

Ghirardelli has been making top quality chocolate and confections since 1852, so they really know their sweet stuff.

Available in jars and squeeze bottles

The classic jar allows precise scooping out for mixing in, while the squeeze bottle is perfect for drizzling on toppings.


Considering the premium brand and ingredients, Ghirardelli caramel sauce is very reasonably priced.

How to Store and Use Ghirardelli Caramel Sauce


Once open, store the Ghirardelli caramel jar in the refrigerator to maintain freshness for around 3 months. If using a squeeze bottle, refrigeration is not needed until opening.


When ready to use, remove the caramel from the fridge and let it come to room temperature. This makes it easier to scoop, pour, and blend.


For hot coffee, stir the desired amount of caramel right into the freshly brewed coffee until fully combined. For iced coffee, mix the caramel into the hot coffee before chilling it.


Lightly warm up the caramel to make it more fluid. Transfer to a squeeze bottle if not using one already. Gently squeeze to drizzle delicious ribbons of caramel over your topped coffee drinks.


To make the caramel pourable again after refrigeration, microwave it in 10 second intervals, stirring between each, until softened.

Troubleshooting Caramel Coffee Issues

Caramel won’t blend well

If the caramel is too thick and refusing to incorporate smoothly into the coffee, try gently heating it up first. Just 10-15 seconds in the microwave should do the trick.

Caramel clumps up

Undissolved bits of hardened caramel is usually caused by the caramel being too cold. Let it come to room temp before using. If clumps still form, whisk vigorously as you add the caramel or give it a quick reheating.

Caramel separates from coffee

This can happen if you add the caramel to hot coffee too quickly without stirring. The heat causes the fats in the caramel to separate. Mix the caramel in slowly and stir continuously to emulsify.

Coffee tastes too sweet

Cut back on the amount of caramel you use or try a less-sweet variety if you find the coffee becomes overpoweringly sugary. More powerful coffee or the addition of milk can also help balance it out.

Caramel flavor overpowers coffee

Use a lighter hand with the caramel and up your coffee strength if the sweetness drowns out the beautiful roasted coffee flavors. Let the caramel enhance, not hide, the best qualities of the coffee.

Caramel makes iced coffee sticky

Some separation of the caramel’s sugar is normal in cold applications. Give the drink a good stir before drinking to redistribute. Using less caramel or extra milk can help cut down on excessive stickiness.

Caramel sauce develops mold

If you notice mold growing in an open jar of caramel sauce, sadly it’s time to discard it. Always use clean utensils to remove caramel to prevent introducing bacteria. Refrigerate opened jars to prevent spoilage.

Frequently Asked Questions About Caramel Coffee

Does caramel coffee have more calories?

Caramel coffee likely contains more calories than black coffee since you are adding in a calorie-dense mix of sugar, butter, and cream. However, it has fewer calories than most milky, sugary coffeehouse drinks. Enjoy caramel coffee in moderation if you are concerned about calories.

Is caramel coffee unhealthy?

While caramel does up the sugar and calorie content, when enjoyed occasionally as part of a balanced diet, it’s not necessarily unhealthy. Those with dietary concerns like diabetes should take care with the increased sweetness though.

What is the best way to make caramel coffee?

For hot caramel coffee, simply stir 1-3 tablespoons of caramel sauce per cup of freshly brewed coffee until blended. For iced, stir the caramel into hot coffee first before pouring over ice. Top with milk and whipped cream if desired.

Can you use caramel syrup instead of sauce?

Yes, you can use caramel syrup but the final drink may have a thinner consistency and weaker caramel impact. Opt for thick, creamy caramel sauce if you really want that true decadent caramel flavor.

What drinks can you add caramel to?

Caramel sauce tastes fantastic when added to all kinds of hot and iced coffees, lattes, cappuccinos, mochas, frappes, and more. Get creative with your coffee orders!

Inspired Caramel Coffee Drink Recipes to Try

Salted Caramel Latte


  • 1 shot espresso
  • 1 cup steamed milk
  • 2 tablespoons Ghirardelli caramel sauce
  • Whipped cream for topping
  • Pinch of sea salt


  1. Brew a shot of espresso and steam 1 cup of milk.
  2. Stir 2 tablespoons of caramel sauce into the espresso.
  3. Pour in the steamed milk and mix until combined.
  4. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a pinch of sea salt.
  5. Enjoy this sweet and salty treat!

Iced Caramel Mocha


  • 1 shot espresso, chilled
  • 1/4 cup cold milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons Ghirardelli caramel sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate sauce
  • Whipped cream for topping
  • Chocolate shavings for garnish


  1. Brew a shot of espresso and let it chill completely.
  2. Fill a glass with ice, then pour in the chilled espresso and cold milk.
  3. Drizzle the caramel and chocolate sauces over the top.
  4. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
  5. Serve with a straw and spoon to mix up all the delicious flavors.

Caramel Frappe


  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee, chilled
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup ice
  • Whipped cream for topping
  • Caramel sauce for drizzling


  1. In a blender, combine the coffee, caramel sauce, milk and ice.
  2. Blend until thick and frothy.
  3. Pour into a glass and top with whipped cream and extra caramel drizzle.
  4. Enjoy with a spoon and straw to get all the flavors in each sip!


Ghirardelli caramel sauce takes coffee to a whole new level of flavor and fun. With its silky smooth, rich caramel taste, it makes any coffee creation even more luxurious and delicious. Give your daily cup an easy sweet twist by stirring in this high quality caramel. Your mornings and coffee breaks will instantly become so much more exciting!

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