What are the ingredients in Starbucks toffee nut syrup?

Starbucks toffee nut syrup is a popular coffee and espresso flavoring made from a blend of ingredients to create its sweet, nutty, buttery taste. For coffee lovers who enjoy adding flavored syrups to customize their drinks, understanding what ingredients make up the syrup can help identify potential allergens or ingredients they may want to avoid.

The main ingredients in Starbucks toffee nut syrup are sugar, water, natural and artificial flavors, salt, potassium sorbate, and caramel color. Let’s take a closer look at each of these ingredients and their purpose in the toffee nut syrup recipe:


Sugar is the primary ingredient in Starbucks toffee nut syrup and makes up the bulk of the syrup’s thick, viscous texture. The sugar adds sweetness that complements the coffee’s natural bitter flavor. Starbucks likely uses a combination of white cane sugar and corn syrup as the sugar sources in the toffee nut syrup.


Water acts as the liquid base that dissolves the sugars and flavors to create the syrup. The water may also help extend the shelf life of the syrup and prevents the sugars from crystallizing.

Natural and Artificial Flavors

The flavors provide the distinctive toffee and nutty tastes. Natural flavors may come from real food sources like nuts and extracts, while artificial flavors are chemically created in labs to mimic natural flavors. The exact blend of natural and artificial flavors is proprietary to Starbucks.


A pinch of salt balances out the sweetness and enhances the flavor profile. Salt is a common ingredient used sparingly in sweet foods and beverages.

Potassium Sorbate

Potassium sorbate is a mild preservative that inhibits mold, bacteria, and yeast growth in the syrup. This helps prolong the shelf life and ensures food safety. Being potassium-based, it can also enhance flavor.

Caramel Color

Caramel color provides the light brown hue that mimics the look of real caramel. It gives the visual cue of a toffee flavor. The caramel color used in Starbucks syrup is likely made from caramelized sugar but could also come from food coloring.

Nutrition Facts

Starbucks does not provide an official nutrition label for their toffee nut syrup alone. However, we can extrapolate some facts based on the common ingredients:


The toffee nut syrup is high in calories, with a 1-tablespoon (15ml) serving estimated to have around 60 calories. This comes from the high sugar content, which provides 15-20 grams of sugar per serving.


There is minimal fat in the Starbucks toffee nut syrup. The fat content is likely 0g or trace amounts at most per serving.


Like the fat content, the toffee nut syrup contains essentially no protein with 0g per serving.


Nearly all the calories and gram weight of the syrup comes from carbohydrates in the form of added sugars. With 15-20 grams of sugar per serving, carbohydrates account for about 95% of each serving.


The sodium content is low but present due to the salt ingredient. There may be around 25-50mg sodium per serving.


As noted, the sugars make up most of the carb content. Added sugars account for 15-20g per serving.


Starbucks toffee nut syrup does not naturally contain caffeine. The caffeine content comes from the coffee it is added to.

Possible Allergens

Starbucks toffee nut syrup contains ingredients that may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals:

Tree Nuts

Though it contains “nut” in the name, Starbucks confirms the toffee nut syrup does not actually contain nuts. However, it’s possible trace amounts of nuts could be present.


The toffee nut syrup does not contain milk or lactose. It is dairy-free.


Starbucks toffee nut syrup is soy-free.


Eggs are not an ingredient in Starbucks toffee nut syrup. It is egg-free.


The toffee nut syrup does not directly contain wheat. However, it’s possible trace amounts may be present from processing in facilities that also handle wheat.


Starbucks toffee nut syrup does not contain added sulfites. People with sulfite allergies can typically consume it.

Special Diets

Here is how Starbucks toffee nut syrup accommodates different diet needs and restrictions:


The syrup contains no wheat, barley, rye, or gluten-containing ingredients so it can be part of a gluten-free diet. Trace gluten is possible.


Starbucks confirms the toffee nut syrup is nut-free, so safe for those with nut allergies.


Starbucks toffee nut syrup is vegetarian and vegan friendly, containing no animal products or byproducts.


Starbucks states most syrups, including toffee nut, are Kosher certified by KSA.


The toffee nut syrup likely qualifies as a Halal food, but Starbucks does not confirm Halal certification.


Due to the high sugar content, the toffee nut syrup is not keto-friendly. The carb count is too high for ketogenic diets.

GMO Ingredients

Starbucks has not labeled their toffee nut syrup as containing GMOs or genetically engineered ingredients. However, the following ingredients have a likelihood of being derived from GMO crops in the syrup:


The sugar may come from GMO sugar beets or GMO corn used to make corn syrup. As these account for the majority of the syrup, GMOs are likely present.

Caramel Color

Some caramel color can be made from corn, which has a high chance of being GMO.

Natural Flavors

GMO corn, soybeans, and canola oil are common sources for natural flavor extracts and oleoresins.

So while not confirmed, GMOs have a strong chance of being an ingredient in Starbucks toffee nut syrup.

Ingredients to Avoid

People with certain ingredient sensitivities or dietary preferences may want to know if Starbucks toffee nut syrup contains the following:

High-Fructose Corn Syrup

Starbucks states their syrups do not contain high-fructose corn syrup.

Artificial Sweeteners

The toffee nut syrup does not contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, or sucralose.

Artificial Flavors

While the syrup includes “natural and artificial flavors”, Starbucks avoids many other artificial additives.

Artificial Colors

No artificial colors are in the ingredients. The caramel color is derived from natural sources.


Potassium sorbate is the only preservative used. No other harsh preservatives are added.

How Toffee Nut Syrup Is Made

While Starbucks keeps their exact syrup recipes proprietary, we can make some educated guesses on how they manufacture the toffee nut variety:

Blending the Ingredients

The primary ingredients of sugar, water, salt, and preservatives are combined in large industrial mixing vats. The liquid is heated slightly to dissolve the sugars.

Adding the Flavors

The proprietary natural and artificial flavor blends that create the distinctive toffee and nutty tastes are added and thoroughly mixed in.

Cooking the Mixture

The syrup mixture is brought to a simmer or low boil to activate the ingredient flavors, thicken the texture, and pasteurize the liquid.

Coloring the Syrup

Caramel color is mixed in to give the coffee-like brown tones.

Cooling and Bottling

The syrup is cooled down to room temperature before being bottled into the reusable containers used in Starbucks stores.

Quality Control

Throughout the process, quality control measures are taken, such as testing pH, specific gravity, and tasting samples.

Storage and Shipping

The finished toffee nut syrup bottles are stored in climate controlled warehouses before distribution to cafes for use.

Drink Ideas With Toffee Nut Syrup

Starbucks toffee nut syrup can add its signature flavor to a variety of hot, iced, and blended coffee drinks. Here are some delicious ways to use it:

Toffee Nut Latte

Add 2-3 pumps of syrup to hot espresso and steamed milk for a cozy winter latte. Top with whipped cream and toffee nut pieces.

Iced Toffee Nut Coffee

Brew iced coffee and combine with milk, ice, and toffee nut syrup for a sweet twist on classic iced coffee.

Toffee Nut Frappe

Blend toffee nut syrup with milk, ice, and espresso for a chilled caffeine treat.

Toffee Mocha

Combine toffee nut syrup with chocolate sauce in steamed mocha for a candy-inspired coffee.

Toffee Caramel Macchiato

In a caramel macchiato, use both caramel and toffee nut syrups to layer the flavors.

Buying Bottles of Toffee Nut Syrup

While Starbucks keeps their official syrup recipe proprietary, several brands offer bottles of toffee nut syrup with similar flavors for home use:

Brand Where to Buy Price
Monin Toffee Nut Syrup Online, specialty retail $7.99 for 750mL
Torani Toffee Nut Syrup Online, grocery stores $4.99 for 750mL
DaVinci Gourmet Toffee Nut Syrup Online, warehouse stores $6.99 for 750mL

These can be used to customize coffees, lattes, hot chocolate, milkshakes, and more. Always shake well before use. Store opened bottles in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Toffee Nut Syrup Storage

Per Starbucks guidance, unused toffee nut syrup can be stored in refrigerators or at room temperature. Here are some storage tips:

Unopened Bottles

Keep the unopened, sealed bottles at room temperature in a pantry or cupboard. The syrup won’t spoil for 1-2 years.

Refrigeration After Opening

For best quality and freshness after opening, refrigerate the syrup bottles and use within 6 months.

Room Temperature After Opening

If refrigeration is unavailable, the opened bottles can be kept at room temperature for up to 1 month before quality degrades.

Avoid Freezing

Do not store the toffee nut syrup in freezers, as freezing and thawing can cause separation.


The syrup bottles and pumps are reused repeatedly in Starbucks stores. Rinse thoroughly after use for reuse at home.

Toffee Nut Syrup vs. Caramel Syrup

Starbucks offers both toffee nut and caramel syrups. Here’s how they compare:


Toffee nut has distinct nutty, buttery notes, while caramel is pure sweet caramelized sugar flavor.


Caramel pairs well with espresso, while toffee nut complements both coffee and milk beverages.


Caramel syrup is often slightly sweeter than Starbucks’ toffee nut variety.


Toffee nut syrup has a slightly thicker, more viscous texture compared to caramel.


Caramel syrup has a darker brown color versus the medium brown hues of toffee nut.

Toffee Nut Syrup vs. Hazelnut Syrup

Toffee nut and hazelnut are two nut-inspired coffee syrups at Starbucks. Here’s how to compare them:

Nutty Flavor

Hazelnut has a true nut flavor while toffee nut has more sweet butter and vanilla notes.


Hazelnut syrup has slightly more bitterness than the sweeter toffee nut variety.


Both work well in lattes, coffees, frappuccinos, and iced drinks.


Hazelnut pairs nicely with chocolate while toffee nut pairs better with caramel.


Toffee nut syrup tends to be slightly thicker in texture than hazelnut.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about Starbucks toffee nut syrup:

Is Starbucks toffee nut syrup vegan?

Yes, the toffee nut syrup contains no animal products or byproducts, making it vegan-friendly.

Does Starbucks toffee nut syrup have caffeine?

No, there is no caffeine in the toffee nut syrup itself. The caffeine comes from the coffee.

Is Starbucks toffee nut syrup gluten-free?

While Starbucks toffee nut syrup does not contain gluten ingredients, trace gluten contamination is possible.

Can you buy Starbucks toffee nut syrup in stores?

Starbucks does not sell their proprietary syrups in retail stores, but similar toffee nut syrups are sold under brands like Torani and Monin.

Does Starbucks sell the toffee nut syrup recipe?

No, Starbucks keeps their official syrup recipes confidential and proprietary.


Starbucks toffee nut syrup adds a delightfully indulgent flavor to coffee drinks with its mix of sweet brown sugar, warm vanilla, and light nutty notes. Understanding the simple ingredients like sugar, water, salt, and natural flavors can help consumers make informed choices. While the exact recipe is a trade secret, similar toffee nut syrups can be purchased to recreate favorite Starbucks beverages at home. With its versatility for hot, iced, and blended drinks, this syrup is sure to continue satisfying sweet tooths in Starbucks stores everywhere.

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