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Apple Brown Sugar Syrup (Copycat Starbucks Recipe)

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If you’re a fan of Starbucks apple crisp drinks for fall, you can make the apple brown sugar syrup at home! Our recipe uses simple ingredients and makes great apple crisp macchiatos at home. This syrup is also naturally gluten free and dairy free.

photo collage showing different views of homemade Starbucks copycat brown sugar syrup.

If you’re a fan of the Starbucks apple crisp drinks, you’re going to love our homemade apple brown sugar syrup so you can make those drinks at home!

Our homemade apple brown sugar syrup isn’t difficult to make and will add a fun fall twist to your daily brew whether you add it to hot or iced coffee. Plus this is a delicious fall flavor that is a change of pace from pumpkin spice, so people who aren’t pumpkin spice fans will enjoy this.

Food allergy notes:

  • This syrup is free from the top 9 allergens

What we love about this recipe

Our recipe for apple brown sugar syrup only uses a handful of ingredients and has only a few steps, so it’s pretty simple to make.

It’s also not only great in coffee drinks, but you can use this syrup anywhere you’d use a regular syrup, like on top of pancakes!

Starbucks copycat apple brown sugar syrup in a jar with a spoon in it.

How to make apple brown sugar syrup

Here are the steps for making this brown sugar syrup recipe. This is just an overview of the steps, the full recipe card is at the end of the post.

  1. Whisk together in a 1-quart saucepan the apple cider, light brown sugar, and cream of tartar.
  2. Heat over medium heat to a low boil, lower the heat slightly and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Try not to scrape down the sides, this will help reduce crystallization of the sugars once it cools.
  3. Remove from the heat and whisk in the ground cinnamon.
  4. Allow to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then pour into a jar or bottle and store in the fridge.
A series of photos showing how to make apple brown sugar syrup.

The apple cider used in this recipe is the unfiltered and pressed apple juice, not the already sweetened and spiced apple cider you’d find in packets, and not apple cider vinegar. Pure apple cider is basically pressed and unfiltered (and sometimes unpasteurized) apple juice.

If you can’t find apple cider, a more tart apple juice will likely work in this recipe instead (I haven’t tried this myself).

The cream of tartar in this recipe helps to prevent re-crystallization of sugar when it’s stored in the fridge. You can skip this, however your syrup may get gritty or form sugar crystals in your jar or bottle. If you don’t have cream of tartar you can stir in 1 tablespoon light corn syrup (such as Karo, not high fructose corn syrup) once the syrup is done cooking.

Cream of tartar is not dairy related even though it has the word “cream” in it. Cream of tartar is an acidic byproduct of winemaking called potassium bitartrate that is used in various cooking applications.

Can I add the cinnamon before cooking?

With this recipe, it’s important to add the ground cinnamon to the syrup after it’s done cooking, otherwise it can get bitter and overpowering.

Sometimes cooking cinnamon can result in it getting pretty bitter tasting, and with a syrup like this you’ll definitely taste it more. You will get the best flavor in this syrup by adding the cinnamon after cooking like we wrote in the directions.

We made a ton (8-10) batches when we were perfecting this recipe, and the first batches I made with the cinnamon cooked into the syrup and couldn’t put a finger on the off-putting bitterness until later I figured out it was the cinnamon.

Once I added the cinnamon after the syrup had cooked, the flavor improved dramatically. This doesn’t happen every time cinnamon is cooked, but in this particular recipe it’s best to add the cinnamon after cooking, not before.

How to make an iced apple crisp oat milk latte (copycat Starbucks recipe)

The reason I made this apple brown sugar syrup is because I like getting the Starbucks iced apple crisp oatmilk shaken espressos each fall and wanted to figure out how to make them myself at home.

An iced coffee with apple brown sugar syrup being poured into a glass.

Here’s how to make an iced apple crisp oat milk latte at home (I included the full recipe in the recipe card at the bottom of the post as well):

  1. Add 2 shots of fresh brewed espresso to a glass.
  2. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the apple brown sugar syrup. The syrup dissolves easier in a hot liquid like the espresso, so stir that up before adding ice.
  3. Add some ice (if you want it iced) and add about 6-8 ounces of oat milk.
  4. For a hot drink, leave out the ice and add hot frothed or foamed oat milk.
  5. Stir and serve immediately.
photo collage showing steps to make apple crisp oat milk latte.

Other ways to use this apple brown sugar syrup

Besides the apple crisp latte (which is delicious!), you can use this syrup with other foods:

  • On top of pancakes, waffles, or french toast
  • In chai tea
  • With boba tea in place of regular brown sugar syrup
  • Ice cream
Starbucks copycat apple brown sugar syrup in a jar with a spoon in it.

Apple Brown Sugar Syrup (Starbucks Copycat)

If you're a fan of Starbucks apple crisp drinks for fall, you can make the apple brown sugar syrup at home! Our recipe uses simple ingredients and makes great apple crisp macchiatos at home. This syrup is also naturally gluten free and dairy free.
Makes about 1⅓ cups of syrup (about 22 Tablespoons). Nutrition estimate is only for the syrup, not the apple crisp oat milk latte.
4.77 from 17 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiments, Sauces, & Spreads, Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple brown sugar syrup, apple crisp oatmilk machiatto
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cooling time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes
Servings: 22 Tablespoons
Calories: 62kcal

Ingredients

Apple brown sugar syrup:

Making an apple brown sugar latte:

  • 2 shots fresh brewed espresso
  • 2 Tablespoons apple brown sugar syrup
  • Ice
  • 6 to 8 ounces creamy oat milk

Instructions

Making the apple brown sugar syrup:

  • Shake your apple cider to make sure all the sediment is mixed into your cider, and measure out 1 cup of cider into a 1-quart saucepan.
  • Add the brown sugar to the apple cider in the saucepan, add the cream of tartar, whisk, and heat over medium heat until it begins to boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat, whisk in the ground cinnamon and allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then pour into a glass jar or bottle to cool completely.
  • Store in the fridge.

Making an apple crisp oat milk latte:

  • Add 2 shots of hot, fresh brewed espresso to a cup, stir in 2 Tablespoons of the apple brown sugar syrup.
  • Add ice and top with about 6-8 ounces of oat milk. Stir and serve immediately.

Video

Notes

*The cream of tartar helps to prevent re-crystallization of sugar when it’s stored in the fridge. You can skip this, however your syrup may get gritty. If you don’t have cream of tartar you can stir in 1 tablespoon light corn syrup (the regular kind like Karo, not high fructose corn syrup) one the syrup is done cooking.
The apple cider used in this recipe is the unfiltered and pressed apple juice, not the already sweetened and spiced apple cider you’d find in packets. Pure apple cider is basically pressed apple juice that is unfiltered.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Tablespoon | Calories: 62kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 0.03g | Fat: 0.01g | Saturated Fat: 0.002g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.004g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 31mg | Fiber: 0.03g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 0.2IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.1mg
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4 thoughts on “Apple Brown Sugar Syrup (Copycat Starbucks Recipe)”

    • Hi Carisa! I’d store this in the fridge to make it last longer. We were able to keep our syrup in the fridge for about 2-3 weeks, I’d say 2 weeks is a good time frame, after 2 weeks you can use it just make sure to check it regularly for mold or fermentation. I noticed some of our fruit syrups started to ferment a little in the fridge after a couple of weeks.

      Reply
  1. 5 stars
    Perfect! Thank you so much for your efforts is creating this recipe. We put the oat milk in a milk frother and drink it hot! This made our Thanksgiving with the family! My teenage and adult children said this is better than Starbucks. Thanks again!

    Reply

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