I’m not a coffee drinker, so I don’t frequent Starbucks. However, whenever I pass the Starbucks at Target on a cold day, there’s two items I can hardly resist — the caramel apple cider, and pumpkin bread. While I wish I had the pumpkin bread recipe for you today, I do have a copycat version of the caramel apple cider…that tastes pretty much exactly like you’d buy at Starbucks.
My friend introduced this to Starbucks caramel apple cider in high school, and I couldn’t get enough of it! I’m not usually a big fan of apple cider, but there is just something so good about this. I made Forrest try it awhile back, and he loved it. At that point, I knew I had to come up with a recipe!
I’ve seen a lot of versions of this around the Internet, and it seems like most of them use a thick, caramel syrup. While, yes, this is probably delicious…I knew it couldn’t be completely right. Starbucks actually posted their “secret recipe“, and it looks like they use Fontana Cinnamon Syrup. Well, I wasn’t about to drop $13+ on it, so I decided to try something else…and it worked perfectly!
Basically, I purchased a bottle of Archer Farm’s Caramel Coffee Syrup. It’s a thinner liquid than the type of caramel syrup you would put on ice cream. It was only a few dollars at Target, but if can’t find it, another good option is Amoretti Premium Syrup or Torani Caramel Syrup. I’ve seen both of these for sale at different grocery stores for just a few dollars. Or, if you don’t want to buy anything, My Frugal Adventures has a homemade version of the cinnamon syrup!
I thought it would be a great idea to make this in the crock pot. It takes seconds to put in the crock pot, and it makes the whole room smell delicious. You could easily take this to a party, or just have it on a cold, winter’s day! If you want to make this not in the crock pot, but a single serving, just divide the recipe by 5, layer the ingredients the same way, heat it up in the microwave, and top with caramel syrup! For the topping, I do recommend using something like Hershey’s Caramel Syrup. Also, some of the cinnamon will likely come to the top of the crock-pot; this is okay! Just give it a good stir before serving.
- 64 ounce bottle apple juice
- 16 tablespoons caramel syrup**
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Whipped Cream
- Hershey's Caramel Topping
- Mix together caramel syrup and cinnamon with a whisk.
- Pour sauce in the bottom of a crock pot.
- Pour entire bottle of apple juice on top of the sauce.
- Cover with lid and cook on low for four hours, or high for two hours.
- Top with whipped cream and Hershey's caramel topping. Microwave topping to make it easier to drizzle.