Indulge in a low-carb keto version of the Starbucks caramel apple spice hot drink. Make it at home and save money and carbs!
Caramel apple spice has a very "fall-like" flavor. It reminds me of an apple pie a la mode mixed with a cup of coffee.
You taste all the apple pie flavors - the sweet steamed apple juice with the cinnamon spice and drizzled with caramel.
If you have a sweet tooth, this is probably what you crave.
All of that adds up to a lot of carbs! Thankfully, there is a way to create this tantalizing drink in a way that gives you all the flavor without all that extra sugar.
Carbs in Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice
There are a whopping 35.1 grams of carbs in an 8-ounce Starbucks caramel apple spice hot drink without whipped cream. That's in just 8 ounces!
This is why I knew I wanted to create my own low-carb copycat recipe using ChocZero's caramel syrup. When you are trying to stay between 30–50 grams of carbs per day, you can't just survive on one hot drink.
I made quite a few changes to this drink - but all I did was make keto-friendly swaps with things that taste the same. My drink recipe only has 2g net carbs per cup. That is quite a huge decrease!
One sip of this drink, and you won't be able to tell that it isn't from Starbucks!
Frequently Asked Questions About Caramel Apple Spice
The entire recipe is at the bottom of this post. First, I wanted to answer some questions about this copycat keto Starbucks drink.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Taste Like Apple Juice?
Apple cider vinegar is commonly used to make keto apple cider. The sugar-free syrup in this drink offsets the taste enough that it just tastes like a rich apple drink.
You can't even tell it has vinegar in it.
Does Caramel Apple Spice Have Coffee In It?
No, this drink is more like a hot apple cider drink than a latte.
The original Starbucks drink is made with steamed apple juice, cinnamon syrup, and whipped cream. It's a decaffeinated drink that is perfect for anyone that wants something hot but doesn't like coffee.
Can You Use Cinnamon Apple Spice Tea Bags?
My recipe has a blend of spices that includes:
- Cinnamon sticks
- Ground nutmeg
- Orange peels
I absolutely love this combination of spices, especially in this drink!
Yes, you can use a pre-made cinnamon apple spice teabag instead of all my spices. But, be careful and only pick out tea bags that don't have any added sugars. Most teabags don't have sugar, but it is always good to double-check.
How Do You Dry Orange Peels For This Drink?
The easiest way is to just use a bag of dried orange peels. It's faster, but it's not cheaper.
To save money, dry your own orange peels. It's really easy!
- Peel the bright orange part of the orange peel off the fruit with a paring knife. Do not peel the white part that is close to the fruit.
- Lay them on a plate or baking sheet and let them dry for a few days. If you set the peels near a sunny window, they will dry up in about four days.
- A faster method is to bake them at 200F for about 25-30 minutes.
After you make your own dried orange peels, store them in an airtight container in your pantry.
They will stay fresh for up to a month.
How Do You Strain The Spices?
Do not just stir all the spices into the boiling water. This will make your drink taste way too strong and bits of the spices will be floating in the water.
The tea filter will hold everything better. The mesh tea ball is nice, but you'll have to break up the cinnamon sticks in small pieces to get them to fit.
How Many Servings Does This Recipe Make?
This recipe will make enough for 2 cups. It's best to make it all in one mug that can hold at least 16 ounces of liquid so that you can stir it all together and let the spices meld together.
Caramel Apple Spice Ingredients
This recipe uses ingredients you probably already have at home. If you have a well-stocked spice rack, then you should be set.
Recipe Quick Tips:
- Whole cinnamon sticks are best: You might be tempted to use dried cinnamon, but it doesn't have the same flavor.
- Use whole cloves: The whole cloves will have a stronger taste and fill your water with more spice than if you used dried cloves.
- Jarred allspice is better than homemade: Allspice is actually a berry from a tree in Jamaica. The flavor tastes like a combination of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. I used all of those spices in this recipe, so it's best to use the allspice instead of doubling up on the other spices.
- Raw apple cider vinegar: Both raw and regular apple cider vinegar are made from the juice of crushed apples. You'll normally see them labeled as "filtered" or "unfiltered." The difference is that raw - or unfiltered - is usually organic and unpasteurized. It goes through less processing.
- ChocZero Caramel Syrup - This is what makes it taste like apple pie! Drizzle this on top of the whipped cream and you get all the caramel taste without the carbs.
- Whipped Cream - Always make your own. It's really easy, you just combine heavy whipping cream with a splash of vanilla and some low-carb sweetener. Whip it with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
What To Eat With A Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice Drink
Since this drink is packed full of delicious spice we all love during the fall season, I highly recommend enjoying this drink alongside a slice of low carb pumpkin pie or a gluten-free spiced zucchini muffin!
Definitely save this recipe for those chilly autumn mornings when you feel like having a Starbucks treat right in your own home. For more apple cinnamon flavor, pair it with a slice of keto apple bread or keto apple crisp.
Other Recipes To Try
Want a few more low-carb drink recipes to enjoy in fall? Here are a few of my other favorites:
- Low Carb Hot Chocolate is rich and creamy with real cocoa and heavy cream.
- Spiced Gingerbread Coffee tastes like a drink from a coffee shop. It is perfectly sweet and almost slightly spicy - it really will remind you of the taste of gingerbread.
- Bulletproof Tea is the perfect thing to drink if you enjoy caffeine but don't like the taste of coffee.
- Copycat Bailey's Irish cream has both instant espresso and real Irish whiskey.
- Keto Pumpkin Spice Latte tastes just like the Starbucks version - with real whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon.
Caramel Apple Drink (Starbucks Copycat)
- 2 cups water
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice (see note)
- 3 whole cloves (see note)
- ⅛ teaspoon dried orange peel (see note)
- 1 cinnamon stick broken in half (see note)
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg (see note)
- 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar (see note)
- 1 tablespoon ChocZero Caramel Syrup plus more for drizzling
- 1 teaspoon sweetener or 5 drops stevia or monk fruit liquid extract (optional)
- dash ground cinnamon (optional)
- ¼ cup whipped cream made with low-carb sweetener and vanilla (optional)
- Boil water with a closed tea brew filter containing the cinnamon, cloves, allspice, orange peel, and nutmeg. After water boils, remove from heat and let sit covered for 2 to 3 minutes allowing the spices to infuse into the hot water.
- Add apple cider vinegar and caramel syrup to a 16 ounce or larger mug. Pour spiced hot water over vinegar. Stir to blend. For better flavor, add in your preferred low carb sweetener and a dash of ground cinnamon.
- Garnish with a cinnamon stick, whipped cream, and drizzle of additional syrup if desired.
Array ( [serving_size] => 2 [calories] => 76 [carbohydrates] => 16 [protein] => 1 [fat] => 3 [saturated_fat] => 2 [cholesterol] => 11 [sodium] => 26 [fiber] => 14 [sugar] => 1 [vitamin_a] => 103 [calcium] => 29 [serving_unit] => cups )
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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