Learn how to make a Starbucks copycat brown sugar syrup at home. It's the perfect coffee syrup to add to any cold brew, iced coffee, or espresso and takes under 5 minutes to make.
If you've been wondering where to buy Starbucks brown sugar syrup or haven't been able to source the product, this is the perfect solution! Try making a homemade version of this simple syrup so you have it on hand at all times.
I've been loving the flavor this copycat recipe brings to my homemade cold brew coffees and espressos. It adds just the right amount of sweetness that blends perfectly with so many drinks.
What You'll Learn In This Recipe
In this recipe, you'll learn the basics of making a simple syrup at home. Simple syrups can be used in all kinds of cocktail and coffee recipes.
Typically, simple syrups are a one to one ratio of sugar and water. For this recipe, we're adding a little twist with maple syrup and a little less water than usual.
However, the same basic cooking method can be used for any other simple syrup recipe you make!
What Is Starbucks Brown Sugar Syrup?
Brown sugar syrup is one of Starbucks newest simple syrup flavors. This simple syrup is used in the ever-popular Iced Oatmilk Shaken Espresso and many TikTok original drink creations. It would also be delicious mixed with sweet cream cold foam.
The ingredients listed on the bottle are a little vague: invert sugar, brown sugar, water, natural flavors, salt, and preservations. However, when you taste this delicious syrup, you'll get hints of brown sugar, maple syrup, and cinnamon.
While brown sugar syrup is usually available at Starbucks, it can be expensive to purchase an entire bottle to use at home. This recipe is a copycat version - I swear you won't be able to taste the difference - and you can make it at a fraction of the price.
Many recipes for copycat Starbucks brown sugar syrup are missing a key ingredient that you'll find in this recipe - maple syrup! Trust me, it's the secret ingredient that you'll need to have a similar taste.
Here's everything you'll need for this recipe:
- Light brown sugar: Obviously we'll need some brown sugar to recreate this magical syrup recipe. I found light brown sugar works best!
- Pure maple syrup: It's really important to purchase pure maple syrup, not the flavored maple syrup. Maple flavored syrup will not result in the same taste!
- Cinnamon stick: A cinnamon stick is going to provide more flavor than ground cinnamon.
- Fine sea salt: And of course, everything that's sweet needs a pinch of salt to mellow out the flavors.
How To Make This Recipe
This DIY syrup can be whipped up in under 5 minutes. Here's how!
- Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon stick, and fine sea salt to a small saucepan.
- Cook the simple syrup over medium heat just until all of the sugar is dissolved. This usually takes about 1 - 2 minutes.
Then, allow the mixture to cool in the saucepan until it is no longer steaming.
3. Transfer the simple syrup, along with the cinnamon stick, to a reusable bottle that has been sterilized. Allow the cinnamon to steep in the syrup for 24 hours at room temperature.
After 24 hours, remove the cinnamon stick. You can use the syrup immediately, or store it in a sealed bottle in the refrigerator for 4 - 5 months.
- Do not replace pure maple syrup with maple-flavored syrup (like Mrs. Butterworth). These are not the same ingredients and will result in a different final product.
- You only want to cook the simple syrup until the sugar is just dissolved. The mixture will become cloudy and foamy if you cook the simple syrup for too long.
- Are you wondering what Starbucks drinks use brown sugar syrup? I'd suggest starting out with my iced oat milk shaken espresso.
Recipe Frequently Asked Questions
No. When you taste the Starbucks brown sugar syrup by itself, it has notes of brown sugar, maple, and cinnamon. It does not taste like it's exclusively made with brown sugar.
For my original recipe, I've added these other ingredients to best replicate the flavor of the Starbucks syrup.
From tasting the Starbucks brown sugar syrup by itself, I don't believe that there is a special type of brown sugar that Starbucks is using. Instead, I believe they have additional flavors such as maple and cinnamon included in their recipe.
For my original recipe, I've added these other ingredients to best replicate the flavor of the Starbucks syrup.
If properly stored in a sterilized bottle that can be resealed, the syrup should last in the refrigerator for 4 - 5 months.
More Coffee Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, try other coffee-related recipes like:
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐rating in the recipe card below. Don't forget to follow along on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Pinterest for more recipes.
4 Ingredient Starbucks Brown Sugar Syrup
- ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 (3 inch) cinnamon stick
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 5 tablespoons (2 ½ ounces) cool water
- Add brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon stick, salt, and water to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat just until all the sugar has dissolved, about 1-2 minutes.
- Let cool in saucepan, then transfer syrup and cinnamon stick to a reusable bottle and seal tightly with a lid. Allow cinnamon to steep in the syrup for 24 hours at room temperature.
- Remove cinnamon stick. Use syrup, or store in a sealed bottle in the refrigerator for 4 - 5 months.
I found this recipe on YouTube. I've tried a few others that have claimed they were Starbucks copycat recipes. This is literally the only recipe I made that tasted like the Starbucks version. It's SO good and makes all my coffee drinks taste better.
Thanks, Nicole! I worked really hard to make it taste EXACTLY like the Starbucks version. So glad you can tell 🙂 Thanks for making the recipe!
You have the water listed in the bottom by the recipe part but not in the body where it describes how to make it. I followed the body of the post on accident. May want to edit that.
Thanks for catching this! I'll get that updated 🙂
This recipe is spot on. I didn't have any more cinnamon sticks so I used 1/4 top ground cinnamon and I think it was a perfect amount. This is the second recipe I've tried for this and the other was good..but not similar to starbucks at all. Thanks for the recipe. Can't wait to look through the rest of the site!
How long does it typically stay good for? I’ve made some syrups and they go bad after a week or so.
Carleigh - this lasts 4 - 5 months! Most quality simple syrups should last a long time, so I'm surprised to hear that! Make sure to follow the storage instructions in the recipe, and this one will last! Also, be sure the bottle you're storing it in is SUPER clean! You can even boil the glass jar to make sure it's fully sterilized.
as i’m writing this review i’m tasting the syrup in my homemade shaken espresso and it’s PERFECT!! I finally found the one recipe that tastes spot on like the starbucks one 🙂 thank you sm for this.
Ahh - so glad you love it!! The other recipes I tried were missing that secret ingredient of maple syrup to make it taste extra delicious. Thanks so much for trying the recipe 🙂
So simple (lol get it, simple syrup)! Okay, normally I shy away from things like this because I’m afraid of burning the sugar, but I had no issues. Only took 5 minutes. Tastes so amazing! I did substitute ground cinnamon because I couldn’t find cinnamon sticks at the store and it.
How much ground cinnamon did you use? I can’t find the sticks either!
Hey Ashlynn! I'd try about 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Hope this helps 🙂
Hello, wondering if this is what is used in the brown sugar oat milk shaken espresso? Thanks!
Hey there! Yes, this is the syrup used in the shaken oatmilk espresso (I have a recipe for this drink too). Can't wait for you to try it out! 🙂
Just made it. Mixed it with half very strong coffee, half oat milk... I don't have an espresso machine anymore even even still it tastes just like SB oat milk latte with brown sugar syrup exactly. An espresso machine is my only missing major piece to this pie, I need to buy a new one. But in the meantime, Philz Coffee + Oat Milk + this syrup is amazing.
I found this to be a little to cinnamon-y (like cinnamon heart candy tasting) after leaving the stick in overnight. Maybe that's just me. If I made this again, I'd only simmer with the cinnamon and then take the stick out. Otherwise has been enjoyable.
Hi. Will this taste really different if I use dark brown sugar? That’s all I have on hand now. 🙂
Hey Janique! Dark brown sugar will likely give the syrup a richer, heavier taste. It should still work though 🙂
Which is the real Starbucks recipe? I see other recipes going around that do not have maple syrup, they have water and vanilla extract instead.
I guess that's up for you to decide! When you taste the brown sugar syrup on its own, it has a strong maple taste. This is my personal take on the brown sugar syrup. You'll have to make both and decide which one you like better 🙂
This is sooooo freaking good!!! Hey, have you tried monk sugar (not sure if there is a monk brown) or stevia brown sugar? Trying to cut some glucose as I will be drinking this more now lol
I'm so glad you love it! I have not tried monk sugar or stevia. If you give it a go, let me know how it turns out 🙂
Do you have to add cinnamon to this? Or does it just enhance the rest of the flavors? I’m just not a big fan.
This recipe would still work without the cinnamon 🙂
May be a stupid question but how much should I be putting in a drink? Tablespoon? Trying to make the brown sugar oatmilk espresso drink at home..
Hey Kate! That's a great question! I usually start with about 3/4 ounce of the syrup, taste, and then decide if I need more. I actually have a full recipe for the brown sugar oatmilk espresso if you want to check it out: https://homebodyeats.com/brown-sugar-oatmilk-shaken-espresso/
Soooo amazing when I tasted it while it was still warm…as it cooled it hardened haha! Did I let it get too hot? I think I made candy.
Hey Haylie - hahah oh no! Yes, I'd say you probably cooked it too long. Only cook the mixture until the sugar is dissolved (about 1 - 2 minutes). Good luck!! I hope it turns out better the second time 🙂
Can this syrup be left out if you do not want to refrigerate it?
Hi Christina - Yes, the syrup should be okay at room temperature as well. It will just have a shorter shelf life.
I was looking at the nutritional value posted on this brown sugar syrup and I’m curious if the sugar is 171 grams per serving ??
Hi Rachel! The 171 grams is for the entire 1 scant cup that the recipe makes. You'll need to do some math and divide that by however many tablespoons you add to your drink for the individual serving size nutritional value. I hope that helps 🙂
Looking forward to trying this recipe. I just a simple cold brew maker where you steep the grounds overnight. I have a question though before I make it. Are you able to use breakfast syrup (like used for waffles and pancakes) or does it have to be pure maple syrup.
Looking to get into making cheap yet delicious coffees at home to save money but still have what seems like a treat.
Hi Katie! The breakfast syrup won't work for this recipe, unfortunately. You'll need a pure maple syrup for the strong flavor. I can't wait to see how you like it 🙂
Thank you! I will be making it real soon. I just made a basic simple syrup with water and sugar last night, so looking forward to branch out in other flavor syrups including this one. I will come back and let you know. I’m sure I will love it. Starbucks is my favorite for coffee but everyday can be expensive. So making them at home will be fun and less expensive
So good! Tastes like the real thing. A game changer at home!
Thanks so much, Emily! I'm glad you really liked it!