The Caramel Sauce You Need To Easily Make Copycat Dunkin' Lattes

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There are various reasons why someone might wish to come up with a copycat recipe. For example, if you don't have access to the original, you might simply want to re-create it as accurately as possible. Another approach, however, involves putting your own particular spin on it as recipe developer Jaime Shelbert is doing here with her copycat Dunkin' signature latte recipe. While Shelbert's latte is in the same style as Dunkin's, one way it differs is in the coffee she uses; she insists on using premium coffee. Dunkin' coffee may be of higher quality than you might think, but it is probably not something any deep-dyed coffee connoisseur would endorse. Not only is Shelbert finicky about her coffee, though, but she also switches things up by incorporating a homemade caramel syrup that's quite a bit different than Dunkin's.

Shelbert makes her syrup out of cashew butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup, none of which are listed as ingredients in the kind the coffee chain uses to create its caramel swirls. Still, each of these items is known for being fairly nutritious, and some people may prefer that aspect of Shelbert's copycat.

What's really in Dunkin's caramel swirl syrup

According to Dunkin's official allergen and ingredient table (which is practically a novel at 169 pages), the caramel syrup used in the chain's coffee drinks is made with sweetened condensed nonfat milk, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, water, brown sugar, caramel color, potassium sorbate, natural flavors, and salt, not a single one of which ingredients overlaps with the ones on Jaime Shelbert's list. It's creamier due to the milk in the first ingredient, although you probably won't miss the dairy if you pile on the whipped cream as Shelbert does with her latte. Her caramel sauce also has simpler, more natural ingredients and no preservatives and even if you don't want to use it in a latte, you might want to hold onto the recipe as a good all-around vegan dessert topping to be paired with fruit or dairy-free ice creams.

If you want a latte that's exactly like Dunkin's, you can purchase the store's caramel syrup online. It comes in half-gallon jugs, and on Amazon, it is priced at around $65 at the time of writing ($5 extra for a pump to go with that jug). Redditors on r/DunkinDonuts also suggest that Hershey's caramel syrup and Ghirardelli's premium caramel sauce make pretty good substitutes for homemade Dunkin-style lattes.