Candy Corn Latte Macchiato
October 13, 2020
If there’s anything I’ve learned about Halloween, it’s that I enjoy only the wrong parts of it. I’m not big on the spooky and creepy crawly aspects at all. But there is one part of the holiday I really, really love, and that’s candy corn. I can’t explain the allure exactly, and I know it’s a divisive opinion. But I just can’t get enough of those little striped sweets in October. So why not wake up each morning of the month and enjoy a sweet, rich candy corn latte macchiato? Sounds good to me.
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The original inspiration for this came from the candy’s stripes. I was preparing a caramel macchiato one morning, while munching on a few pieces from a freshly opened bag of candy corn (It’s not my fault; we keep the candy next to the coffee bar). The clean lines between the caramel, coffee, and foam reminded me of the candy, and I had to try making this drink with that bright orange color.
What You Need to Get Started
- Pantry: Candy corn, Espresso
- Fridge: Milk
- Equipment: Saucepan, Silicone spatula, Espresso maker (save or splurge), Glass coffee mug
- Optional Equipment: Coffee grinder (save or splurge), Milk frother, Milk steaming pitcher, Measured shot glasses
Let’s Make Candy Corn Syrup
This is a super easy recipe, but if you are usually rushing around in the morning to make your coffee, I suggest preparing the syrup the day before. You can easily store it in the fridge in a sealed container for a few days. Then just microwave in ten second increments and stir until it flows nicely.
Start with a small saucepan. The smallest one you’ve got will probably work, since there aren’t many ingredients in this. Add the candy corn and water, and heat on medium. Make sure you are stirring constantly but gently, allowing the candies to melt.
Keep stirring until they have all lost their shape, and you have a goopy orange-colored syrup. You’ll want to let it thicken slightly, so continue cooking for just another minute or so, stirring frequently, scraping the sides and bottom of the pot, but not constantly.
Transfer the rest to a heat-proof jar, and allow to cool to room temperature before storing in the fridge. When you are ready to make your coffee, add two tablespoons of the warm syrup to the bottom of a 12 oz glass coffee mug.
How to Make a Candy Corn Latte Macchiato
Let’s start with discussing what exactly makes this drink a latte macchiato. The phrase means marked milk in Italian. To make a macchiato, you first pour steamed milk into a coffee cup, and then pour the espresso on top, creating a dark mark on the foam. A caramel macchiato is the most common type.
Not to be confused with a caffe macchiato or espresso macchiato, in which the coffee itself is marked with a dollop of milk foam. The term macchiato tends to be used interchangeably, so always make sure you pay attention if ordering one at a coffee shop.
Begin making this by preparing your espresso. If you are using whole beans (I recommend it), grind them fresh just before adding them to your machine. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to pull two shots of espresso. Alternatively, you can use very strong dark roast coffee.
Next, prepare the steamed milk. If you have an espresso machine, this is pretty easy. Add the cold milk to a frothing pitcher, and then use the wand to steam the milk. At first, submerge the wand below the surface of the milk, and keep the pitcher still until it feels warm in your hand.
Then lower the pitcher or lift the wand so it is steaming closer to the surface of the milk. This will help to add more air into it, and create more foam. Continue frothing until the milk has doubled in volume. Tap the pitcher gently on the counter a couple times and swirl it lightly.
If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can still warm and froth your milk in a variety of ways. Heat it in either the microwave or on the stove until it reaches a temperature of about 110F. To create the foamy texture, use a handheld frother, or shake in a jar before heating.
Now you have the three ingredients to pour and layer your macchiato. You have already added the bottom layer: the candy corn syrup. Next, add the milk. Use a spoon to hold back the foam while you pour the liquid milk directly on top of the syrup.
Once it’s about half full, remove the spoon and begin adding the foam as well. You can use the spoon to scoop out any stubborn foam and add it to your mug as well. Be sure you are leaving enough space for the coffee.
Finally, top with the two espresso shots. Quickly pour the brewed espresso into the center of the mug, allowing it to mix with the liquid milk below the foamy surface, and leave a dark mark on top of the foam.
The foam will float on top of the liquid milk and espresso, which will mix into a gradient. All of that will sit on top of the bright orange candy corn syrup, to create the distinct layers. Always serve a macchiato in a glass mug if you can, they are just so pretty.
Garnish by drizzling the foam with additional syrup, or top with some whipped cream and a couple of candy corn pieces. Serve immediately. If you drink it as is, you can taste the distinct flavors of each layer. Or you can stir it to enjoy more like a latte.
Wake up to a treat on Halloween morning, with a candy corn macchiato, layered with bright orange syrup, rich coffee, and creamy steamed milk.
How to Serve a Candy Corn Macchiato
A crisp fall morning is the perfect time to enjoy this warm and cozy beverage. Pair it with other fall flavors, such as apple, pear, and plum. A slice of butternut squash curry cornbread drizzled with honey will complement the candy corn flavor nicely. For something more sweet, try apple butter brioche cinnamon rolls.
You can also serve this coffee as an after dinner treat. Offer it alongside an apple and blueberry crumble cake for a formal dessert, or pair it with a seasonal cookie tray featuring cream cheese oatmeal sandwiches, cherry chocolate chip, and apple cider caramel snickerdoodles.
Other Drinks for Fall
Candy Corn Latte Macchiato
- ⅔ Cup Candy Corn
- 2 Tbsp Water
- 2 oz. Freshly Brewed Espresso
- 7 oz Milk
- In a small saucepan, heat the candy corn and water, stirring gently but constantly until the candy corn has melted, and you are left with an orange-colored syrup. Continue to cook, stirring frequently for 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened.
- steam milk°
- Add 1-2 Tbsp of the syrup into the bottom of a glass coffee mug. Slowly pour the milk on top, using a spoon to hold back the foam, and then add the foam on top. Quickly pour the espresso shots into the middle of the foam.
- Serve immediately, garnish with a drizzle of the candy corn syrup or whipped cream and a couple pieces of candy corn.
- If you don't have an espresso maker, use 2oz of strong, dark roast coffee. To froth the milk without steaming it, either:
- Make ahead tip: You can store the candy corn syrup in the fridge in a sealed container for 4-5 days, and add it to your coffee all week!
- Ingredients & Substitutions:
- I used Brach's original candy corn. If you use a different brand or variety, you may have slightly different results. For a fun twist, try a mix of regular and chocolate candy corn.
- You can use any milk or alternative you choose in this recipe, but some brands and varieties froth better than others. Skim milk works the best, but I usually use 2%.
- Candy corn contains honey, so if you want a fully plant-based version, you'll need to use vegan candy corn.
- You can use any type of freshly brewed espresso. I made mine with decaf.