Starbucks Sauce Vs Syrup: The Differences You Need To Know

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starbucks sauce vs syrup

Feel like your drink is missing something?

Sounds like a pump or two of a certain sauce of syrup would solve your problem.

But which one?

Well, that depends on your drink. 

To know which flavoring is better for your coffee, first, you need to know more about each of them. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

So without further ado, I present to you – the Starbucks sauce vs syrup rundown!

What is Starbucks sauce?

starbucks coffee with sauce

Starbucks sauce is a thick and creamy flavoring that you can add to your drink.

It gives your coffee additional flavor and aroma, turning your beverage practically into a delicious dessert. 

Do you know what they add to frappuccino to make it so tasty?

You guessed it – the sauce.

Starbucks is really creative when it comes to its flavoring sauces. Some of the best ones you can get include dark caramel and white chocolate mocha sauce. 

The actual range depends on the store, so you won’t find them in every single Starbucks around the world. But the most popular ones are usually widely available.

In most cases, the sauce bottles sit next to the coffee maker so you can squeeze them into the drink to your liking. But in some cases, the barista is the one doing that. You don’t want to go overboard, as they’re rather strong.

Unfortunately, sauces are exclusive to the coffee shop, so you can’t just buy a bottle and use it at home. For all of us that quite enjoy thick and tasty coffee drinks, that’s quite a shame.

What is Starbucks syrup?

starbucks coffee with syrup

What do vanilla sweet cream cold brew coffee, caramel macchiato and iced shaken espresso have in common? 

They’re all flavored with syrup.

Starbucks syrup is less dense than a sauce, and it’s added to both hot and cold Starbucks coffee drinks.

What’s more, you can also add it to ice cream, pastry and even tea to give it an extra something.

Starbucks offers a large range of syrups.

There are some classic syrup flavors, such as vanilla, caramel and brown sugar syrup. But if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try out pineapple ginger or cinnamon dolce.

Like sauces, syrups have a rather strong flavor. When adding them to your drink, you don’t want to go ham, or you might overpower the actual taste of your coffee.

A single pump is often more than enough to give your drink that something you feel it’s missing.

My favorite thing about Starbucks syrups is the fact that you can buy pretty much any syrup from the permanent range at your local Starbucks.

Starbucks Sauce vs Syrup: What’s the Difference?

two cups of starbucks coffee

Well, those two flavorings sound like pretty much the same thing, right?

But they’re not.

In fact, there are several key differences between them. Let’s analyze each of them individually.


Between the two, Starbucks syrups have a much larger flavor range.

The original line includes hazelnut, vanilla and caramel syrup. But the range is constantly expanding.

Some of the most popular options include:

  • Peppermint
  • Toffee nut
  • Cinnamon dolce
  • Honey blend
  • Brown sugar
  • Raspberry
  • Irish cream

There’s also a list of seasonal flavors, such as sugar cookie, funnel cake and pumpkin spice. 

The selection of sauces is not as large, but they have some cool options available.

Aside from the classic flavor, such as Starbucks caramel sauce, you can also order a drink with pistachio or white chocolate mocha.


Starbucks syrup is more liquid than sauce, which is thick and viscous. This makes it great for both hot and cold coffee beverages, as it blends in really well.

With a sauce, things are slightly different.

The thick consistency makes it harder to dissolve into a cold drink, and often it ends up clumping.

What’s more, it might seep down to the bottom of the glass because it’s much denser than your coffee.

Hot drinks are a whole different story. By adding the sauce to your hot coffee, you get a rich, creamy beverage that’s simply delicious.

Vegan & Dairy Free Options

Have any diet restrictions? Then you might have to think twice before choosing a flavoring for your coffee.

Starbucks sauces are mostly dairy-based. After all, it’s the milk that makes them so creamy and dense. Of course, this also means they’re not vegan either.

But don’t worry – this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy flavored drinks at Starbucks. 

The majority of syrups are vegan and dairy-free, including classics such as hazelnut and vanilla syrup.

But that’s not the case with the entire range. Some flavors, such as pumpkin spice or pistachio, are neither vegan nor dairy-free. 


man and woman holding different starbucks drinks

As we already established, syrups dissolve well regardless of the temperature of your drink.

Whether you’re drinking a hot latte or a caramel frappuccino, you can’t go wrong with flavoring it with syrup.

A sauce is not as versatile. While it suits hot drinks extremely well, its thick consistency doesn’t allow it to blend perfectly with cold beverages such as iced coffee. 

But as far as Starbucks pastries and cookies go, you can add either of them on top for added flavor and texture. 


If you plan on adding flavor to your coffee, expect to increase the caloric amount by quite a bit. 

The exact amount depends on the type of flavoring. But generally, you can expect a single pump of syrup to have roughly 20 calories. As for the sauce, that number is closer to 30.


Have additional questions regarding Starbucks sauces or syrups? Here are the answers to the most common questions regarding the matter, all in one place.

Is caramel drizzle caramel sauce or syrup?

Caramel drizzle is a sauce. It has a thick consistency and rich flavor, plus it blends well into hot beverages.

How many pumps of sauce are in a venti?

Four pumps of sauce go into a venti cup. Of course, you can always ask a barista to add one pump, more or less, depending on how you like your Starbucks drink.

Can I buy Starbucks sauces?

No, Starbucks sauces aren’t available for purchase. You can only purchase syrups, excluding the seasonal ones.

Final Thoughts

Both Starbucks sauces and syrups are designated to add extra flavoring to your drink and make it even more enjoyable.

The sauce is thick and creamy, which makes it perfectly blend into a hot drink. 

Starbucks has a limited but quite diverse range of sauces, such as white chocolate mocha and dark caramel sauce.

The syrup, on the other hand, is more liquidy but sweeter than a sauce. This makes it much easier to mix and dissolve into the beverage.

The list of permanent Starbucks syrups is quite long, and some of the most popular choices are peppermint, honey blend, and brown sugar.

Want to know more about syrups? Check out our article about the best coffee syrup that you can add to your drink.

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Viktoria Marks
Viktoria is a writer and a journalist who can't imagine sitting by her computer without a large cup of java in her hand. She loves sampling coffee from all over the world as much as writing about it.