What Caramel Does Dunkin Use? (Explained For Customers)

Ever since Dunkin’ started releasing the magic that is their signature caramel brews, I can’t get enough. I’ll line up in the drive-thru till my car runs out of gas; it’s just that good.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably wondered what caramel Dunkin uses, given all the recent bad press that fast food restaurants have received.

Like you, I want to enjoy coffee, but my health always comes first. I’m here to break down the brass tax of Dunkin Donuts caramel, including an in-depth nutritional guide and our menu faves.

Let’s get started by exploring the question: “What caramel does Dunkin use?”

Dunkin’s caramel runs on Torani Caramel Syrup, a gourmet flavor company with roots in the motherland of savory, delicious coffee: Italy.

And with that Italian smooth, full-bodied coffee flavor, Torani syrup is no different, offering a rich and creamy caramel with a touch of vanilla; I love the added vanilla because it really makes the caramel flavor pop.

Torani Syrup, Classic Caramel, 25.4 Ounce...
1,371 Reviews
Torani Syrup, Classic Caramel, 25.4 Ounce...
  • CLASSIC CARAMEL: Take the buttery rich flavor you...
  • GOLD STANDARD OF FLAVOR: Made with pure cane...
  • EMBRACE YOUR INNER FLAVORISTA: Torani makes a wide...

A Brief History Of Torani

Torani has been bringing coffee lovers to the table and their local cafes since 1925, when the brand’s founders, Rinaldo, and Ezilda Torre, brought a taste of Italy to their new home in San Fran, California.

The brand’s first flavors were Anisette, Grenadine, Leon, Orgreat, and Tamarindo, among other ingredients.

Fast forward to 1982, and Torani launched their vanilla syrup, used in some of the first-ever flavored latte beverages.

After seeing success in the flavor syrups industry with a blend of natural and artificial flavors, the team at Torani shifted to focusing on the specialty coffee industry.

In 1994, Torani officially went global, expanding to specialty cafes and everywhere you’d find coffee.

Today, they’re based in Sa Leandro, Cali, with a 330,000 square foot “flavor factory,” concocting the creamy caramel flavor that gets us out of bed and heading for Dunkin’s caramel.[1]

Torani Classic Caramel Syrup Sugar-Free

Does Dunkin Use Caramel Sauce Or Syrup?

Dunkin Donuts Caramel is an all-natural syrup created and crafted with care by Torani, a shining example of coffee flavor excellence for almost 100 years.

Here’s the difference between both caramel sauce and syrup;[2]

  • Consistency — Caramel syrups are typically thinner than sauces, with a consistency similar to honey or maple syrup. Sauces, on the other hand, have a thick, creamier texture when compared to syrups.
  • Ingredients — Caramel ingredients tend to be made with a combination of sugar, water, and natural flavors. However, coffee sauces are typically made with a base of sweetened condensed milk or chocolate combined with various other flavorings.
  • Usage — Flavored syrups are versatile and easily blend into your favorite beverages, with a subtle, rich flavor that’s sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. Coffee sauces are generally reserved for toppers for drinks like lattes or mochas, adding a burst of flavor with bold decadence.

Comparison Table

Taste-test and spot the difference for yourself; these tasty Dunkin’ coffees perfectly highlight the difference between caramel simple syrup vs. sauce, from texture to taste and everything in between.

Dunkin Caramel Sauce Drinks

Dunkin Caramel Syrup Drinks

Dunkin’ Butter Pecan Swirl — espresso, mocha swirl, whole milk, whipped cream, caramel sauce drizzle

Caramel Iced Coffee — espresso, ice cubes, milk, whipped cream, and a caramel drizzle

Caramel Iced Coffee — espresso, ice cubes, milk, whipped cream, and a caramel drizzle

Salted Caramel Cold Brew — cold brew coffee, salted caramel, a pinch of salt, ice, and milk.

Dunkin Butter Pecan And Salted Caramel Brew

What’s In Dunkin Donuts Caramel?

Let’s take a closer look at Dunkin’s caramel with a critical eye; below, you’ll find an in-depth ingredient and nutritional breakdown.

Ingredients Breakdown

Torani only uses natural ingredients in their beverages, with the sweet, natural flavors making Dunkin caramel drinks the real highlight of the menu.

Below, you’ll find Torani’s perfected ingredient list:

  • Pure cane sugar
  • Water
  • Natural flavors
  • Citric acid
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Potassium sorbate

Both sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate are included to preserve exceptional freshness, ensuring you get the tastiest cup possible.

Sugar Content

The sugar content in Torani caramel swirl syrup is 22 g per 2 tablespoons (or 38% of your daily intake based on a diet of 2,000 calories). Sugar lovers rejoice! And dentists beware…

How Many Pumps?

For Dunkin, measuring boils down to the “pump” system, where each Dunkin' Donuts drink size maintains a certain amount of pumps or flavor shots:

A small Dunkin caramel swirl drink gets 2 pumps, a medium 3, and a large 4. You’re always welcome to add extra shots of classic flavor swirls to heighten the creamy, sweet, and sugar taste.

For context, a pump is generally around half a tablespoon or a ¼ of a fluid ounce; that means a small caramel Dunkin bevy gets 1 tablespoon of Torani, a medium 1 and a half, and a large 2.

Pouring Milk Into Coffee With Torani Classic Caramel Syrup

Fat Content

Dunkin Donuts caramel swirl syrups are fat-free, and it’s largely a benefit to you, not just for health but the wealth of the coffee experience and the excitement of your taste buds.

Fat incorporated into a flavor shot or syrup can largely change the mouthfeel and flavor of your beverages.

Fat acts as a flavor carrier, where the sweetness is balanced, but you’re getting a more luxurious, velvety feel with an indulgent caramel texture.

Fat really changes your coffee experience, while fat-free syrups like Dunkin caramel swirl make for a more versatile, subtle experience that still offers delicious caramel flavor but also pairs well with a wider range of coffee types (including iced coffees) and preferences.

Especially as it gets hotter and hotter out there with summer approaching, I know for myself that I'm not looking for a heavy coffee so much as something light, refreshing, and sweet. You know I'm starting to order my favorite summer coffee drinks already. 

Calorie Content

Dunkin Caramel Flavored Swirl Syrup is 80 calories per 2 tablespoons or 20 per pump.

For contrast, the average Starbucks caramel flavored syrup is 40 calories per pump, making Dunkin Caramel Swirl the friendlier option if you’re watching your caloric intake.[3]

Full Nutritional Guide
Torani Nutrition Facts

What Caramel Options Does Dunkin Donuts Have? (Our Top Picks!)

1. Caramel Swirl

What I really like about the Caramel Swirl is that it epitomizes what Dunkin Donuts is all about using natural, delicious ingredients to bring you a coffee taste unlike any other.

The Dunkin Caramel Swirl is made with freshly brewed coffee, high-quality creamers, real cane sugar, and a flavor swirl of creamy caramel.

And speaking of creamy, Dunkin adds a splash of skim milk to bring out the nutty (almost hazelnut flavors with a touch of toasted almond) of their signature blend.

Dunkin offers customizable options if you’re feeling creative or if you have any dietary restrictions; you can choose between different milk types, different flavors, and flavor swirls, or even you can add an additional espresso shot to really get you up and going in the morning with a delicious cup.

Don’t forget the French vanilla swirl, either.

The caramel swirl is the base for what you’ll see in a lot of other caramel varietals from Dunkin, including the Caramel Iced Coffee.

Dunkin Caramel Swirl Flavor Shot Iced Tea

2. Caramel Iced Coffee

The Caramel Iced Coffee is a great, summer-drinking coffee, where the refreshingly cool iced texture makes it perfect for those hot summer days.

I found that the Caramel Iced Coffee didn’t have the diluted, watery taste that you may find from lesser coffee shops (*cough cough* Starbucks). Avoid frozen coffee to ensure this never happens to you.

The Dunkin Caramel Iced Coffee strikes a nice balance between robust coffee flavor and the sweetness of the caramel while keeping its body and mouth feel light, crisp, and refreshing.

Dunkin Caramel Iced Coffee

3. Caramel Craze Signature Latte

The Caramel Craze Signature is a new twist on an old favorite, now with a flavorful swirl of mouth-watering caramel. If the iced coffee thing is not your style, you can still get your caramel fix.

Dunkin continues to make their signature caramel latte by starting off with authentic Italian espresso, then frothy, foamed milk and syrup, and finished off with whipped cream and caramel drizzle sauce.

Plus, you get the ultimate topper with a dusting of cinnamon sugar to add a whole ‘nother layer to the signature sweet taste; that’ll really put a pep in your step.

Caramel Craze Iced Signature Latte
Bonus: Caramel Drizzle

The Caramel Drizzle can be added to pretty much any coffee Dunkin Donuts offers, making your coffee savory-sweet and full of creamy caramel flavor.

For the caramel-flavored sauce, all Dunkin Donuts use is a blend of condensed milk with smooth melted caramel: talk about tasty!

I love adding the caramel sauce to my Machiatto to really bring out that light cream and toasted nut taste; try the Caramel Macchiato with both sauce drizzle and syrup for a sweet, decadent cup.

Common Dunkin Donuts Caramel Questions

Is the caramel at Dunkin dairy free?

The Caramel at Dunkin is not dairy free as the swirls do contain milk products. That said, Dunkin Donuts has a number of dairy-free options to cater to coffee lovers with different dietary needs. While the availability may vary by location, they typically provide dairy-free alternatives for their coffees, like soy or almond milk.

Does Dunkin Donuts sell their caramel?

Dunkin Donuts does sell their caramel! They sell all the syrups you’ll find at any Dunkin location, including the signature caramel, hazelnut, or French vanilla swirl. Online, you can pretty much find Torani syrups at your major retailers, including Amazon and Walmart. Try the bourbon caramel for a more complex caramel taste with oaked notes of toasted vanilla.

Does Dunkin have caramel cream?

Dunkin Donuts does have caramel cream, with the Salted Caramel Cold Brew iced drink being the highlight of their trademark caramel flavor. Similar to Dunkin’s Caramel iced Coffee, Dunkin Donuts’ cold brew is slow-steeped and features an assortment of flavors, with the rich, smooth caramel taste coming to the forefront of its flavor profile.

Does Dunkin use unsweetened caramel?

Dunkin Donuts does use unsweetened caramel, as well as hazelnut and mocha syrups without sugar. This is perfect for your morning brew if you’re looking for a Dunkin' low-calorie alternative that still tastes just as great as the naturally sweetened cane sugar varietals of Dunkin swirls.

Add Caramel To Your Dunkin' Drinks Today!

Dunkin's signature recipe, Torani Caramel Syrup, is here to stay!

And it makes for a mouth-watering, sweet brew with tons of preparation options like cold brew, iced coffee, macchiato, and lattes.

I love the savory, sweet Torani caramel flavor and regularly ask the barista's down at my local Dunkin to throw a couple of extra pumps in my coffee.

The sweet symphony of rich taste and smooth, down-right indulgence make any cup a treat.

Torani Syrup, Classic Caramel, 25.4 Ounce...
1,371 Reviews
Torani Syrup, Classic Caramel, 25.4 Ounce...
  • CLASSIC CARAMEL: Take the buttery rich flavor you...
  • GOLD STANDARD OF FLAVOR: Made with pure cane...
  • EMBRACE YOUR INNER FLAVORISTA: Torani makes a wide...


1. https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/05/business/torani-headquarters-move-pandemic/index.html
2. https://www.torani.com
3. https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/how-many-calories-are-in-starbucks-syrups-48286432#photo-49081667

Kayla Stavridis

Kayla Stavridis

Kayla Stavridis is the Head of Marketing here at Barista HQ. While keeping up-to-date on the latest trends in coffee, you can find her sipping a cold brew with just a touch of milk on the beach in the afternoon and a Corona with lime in the evening. She is passionate about keeping you informed about what’s new in coffee.

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