I prefer this to the real Starbuck's caramel apple cider--I've used both caramel syrup and caramel sauce/topping in my cider. I leave the whipped cream off because I think it makes it too sweet. (Starbuck's cider is actually just apple juice, I think, and it's definitely NOT hard cider.) For the real Starbuck's recipe, use vanilla syrup in the cider and top the whipped cream with caramel sauce.
Starbucks uses Treetop Apple Juice. It has never used apple cider in their "apple cider" drink. This caused the company to change the drink's name several years ago.