Making your own pumpkin spice latte is as simple as whipping up a batch of this delicious homemade pumpkin spice syrup and putting the coffee on to brew. It has all the comforting flavours of pumpkin pie filling, only takes a couple of minutes to prepare and is easy on the budget too!
🌟 Why this recipe works
Just like Starbucks - Starbucks pumpkin spice latte must be one of the most popular drinks during the fall/Autumn, and with good reason - it's delicious! It's a a guilty pleasure for Jess and I to grab one when they land back on the menu each year for pumpkin spice season. This syrup is just like Starbucks pumpkin spice syrup so you'll be able to spice up your own homemade lattes. That means you can save money but still enjoy your favourite drink.
Quick and simple - making your own homemade pumpkin spice syrup only requires 7 ingredients + some water. So your favorite spiced coffee drinks could be ready within 10 minutes. That's because it doesn't take long to prepare the ingredients and combine them to make a syrup that tastes incredible! It's perfect for the fall season and makes for a great morning coffee.
Dairy free & vegan - depending on where you are in the world, Starbucks pumpkin spice syrup isn't always dairy free or vegan. Their syrup is actually sometimes made with skim milk, and if you have allergies there's always the risk of cross-contamination. If you're in the UK, the syrup is vegan friendly and you can even get vegan whipped cream for the top!
Fortunately, this pumpkin spice syrup recipe is completely dairy free, vegan and gluten free. We can confirm, it goes great in an oat milk or almond milk latte!
📋 Ingredient notes
Pumpkin puree - we're talking about the canned kind. You can make your own pumpkin puree by roasting and then blending the flesh of a pumpkin, but canned pumpkin puree is what helps keep this recipe nice and quick!
Be sure not to accidentally buy pre-made pumpkin pie filling though. Pie filling is already sweetened and spiced, so if used in this pumpkin spice syrup recipe the end result would be incredibly sweet and overly spiced. Double check those labels and be sure to get just the puree!
Spices - the key spices in a pumpkin syrup, or a pumpkin pie mix, are cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Sometimes ground allspice (a.k.a. pimento) is used, but this pumpkin spice syrup recipe is delicious without, and the Starbucks pumpkin spice syrup recipe doesn't include it either.
You could also use a store bought pumpkin spice mix, which is just a tub of the classic spices already mixed together. We like having control over the ratios of the spices though, and we always have the ingredients in the cupboard.
Sugar - this pumpkin spice syrup recipe is basically a spiced simple syrup, so it needs a good amount of sugar to cook down and form that glorious, addictive syrup. To give the syrup the best colour, we think it should be white sugar. But when we were tested the recipe we actually found brown sugar gave it a slightly better flavour. You can't lose either way because you'll still end up with a beautiful pumpkin spice coffee syrup.
One important point is to make sure that the sugar you choose is vegan, if that's important to you. In some countries, including the US, white sugar is usually processed using bone char to make it white. In the UK it's safe for a vegan diet / lifestyle. As far as we know, brown sugar is fine wherever you are.
🔪 Pumpkin spice syrup step-by-step instructions
This is a step-by-step overview with photos for making homemade pumpkin spice syrup. The full recipe, along with measurements and detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
1. Pop all of the ingredients into a small saucepan over a medium high heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to bubble, then reduce to a medium heat.
2. Continue simmering while stirring regularly for around 5 minutes, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little.
3. Optionally pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or sieve into a mason jar or standard glass bottle with a lid. Alternatively directly pour into the jar without sieving, but after removing the cloves.
4. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the syrup to coffee and hot milk to make the perfect pumpkin spice lattes.
👩🍳 Expert tips
Strain it - once the pumpkin pie spice syrup has cooled a little, pass it through a fine mesh strainer or sieve to help remove any graininess or lumps of pumpkin (especially if using homemade pumpkin puree) that might be in the syrup. This is an optional step and we've tried the recipe with and without. Using the fine mesh strainer made a slightly smoother pumpkin spice syrup that doesn't leave as much residue in the mug after drinking. It's a matter of preference though and both options are enjoyable in your favourite iced coffee or other coffee drinks.
Store it - this pumpkin coffee syrup can be stored in a glass jar or airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Just give it a stir and it can be spooned straight into freshly made coffees directly from the fridge. Don't worry if the pumpkin spice latte syrup separates a little in the fridge. This is fine, and it can just be stirred to combine it again.
Get creative - it's not just great for making a pumpkin spice latte. Try adding your homemade pumpkin spice syrup to hot chocolate, drizzling over a hot bowl of porridge, or even serving with french toast and pancakes with a good helping of vegan whipped cream and vanilla ice cream.
Pumpkin puree - this is a key ingredient in the recipe and can't be replaced, but you could make your own. In the US canned pumpkin puree is pretty easy to find, but outside of the US you may need to look online or even head to Amazon. We bought a can of Bakeroo pumpkin puree.
If making your own pumpkin puree, roast chunks of pumpkin until the flesh is completely soft. Leave to cool and then remove the flesh from the skin and pop it in a blender. Blend until completely smooth and you'll have made your own real pumpkin puree! One pumpkin will definitely make more pumpkin puree than you need for this recipe. So why not save some of the roasted pumpkin chunks to add to curries, stews or a Thai pumpkin soup.
Sugar - we haven't tried this recipe with a sugar alternative or sweetener, so we can't comment on that. But we have tried making it with different types of sugar. We found that the recipe is very flexible and always produced the best pumpkin spice syrup. Brown sugar, white sugar, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, dark brown sugar and coconut sugar are great choices for homemade pumpkin syrup.
Spices - the mix of spices used essential to achieve the perfect pumpkin pie spice syrup. That being said, there are a couple of switches that can be made. Store bought pumpkin spice seasoning is a pre-made mix of spices. It will almost certainly include a similar mix of spices to what is used in this pumpkin spice syrup.
Ground cloves could be used in place of the whole cloves used in this recipe. If using ground cloves we'd suggest using ⅛ teaspoon.
Cinnamon sticks could be used instead of ground cinnamon. Try adding 1 large or 2 small cinnamon sticks to the pan and removing once cooled.
Making your own pumpkin spice syrup is actually really quick and easy! You just need 7 ingredients, like pumpkin puree, sugar and spices and to combine them in a saucepan. Check out our recipe below for the full list of ingredients and instructions.
It's usually made with pumpkin puree, sugar and spices like cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. It sometimes contains milk products like condensed skim milk. This is why Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes in the US are not vegan.
This depends on which brand of pumpkin spice syrup you're looking at, and even in what country you are! For example, Starbucks pumpkin spice syrup isn't vegan in the US, but it is in the UK. If you're not sure, it's always best to check with staff (or on labels) or make your own using our pumpkin spice syrup recipe!
☕️ Serving suggestions
Make a homemade pumpkin spice latte! It's so easy to do. Make a double espresso, add in 1-3 tablespoons of this pumpkin spice latte syrup, top up with steamed oat milk and then add on vegan whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon powder!
🥕 More recipes to try
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Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cloves
- Put all of the ingredients into a medium saucepan over a medium high heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to bubble, then reduce to a medium heat.1 cup water, 1 cup brown sugar, ½ cup pumpkin puree, ¾ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ginger, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 cloves
- Continue simmering while stirring regularly for around 5 minutes, until the syrup has just started to thicken. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little.
- Optionally pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or sieve into a mason jar. Alternatively directly pour into the jar without sieving, but after removing the cloves.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of the syrup to coffee and hot milk to make the perfect pumpkin spice lattes.