Just when I was beginning to fancy myself an amateur barista because of my daily iced coffee concoction using all kinds of flavored syrups, the weather turned chilly.  I wanted my daily pick-me-up to reflect the seasonal change, so I whipped up a batch of pumpkin spice syrup for flavoring my drinks.  I didn’t read any sort of guide for amounts but just mixed up some coffee, milk, and said syrup to create what I was hoping would be a homemade pumpkin spice latte.  It didn’t go well….the first time or the fifth time (or any time in between).  All because I wasn’t quite sure exactly how much espresso was in a shot of espresso, was too lazy to look it up, and anyway I just wanted to keep using my coffee base from the iced coffee recipe so I can continue living without a coffee maker and pretend I’m not addicted.

Then Shawnda shared a version for coffee dummies like me, including volumes I could understand.  I was worried given all my prior failures but no need…this was perfect.  The first time, the fifth time, and every time in between and since.  You can adjust the ratios to get the exact flavor balance you prefer but this is a great starting point.  As written, this makes a small cup of coffee so I usually double it to get a serving more like what I would get at a coffee shop.  And of course just like with the iced coffees, this homemade version is great because it is much cheaper, saves disposable cups, and is probably at least a little bit healthier.  Now as soon as I figure out how to make those salted caramel mochas, I’ll be all set.


1½ cups water
1½ cups sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground cloves
3 tbsp. pumpkin puree


  • 01

    Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved.  Toss in the cinnamon sticks and whisk in the remaining spices and the pumpkin puree.  Continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, without letting the mixture come to a boil.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.  Strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and store in your container of choice.   Store in the refrigerator.

  • 02

    To make a pumpkin spice latte, combine 2 ounces of hot coffee or 1 shot of hot espresso (about 1-1½ ounces) with 5-6 ounces of steamed low-fat milk.  Stir in 1½-2 tablespoons of the pumpkin spice syrup.  Taste and adjust amounts accordingly.  Top as desired with freshly whipped cream, ground cinnamon and drizzle with caramel sauce (optional – sort of).


  • How long does the syrup last in the fridge? Sounds so yummy, I’ve never had pumpkin in a drink before so I’m so excited to make this! :)

  • Annie

    It should last as long as it might take you to get through it. It keeps well.

  • Pumpkin spice is all I’m loving now in hot beverage form. D-lish!

  • this looks so yummy! everything on your blog looks delicious!

  • Had these on my list to make. Now that it’s *finally* turned chilly down here, I’m thinking I’m going to treat myself to one this afternoon!

  • Leslie

    Yum! I do hope you figure out the salted caramel mocha! I am finding myself in the Starbucks drive through a little too much this season!

  • I am really enjoying your love of pumpkin! So tasty this time of year!

  • Colleen P.

    OOPS! Tried to post a linkie to a recipe for you but I didn’t read the directions first.

    Mom advice (with no space) dot com has a recipe for the salted caramel mocha that was just posted this morning.

  • Ashley

    I made this this weekend and made pumpkin spice cafe au lait’s with it instead of messing with the espresso and it was delicious!

  • I’m going to the market today and I am going to buy the cinammon sticks so I can make this. HEAVEN!!!!

  • Love this! I can’t wait to make it and save myself $4 for a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. :)

  • I am definitely going to be using this in a pumpkin spice latte soon! Delicious!

  • I knew you had this coming :) The cinnamon sticks are really genius, when I tried my hand at creating my own it was grainy and I’m sure the sticks would make a world of difference!

  • Trent

    I love pumpkin spice drinks and this sounds really easy and yummy!
    Can you make the Syrup with less sugar? Maybe just 1 cup? I want to cut down on sugar for myself.


  • Annie

    If you cut down the sugar, you’ll also need to cut down the water to an equal amount, which will just reduce the yield of the recipe overall. It would probably make more sense to simply use less of the syrup when flavoring your drinks, and maybe up the amount of spices in yours if you plan to use less overall.

  • bridget

    Holy majolie I just made this…super easy and so delicious! The latte recipe is perfect! Thanks so much!

  • Susan

    I’m going to make this and turn it into a PS frapp!! :) Thanks for sharing!

  • Yum – I don’t like coffee, but I can see myself adding this to a chai latte!

  • What a great idea. I spend way too much at Starbucks this time of year.

  • Valorie F
  • djandkellen

    FINALLY! :) YAY! I’m so excited to try this! I made the Caramel Apple Cheeseckae Pie the other day, so I have caramel left over… Perfect combo – the pumpkin spice with a drizzle of caramel!! :) Thanks!

  • Very interesting!
    I like pumpkin but never actually tried to combine it with coffee. It’s a new horizon!

  • I’ve also been on the hunt for how to make the salted caramel mochas at home. Hope you find a way soon, so I can stop researching! :)

    I think you, Shawnda, Courtney and I should have a Skype breakfast one morning while we’re sipping on our DIY pumpkin lattes! ;)

  • Laurie

    Can’t wait to try. I have had atleast 5 attempts of making a pumpkin spice latte. I think this one is it!


  • I had my first pumpkin spice latte of the season yesterday and it was sooo delicious (except for the $4 price tag). This makes me so happy that I can now make it at home!

  • Andrea D.

    oh YUM!! I want to continue using my iced coffee base too! This might be a dumb question, but can you just heat it up and use it for the 2oz of coffee, or because it’s so concentrated would you use the espresso amount? I never used to drink coffee so I’m clueless! (The addition of my 3 month old girl to our family, plus a 3 year old boy who seem to tag team naps… or just don’t take them at all changed that)!

  • Annie

    I wish I could but I’m always gulping mine as I’m driving into work before it’s even light outside :(

  • Annie

    As I understand it, this coffee is no more concentrated than regular coffee…but I think you just need to play around with it and see what works for you.

  • You are so creative! That’s an awesome way to save money :) It’s probably a lot less artifical that Starbucks syrups, too! Major props to you.

    I say embrace the coffee addiction! :)

  • Andrea D.

    I figured it was stronger bc its referred to as “coffee concentrate,” but I have no clue. You jut used that though and heated it up right? I’m going to try it and play around with it, Thanks so much!!

  • Annie

    Yeah, I’m kind of a coffee dummy so I guess I’m not sure, but I think it’s the same strength as regular coffee. Enjoy!

  • Mary R.

    I just made this simply because my barista self couldn’t believe an 8-10 ounce drink would ask for two tablespoons of a syrup. We do that for our ‘dessert coffees’, but that would be way too sweet for a coffee you’d drink every day. I should have looked at the sugar/water ratio and realized. This is a much weaker syrup than I’m accustomed to, which uses a 2 parts sugar/1 part water ratio. I tried the syrup plain and found it very watery, and whenI made the latte with whole milk and espresso, I thought the syrup made the drink watery, too (though the pumpkin and spices were perfect). I think that if I were to make it again, I’d either halve the water or double everything else and use half as much syrup in the drink itself.

  • Katelyn

    Hey Annie! I absolutly love your website. I have accumulated a long list of recipies I want to try out. Unfortunatly, being in a dorm with no cookware or bakeware makes it impossible, but I like to plan ahead along with experimenting in the kitchen when I visit home on breaks. I was wondering, can this syrup and your other syrups be interchangeable? Like can I used this for an iced drink and the vanilla one for a hot coffee?

    Thanks! And can’t wait for Christmas break when I finally get to try some more of your recipies out!

  • Annie

    Of course, you can use the syrups to do anything you like. Have fun!

  • Annie

    Simple syrup by definition has a 1:1 sugar to water ratio.

  • This is a great recipe — I love all things pumpkin spice. So glad I found you on pinterest!

  • I’ve never had a pumpkin spice latte…I think I need one ;)

  • Really cool recipe
    Makes me actually want to use pumpkin which NOTHING has achieved so far!

  • My friend came over the other day to say (a) she saw me on tastespotting, and (b) she wanted a recipe for pumpkin spice latte syrup. I sent her your recipe and I know it will make her smile. :)

  • I gotta make this! They don’t have pumpkin spice lattes in Germany….

  • omg these are fantastic. Sharing on pinterest and facebook

  • Your post and the recipe made me want coffee this morning, then the mention of the other coffee shop drink made me think and search for a recipe. this is what i found from the coffee shops site, least I think its the store’s site. http://www.starbucksfs.com/Recipes/Hot_Cocoa/Salted_Caramel_Mocha

    Hope this helps, I will probably be searching for DIY recipes for the sauces.

  • Wendy TC

    I was a little disappointed when the barista told me the only things that made the salted caramel mocha was the caramel drizzle and salt on top. Otherwise it was a plain mocha. Hey, now I see that Mechelle’s link to the recipe shows toffee nut syrup in the drink! I didn’t taste any toffee nut…is my S’bucks making it wrong??? Anywho…thanks for the delicious pumpkin spice latte recipe (and all the other recipes too).

  • I am so in love with this! Considering I am a Pumpkin Spice junkie in the Fall. Thanks for posting!

  • Thanks so much for sharing this…I luv pumpkin spiced lattes (just had one again from Starbucks yesterday) and its been on my list to try to perfect it. I’m looking forward to giving this a try and enjoy my own pumpkin spice lattes at home and during any season. ;)

  • Annie

    I think that barista is way off. The flavor is too prevalent throughout the drink to only be a drizzle on top…especially since they don’t always do those things. I don’t think the recipe linked is all that helpful since it just calls for their own syrups which surely have all kinds of stuff included that we don’t know about. I’ll work on that one next. I don’t think it will be too hard :)

  • Cassandra

    First of all…this looks amazing! I love pumpkin spice lattes!! Secondy I just saw this recipe for a salted caramel mocha latte, sound’s pretty good ;-)

  • djandkellen

    I REALLLLLLY want to make this, but I don’t have any cinnamon sticks right now. Can I make it without cinnamon sticks – using ground cinnamon? If so, how much cinnamon do you think I would need? THANKS! :)

  • Ah, thank you! This will save some serious money, hubby and I get addicted to the coffee lattes this time of year!

  • Tish


    Thought of you when I saw the link to this recipe today:)…have not tried it but can’t wait to try it once it gets coooler!

  • Hi Annie! Wow that latte looks so yummy. I’ve never been big on coffee (still vainly hoping that I’ll grow a couple more inches…) but I do enjoy a latte every now and then. Your pumpkin spice syrup looks divine and I love that it ties in pumpkin, which is such an autumn-y flavour.

  • I love this! I’ve been trying to cut back on spending at Starbucks and this is an awesome way to do so :) Thank you!

  • Amy Jo

    Don’t get me wrong, because I’m completely thrilled with this recipe, but any chance you’ve nailed a gingerbread syrup recipe? I can’t get those out of my head!… Ever!

  • Annie

    Haven’t thought of that yet, but I’ll try and work on that for the holiday season :)

  • Annie

    Check out Cook Like a Champion’s original version, which shows how to use ground cinnamon. Be careful though, many who did that complained of a grainy texture.

  • Michelle

    I miss out on all the wonderful seasonal flavors because I’m not a coffee drinker. Do you think if I made this syrup it would taste good in hot chocolate?

  • Annie

    The only way to know is to try it and see :)

  • Amy Jo

    So excited! I’ll keep an eye out.

  • Oh yum! One of my favorite drinks of the season! :)

  • I’m making this as I write! Thanks so much for the recipe, I bet Splenda or a sugar substitute may work for a sugar-free version :). Now you just have to figure out the eggnog!

  • Adrianna

    I just added a little of the syrup to a pumpkin spice K cup and a little milk and it is delish! Thanks! I am proud to say I will not be a starbucks groupie this fall because of your recipe! Thanks!

  • I am drinking a salted caramel hot chocolate from starbucks right now! ha! I’ve never been a fan of the PSL, but I’m sure I would like it 100x better if it was homemade!

  • Emily

    If your barista is making the SCM like a regular mocha with caramel on top, then yes, she is making it WRONG. It has toffee nut syrup in it.

  • Emily

    Annie’s right about simple syrup, but if you are looking to to reproduce the Starbucks version, the syrup we use isn’t a simple syrup, but rather has a consistency somewhere between the simple syrup and the mocha syrup. You might have more Starbucks-y results with a thicker syrup. Either way, thanks for pointing this out. I like a stronger coffee flavor, so I’ll know to take your advice and halve the water when I try this recipe. Which I’m definitely going to do because it sounds awesome.

  • JenniShoe

    Do you have a recommendation for steaming milk? I’ve been looking to get a milk frother, but there are so many that it is kind of mind-boggling…I would also like to NOT spend 500 dollars for one. (Kind of goes against the idea of making my own PSL and not shelling out 5 bucks a day for one at “The Bucks”)

  • Annie

    I don’t, I just warm mine up in the microwave. Works for me :)

  • djandkellen

    Thanks! I wound up buying the cinnamon sticks! Probably a stupid question here – can I rinse and reuse the cinnamon sticks after using in the syrup? I just used mine to make a nice water/cinnamon potpourri afterwards on the stove (made the house smell awesome), but was wondering if they could be reused. :)

  • Annie

    As far as I know you can. The only issue I might foresee is that they would be a little less potent after previous use.

  • Brenda

    I made this today and am enjoying a DIVINE homemade pumpkin spice latte as a result – thank you so much for this super easy recipe!

  • Lisa

    How do I make this an iced latte? Do I just add ice or do I need to use your iced coffee base? Thanks for your help.

  • Annie

    Not sure exactly, you’ll just have to experiment. I always use the same coffee base (both for iced coffee and hot lattes). Good luck!

  • Shelly

    This is delicious! It is definitely thinner than I anticipated but so, so tasty! For those who have seen the Starbucks syrup, this is not the same consistency but it is way better tasting!

  • Jen S.

    I tried this little gem out last nite, sooo good! I ran out of nutmeg and couldn’t find the nuts to grind anymore, so I used Pumpkin Pie Spice that I had in the cupboard. I also didn’t have the pureed pumpkin, as mine had molded in the ‘frig. Everything came out wonderfully. Packaged up 3 8oz bottles (with the swing-top lid) to give away. Perfect as a latte or with regular coffee. Thanks!

  • Love this! Going to add the link to an upcoming post with Recipe Lion.

  • Mary R

    I know Annie’s right about the simple syrup ratio. I guess I’ve just always defaulted to the ‘rich simple syrup’ ratio of 2:1. I definitely agree that the thicker syrup is more like what I used at the coffeehouse. I did blow through my initial batch and remade it in the 2:1 ratio and found I liked it better. As a bonus, the thicker syrup held the pumpkin and spices in the solution better, which meant less sticky bottle shakings in my un-coordinated, pre-caffeine mornings.

  • Sanddollardar

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe. Because I don’t do regular sugar anymore, I’ve become quite creative with recipes. In lieu of the sugar, I replaced it with 3/4 cup xyilitol, 1/2 cup of palm sugar and 1/4 cup agave. I also added 1/4 tsp of Guar Gum to help thicken the syrup. I didn’t strain it because I love all the natural textures. This is so good that I feel like I am cheating. But alas…..NO guilt here!!

  • Holly

    I can’t wait to try this! Just as soon as my Nescafe Dolce Genio arrives…:) Tired of spending so much money at Starbucks!

  • Lynn

    Oh, yummmmmmm


  • TY

    Hi Annie, how long does the syrup keep for and is it best to store it in the fridge?

  • Anonymous

    Please see the FAQ page.

  • Tempting! I’d like to try this myself. Hopefully I’ll get the taste right. ;)

  • Jen

    Just followed this latte recipe with some homemade vanilla syrup for a late-afternoon pick me up. Wow. Definitely making it tomorrow morning before work in lieu of my usual $4 coffee treat! And I agree, even if you’re not saving calories, you’re at least avoiding chemicals :)

  • Sommer

    OMG I finally tried this and it’s soooo good. Better than Starbucks, dare I say :) This will be made OFTEN. Can’t wait to try the other syrups!

  • Sarah Bulmer

    I’ll be making this in a few minutes. After trying a particularly awful recipe for a french-pressed pumpkin spice latte I found on Pinterest, I’m super happy I remembered you posted this one last year. Just wondering, how is this not the most popular recipe on your blog?! ;)

  • Carol F.

    I tried this syrup last fall and had forgotten about it until I saw it again today in your featured slide show. I made some this morning and am so ready for fall now! I love the subtle pumpkin flavor and blend of spices. I left out the cloves because I’m not really a fan, but that’s just my personal preference. Can’t wait to try some of your other pumpkin recipes!

  • CourtneyG.ilovecoffee

    I am a vegan and I was in mourning today after I found out my favourite reason to be somewhat broke in the fall is flavoured with condensed milk, (stupid sneaky Starbucks)
    then a friend turned me onto this, I think I will now make it through this difficult time in my life thanks to you! Yay!! :)

  • Taylor

    Made this wonderful creation this morning! I love it! Thank you so much!

  • FarAboveRubies30@aol.com

    I’m soo excited for this recipe again! Oh! how it makes the work day so much better!
    Thanks Annie!

  • what! Sweetened with condensed milk! Grrr…. allergic to milk here and have been ordering it soy with no idea why I was getting sick. Thanks for the info (it makes me sad). I should learn to always ask.

  • so good just made my son a steamer, I did add 1 can of the condenced milk to a double batch

  • This is the first time I have ever tasted anything made with pumpkin and ordered it especially to try – it’s not really pushed in the UK. This just blew me away. Not a fan of cloves but I crushed a
    few allspice and added those. Can I also recommend to any spice lovers adding
    crushed/ground allspice to cottage cheese? Sounds strange but really works – a great way to pep up flavour. I add a little salt too, but that’s just me:)

  • Patience

    Do you have to use low-fat milk to steam or can I use whole milk? I am assuming you need low fat due to the fat content in order to steam and froth better?

  • annieseats

    You could use whatever you prefer.

  • wow! this is incredible, so much better than Starbucks!!

  • Joy

    This is also delicious in a chai latte! So lovely for fall!

  • Steven

    Nespresso makes a stand alone for $100. Super easy to use and clean, and great for adding steamed milk to regular coffee.

  • JKMF

    Love Dunkin Donuts pumpkin spice coffee, but they just stopped making it. So glad I found this recipe–it tastes EXACTLY like it. Easy to make. So, so happy to have found this! Since I didn’t have cinnamon sticks, I simply used ground cinnamon.

  • Beelze A Babe

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this recipe! It tastes amazing! I did use 1/4 cup pumpkin since that’s what I had and didn’t want to waste it. I used this syrup, Bustelo espresso made in my stovetop Bialetti espresso maker, steamed milk that I gave a good shake in a heat proof container, topped with Redi Whip and fresh nutmeg. Delish!

  • MrCams

    I’ve found this is best in hot cocoa. I and my friends consumed three small mason jars worth of this last winter. Looking forward to a similar experience this time around!

  • Two Red Bowls

    Just made this and it was absolutely fantastic. No more Starbucks for me this season! :) Thank you so, so much for this!

  • Bethany Sutton

    I actually tried this with a stevia substitution and added a splash of caramel syrup in my pumpkin spice latte this morning with some whip…I believe I over simmered bc it came out a bit too thick, almost like a sauce, but still worked pretty well for the first batch..gonna try my hand at homemade gingerbread and peppermint mocha syrups later today and possibly some raspberry mocha syrup! Love this idea, I can NEVER find pumpkin spice or peppermint mocha syrups out of season (or even IN season lately bc it seems like alot of places don’t carry it) so I loved this recipe! So it turns out pretty well if you want to save calories as well…I do think I will use half sugar next time tho since that might have affected the dissolving…anyway thanks again!

  • Mrs. Yoder

    That sounds really good! You may also try in your coffee syrup made from cardamom and vanilla. Starbucks did a ‘Vanilla Spice Latte’ last year and that’s all it was. Just cardamom and vanilla. So yummy!

  • LOOKS SO DELICIOUS :) I know this is for coffee, but what do you think about over waffles? :)

  • annieseats

    I don’t think I would use this on waffles, it’s probably best used in beverages :)

  • Angelique

    I love coffee, but I envision rum or brandy and some 1/2 and 1/2. =) . I may even freeze this in ice cube trays for blended cocktails.

  • Cara

    Woke up craving fall so I made this to compliment my coffee… holy deliciousness Annie! This stuff is phenomenal :)

  • Tiffany Tott

    It’s college football season, and nothing says fall to me like football and pumpkin flavored everything! Can’t wait to try this tomorrow before the game :)