Making my first batch of vegan pumpkin spice syrup is the first sign of fall. It’s the time of year when the leaves start changing and I break out my cozy sweaters.
It’s full of autumn flavors like cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, and the bite of fresh or ground ginger. It makes a perfect vegan pumpkin spice latte and is amazing over pumpkin pancakes or waffles too!
It’s the perfect addition to your favorite fall drink, try it in coffee, tea, and even in hot chocolate. You can also use it on vegan ice cream, drizzled over baked apples, or use it as a sweetener in pies or crumbles.
You can also use it in this pumpkin spice Old Fashioned.
What is vegan pumpkin spice syrup?
This easy recipe tastes like the best parts of fall. It has spicy notes of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg that will make any dessert taste incredible. It’s so easy to make up this quick recipe and you’ll be able to enjoy pumpkin spice season like everyone else.
Other vegan flavored syrups to make at home
- Lavender Syrup with Coconut Sugar
- Cinnamon Dolce Syrup with Brown or Coconut Sugar
- Homemade Cardamom Vanilla Syrup
- Vegan Butterscotch Syrup
Is the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte vegan?
Starbucks offers their Pumpkin Spice Latte as a seasonal drink, which is NOT vegan because Starbucks pumpkin spice syrup contains dairy. That means even if you order it with almond milk, it cannot be made vegan.
Also, note that the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew can not be ordered with plant milk – but I am working on a solution to make it at home!
If you are reading this at Starbucks right this minute here are a few fall drinks that can be made vegan with non-dairy milk as long as you skip the whipped cream:
- Apple Crisp Macchiato, hot or iced
- Cinnamon Dolce Latte
- Hot Chocolate
- London Fog Tea Latte
- Salted Caramel Mocha – just ask for no caramel sauce drizzle because it has dairy
Of course, my vegan pumpkin spice latte syrup is vegan so you can use it to your heart’s content.
A sidenote – Dunkin Donuts pumpkin spice swirl syrup and their cold foam are not vegan either.
In fact, other than making it at home you should try and find a local coffee shop that makes their own syrups to get a fair shake at finding a vegan one.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this vegan pumpkin spice syrup recipe
This is the base recipe, but you can use ANY sweeter of your choice.
You just need simple ingredients like brown sugar, vegan white sugar (or an additional brown sugar), pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon or 2 whole cinnamon sticks, ground ginger or 1-inch piece of fresh ginger cut into slices, ground nutmeg, ground cardamom or whole pods, and ground cloves or 3 whole cloves.
If you hate pumpkin puree you can leave it out. Many pumpkin spice syrups are just made with the spices that are used in pumpkin pie and have no pumpkin in them at all!
The same goes with a single spice – hate cloves or nutmeg? Leave it out. This is your homemade pumpkin spice syrup and I want you to make it just the way you’ll love it.
If you want to flavor pure maple syrup check out this Fall Spice Infused Maple Syrup I make in the Instant Pot. You’d just need to add some pumpkin and change the spices a little.
You will need to adjust for taste and if you choose to use monk fruit or stevia I strongly suggest that you start with just a little, taste, and then repeat until it’s just the way you like it.
Want to use coconut sugar instead of the refined ones called for? Just sub it one for one – the same goes for date paste or date syrup.
You could also just add whole dates to the syrup and puree back in after straining. This will be better than using date sugar, as it won’t dissolve.
Hate pumpkin flavor? Leave it out or try subbing butternut squash or sweet potato puree instead. I even have a sweet potato frozen latte recipe that I love.
How to make pumpkin spice syrup
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it gets slightly thickened and begins to coat the spoon, then remove from heat.
Let cool with spices in to infuse it more, then pour through a fine mesh strainer and store in the fridge. It will thicken as it cools, so add more water if it’s too thick.
Store in the fridge.
And if you use ground spices, there’s going to be some little pieces floating after you use a mesh strainer. If you want it to be more clear, you could put a coffee filter in the strainer, but it will also filter your pumpkin puree out.
How Long Does pumpkin spice syrup last?
If you make it as is with brown and white sugar it will last months if you store it in an air-tight container and don’t contaminate it with other things. For example, sticking a spoon in the jar.
Why? Sugar acts as a preservative so that works to our benefit here. This would include coconut sugar too.
If you use dates, stevia, monk fruit, or whatever the latest cool sweetener is you lose that preservation, and your syrup will last a couple of weeks instead. You still need to store the syrup in the fridge.
How to make homemade lattes
If you want to make a traditional latte recipe you will need a proper shot of espresso. Coffee houses use an espresso machine, but you can use a stove top espresso maker or Aeropress and it’s much cheaper. Personally, I use cold brew coffee because it’s still strong coffee but easier on my stomach.
To make your homemade pumpkin spice latte, add your shots of espresso to a large mug and drizzle in some of your own pumpkin syrup you just made to taste. I would start with a tablespoon.
Then to top it you need some fluffy milk. If you have an espresso machine you can use the steam wand, but a milk frother is a much cheaper alternative and does a great job. I love my Vitamix Aero which fluffs up barista Califia and Ripple like a dream.
To make an iced pumpkin spice latte just add ice first, then stick a metal knife in your glass to keep it from breaking when you pour in the hot espresso, then add the syrup and frothed oat milk, soy milk, or non-dairy milk of your choice. I love making my own cashew milk.
More vegan pumpkin recipes you’ll love
Hopefully, you are on team pumpkin with me. You must try this easy slow cooker pumpkin spice latte or frozen pumpkin spice latte drinks if you do. I use homemade cold brew coffee that I make in my French press with almost zero effort!
My vegan pumpkin pecan ice-creamless shake is another great way to celebrate autumn and you could toss some cold brew in the blender if you wanted to.
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Syrup Recipe with Refined Sugar-Free Option
- small saucepan
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup brown sugar sub coconut sugar or use sweetener of choice to taste (see post for ideas)
- ½ cup vegan white sugar sub an additional cup brown sugar or coconut sugar or use sweetener of choice to taste (see post for ideas)
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or 2 whole cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom or 6 whole cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger or 1-inch piece of fresh ginger cut into slices
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves or 3 whole cloves
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally to keep it from burning.
- Let the mixture cook down a little so it will get thick like syrup and begins to coat the spoon, then remove from heat.
- Let cool with spices in to infuse it more, then strain and store in the fridge. It will thicken more as it cools, so you can add more water if it’s too thick or cook longer if it’s too thin.