Pumpkin Spice Latte & Croissants

One of the rewards of surviving a sweltering Southern Summer is the arrival of Pumpkin Spice season.  If that makes me “basic”, so be it.  I love flavored Lattes, but I don’t love all the added sugar.  The only way to cut the sugar in a PSL at Starbucks is to ask them to leave out some of the Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup.  That’s why I always order it with half the syrup.  Sadly, that also means I’m missing half the pumpkin spice flavor.  Lame!

I didn’t fare any better sampling the many pumpkin spice syrups that hit the stores in Fall.  I figured I could come up with a flavored syrup that delivered tons of flavor without a ton of sugar, and that’s just what I did.  Now let’s talk a bit about why YOU might want to make your own Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup, rather than hitting Starbucks for your fix or buying one of the many syrups that pop up everywhere in the Fall.

Why Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup?

  1.  Because you can!  It’s easy and you don’t have to leave home to enjoy your favorite Fall treat.  Oh, and if you’re craving a Pumpkin Spice Latte in June you can make one yourself!
  2.  You’re the boss, Applesauce.  You control what goes in, what stays out, and what the final product tastes  like.  Tinker away!  You can use more or less sugar or even swap in a sugar substitute for some or all of the sugar.
  3.  A delicious latte shouldn’t be full of weird stuff.  From the Starbucks website:
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Syrup contains: Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Pumpkin Puree, Contains 2% Or Less Of Fruit And Vegetable Juice For Color, Natural Flavors, Annatto, Salt, Potassium Sorbate

Hmmm, if you have to add fruit and veggie juice and annatto for color, that tells me there isn’t much pumpkin in there.  Which means the pumpkin AND spice flavor is coming from the mysterious land of “natural flavors”.  Newsflash, that doesn’t mean it’s something you’d find in your kitchen or even Nature.  The FDA defines a “Natural Flavor” as:

The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.

Yummy!  As we say around here, “we can do better!”

We can also do better nutritionally.  Each pump of Starbucks Pumpkin Spice syrup has 30 calories.  A grande latte comes with 4 pumps, or 120 calories from sugar.  Zoinks!

I always order my PSL with 2 pumps, which obviously cuts the sugar by half, but it also cuts half the flavor.  And, I still find it too sweet.  When I make the equivalent of a grande latte at home, I only need 1 Tbsp of my homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup.  1 Tbsp. of my syrup adds a mere 37 calories but TONS of flavor.

Pin This Recipe for Later

Pinnable Image for Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup

Here’s What You Need to Make Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 8 whole allspice berries
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 generous tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

 

Ingredients for Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup

PS– Here’s a great use for the rest of that can of Pumpkin Puree!

Here’s What to Do

Using a mortar and pestle (or a clean coffee/spice grinder) coarsely grind the whole spices.  Of course you can use all pre-ground spices, however they will be harder to strain out than the coarsely crushed ones.  Plus, I find the flavor is more pronounced when I use the whole spices.  To use pre-ground spices use 3/4 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. each of allspice and cloves.

Ground Spices for PSL syrup

In a small saucepan bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Stir in pumpkin puree.  Stir in spices and allow mixture to steep for 1 hour.  **IMPORTANT**  If you are using all pre-ground spices, make sure mixture has cooled to lukewarm before you whisk in the spices.  For some reason boiling water + ground cinnamon = a gelatinous sludge.  After steeping for an hour, whisk in the vanilla and salt.

Strain mixture thru a fine sieve.  It’s okay to “tap” on the strainer to help the mixture through, but don’t press or scrape on the spices or you’ll push through too much pumpkin fiber.

Straining Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup

 

Strained out spices and pumpkin fiber

Pour strained syrup into a small jar or carafe.  I reuse IKEA vinegar bottles because they come with a snap-on lid that has a small pour spout.  Refrigerate syrup for up to a month.

Straining Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup

Voila – you can make Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup whenever the mood hits!  Now lest you think this syrup is only delicious in lattes, let me tell you, it’s also wonderful in hot cocoa or plain hot tea, drizzled over vanilla Greek yogurt and granola or in any number of smoothies.

And if you’re looking for something to do with the rest of the can of pumpkin puree, try my fabulous Pumpkin Spice Muffins.

Making Espresso in a ROC

Hmmm, you know what also goes well with a Pumpkin Spice Latte?  A delicious slice of Spiced Cranberry-Orange Pecan Bread!  Or a wedge of my Colossal Cinnamon Roll.  Or…

Enjoy!

Elizabeth

Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup

Author Elizabeth at thewildolive.org

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 8 whole allspice berries
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 generous tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Instructions

  • Using a mortar and pestle (or a clean coffee/spice grindecoarsely grind whole spices.
  • In a small saucepan bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved; remove from heat.
  • Stir in pumpkin puree. Stir in spices and allow mixture to steep for 1 hour. Whisk in vanilla and a pinch of salt.
  • Strain mixture thru a fine sieve. It's okay to "tap" on the strainer to help the mixture through, but don't press or scrape on the spices or you'll push through too much pumpkin fiber.
  • Refrigerate up to a month.

Notes

If you want to use all pre-ground spices, use 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. each allspice and cloves. Wait until pumpkin mixture cools to lukewarm before adding ground spices.