Creamy, caffeinated, and perfectly luxurious, my copycat recipe for Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew is a dead-ringer for the seasonal coffee shop favorite. Made with just 6 ingredients in about 5 minutes, this fall-flavored pick-me-up is faster and cheaper to make than buying at the store.
Now that the calendar reads September, I’m officially in the mood for fall. But, that’s not to say that the weather is cooperating — we’re still forecasted for at least another week of highs in the 90s, meaning my craving for seasonal coffee drinks is a little out of whack. The simplest solution? Making my morning cold brew pumpkin spice latte-style.
I admit, I only recently discovered that you can get cold milk and cream to froth up into the pillowy goodness I’m used to on a hot latte. But friends? It’s a game-changer. Using a trick I learned from Starbucks, I’ve figured out how to make a pumpkin cream cold foam that tastes like a dream.
Made with just 5 ingredients (6, if you count the coffee itself), this beautiful ombré beverage is much easier to make at home than your local barista might lead you to believe. You only need a few minutes in the kitchen with a blender to make it happen, so what are you waiting for?!?
What is Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew?
If you were to order a pumpkin cream cold brew from Starbucks, you’d receive cold brew coffee lightly sweetened by vanilla syrup and topped with a pumpkin spice-flavored cream cold foam. My homemade version is similar, though I eliminate refined sugar by using pure maple syrup as my only sweetener for both the coffee and the cold foam.
What does pumpkin cream cold brew taste like?
This cold brew pumpkin spice Starbucks drink tastes like the promise of falling leaves, crisp nights, and bonfires. It’s sweet and spicy like a cozy hug, but iced to keep you comfortable in warmer climes.
Low-acidity cold brew coffee offers a greater depth of flavor than regular drip, eliminating the need for extra sweetness. Adding a dab of maple flavor gives it a distinct and comforting flavor, adding to the autumnal vibes.
The best part about this Starbucks dupe is undoubtedly the pumpkin cream; it’s sweetly spiced with the exact right amount of pumpkin to get the flavor across without turning your drink an unfortunate shade of orange. It’s also super fluffy and sumptuous, like the very best cappuccino. In short, it’s early fall perfection.
As promised, you only need 6 simple ingredients to make your own pumpkin spice cold brew, Starbucks-style. Here’s what to grab:
- Cold Brew Coffee – Feel free to make your own or buy a bottle from the store (which is what I typically do).
- Maple Syrup – If possible, make sure you’re reaching for pure maple syrup. Products labeled “pancake syrup” are usually just flavored, colored HFCS.
- Heavy Cream – For a rich mouthfeel and sturdy foam.
- Pumpkin Purée – Canned pumpkin purée should be hitting the shelves soon. Be sure to stock up while seasonal prices are working in your favor! PRO TIP: Freeze any remaining purée in an ice cube tray so you can pull out just what you need when you need it.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice – For that signature pumpkin spice flavor.
- Vanilla Extract – For complexity and richness.
I think my Starbucks pumpkin cream cold brew recipe is pretty spot-on, but there are always plenty of ways to tweak any recipe to your needs. Here are some substitutions to consider:
- Cold Brew Coffee – Feel free to swap in regular iced coffee, or diluted espresso (i.e. an Americano) for the cold brew. You can also use instant coffee or instant espresso, or use an iced, uncaffeinated coffee substitute like Teaccino chicory tea.
- Maple Syrup – You can also use agave nectar, honey, date syrup, or brown rice syrup. Grated jaggery, piloncillo, or coconut sugar will also work. If you don’t mind having refined sugar in the mix, feel free to use brown sugar or simple syrup instead.
- Heavy Cream – Coconut cream or other plant-based creamers can easily be swapped in. You can also use whipping cream or slightly lower fat half-n-half if you prefer, though the cold foam won’t be quite as rich.
- Pumpkin Purée – I used canned pumpkin purée (NOT pumpkin pie filling), but you can easily swap in homemade pumpkin purée, or use leftover roasted pumpkin, butternut squash, carrots, or sweet potatoes so long as they’ve only been seasoned with non-savory ingredients like salt, oil, and/or warming spices.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice – Any blend of warming spices like cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves can be used. Other flavorful pre-bottled options include apple pie spice, Haiwaj coffee spice, or masala chai spice.
- Vanilla Extract – Vanilla paste or powder can also be used. For more of a maple-forward flavor, swap or add in 1/4 teaspoon of maple extract.
How to make Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew
This recipe for pumpkin cold brew comes together in almost no time flat. Here’s how it’s done:
Step 1: Flavor Cold Brew. If you like your coffee drinks a little on the sweeter side, add some maple syrup directly to the cold brew and mix until dissolved. Divide between two glasses with ice.
Step 2: Make Pumpkin Spice Cold Foam. Add all cold foam ingredients to a high-powered blender and whizz until foamy, about 30-45 seconds.
Step 3: Assemble Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. Pour pumpkin cream cold foam evenly between the glasses of cold brew. Enjoy!
Tips & FAQ
Cold brew is a method of making coffee that results in lower acidity than traditional brewing methods. To make it, coffee grounds are steeped in cold water for 12-24 hours before straining.
There are many tools on the market nowadays to help you make cold brew at home, from specialized cold brew coffee makers to the Toddy system and coffee socks. However, if I’m being honest, I usually just grab a jug of pre-made Stok or Starbucks cold brew from the refrigerated section of the grocery store!
Cold foam is a frothy foam topping made of chilled milk or cream that is intended to be served over cold coffee drinks. The method for making this thick and creamy meringue-like foam has been popularized by Starbucks over the past few years, but it’s actually quite easy to make at home using nonfat, low-fat, 2% or whole milk, certain plant-based milks, and cream or plant-based creamers.
To make it, simply add the milk or cream of your choice to a blender, feeling free to flavor it with coffee syrups (or, in this case, maple syrup and pure pumpkin), then blend until smooth and creamy.
Sure! Leftovers will last in the fridge for up to 3 days. That said, you’ll get the best results if you store the pumpkin cream cold foam separately from the cold brew so that you can re-froth the foam before serving.
Yes, but with a caveat — if you use a handheld milk frother or your French press as a method of foaming the cream, note that the foam won’t be quite as frothy and thick as if you use a blender. Also, try to limit how long you use a handheld frother to about 60 seconds; I noticed that after about 90 seconds – 2 minutes, the foam began to curdle.
If you are making cold brew at home, remember to follow these barista-friendly tips:
- use a coarse grind for better steeping,
- use filtered water for better flavor,
- increase your normal beans-to-water ratio to about 2:1 (while this is pretty concentrated, remember that the coffee will be diluted as your ice melts in the drink),
- and give the coffee a minimum of 12 hours (or up to 24 hours) to steep.
Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew Nutrition
Since cold brew coffee is made with a higher bean-to-water ratio than standard coffee, it tends to have slightly more caffeine than other types of brews. Using cold water also means the brew will be less acidic, which is beneficial for people who suffer from acid reflux. When served alone, both cold brew or regular drip coffee are nutritionally comparable and offer a decent amount of antioxidants.
The majority of the nutritional content of this copycat Starbucks pumpkin cream cold brew, therefore, comes from the pumpkin spice-flavored cold foam. Using real pumpkin means you’re getting some of the benefits the gourd has to offer, namely a high dose of Vitamin A among other nutrients. That said, the amount of pumpkin per serving is quite small, so it should not be considered a full serving of veggies.
Using maple syrup in place of refined sugars also adds a small nutritional benefit via higher mineral content, but it is still an added sugar and should be consumed in moderation. Adding heavy cream to the mix gives this pumpkin spice cold brew serious dessert vibes and a hefty amount of fat, which can aid in satiety.
At the end of the day, remember that this Starbucks pumpkin cream cold brew should be considered a treat and should be consumed only occasionally. However, as far as desserts go, this coffee shop drink is far from being your worst choice!
Total nutritional content per serving is:
- Calories: 273 calories
- Total Fat: 22 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Sodium: 25 mg
- Carbohydrates: 19 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
*This nutritional information is an estimate and calculated based on the ingredients used to create the recipe. The nutritional value of your ingredients may differ slightly. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.
This is what I personally paid to make this recipe:
- 2 cups cold brew coffee: $2.49
- ½ cup heavy cream: $0.67
- 3 tbsp pumpkin puree: $0.13
- 2 tbsp maple syrup: $0.46
- ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice: $0.06
- ½ tsp vanilla extract: $0.13
The total for this recipe comes out to be around $3.94 or about $1.97 per pumpkin cold brew!
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Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew (Copycat)
- 2 cups cold brew coffee
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
Pumpkin Cold Foam
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 3 tbsp pumpkin puree
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Add a handful of ice into 2 tall glasses. Pour 1 cup of cold brew into each glass. Add 1 tbsp maple syrup to each glass (if using) and stir.
- Make the pumpkin cold foam by adding heavy cream, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract to a high-speed blender. Blend on high for 30-45 seconds until foamy.
- Divide the pumpkin cold foam equally between each glass of cold brew, pouring it over the top. Serve!
If you end up making this and loving it, take a photo and tag me on Instagram! I’d love to see your versions of my recipes! And feel free to rate it down below in the comment section. I would really appreciate it!