Coffee Shop Pumpkin Syrup, Take 2


In the past few weeks, my coffee shop pumpkin syrup recipe has quickly become the most popular recipe on my blog.

Clearly, we all love our pumpkin spice lattes, and have decided that ’tis officially the season.

Here’s the thing, though: I was never 100% happy with my pumpkin syrup recipe. It kept settling to the bottom of the mug unless I kept the drink hot and stirred. And it just didn’t seem fair to all my Savvy Readers to let you keep making something that wasn’t perfect.

You see, I’ve learned a lot about writing recipes, baking and cooking in the last year. Which has helped me make two vast improvements to this pumpkin spice syrup:

1. Now, it really does make my { chai } lattes taste even more like pumpkin pie.

2. It doesn’t all sink to the bottom of the mug in a syrupy mess, and stays mixed into the drink… which is its whole purpose.

So here you go. My 100% improved pumpkin spice syrup…just like the one in your favorite coffee shop. But without all the artificial ingredients.


Coffee Shop Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Coffee Shop Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Mix anywhere from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of this pumpkin spice syrup into a mug of your favorite hot drink, depending on how sweet and pumpkin-flavored you want it.


  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Over low heat, bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally to keep the sugar from burning.
  2. Simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved and the pumpkin is fully mixed into the syrup. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to an airtight container. Refrigerate and use within 3 weeks.


      • Liam says

        You could also try it mixed with Soda water or perhaps 7-up/sprite.
        That’s my plan for it, to make a pumpkin Soda

        • says

          I think I would try it with iced coffee. I wonder if it would blend in well enough. I just made an iced pumpkin pie drink with almond milk, pumpkin puree (canned), real vanilla, sugar, cold brew coffee, ice, pumpkin pie spice, and Redi-Whip. It is delicious!

          Nancy S.

  1. says

    Mmmm, this is just in time for our fall weather. To have this in the fridge will make a lot of cooking simpler for the fall, just add a spoonful to my pilafs and such.
    Thanks so much.

  2. says

    The pumpkin puree, is that from a can or an actual pumpkin. And in that case. what kind and how do you make it? I’m from sweden and we dont eat a lot of pumpkin over here… 🙂

  3. Connie says

    Have you ever tried making it with something other than sugar? Would agave nectar work? Or sweetener?

  4. Kelly says

    Julie this is brilliant. Is this suitable for canning do you think? Wonderful gift idea for all the women in my life who love PSL’s!

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      No, I wouldn’t can it. It isn’t acidic or cooked down enough to be safe. But you could make it shortly before giving it as a gift, and just advise your friends to put it in the refrigerator when they get home!

  5. Ann says

    I make spicy simple syrup, ginger syrup for ginger ale, fruit-herb syrups… I’m going to toss my 2 cents in for an option and a solution for those (TK) that had problems with texture. Whole “spices” instead of ground. For cinammon syrup I use water-sugar with a whole cinammon stick. For this pumpkin syrup, I used a cinammon stick, a few cloves, 1/2 star anise, 3 cardommon pods and 2 black peppercorns. I also added maybe 1/8 cup of molasses. Let the whole spices sit in the syrup overnight, then strain or scoop them out. No graininess. I’ve never had much luck with ground spices in drinks….

  6. Anna S says

    I just made this (using the leftover pumpkin from a double pumpkin cookie recipe I found on Picky Palate). I mixed 2 tablespoons of the syrup in with 3/4 cup hot milk and a Nantucket k-cup brewed on the “small” setting. YUM!!! Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Haley says

    I tried this recipe today but mine looked like dirty water and not bright, beautiful pumpkin orange like yours!! Any thoughts on why it didn’t turn out quite as awesome? Did I cook it long enough? Thanks so much!! <3

    • Pam says

      That’s how mine turned out too – dark brown! But it tastes yummy either way! Can’t wait for my morning coffee tomorrow :o)

        • Felicia says

          Me three!! How do you make it a pretty orange? I might try the whole spices trick that Ann talked about.

          • Ann says

            The whole spices will not “help” the color… My ginger syrup and cinnamon syrup all look a bit “muddy” colored. I typically use either 1/2 white sugar and 1/2 brown or a bit of honey or molasses. The ginger I combine with carbonated water for ginger ale and in the bubbly water it is dark gold and very pretty.

            I made this pumpkin syrup with organic pumpkin puree and the whole spices as above. It is “muddy water” color but taste is great and after you combine with whatever, no difference anyway!

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      Oh no! My guess is either that it was the brand of pumpkin you used (I used Libby’s) or the spices that made it that muddy color? Another commenter (above) suggested using whole spices instead of ground, which may also help the color.

      But I hope it still tasted delicious!

      • says

        Hey there! I have been looking everywhere for a recipe and this looked pretty easy so I tried it out! I had the same problem! I used McCormick’s spices and Libby’s canned pumpkin but it came out a weird mud brown color and is kind of just clumpy in a dirty water type of substance. Any clues as to where I messed up?!

        • Julie says

          Hmm, it may need to simmer for a bit longer, and you’ll need to stir it more so that the spices dissolve.

  8. says

    Just tried this today! I reached in into the cabinet to discover that my scone crazy boyfriend had used all the white sugar! So, I used light brown instead. It was really good. I would definitely make it that way again. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Agent Woods says

    Methinks that lovely orange color is more the product of photoshop than the actual ingredients. But after I got over the color difference (hey, art is art) I am totally loving this stuff. The whole house smells of Fall and my chai has never been better!

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      Isn’t it great in chai?

      I’m not going to pretend I don’t use Photoshop. I do, but mostly to lighten up, sharpen and crop photos. I didn’t adjust the color of this photo at all. It may have to do with the spices you use?

  10. Tanya says

    Mine looked like mud and separated quickly, but I strained it through a coffee filter and then it had a beautiful orange hue to it (much like the photo). I added 2 slices of ginger while it simmered, and used just a bit less than 1/4 cup sugar – it’s delicious!!

  11. says

    Omigosh. As a starbucks employee who loves everything about pumpkin spice except its artificiality, I am giving this recipe my stamp of approval. Drinking it right now. BOMB.

  12. says

    Can you use honey instead of the sugar? Remove one more step of processed foods 🙂 I just don’t know what the amount it translates to would be but there is a suggestion! I am going to make this today.

  13. says

    i just made this today and am enjoying it in a big mug of coffee right now! it’s delicious. i had the same problem as others – mine didn’t turn out as beautiful as yours, but it tastes good, so i’m happy! 🙂

  14. DONNA says

    I just made this sauce and I have a few questions. I had it simmering for a really
    long time and it is that syrupy. It also looked dark from the beginning and still
    looks dark unlike your picture. Have any suggestions?

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      Some people have tried filtering it when it is cooled or using pumpkin pie filling (instead of puree+spices) to get the orange color.

      As for the texture, it should be more of a simple syrup thickness (very liquid) rather than a maple syrup-like texture.

      Hope this helps!

  15. Corianne says

    oh wow, I just made this, using 1/4 cup of sugar. It is DELICIOUS! Yayh! I just had my first pumpkin spice decaf latte of this season, they don’t sell the Pumpkin spice latte’s in Holland.
    Thank you for a great recipe!

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      Hooray! I’m glad you’re enjoying it– especially if you can’t find them near you!

  16. Ariela says

    I tried making this, and it tastes amazing, but it’s not clear like yours…it’s much darker and you can see all the spice grains. Should I strain it after it’s done?

    • Ariela says

      I should add – I’ve actually tried filtering it, both through a small sieve and a coffee filter, neither of which work – it seems too thick to filter out. Maybe it’s the pumpkin? I’m using regular canned pumpkin though, and it dissolves in the mixture just fine; I’m also careful not to cook the syrup for too long. Any ideas? Thanks for the amazing recipe! Either way, it’s still the best homemade recipe I’ve found yet!

      • Julie @savvyeats says

        Another reader (above) suggested using whole spices rather than ground, removing them and then filtering to get rid of any graininess. That might help. But I’m glad to hear you enjoy it!

  17. susan e says

    Just made this! Thanks for testing it out until it came out perfect. I found your blog by googling homemade pumpkin spice syrup to make lattes. I’ll show you picture of mine in a squeeze bottle if you want.:)

  18. says

    Thanks for the recipe! I made some this morning, but it was definitely muddy with the spices. I strained it to get rid of the sludge, and now it’s a beautiful orange color. I think I’d like it even more pumpkiny. Have you tried it with more pumpkin?

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      I have! It tastes great, but it does tend to separate more. Just a heads up 🙂

  19. Veronica says

    OMG!!! This turned out great. I also strained it and it didn’t turn out the great orange color but who cares….IT IS DELICIOUS! Thanks so much for sharing it.

  20. Andrea Todd says

    Hello! I have made this recipe several times, love love love it! Its incredibly tasty. I’ve shared with many friends and they all love it too but we’re all having the same problem… it doesn’t look quite like yours and is kind of sludgy in the bottom of the cup. I don’t know if we’re doing something wrong, I followed your instructions to the T. Any thoughts or advice?

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      If it is sludgy on the bottom, you may have cooked it too long. I had the same sinking-to-the-bottom problem when I first made it because I let it get too thick.

      Some other things that other readers have found helpful, especially in terms of clarity/color: straining the syrup, using pumpkin pie filling instead of pumpkin + spices.

      Hope this helps!

  21. Tiffany says

    How long will this keep in the refrigerator? I plan on making this and giving it as a gift. Thanks for the recipe!

  22. Serina says

    So, I made your pumpkin spice syrup last year. I still had frozen, cut-up pumpkin that I felt inspired to use up tonight. I thought I had saved on my computer a recipe on how to cook the pumpkin to make the puree first, so that I could then make the syrup. For whatever reason, I could not find the links under my favorites so I go to type it in to the internet and Wha-lahh! Savvy Eats has a new and improved recipe for me!! Thanks, Juls!!! You rock!

    Love ya & miss ya! Call me soon!

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      Yay! Even better than calling you soon…I’ll be back in Minnesota soon for the holidays! Will you be around??

  23. Pumpkin Lover says

    If you use pumpkin pie filling, do you still use the spices? Or would the recipe just be:

    2 tablespoons pumpkin pie filling
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup water

  24. Denise says

    Just ran into this recipe. In case you are trying for a Starbucks replica they use condensed milk with their syrup sauce as well with the white mocha

  25. says

    About to make my first batch this fall! The afternoons here don’t feel like fall but the cool mornings are teasing me…time for a pumpkin spice latte:) Thanks for the updated recipe!

  26. says

    Did you strain this? I have had serious issues with separation. What changed in the method that may have allowed yours to stay emulsified? Wonderful flavor though, works wonders in cocktails!

  27. BL says

    I am going to add essential oils instead of the ground spices. Won’t have to use much! (Now, just so you know, it isn’t recommended for people to eat essential oils, but I have done it for years in recipes. You just have to be sane and not use a ton!

  28. BL says

    I just saw the side of a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte container and it had these ingredients: sweetened condensed milk, condensed nonfat milk (I assume that means evaporated milk), annato (which you can find at an international/Mexican grocery store), natural flavors and spices (I assume that’s where we add the pumpkin and spices). I would think this version would not separate, and would be extra creamy tasting as well.

  29. alison says

    I just made this and it smells delicious but mine is nowhere near the color of orange shown I’m your picture. Did I do something wrong?

    • says

      No, I’m not sure why it was so bright orange that time. I think it all depends on the pumpkin — fresh or canned, brand of canned, etc .Some of mine have been bright orange, and others have been more orange-brown!

  30. says

    I have tried this recipe twice with no luck, I must be doing something wrong! Both times I’ve ended with a syrup that hasn’t thickened at all, and is very gritty! How long are you simmering? At low or medium heat? I have read that other users have had luck with straining the syrup, would this be done while it is warm or cooled? Thanks for any help anyone can provide! I’m still a newbie trying to work my way around the kitchen!

    • says

      Hmm… it really doesn’t thicken that much. Just a little, to be like a simple syrup. I haven’t tried straining it, but I would imagine it could be done either warm or cooled.

  31. Dawn Tucker says

    I just made this recipe and it smells delightful throughout my home. Mine is darker in color as well, I can’t wait to taste it. Blessings to you for sharing, and to the lady that said decaf, now I can have it sooner without waiting until morning, lovin’it!

  32. Megan says

    This is my second time making it and I LOOOOOOVE it! I don’t buy ground nutmeg I always prefer fresh that I grate myself. This does lead to some “floaties” in your coffee but, it’s only nutmeg! I am kind of a coffee snob and brew my coffee with a French Press (buy one and grind your own beans, you WON’T regret it) I add the syrup directly to my ground beans and add the hot water. When it’s time to plunge, the screen catches all the nutmeg “floaties” and YUMMY PUNKIN’ COFFEE IS MADE!! Side note, I made the mistake of being nice and made my bestie a cup of my newly acquired yummyness and brought it to work. Now she wants a cup every day! I gave her the recipe and she says it taste better when it’s made for her! HHHARRRUMPH! Now I’m making a double batch and will be bringing her a bottle of her own!

    • Julie says

      Great tip about the French press getting out the grittiness! Now be nice and share with your friend. 😉

  33. Alex says

    Could you make this with pumpkin purée? That’s all I have on hand and I’m dying to try it out!

  34. Connie says

    I accidentally left my homemade pumpkin syrup out overnight. Is it ruined or do you think it’s OK to use?

    • Julie says

      Hmm. Can’t say 100%, but if you put in the fridge right away in the morning when you realized it, it is probably fine.

  35. Adam says

    man, !#@$ this recipe. you gotta be usin a stock image, no WAY mine is gonna turn out that light orange color.

    Anyway, questions for your perusal. I scoped it, and it looks thin, with particulate matter in it. Spices, whatever. You told one of those other fans that the spices would dissolve, but my syrup gets way too thick long before that. one cup of water isn’t that much.

    can I just boil the #&% out of it, then add more water to the consistency, or would that make it taste burnt? I measured the spices precise, why is it not soluble? you using bottled water, or stuff you get from your tap?

    • Julie says

      I used tap water. And it really was that bright orange – I think it must have been the brand of canned pumpkin I used. When I’ve made the syrup with fresh pumpkin puree (versus canned) or certain brands, it has definitely been more of an orange-brown color.

      The spices will never fully dissolve. A little grittiness isn’t really noticeable once you stir the syrup into hot coffee or tea, but if you want a smoother syrup, you can strain it through a fine mesh sieve or a coffee filter. Hope this helps!

    • Kim says

      Mine turned out very dark brown as well. I used all organic ingredients, too. I have made this three times and it has come out the same color every time. I did strain the end product two times to remove the grittiness and it tastes a lot better in coffee or pumpkin cheesecake martins. I’d like to know what products are used to achieve this bright orange color. Maybe a YouTube video??? 😉
      Regardless of the color, it does taste really good!

  36. Kim says

    Don’t know what I’m doing wrong, there’s nothing syrup-e about this! Plus I ended up straining mine because I used organic ingredients and I grated my own nutmeg and ground cloves. The color must be from white sugar and Libby’s bright orange pumpkin. Nonetheless, it does taste fabulous in coffee with a little organic half n half!

    • Julie says

      Unfortunately, this syrup isn’t safe for canning. It doesn’t have enough acid or the appropriate water activity (see my Canning page for more info on the science behind canning, if you’re interested). So sad, right?

      • Lexie says

        Thank you, Julie, for the reply. That totally makes sense. However, I guess since this syrup is so easy to make and so good, it gets used up quickly, so really, there is no need to can! Have a great week.

  37. says

    Hi there!

    I also make pumpkin spice syrup, but I’m really curious how you get that color. I have never seen one that comes out with that bright orange color. My recipe as well as every other one (including your first attempt) all come out brown. Could you share your secret? It doesn’t seem to be in the recipe.

    • Julie says

      You know, I’m not 100% sure. Sometimes when I make this syrup, it comes out the bright orange color, and others it comes out darker and more brown. The taste is the same though! I would guess it has to do with the brand of pumpkin (or canned v. fresh)?

  38. says

    Thanks for the quick response! What brand did you use that gets you that color? I saw that you said you used Libby’s, which is what I use, but I still don’t get that color. Do you use any another brand that yields that great color?

    • Julie says

      I know I used Libby’s at some point, but the next time I used Libby’s, it was brown again. Very odd that it changes so much!

  39. Alyson says

    I followed directions exactly, used bright orange puree, mine came out brown (from the spices I assume) and very thin. It had very little pumpkin flavor for the 1 1/2 Cups liquid. I tried it in my coffee and not enough flavor. Sorry, but this is not a winner; would not gift it like I was going to. IMHO.

    • Julie says

      Sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you! As far as the thickness goes, it may be that you need to simmer it for a bit longer. I’ve also found that the pumpkin and spices settle to the bottom if it sits for too long – so maybe giving the jar a good shake before you use the syrup. Hope this helps!

        • Julie says

          Sorry to hear that. Simmering longer wouldn’t help with the color, but it might help with the thickness. Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy it!


  1. […] Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Over low heat, bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally to keep the sugar from burning. Simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved and the pumpkin is fully mixed into the syrup. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to an airtight container. Refrigerate and use within 3 weeks. Source: SavvyEat […]

  2. […] friend’s request for a Starbucks-style pumpkin syrup launched this recipe search. I found this recipe online and gave it a whirl. It was heavy on the sweet and spice, but light on the pumpkin. I […]

  3. […] I came upon the blog Savvy Eats which is a new favorite stop for recipe hunting. I tried this coffee shop pumpkin recipe out and it came out nicely. Although it did settle a bit at the bottom of my cup. I tried it both […]