Nothing screams fall more than pumpkin spice! This Vegan Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup is the perfect addition to your morning coffee but works great when drizzled over french toast, pancakes, and oatmeal as well!
This vegan pumpkin sauce is spiced perfectly with subtle flavors of pumpkin and rich, caramel flavor from the brown sugar. You’re going to want to put this on everything this holiday season- not just your morning coffee.
Are the Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks Vegan?
No, the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte is not vegan. A lot of Starbucks drinks can be made vegan by simply switching out the dairy milk for one of the plant-based milk options but that doesn’t work for the pumpkin spice latte.
The pumpkin spice sauce that they use contains condensed milk. Most of their simple syrups are more syrup-like but this one is more caramel-like in texture.
I personally don’t find that condensed milk is necessary so you won’t find that in my recipe- this one is made simple with real spices, brown sugar, pumpkin purée, and vanilla extract.
If you wanted to replace the condensed milk, you could potentially add a splash of coconut milk, almond milk, or oat milk but it isn't a necessary addition that really adds anything extra. It's perfect the way it is!
This homemade Starbucks copycat pumpkin spice syrup is completely dairy-free. It’s made with light brown sugar, water, canned pumpkin, and fragrant fall spices.
- Packed Brown Sugar: Brown sugar adds a deep caramel-like flavor from the molasses- it's a must in this spiced pumpkin syrup.
- Pumpkin Purée: You want to make sure you are getting real pumpkin purée without any added ingredients- avoid pumpkin pie filling. The pumpkin purée adds a subtle pumpkin flavor but isn't overwhelming in the slightest.
- Vanilla Extract: Just a splash but adds so much delicious flavor.
- Pumpkin Pie Spices: You can use a store-bought pumpkin pie spice blend. I used cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, allspice, and cloves because I always have those in my spice cabinet.
- Salt: Just a tiny pinch to bring the flavors together.
How to Make This Recipe
This homemade pumpkin spice sauce is completely dairy-free, gluten-free, and contains minimal and simple ingredients.
Whisk together the water, brown sugar, pumpkin purée, vanilla extract, and all the spices into a small saucepan.
Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Then, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has slightly thickened. It will continue to thicken as it cools so be sure not to overcook it.
If desired, strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. This will remove the spices so if you're worried about the texture that the mixture of spices will leave, I recommend this step. I personally skip this step because it doesn't bother me.
Allow the simple syrup to cool before adding it to chilled drinks to avoid it from crystallizing.
Make a drink of your choice and add whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top to be extra festive. Enjoy!
How to Make a Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte
This pumpkin spiced simple syrup is so easy to make and is wonderful to have on hand so you can enjoy a tasty, warming dairy-free pumpkin spiced latte anytime!
Add the non-dairy milk of your choice to a small pot on low heat, and stir in as much or as little of this pumpkin spice syrup as you desire.
Froth using a milk frother and pour into a mug and top with a double or single shot of espresso. Enjoy your seasonal drink with vegan whipped cream, a cinnamon stick, and a drizzle of pumpkin spice syrup over the top.
If you're looking for an iced pumpkin spice latte, simply skip heating the milk on low heat and froth cold.
Tips & Tricks
Allow the syrup to cool completely at room temperature before transferring it to the fridge. This will prevent it from crystallizing. It can be immediately added to a hot drink but please allow it to cool to room temperature before adding it to iced drinks.
Don't overcook the simple syrup. You only want to simmer it on low for 2 to 3 minutes. If you overcook or boil it, it will become more of a caramel-like consistency and we don't want that.
The syrup will continue to thicken as it cools so keep an eye on it, don't allow the mixture to boil, and remove as soon as it has slightly thickened and the sugar has dissolved.
Substitutions & Additions
Brown Sugar: I love using light brown sugar for this recipe because it gives the syrup a nice rich, caramel flavor from the molasses but coconut sugar is a wonderful substitute. If you don't have brown sugar or coconut sugar but you have cane sugar and molasses, make your own brown sugar! I haven't tried this with maple syrup so I can't confidently recommend that you switch the sugar out for it.
Spices: Sometimes I don't add the allspice or cloves and it is still spiced well and is tasty. The only spices that I definitely don't recommend omitting are cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. If you have pumpkin pie spice, you can use that instead. I would add 2 teaspoons.
Pumpkin Purée: It's pumpkin syrup, so you gotta have pumpkin! I used canned pumpkin purée- avoid pumpkin pie filling.
This vegan pumpkin spice syrup recipe is a fall classic! It’s most famous for making a pumpkin spiced latte but can be used a few different ways.
- Make a vegan pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin cream cold foam, replace the chai syrup with this pumpkin spiced syrup in my shaken espresso recipe, or use it to sweeten your morning coffee- iced, hot, or homemade lattes! You could even add this to hot chocolate.
- Drizzle it over a stack of pancakes, waffles, or french toast.
- Drizzle it over vanilla ice cream or even better would be to drizzle it over ice cream that's on top of a warm pie.
- I'm a coffee lover but this would be delicious mixed into a cup of tea.
- Fall-inspired oatmeal perhaps? This would be great on top of a yogurt granola bowl, chia pudding, or on a bowl of oatmeal.
- Fall cocktails? I could see this being incredible in many different types of cocktails. I'll have to experiment with some!
Storage: Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Simply, shake the jar before using since the spices will settle a bit at the bottom of the jar.
Frequently Asked Questions
Unfortunately, it is not. Starbucks pumpkin spice syrup contains condensed milk.
According to the Starbucks website, the pumpkin spice sauce contains the following: sugar, condensed skim milk, pumpkin purée, fruit and vegetable juice for color, natural flavors, annatto, salt, and potassium sorbate.
You can use as little or as much as you enjoy depending on your sweetness preferences.
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Vegan Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup
- 1 cup Water
- ½ cup Brown Sugar
- ¼ cup Pumpkin Purée
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Ginger
- ¼ teaspoon All Spice
- Pinch of Cloves
- Pinch of Salt
- Whisk together the water, brown sugar, pumpkin purée, vanilla extract, and all the spices into a saucepan.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Then, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and the syrup has slightly thickened. It will continue to thicken as it cools so be sure not to overcook it.
- If desired, strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. This will remove the spices so if you're worried about the texture that the mixture of spices will leave, I recommend this step. I personally skip this step because it doesn't bother me.
- Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
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