Starbucks’ latest concoction combines two trends: cold brew and pumpkin spice. Both are considered basic, and if that’s the case, then I’m just going to have to own it. I’ve loved coffee and anything pumpkin since I was little.

The Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew is too sweet for my taste, but with half the flavor it’s perfect! I don’t have the budget to continually buy drinks from Starbucks, not many people do, so I created my own version to make at home.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cold brew coffee –– Make your own at home overnight. Find the how-to here
  • A milk frother –– Ordered one on Amazon for $10, if you don’t have one keep reading anyway
  • Nonfat milk
  • Pumpkin syrup –– Found a bottle at TJ Maxx for about $4
  • Pumpkin puree (Optional) –– For a more real-pumpkin flavor
  • Pumpkin pie spice –– Also found at TJ Maxx for $3
  • Vanilla syrup –– You can buy vanilla syrup from just about anywhere, but in the interest of saving money I learned to make my own

First, make the vanilla syrup. In a pan on medium to high heat, bring to boil 1 3/4 cups of water, 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar, and a 1/2 cup of packed light brown sugar. Simmer until dissolved (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and add 3 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Let cool, then store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Put some ice in a mug or glass and pour in your cold brew. Leave some room at the top to add in the foam. Add 1-2 teaspoons of the vanilla syrup, depending on how sweet you want it, and stir.

To make the pumpkin cream/foam, use non- or low-fat milk. It creates a thicker, creamier foam. Half and half is probably the second best option.

  • Froth 1/4 a cup of milk with 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of pumpkin syrup for about 15 to 30 seconds. (Note: This mixture makes enough for about two servings.)
  • Optional: Add just under 1 teaspoon of pumpkin puree to the frothy mixture. If you prefer sweeter drinks, I would suggest adding 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla syrup as well.

If you don’t have a frother, you can pour the milk and pumpkin syrup into a glass or jar with a lid and shake it for about a minute. Finally, pour over your cold brew, top with some pumpkin pie spice, and enjoy!

Don’t have time to make cold brew? Try this recipe with hot, or french pressed coffee! Adding the froth to the top of a hot cup of coffee dissolves it into a light creamer. Perfect for rainy fall days.


I struggled with the idea of purchasing a bottle of pumpkin spice syrup to make one type of beverage. So I started concocting a few more fall beverages. Stay tuned for a version of the pumpkin spice latte, and a few fall cocktails (including one non-alcoholic). Don’t knock it ’til you try it!

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