Whether you want to make your own PSL or add some seasonal flavor to cocktails, this homemade pumpkin spice syrup is easy to make and packed with warm spice flavor (and all natural with real pumpkin too!).
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I'll be completely honest, I'm not normally one to get all exciting about pumpkin spiced lattes when they appear each year. In fact, I rarely, if ever buy one. I find most of them way to sweet and artificial-tasting to me.
However I do like chai flavors and like the idea of the warm spices in coffee. So the obvious next step was to make my own spiced syrup so I can control how much I put myself. Plus added bonus, it's fun to play around with in cocktails as well! I loved it in my pumpkin spice whiskey sour and plan to try it in more.
What's in pumpkin spice syrup?
Commercial versions will no doubt vary, but this homemade syrup is really just a simple syrup with warm spices in it.
For most simple syrups, you simply dissolve regular sugar into water, but to get that more seasonal molasses-like flavor, this syrup uses a mix of white and brown sugar. It makes the syrup a lot darker, but in particular, it makes it darker.
This syrup is also simmered a little more than I might with other syrups, at least with the lid off, so becomes a little thicker. It means you don't need to use quite as much in your drink while still adding that sweetness and spice flavor.
Steps to make this spiced syrup
- Warm water and sugars over a medium heat to dissolve the sugar and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Simmer a couple minutes.
- Add the spices, vanilla and pumpkin puree. Continue to warm without boiling for a couple minutes.
- Leave the mixture to cool, then strain into a bottle or jar.
Why do you strain the syrup?
You may wonder why you strain this, when all of the spices are ground. Especially when it means you remove most of the pumpkin solids. The reason is the pumpkin is more likely to make the mixture go bad quicker. They will also tend to fall to the bottom of the syrup as they are heavier.
However, I think you still get some of the pumpkin flavor coming through, even from the time it is in there. Or maybe it's just my imagination/hope!
If you are going to use the syrup soon and don't mind there possibly being bits, you can always skip straining, if you prefer.
The most obvious use for this is, of course, added to coffee but you can use it a lot more broadly. I've added it to a couple cocktails, including a delicious pumpkin spice whiskey sour, and it adds a lovely flavor.
My kids loved the flavor when I let them try a bit of a decaf latte with this in - funny enough I reserved the cocktails for me.
You could also use this syrup drizzled over pancakes, waffles or bread pudding. It's pretty versatile, once you start thinking about it, so do experiment.
The syrup will keep for a good week or two either in a cool place or in the fridge. If you see any mould form then clearly it's time to throw it out.
This recipe makes a relatively small quantity so it's easier to get through quicker. However you may find you enjoy it so much, you want to make more next time - it's easy to just multiply up the quantities but follow the same process.
This pumpkin spice syrup is easy to make with a rich color and flavor from the molasses in the brown sugar and the warm spice mix that you add. The pumpkin adds that extra smoothness, making this a syrup you'll be sure to enjoy all through the season!
Try these other pumpkin treats:
- Our favorite pumpkin pie from scratch or the easier, gluten free pumpkin souffle.
- Chocolate pumpkin pastry twists make a sweet-tasty snack.
- Or try one of many savory options, like pumpkin ravioli or pumpkin risotto.
- Plus get more fall recipes in the archives.
Pumpkin spice syrup
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup brown sugar 40g
- ¼ cup sugar 50g
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon cardamon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon pumpkin puree
- Put the water and both sugars in a pan and place over a medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring gently to ensure the sugar dissolves and doesn't burn or stick to the bottom.
- Let the mixture simmer gently for around 3 minutes to thicken slightly.
- Add the various spices, vanilla and pumpkin to the pan. Stir to combine and continue to warm over a low heat, so that the mixture doesn't boil, for another 3 minutes.
- Leave the mixture to cool in the pan before straining through a fine mesh strainer to remove any coarser solids. Store in a bottle or jar in a cool place or ideally the fridge until needed.
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
Sharing as part of #Pumpkinweek - see all the other pumpkin recipes being shared today:
- Disney Pumpkin Milkshakes by Simply Inspired Meals
- Iced Pumpkin Spiced Latte by April Golightly
- Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Smoothies by Our Good Life
Breakfast and Baked Goods
- Healthy Harvest Pumpkin Mac and Cheese by Our Sutton Place
- Fresh Pumpkin Pizza by Palatable Pastime
- Pumpkin Stufffed Shells by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Pumpkin Stuffing by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
- Easy Pumpkin Pie Crescent Rolls by Blogghetti
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip by The Freshman Cook
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars by Making Miracles
- Pumpkin Empanadas by A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
- Pumpkin Impossible Pie by Shockingly Delicious
- Pumpkin Marshmallows by The Redhead Baker