If you, like me, have bougie tastes on a limited budget, give my easy copycat recipe for Starbucks Pumpkin Sauce a try! For less than you’d spend on a single pumpkin spice latte, you can make a giant batch of this Starbucks pumpkin spice sauce to keep you in PSL-induced bliss all week long. Plus, I’ve cracked the code on how to make a delightful sugar-free pumpkin spice syrup so you can indulge without disrupting your diet goals!
Y'all. The season has arrived. You know the one I'm talking about. The one where I can indulge in all my super basic "I-love-pumpkin-spice-everything" bliss. It's officially that season, and I couldn't be happier. This sugar-free pumpkin syrup is my current coffee obsession, and I have a feeling it’s going to be yours, too.
- Why You’ll Love This Starbucks Pumpkin Sauce Recipe
- Ingredients & Substitutions
- How To Make Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Sauce
- Optional Variations & Dietary Adaptations
- How To Use Pumpkin Sauce For Coffee
- Expert Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Fall-Flavored Treats
- Starbucks Pumpkin Sauce (Sugar-Free Option)
- 💬 Reviews
Why You’ll Love This Starbucks Pumpkin Sauce Recipe
- Quick & Easy - You'll be done in just 15 minutes (or less!) and have enough to make your own homemade pumpkin spice lattes all week.
- Made With Only 5 Ingredients - And one of them is plain ol’ water!
- Better-For-You - Between the real pumpkin, swapping in a natural sugar-free alternative, and not having any artificial ingredients, colors, or preservatives, this DIY pumpkin spice sauce is a delectable seasonal indulgence without any guilt.
- Easily Customizable - Don’t love monkfruit? Sub in stevia, swerve, or another sugar substitute. If you don't care about added sugars, you could use agave, brown sugar, granulated sugar, or coconut sugar. Want more or less spice? Go for it. This is your pumpkin syrup, so make it the way you like!
Ingredients & Substitutions
As promised, you only need a handful of ingredients to make this homemade Starbucks pumpkin spice sauce. Here’s what to grab:
- Pumpkin Pie Spice - Don’t have any in the cupboard? You can easily make your own using cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
- Water - If possible, use filtered water for the best flavor.
- Monkfruit Sweetener - As a born sweet tooth, I do what I can to limit my added sugar, especially first thing in the morning. I personally prefer the “Golden” or “Brown” versions of Lakanto, but you’re welcome to use the classic if you prefer! If you’re not concerned with being sugar-free, light or dark brown sugar is a great substitute.
- Vanilla Extract - You can use an equal amount of vanilla paste or vanilla powder, or swap in half as much ground vanilla bean.
- Pumpkin Purée - Make sure you’re reaching for 100% pure pumpkin, not canned pumpkin pie filling. You’re also welcome to use butternut squash purée or sweet potato purée instead.
How To Make Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Sauce
Making this pumpkin syrup for coffee is a snap. Here’s how it’s done:
Step 1: Bloom Spices. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add pumpkin pie spice. Swirl around until fragrant.
Step 2: Dissolve Sugar. Add water and monkfruit or brown sugar to saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until monkfruit is dissolved.
Step 3: Whisk in vanilla & pumpkin puree and cook another minute.
Step 4: Cool & Decant. Allow to cool, then pour into whatever spillproof container you want. Keeps refrigerated for up to a week
Step 5: Shake before use, as the pumpkin will fall to the bottom of the container over time.
Optional Variations & Dietary Adaptations
- Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup - Prefer a clear syrup rather than a viscous sauce? Make a basic simple syrup with a cup each of sugar or monkfruit and water, then stir in the vanilla, and add a teaspoon of pumpkin spice extract.
- Adjust the Spice - Feel free to add more or less pumpkin-spiced goodness to your homemade pumpkin sauce for coffee. Other warming spices blends like masala chai spice or apple pie spice can also be used.
- Add a Pinch of Salt - I personally brew my espresso with a pinch of salt, so I don’t add any to the pumpkin sauce. Feel free to add up to ½ teaspoon to the batch.
How To Use Pumpkin Sauce For Coffee
Wondering, “How do I make a pumpkin spice latte using this syrup?”
I'm so glad you asked! I worked at Starbucks all through college, and I can tell you there are some super cool tools on Amazon to make brewing espresso and steaming milk at home easy and inexpensive. Read my blog post here on how to upgrade your coffee station for under $50!
To make a pumpkin spice latte, you're going to need your syrup, espresso, and steamed milk.
Feel free to use any milk you want (without that annoying $0.50 upcharge). Pour about 2 tablespoons of your pumpkin spice syrup into the bottom of your mug. Add 4 oz espresso and stir. Top with 8 oz of steamed milk. If you're feeling fancy, add some whipped cream and cinnamon "sugar" to the top!
TIP: If you don't have a milk frother, you can use a little elbow grease to get it done. Microwave your milk in a mason jar (no lids, please!) until hot. Place lid on mason jar and shake it like one of those fancy hipster bartenders. Boom! Frothed milk at your service.
What if I don't have espresso?
Not to worry! I love adding the pumpkin spice syrup to my regular brewed coffee and topping it off with a little cream. You can also make a pumpkin spice café au lait. Simply pour about 2 tablespoons of your syrup into a mug. Fill it halfway with brewed coffee, then top it off with steamed milk. Fancy!
Oh, extra points if you brew Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Coffee for this. It gives a serious flavor boost. Now go on and make you some pumpkin spice magic already!!
- Shake your flavor maker! Because this recipe uses real pumpkin, you'll need to shake the syrup before using or all the pumpkin will settle to the bottom of the jar.
- Don’t skip blooming your spices. Toasting the spices in a dry pan might sound like a weird step, but this will help to activate the oils in the spices and intensify their flavor.
- Double down on pumpkin spice season. If you're trying to really freak out on pumpkin spice, pair it with some of my Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal!
Frequently Asked Questions
While I can’t speak for all pumpkin sauce recipes out there, this particular homemade version is both naturally vegan and gluten-free.
When it’s in season, most Starbucks locations will sell you a bottle if they have extra on hand. But, why would you want to shell out so much money for something you can make so easily at home??
It depends on the pumpkin spice blend, but most often it’s made with a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Some blends also include other warming spices like allspice and/or cardamom, so feel free to try several until you find the one you like!
More Fall-Flavored Treats
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Starbucks Pumpkin Sauce (Sugar-Free Option)
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add pumpkin pie spice. Swirl around until fragrant.
- Add water and monkfruit or brown sugar to saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until monkfruit is dissolved.
- Whisk in vanilla & pumpkin puree and cook another minute.
- Allow to cool, then pour into whatever spillproof container you want. Keeps refrigerated for up to a week
- Be sure to shake before use, as pumpkin will fall to the bottom of the container.
- Will keep for 7-10 days in the refrigerator.
- Add two tablespoons to your morning coffee and add some cream.
- Make a latté by adding two tablespoons to your favorite espresso (⅓) and steamed milk (⅔)
- If you're feeling super decadent, top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon/monkfruit "sugar"