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Maple Pumpkin Spice Syrup for Pumpkin Spice Lattes

October 3, 2011

My sweet baby girl will be starting her first unpaid internship.  She was lucky to have found a paying internship through the summer which in turn made me the lucky mother.  I’m really not complaining here.  She is definitely getting a great opportunity to work as free labor and gain valuable experience.  But how do unpaid college interns afford Pumpkin Spice Lattes?

I’ve told Gina we will work it out.  Thankfully this girl can cook!  Unfortunately, she has other vices.  My clothing crazed daughter will simply need to shop smart for her Fall and Winter 2011 fashions and creatively use what she already has in her TWO walk-in closets!  Cheap thrills, budget entertainment, ladies night and happy hour 2 for 1 drinks will also help this short on cash girl get through these next few months.  But what about those Pumpkin Spice Lattes that just happen to seasonally appear and SHE and I love so dearly???

Answer:  we make them at home!  And not just for less money, but healthier too!  A typical Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte comes in at a nice 380 calories (that’s with 2% milk) and whipped cream while costing somewhere between $3 -$5!

A main ingredient to the latte is the Pumpkin Spice Syrup.  I’ve seen dozens of these recipes out on the internet over the years using sugar and varying the spices.  A batch of this syrup will last in the refrigerator for a month, if it actually lasts that long!

Along with mixing it in my espresso, the uses for this syrup are endless!  Think about swirling it into oatmeal or granola for a sweet pumpkin spice flavor; or as a maple syrup for pancakes and French toast.  And if you’re so inclined for a cocktail; mix with 1 oz syrup to 2 oz vanilla vodka and 1 oz Kahlua for a pumpkin martini! – dip the rim in cinnamon sugar, yum!

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

1 ½ cups maple syrup

4 cinnamon sticks

8 whole cloves

8 whole allspice

1 teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground ginger

3 tablespoons pumpkin puree

1 whole vanilla bean split lengthwise

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Simmer gently, stirring often for about 5-6 minutes until all the ingredients are well blended.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.  Pour into a glass container and refrigerate overnight to continue to steep the flavors.  Then next day bring the syrup to room temp and strain it into a glass container through a cheesecloth or fine mesh towel.  Squeeze the cheesecloth at the end to get out all the syrupy goodness!  Store in the refrigerator for up to one month.

Pumpkin Spice Latte or Cappucino

Depending on your preferred sweetness begin by adding 1 teaspoon of syrup for each shot of espresso or strong coffee (about ½ cup).  Add an additional ½ teaspoon for a sweeter cup.

I’ve read many variations on the difference between a Latte or Cappuccino but I’ve always gone on the following:

For a Cappuccino I use equal amounts of espresso or coffee, hot milk or cream and steamed milk foam.  A Latte contains coffee or espresso, hot milk and no foam using either equal or less coffee to milk ratio.  Of course if you’re into Latte Art you can impress everyone with your artistry!  And don’t forget a topping of whipped cream, a drizzle of salted caramel sauce and grated nutmeg to totally indulge all your senses!

36 Comments leave one →
  1. October 3, 2011 10:38 am

    That’s great for your daughter. These look wonderful and so much tastier than anything you’d get at a shop.

  2. October 3, 2011 10:50 am

    You clever thing you! And well done to your daughter – hope she enjoys her internship.

  3. October 3, 2011 10:57 am

    Congrats to your daughter! I am sure you both will find ways to keep her closet well “stocked”

    I am a Ross type of shopper, always find great stuff there, and I can be very picky as far as clothing is concerned

    loved your photos, that capuccino cup peeking at the background is awesome, but so is everything else, gorgeous Fall colors!

    • October 3, 2011 1:24 pm

      Thanks so much Sally! She has been learning how to live on a budget but now things will get a bit tougher for her! All a part of growing up and learning about life! I have to check out a Ross store around here, thanks for the tip!

  4. October 3, 2011 11:13 am

    I can’t wait to make these at home!!!

  5. October 3, 2011 11:37 am

    Ingenious recipe and perfect for the fall season. :-)

  6. October 3, 2011 11:44 am

    Oh, you clever girl…
    I’d watch out, though! Big Coffee might not like you telling everyone how simple this is! :D

  7. October 3, 2011 1:30 pm

    I am soooooooooooo excited to make syrup, the lattes and the martinis! Please post the martinis soon Linda…I would love to see a nice shot of that one for inspiration. Thank you for this fantastic idea. You are a great mom…so supportive and I love that you are making her syrup for her at-home lattes. Cheers!

  8. October 3, 2011 1:35 pm

    ha-ha! Good question, since most of us working folks can’t even afford them! (not from Starbucks anyway :)) Love your homemade version. And I am so in the mood for one of these right now… it is cold, damp and dark here today (don’t even mention the word Florida to me right now Linda :)), and I need a pick-up with warm, perky fall seasonings – perfect!!

    • October 3, 2011 1:46 pm

      Kelly, you don’t know how I wish for a cooler day!! I’ll even take dark as it sounds comforting to me! (notice I left out damp!)

  9. October 3, 2011 2:45 pm

    I am making this on Friday. No doubt about it. I had my first pumpkin latte of the season over the weekend and oh was it heavenly! How awesome would it be to wake up to this delight at home! Thank you! Thank you Linda! And you had me drooling with the list of recipe possibilities as well. In oatmeal….on french toast…a martini! Wow!

    Congrats to your daughter on her internship. :)

    • October 4, 2011 8:09 pm

      I know you will love it! I’ve been sharing it at work and probably drinking more coffee, it’s that good!!

  10. October 3, 2011 4:02 pm

    I’ll take one! I’ve never made a flavored syrup before, but I think you’ve inspired me to try it out! I have yet to get a ps latte from Starbucks, and they’re usually my fall treat–I just so happen to being trying that budgeting business too. Now I just have to find some decent pumpkin puree that isn’t $2.50 a can…Okay, that’s still cheaper than buying coffee…

  11. October 3, 2011 11:27 pm

    How fun for her! I love homemade coffee drinks. This is the 3rd or 4th recipe I’ve seen for pumpkin spiced lattes.


  12. October 4, 2011 1:34 am

    What yummy syrup! I’ve always wanted to use agave but I can’t rationalize it until I finish all my honey.

  13. October 4, 2011 2:35 am

    I am salivating at the thought of a latte right now, with your spice :)

  14. October 4, 2011 3:23 am

    I have never heard of Pumpkin Spice Latte (I suppose it hasn’t crossed the ocean yet!), but I would love to taste, especially your home-made healthier version.
    I have been using agave syrup for over a year and simply love it.

  15. October 4, 2011 10:47 am

    My husband would love this latte!

  16. October 4, 2011 1:37 pm

    I love your story about your daughter!!! I think agave totally enhances the latte flavour!!! This sounds so delicious!!!

  17. October 4, 2011 2:19 pm

    How clever of you! What a great way to save the $4 plus you’d probably spend at Starbucks. I know, considering I get a Starbucks almost every morning before work. It’s just so dang expensive! This syrup sounds fabulous.

  18. October 4, 2011 3:43 pm

    Congratulations to your daughter…and your syrup sounds and looks perfect for Fall. I love using agave nectar.
    Hope you are having a great week and nice to hear about your baby girl :-)

  19. October 4, 2011 5:51 pm

    Congrats to your daughter! This is amazing looking syrup. And I love your bottle!!! It’s so nice to be able to make things like this at home!

    • October 4, 2011 8:33 pm

      Thanks for noticing my bottle! It was a gift from the an art museum from a very dear friend of mine!

  20. October 4, 2011 8:02 pm

    Man, you really love your pumpkin! c

  21. October 4, 2011 11:55 pm

    Your daughter’s stretching her wings, eh Mom? Good for her! I’ve not tried a pumpkin latte but you make ‘em sound great! I guess it’s time I try one.

    • October 5, 2011 8:34 am

      Probably not much of a guy drink so I’m not surprised you haven’t been sitting around sipping pumpkin lattes!! But give it a try; you may be pleasantly surprised!!!

  22. October 5, 2011 6:38 am

    Looks fantastic. This would make a great gift for someone…like me for instance :)

  23. October 5, 2011 8:14 am

    WOW~! Totally impressed and excited right now. My mom is coming in for the weekend so my husband and I can go to New York and this is the perfect little treat/gift to say thank you! She love pumpkin and so do I! Who doesn’t actually? I love this recipe. Great idea and thanks for sharing it!

  24. Gina! permalink
    October 5, 2011 3:39 pm

    I should’ve looked at this post earlier because I had a pumpkin spice frappachino yesterday!!!! I can’t wait to try this out since I’m going to be needing a lot of coffee this month!!


  25. October 5, 2011 3:52 pm

    Awesome, I’ve always wanted to try making my own syrups. I’d love to be able to make my own nut syrups. Cheap lattes… mmmmmmm :D

  26. October 5, 2011 5:39 pm

    Congrats to your daughter! A internship (paid or unpaid) definitely gives her a leg up in this job market. I know she will do wonderful :). And this Pumpkin Spice Syrup looks amazing.. I love it

  27. October 7, 2011 7:16 am

    congrats on your daughters internship! I wish I would have read your post before I talked about my post on how I was dissatisfied with the Starbuck’s pumpkin spice latte! I would have linked up to your site! I think I’ll go add a side note to my post to have visitors come check out your pumpkin spice syrups! I was so caught up on studying and the kids, I am late in reading blog posts! I so can’t wait to try your version, I bet it tastes amazing!


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