Admit it: you’re someone who counts the days until the Pumpkin Spice Latte returns to Starbucks every year. And no one blames you for that! After all, the season is for festive coffee drinks, watching the leaves change colors, sitting around a bonfire, and wearing cozy sweaters.
But the ever-popular PSL isn’t the only amazing pumpkin spice drink worth buying from Starbucks.
There’s the Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino, a beverage that boasts the same flavors as its latte cousin but wraps them in a milkshake-like package instead.
Then there’s one of our favorites, the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, a.k.a., the drink we’re showing you how to make at home.
What is the pumpkin cream cold brew?
All of us who love sipping coffee with pumpkin flavor all autumn long have the good folks at Starbucks to thank for putting us on to the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew.
This delicious pumpkin coffee drink first appeared on the international coffee franchise’s fall seasonal menu in 2019 and has been a popular pick since its debut.
The Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew is the company’s first new pumpkin-flavored beverage since the PSL’s launch in 2003, and it’s a perfect choice for people who want to celebrate the season but don’t feel like drinking hot coffee.
A Quick Q&A
Before learning how to make a copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, you should probably know a little about the original.
What’s in the pumpkin cream cold brew from Starbucks?
Starbucks Coffee makes its Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew with a few basic ingredients: ice, the company’s signature cold brew blend, vanilla syrup, pumpkin spice, and a layer of pumpkin-flavored foam.
But what’s in the delicious pumpkin cream cold foam, you ask? Cream, milk, pumpkin spice sauce, and vanilla syrup.
Does Starbucks always have pumpkin cold foam?
No! Starbucks sells pumpkin cold foam and the rest of its pumpkin-flavored cohorts for a few months only, usually late August until early December.
Fortunately, you can purchase the ingredients required to make pumpkin cold foam from your local grocery store year-round. So, no matter when you get a hankering for the traditional fall treat, you can curb your cravings so long as you whip it up yourself.
How much caffeine is in a grande pumpkin cream cold brew?
Beware, coffee lover: the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew isn’t for the faint of heart!
A grande serving of this delicious drink contains a whopping 185 milligrams of caffeine. That’s almost half of the average adult’s recommended daily caffeine intake (It’s advisable not to have more than 400 milligrams of the stuff per day, so you should probably put that fifth cup of coffee down and have some water instead.)
How many carbs are in a venti pumpkin cream cold brew?
Provided you order it without substitutions, a venti* Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew from Starbucks contains 40 grams of carbohydrates.
*If you aren’t hip to the Starbucks drink size chart, allow us to enlighten you:
- Short: 8 ounces
- Tall: 12 ounces
- Grande: 16 ounces
- Venti (Hot): 20 ounces
- Venti (Iced): 24 ounces
- Treinta (Cold): 31 ounces
A Starbucks Copycat Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew Recipe
How to Make the Cold Brew Mixture
If you haven’t already, now is the time to make a fresh batch of cold brew concentrate.
Keep in mind that the cold brewing process is lengthy, with coarse ground coffee beans steeping in room temperature or cold water for up to 24 hours. So, you’ll need to complete step one far enough in advance to have a ready-to-use batch of cold brew when you plan to make this fall favorite.
Fill a tall glass with ice. Some people want their cold coffee drinks to have lots of ice, while others prefer only three or four cubes. How much you use is up to you.
Drizzle maple syrup over the ice.
We used a tablespoon of it, but feel free to adjust the measurement according to how sweet you’d like your iced coffee beverage to be.
Finally, it’s time to add joe to the mix!
Pour the cold brew over the ice before setting the glass aside. But don’t leave it too far away; you’ll need it again as soon as you finish making the pumpkin foam.
And speaking of pumpkin foam:
How to Make Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons milk or coffee creamer
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
- Milk frother
- Frothing pitcher or small cup
Start by pouring whipping cream and milk into a glass or frothing pitcher.
Should you use whole milk, or will a non-dairy milk alternative suffice, you ask? The Starbucks recipe calls for cow’s milk, but you can use dairy-free substitutes (like the almond milk we used) to make this fluffy pumpkin spice-flavored topping.
Then, spoon a bit of pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice into the mixture before using a handheld milk frother to stir the ingredients into a well-mixed, super-fluffy layer of foam.
Grab the maple syrup and cold brew mixture you assembled earlier, and top it with the cold pumpkin foam you just made.
Finally, crown the cold foam with a dusting of pumpkin spice. While some pumpkin cream cold brew fans like to let all the ingredients blend as they sip, others would rather blend it before taking a sip.
If you fall into the latter category, use a stirring spoon to mix it all before serving. Enjoy!
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Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew Add-ins
Like nearly every other cold brew coffee drink, the pumpkin cream cold brew is customizable. We can think of a few ingredients that make the already delightful drink taste even better, like:
You probably noticed that, in our recipe, pumpkin is a foam ingredient only; Starbucks makes the drink the same way.
This isn’t enough to satisfy the most dedicated pumpkin lovers, so they might consider adding pumpkin to the cold brew, too.
Stir extra pumpkin pie spice into the brew, or invest in a bottle of pumpkin spice syrup to drizzle into your joe.
Starbucks traditionally sweetens its pumpkin cream cold brew with a hint of vanilla syrup, and our recipe uses maple syrup.
Those aren’t your only options though. Other flavors, like toffee nut, for example, complement the taste of pumpkin spice well
Sweetened condensed milk works wonders for making sweet cream cold foam, so for something that satisfies the sweet tooth a little more, tweak the recipe by adding this ingredient to the mix.
How to Make the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew Healthier
If you’re crazy about the idea of this pumpkin-flavored drink but aren’t too thrilled about the calorie or sugar content, you’ll be glad to know you don’t have to skip it. Modify instead.
The easiest thing to do for a lower-calorie, healthier drink is to exclude maple syrup.
If you can’t stomach the taste of black coffee, you can stir in monk fruit extract or stevia, which both contain zero calories. However, if you’re unbothered by black coffee, you don’t have to add any sweetener.
Your next option is to leave cow’s milk or cow’s milk-based cream out of the cold foam mixture.
Instead, use a plant-based alternative, like plain almond milk or coconut milk. Those have 41 and 46 calories per eight-ounce serving, respectively; that’s approximately 100 calories fewer than a same-size serving of cow’s milk.
The downside to using these dairy-free milk alternatives is that they don’t froth as well as whole milk, so if you hope to make an aesthetically pleasing drink, that might be a dealbreaker.
However, if you’re only concerned about flavor and nutritional value, lackluster fluff is a price worth paying for a cup that’s better for you.
Make a Homemade Version of Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew
Thanks to this DIY Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew recipe, you can enjoy one of everyone’s favorite pumpkin coffee drinks whether ’tis the season or not.
- 1 cup of cold brew coffee
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Fill a glass with ice and pour in your cold brew, maple syrup and vanilla.
- Combine whipping cream, pumpkin purre, pumpkin spice and vanilla and whisk until extra foamy.
- Top cold brew with cold foam mixture, sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice and enjoy!