It is the season for all things pumpkin! This Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew recipe is a Starbucks copycat, but it's dairy-free and refined sugar-free, and it comes together in just a few minutes!
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Okay, so I will have to admit. I have never been one to indulge in the autumn favorites like pumpkin spice lattes, muffins, and whatever else is being made these days. The first day of September appears, and voila! Fall has begun in restaurants and department stores. Fall usually starts for me towards the middle or end of September as we creep into October, the true pumpkin season for me!
Pumpkin cream cold brew coffee
Since it is past the middle of September, I have enjoyed lots of pumpkin spice. If you have ever been to Starbucks during this time of the year, you are probably aware of their signature Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew drink. If you haven't tried it, get ready for the BEST iced coffee drink of your life. I'm talking creamy, slightly spicy, and full-on fall. Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew is an iced coffee drink topped with pumpkin spice foam.
While the original recipe from Starbucks is not dairy-free, my recipe is dairy-free, naturally sweetened with maple syrup, and comes together in just minutes.
Now, I know what you're thinking. Dairy-free and refined sugar-free? Won't that mean that there are many ingredients I will have to buy at the store and potentially not use again? No! This recipe uses simple ingredients you most likely have on hand. No nuts, no expensive sweeteners, and no food products wasted away in the back of the pantry.
- cold brew coffee - Cold brew coffee is the base of this drink, not espresso, which is the base of lattes and cappuccinos. There are a few options for making your own cold brew or purchasing it at the store. See notes below.
- coconut cream - Yes, you read that right. Coconut cream, not coconut milk. This recipe is dairy-free, and I love the thickness and creaminess of coconut cream.
- pumpkin puree - It only makes sense to add real pumpkin to a pumpkin drink!
- pumpkin spice - Slightly spicy and slightly sweet, this spice blend adds those signature flavors of fall
- maple syrup -Naturally sweetened, maple syrup is also vegan and better for you than corn syrup and white sugar.
- vanilla extract - any baker knows the depth and flavor vanilla adds to baked goods. The same goes for this drink.
How to make
- The first step in making this Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew is to brew some coffee at home and store it in a large Mason jar in the refrigerator until cold. I like to brew a little extra morning coffee and use that as my cold brew for this recipe. Alternatively, you can buy a cold brew at the store. Next, add some vanilla extract and maple syrup to the cold brew and stir. Side note: If you really want to, you can use sweetened vanilla syrup to add to the cold brew, but I have not been able to find one that is refined sugar-free. Set aside while you make the pumpkin cream.
- Next, make the pumpkin cream or, as some like they say, the pumpkin foam. Mix together the coconut cream (the thick part from full-fat canned coconut milk), pumpkin puree (Yes! Real pumpkin is a must. It's a pumpkin drink, after all!), pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Using a milk frother or a small whisk, blend the ingredients together until combined. A milk frother helps add some air to the pumpkin cream giving it a lighter texture. Lastly, top the pumpkin cream cold brew off with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. Give it a good stir and enjoy!
Bottled cold brew
While I usually make my own cold brew at home by brewing hot coffee and then storing it in a large Mason jar in the refrigerator until cold, there are many store-bought cold brew options. My favorites are from Califia, Starbucks, and Wandering Bear (this one is organic!). Just make sure to buy an unsweetened one. You can also get all fancy and buy a cold brew coffee machine like this one. In my opinion, the homemade cold brew is just as good.
How to make cold brew coffee at home
Like I said above, I usually make my own cold brew coffee at home. While it's technically not cold brew since I brew it using hot water. It tastes the same to me and is the easiest method. My cold brew coffee is essentially iced coffee. I do this by brewing an extra two to three cups of coffee in the morning, then pouring the coffee into a large Mason jar and storing it in the refrigerator until cool.
There are also cold brew coffee machines that are specific to making cold brew, but I find cooled coffee is just as good. For an exact recipe, here is one from Simply Recipes. This recipe makes cold brew coffee by grinding whole coffee beans and then steeping them in water for around 12 hours. There's no heating involved hence the term cold brew. The cold brew method removes a lot of the acid and bitterness that is associated with coffee.
Do not brew hot coffee then pour it over ice while it is hot. This will dilute the coffee, and it will result in a watered-down cold brew coffee drink.
How to make pumpkin spice
Pumpkin spice can be purchased at the grocery store. I usually have the ingredients in my spice cabinet, so I make my own. The recipe I follow is from Allrecipes. I will triple the recipe and store leftovers in a small spice jar to use later on.
- plant-based milk - The coconut cream is what makes the pumpkin cream thick and creamy. If you want to substitute another plant-based milk like almond or cashew milk, just know the pumpkin cream cold brew will not be as thick.
- sweetener - The sweetener in this recipe is maple syrup. If you wish to use another sweetener, I recommend using honey. If you are looking to keep this recipe vegan, another option is to use date syrup. Please know that if you use date syrup, the color of the pumpkin cream will change slightly, and date syrup is not as sweet as maple syrup.
How to store leftovers
I recommend storing the cold brew and the pumpkin cream separately. Store the cold brew coffee in an airtight container such as a mason jar in the fridge for up to one week.
Combine the ingredients for the pumpkin cream. Place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. When you're ready to drink, pour the cold brew into a glass with some ice. Froth or whisk the pumpkin cream until fluffy, then pour over the top of the cold brew. Sprinkle with pumpkin spice or cinnamon dust.
While I have not tried making this drink hot, I'm sure it would taste delicious! Microwave or gently warm the cold brew on the stovetop, then top with the pumpkin cream. Alternatively, you can also use brewed coffee then top with pumpkin cream.
This recipe only uses a small amount of pumpkin puree. While it's only a small amount, it's essential to the recipe. Here are some ideas of what to cook and bake with the leftover pumpkin puree:
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Paleo Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Pie Bars
- Pumpkin Ice Cream
- Grain-free Pumpkin Spice Granola
- Paleo Pumpkin Bread
- Apple Pumpkin Breakfast Bake
- Paleo Pumpkin Muffins
- Paleo Pumpkin Pie Pudding
Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew (Starbucks Copycat)
For the cold brew:
- 3 cups cold brew coffee
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the pumpkin cream:
- ½ cup coconut cream
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 heaping tsp pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp pumpkin spice
- The base of this drink is cold brew coffee. Either brew some coffee at home and store it in a large Mason jar in the refrigerator until cold. I like to brew a little extra morning coffee and use that as my cold brew for this recipe. Alternatively, you can buy cold brew at the store.
- Next, add some vanilla extract and maple syrup to the cold brew and stir. Place ice into two large glasses and pour the coffee over top. Set aside while you make the pumpkin cream.
- Mix together the coconut cream (the thick part from full-fat canned coconut milk), pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Using a milk frother or a small whisk, blend the ingredients together until combined. A milk frother helps add some air to the pumpkin cream giving it a lighter texture.
- Scoop some of the pumpkin cream and place on top of the cold brew coffee. Lastly, top the pumpkin cream cold brew off with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. Give it a good stir and enjoy!