Give your favorite beverages and sweets the ultimate fall touch with this homemade pumpkin spice simple syrup recipe! Real pumpkin purée, rich brown sugar and warm spices are simmered together to make one cozy flavored syrup. Making your own pumpkin syrup couldn’t be easier with a few simple ingredients, and it’s much more flavorful than those bland store-bought syrups. Plus, making this homemade syrup takes less than 10 minutes of hands-on preparation time.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Full of fall flavor: Every cozy sip is loaded with autumn spices. No matter how you enjoy this pumpkin simple syrup, you’re sure to feel festive fall vibes.
One ultra versatile recipe: Simple syrup may primarily be known as a cocktail sweetener, but that’s just one use. Pumpkin spice lattes, anyone? Plus, I'll bring you so many other ways to use this better-than-Starbucks pumpkin spice syrup.
Make well ahead of party time: No stirring over the stove while your guests wait for their drinks. We can make this syrup anywhere from days to weeks ahead of time for easy entertaining.
Dark brown sugar: I prefer dark brown sugar over light brown sugar. Dark brown sugar has more molasses for a richer flavor, but you can absolutely substitute light brown sugar is that’s what you have on hand.
Pumpkin purée: Canned pumpkin purée works perfectly, but if you’re extra ambitious, you’re welcome to use homemade pumpkin purée.
Pumpkin pie spice: We use our own blend of spices, which includes cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice.
Vanilla extract: Make sure you use real vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla, for the best flavor.
Step 1: We stir together the brown sugar, water, pumpkin purée and pumpkin pie spices in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat (photo 1).
Step 2: When the mixture boils and the sugar dissolves, we turn off the heat and add the vanilla extract (photo 2).
Step 3: Now we let the mixture steep to infuse those wonderful fall spices (photo 3). I recommend steeping for a minimum of 15 minutes, but feel free to steep for even longer.
Step 4: After steeping, we strain the spiced pumpkin syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a shallow bowl. While straining, I find it’s helpful to stir the pumpkin purée to help separate the syrup (photos 4 and 5).
And that’s it! We’re ready to put our homemade pumpkin spice syrup to good use. Isn't pumpkin spice season the best?
How to Store and Freeze
Here’s how to properly store that delicious syrup.
- Allow the pumpkin spice syrup to cool completely at room temperature.
- Transfer it to a sterile, airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for two to three weeks.
- To freeze, pour the syrup into 1-ounce ice cube trays and place in the freezer until solid.
- Once the ice cubes freezes, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag.
Delicious Ways to Use Pumpkin Syrup
Of course, this pumpkin spice simple syrup makes fabulous fall cocktails, such as a pumpkin spice margarita, pumpkin espresso martini, pumpkin spice old fashioned and pumpkin spice mule. You can simply replace regular simple syrup for this pumpkin syrup in equal proportions to give your drink a fall twist. Here are a few other favorite ways to enjoy this delightful syrup.
- Make your own pumpkin latte or pumpkin cold foam — no more overpriced coffees and long lines for you. Or you can keep it simple and just stir it into your cold brew or cup of coffee.
- Brush onto a cake for more pumpkin spice flavor.
- Mix into powdered sugar to create a glaze to add to this pumpkin pound cake.
- Drizzle on top of waffles, pancakes or French toast for a fall brunch.
- Stir into hot chocolate or oatmeal.
- Spoon on top of ice cream — bonus points for using my bourbon-pumpkin ice cream.
- Blend with pumpkin purée, yogurt, vanilla protein powder and ice to make a pumpkin spice smoothie.
As always, I’d love to hear the fun ways you put this syrup to use, so please share how you're making the most of pumpkin season.
Pumpkin spice is a premixed blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice — each used in this recipe. I prefer to make my own blend for fresher flavor, which is why I included the spices individually, but you can use a store-bought mix if you prefer.
While I've always made this recipe with ground spices, you’re more than to experiment with your own proportions of whole spices.
Once strained, you should get about 1 ⅓ cups. That should give you just over 10 ounces. Depending on what you’re sipping, you can expect to use anywhere between ½ to 1 ounce per drink.
I included real pumpkin purée because so many people want it in their pumpkin syrup. But let’s be real — the pumpkin flavor from a purée isn't very strong. It’s more about the spices, so if you just want the pumpkin spice flavor without the purée, you can skip the pumpkin purée.
If you’d like, you can use a sugar-free brown sugar alternative. Just make sure you look at the package’s substitution recommendation. These sugar-free alternatives aren't always an equal swap.
Variations and Substitutions
Try another sweetener: Feel free to swap the brown sugar for white sugar, maple syrup, honey or even a combination. Traditional simple syrup uses a 1:1 ratio of water and sugar, so as long as you maintain that ratio, you’re good.
Use a whole vanilla bean: Instead of vanilla extract, slice the vanilla bean open and use a sharp knife to scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds along with the entire vanilla bean pod to the mixture.
Add one or two chai tea bags: Once you turn off the heat, add the chai tea bags as it steeps. It’s perfect for making a pumpkin chai latte.
Shake before using: This is a thicker syrup than your classic simple syrup, and with those spices, a quick shake helps everything come together before using.
Make sure you don’t use pumpkin pie filling: Pumpkin pie filling includes spices and sugar, so it will throw off the recipe and make it too sweet. We want actual pumpkin purée.
Grate your own nutmeg: You can buy ground nutmeg, but the flavor is so much better if you freshly grate it. Besides, it only takes a few seconds.
Allow to cool completely before storing: This helps avoid crystallization.
Don’t use old spices: Spices start to lose their potency after six months.
Stir occasionally while heating: A little stirring helps dissolve the sugar.
If you plan on sipping a pumpkin cocktail with dinner, only the coziest of meals will do. Try these apple cider short ribs or apple cider pot roast. These meaty dishes are big and rich and go nicely with the brown sugar, and you’ll get some complementary spices.
Of course, you might want to enjoy a pumpkin drink with a festive baked good. If you opt for a pumpkin spice latte, this pumpkin gingerbread completes your autumn brunch. For a dessert, you’ll love this maple-bourbon pumpkin pie or brown butter-pumpkin cupcakes.
For those times you’re craving fall flavors, whip up this pumpkin spice simple syrup. Whether you use it for cocktails, coffee or dessert, you’ll savor that medley of warm pumpkin spice.
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Homemade Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup
- Small saucepan
- Fine-mesh sieve
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup pumpkin purée not pumpkin pie filling
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg preferably freshly grated
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a small saucepan, stir together the water, dark brown sugar, pumpkin purée, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, ground cloves and ground allspice. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring every so often to help dissolve the sugar.
- When the mixture boils and the sugar dissolves, turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Allow the mixture to steep for a minimum of 15 minutes.
- Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve over a shallow bowl in the sink. Stir the mixture in the fine-mesh sieve to help separate the syrup from the pumpkin purée. Let the mixture cool completely and then store in a sterile, airtight container in the refrigerator. Shake before using. Enjoy!
- The syrup should last two to three weeks in the refrigerator.
- Make sure your spices are fresh. Spices start to lose potency after six months.
- Double check to ensure you're using pumpkin purée, not pumpkin pie filling.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.