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This homemade pumpkin cold foam recipe is the best Starbucks copycat recipe to make your favorite pumpkin drinks at home. Use it to make pumpkin spice lattes or add it on top of some cold brew coffee for a delicious, autumn drink.
Why You Will Love This Recipe:
- It’s just as good, if not better, than what you’d buy at Starbucks. But making it at home is much less expensive.
- The pumpkin flavor comes from this homemade pumpkin syrup, which means there are no artificial flavors.
- It is easy to make a large batch of pumpkin syrup and store it to be able to make pumpkin cold foam every morning in just a minute or two.
- Unlike other versions, this recipe is truly a “pumpkin cold foam” and does not contain any cream. This makes it healthier and also gives you the option to make it vegan or dairy-free.
- You can use it to make pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin cold brews and pumpkin chai lattes.
Pumpkin Cold Foam vs Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam
These terms are often used interchangeably, but they are two almost identical, but separate recipes.
Pumpkin Cold Foam
Starbucks “cold foam” is made with milk and a bit of vanilla. It doesn't contain any cream. Similarly, this pumpkin cold foam is made with milk and pumpkin spice syrup.
The milk is blended in Starbucks’ special blender to froth it up. For a copycat recipe, using an electric frother gives the closest results.
Pumpkin cold foam is lighter, and while some milk will drip down into the drink, it mostly sits on top of the drink, like foam on a cappuccino.
Because cold foam doesn't contain cream, it has less fat and is lower in calories. It is also easy to make a vegan or dairy free version by using oat milk or almond milk in the place of 2% milk.
Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam
Starbucks cream cold foam is almost just like cold foam, but in addition to milk, it also contains heavy cream. The cream creates a richer, thicker texture.
Pumpkin cream cold foam also contains pumpkin syrup or some other sort of pumpkin flavoring.
Instead of using a frother, the cream cold foam is whipped to give it its thick, velvety texture.
When poured on drinks, there is a small layer of foam that sits on top, but most of it will seep down into the drink.
In general, pumpkin cream cold foam is higher in calories and fat due to the use of heavy cream. It is also difficult to make a vegan or dairy free version.
If you are looking to make pumpkin cream cold foam rather than pumpkin cold foam, it is very easy to alter this recipe to do so! Whip together 4 tablespoon heavy whipping cream, 2 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk, ½ tablespoon milk, and 1 ½ tablespoon of pumpkin spice syrup. Use immediately.
Ways to Use Pumpkin Cold Foam
There is no limit to the types of drinks that you can add pumpkin cold foam to! Here are some fall favorites to try:
- Pumpkin Spice Latte: Pour the pumpkin foam on top of 1 to 2 shots of freshly brewed espresso. Sprinkle it with a dash of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon.
- Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte: This drink can be served as either a warm or iced chai tea pumpkin latte. Mix 1 tablespoon of pumpkin spice syrup with ½ cup of chai concentrate. Top with pumpkin cold foam.
- Pumpkin Cold Brew: Mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons of syrup with cold brew coffee. Top with pumpkin cold foam.
Ingredients & Substitutions:
- Milk: Use 1%, 2% or whole milk. For a dairy-free or vegan option use a barista blend of either almond milk or oat milk.
- Pumpkin Purée: Pumpkin purée gives the pumpkin syrup most of its flavor. Make sure to use pumpkin purée, and not pumpkin pie filling, which already has spices mixed into it.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: You can buy pumpkin pie spice pre-made or easily make your own batch by combining a few common spices.
- Cinnamon: A dash of cinnamon complements the other flavors well.
- Brown Sugar: Brown sugar adds a rich caramel flavor to the syrup. You can substitute this with granulated sugar if needed.
- Water: Water gives the syrup the proper consistency.
- Vanilla Extract: A tad of vanilla extract gives the syrup a bit of sweetness with a hint of vanilla.
- A saucepan to make the pumpkin spice syrup in.
- A whisk to whisk the syrup ingredients together.
- A cheesecloth to strain out the pumpkin purée.
- An electric frother or a handheld frother.
Step By Step Instructions
Step 1: Add the pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie syrup, cinnamon, water, and brown sugar to a saucepan. Heat the ingredients, bringing them to a gentle simmer. Continue to simmer for 3 to 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Step 2: Let the syrup cool for a few minutes, then strain the mixture through a cheesecloth, pressing lightly. You should be left with a smooth, liquid syrup.
Step 3: Add the milk and 1 ½ tablespoons of pumpkin spice syrup to an electric frother. Froth. Immediately pour on your desired drink and serve.
Methods For Frothing
Starbucks uses a specially designed blender to make cold foam. For copycat recipes at home, there are several options to give the foam the frothy consistency depending on what equipment you have available.
An electric frother is the most expensive option, but it gives the best results by far. Add the pumpkin spice syrup and milk and choose the “cold froth” option.
A handheld frother is a cheaper alternative to the electric frother and does a decent job. However, the froth formed won’t be as long-lasting. Froth on “high” with the frother head fully submerged in the mixture for about 30 seconds until it has doubled in volume.
Add the ingredients to a blender cup and blend on high for about 30 seconds. You can also use an immersion blender, but make sure the blender stays fully submerged in liquid.
For this method, you may need to double the quantity of pumpkin foam that you are making as it requires more liquid to work properly. Add the milk and pumpkin syrup to the french press, then quickly move the plunger up and down, until the mixture has doubled in volume.
This is the least effective method to make cold foam, but it is still a decent option if that is all that you have on hand. Add the milk and pumpkin syrup to a mason jar, put on the lid and shake vigorously. Serve immediately as the foam will melt much more quickly than the other methods.
Pumpkin cold foam doesn’t store well once it is made. For best results, use it immediately after it has been frothed.
However, to save time, you can prepare a large batch of pumpkin spice syrup and store it in the fridge so making pumpkin cold foam only takes a couple minutes.
Store pumpkin syrup in an airtight glass container in the fridge for up to 1 to 2 weeks. Shake well before using.
You can also freeze the syrup for up to 2 to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight.
- Don’t boil the pumpkin syrup. When making the pumpkin syrup, it should come to a gentle simmer. Boiling the syrup for too long or at too high a temperature can result in too much water evaporating, leaving you with a thick syrup.
- Don’t skip the cheesecloth. A cheesecloth to strain the syrup is essential in this recipe. If you try to strain the syrup with a fine mesh strainer, the pumpkin purée chunks will squeeze through. This will result in a thick syrup with pumpkin chunks. If the syrup has chunks in it, it will not froth properly.
- Froth on “cold” for iced drinks. If you are using pumpkin cold foam on iced drinks, such as an iced chai tea pumpkin latte, use the “cold froth” setting on your electric frother to make the cold foam without heating it.
The best method for frothing is to use an electric frother. If the cold foam is not frothing with the electric frother, it may be that there were chunks of pumpkin purée that were not properly strained out. Make sure the pumpkin syrup is liquid in consistency and has no pumpkin chunks in it.
For a completely vegan pumpkin cold foam, replace the milk with almond milk or oat milk. Use a “barista” blend, which is designed to froth better to give the same cold foam consistency.