Pumpkin spice syrup is a sweet amalgam of classic holiday flavors, steeped in a white and brown sugar simple syrup. This homemade simple syrup will tickle your nose with heady holiday spices like ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Use it to enhance everything from your morning oatmeal to poached pears, boozy fall cocktails and cozy winter drinks. My holiday spiced simple syrup recipe only takes 15 minutes to make and keeps for weeks.
Are simple syrups, simple to make?
Yes. After all, simple syrup is just sugar dissolved in water. Seriously.
Infused simple syrups have a few more ingredients, but they’re easy to make and a great way to amp up the flavors in everything from desserts to cocktails.
I make (and use) flavored syrups all the time from this herbal honey thyme simple syrup to this rhubarb ginger and summer peach syrup to my tropical passion fruit and guava vanilla versions. These homemade syrups are the starting point for some of my most popular recipes, and this amazing winter spiced syrup recipe is a standout.
Does pumpkin spice syrup contain pumpkin?
Um, no. This recipe contains no pumpkin… That’s because “pumpkin spice” is just that — spices that flavor pumpkin.
Look, plain pumpkin puree kind of smells like dog food, right? It’s only the warm blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger etc. that makes pumpkin not only tolerable, but desirable.
So when making a pumpkin spice syrup, you don’t actually need (or want) to put pumpkin in it.
Based on the huge number of pumpkin simple syrups that do contain pumpkin, I think I’m in the minority with my assertion, but I’m sticking to my guns.
Anyway, did you really want to open a can of pumpkin puree, only to use a quarter cup in the recipe? Nope. I didn’t think so.
Ingredients for pumpkin spice syrup
- Granulated Sugar
- Brown Sugar
- Ground Cloves
- Ground Allspice
- Dried Ground Ginger
- Freshly Ground Nutmeg
- Ground Mace (optional)
- Vanilla Extract
Many infused syrups use whole spices to flavor the sugar water. That’s fine, however, I’ve found that it takes longer to steep and when I’m making a flavored syrup, I usually want to use it ASAP.
Therefore, I’ve opted for using ground spices in this recipe (so long as they’re fresh and don’t have a sell-by date from the second Bush administration).
You will need a very fine mesh sieve or a nut milk bag to strain away the spice sediment from the syrup.
How to make winter spiced simple syrup
- Add the sugars, spices and water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Simmer the mixture until the sugars have dissolved, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Let the pumpkin spices steep in the syrup for 15 minutes.
- Strain the syrup through the mesh sieve and discard the solids.
- Transfer to a glass container with a tight fitting lid to store.
You’ll want to use the finest mesh sieve to strain the ground spice particles from the syrup to give it a clearer appearance. I tried using a coffee filter, but it was slow going. Another option would be to use a nut milk strainer.
What can I do with pumpkin spice syrup?
I’ve actually got a BUNCH of recipes I’ll be sharing with you over the next few months, but in the meantime, here’s some thought-starters.
- Add a few teaspoons to hot tea instead of sugar (I like it with Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger or Mandarin Orange Spice tea).
- Drizzle over morning yogurt or oatmeal instead of honey or sugar.
- Swap out plain simple syrup for pumpkin spice in your favorite fall or winter cocktails.
- Make a coffee latte by adding a few tablespoons of pumpkin syrup and steamed milk to a mug. Garnish with whipped cream and grated nutmeg.
- Make a milkshake! Vanilla or coffee ice cream + flavored syrup + milk & blend until smooth. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
- Brush pumpkin spice syrup over yellow cake before frosting to add a wintry element to the dessert.
- Add to hot apple cider to amp up the holiday flavors.
- Toss a few tablespoons with a bowl of suprémed oranges for a spiced citrus compote.
Pumpkin spice syrup FAQ’s
No. It can be stored in a cool, dry place like your pantry but if you feel better keeping it in the fridge, that’s fine too.
Yes, but don’t freeze it in a glass bottle (to avoid shattering). Instead, pour the spiced simple syrup into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid, then transfer the “ice cubes” to a freezer storage bag or container.
Yes, but it will need to steep for several hours to infuse the syrup with the pumpkin spice flavors before straining. Use 2-3 cinnamon sticks, a teaspoon of whole cloves, a teaspoon of whole allspice berries, 2-3 slices of fresh ginger. Substitute 1-2 whole star anise in place of nutmeg.
More recipes that use homemade simple syrups:
- Fresh Peach Bourbon Sour
- Rhubarb Ginger Gin Rickey
- Homemade Guava Sherbet
- Bourbon Cider Punch
- Rum Passion Fruit Cake
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup
- fine mesh sieve
- strainer bag (optional)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground mace
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add the granulated and brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and mace and water to a small saucepan.
- Heat over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture comes to a boil and the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and let the syrup cool for 15 minutes.
- Pour the simple syrup through the fine mesh strainer or use the strainer bag to remove the excess spices and sediment.
- Place the funnel in the mouth of a tall jar and pour the spiced simple syrup through the funnel to fill the jar. Seal it. You can store the simple syrup in the refrigerator.