I meant to post this recipe during the PSL frenzy at the beginning of fall, but alas, it was just not ready yet. After several attempts, I am happy to say that I think I’ve come up with the perfect pumpkin spice syrup. If you’re anything like me, you haven’t grown tired of all the pumpkin flavored everything quite yet. This syrup will make whipping up frothy homemade PSLs a total breeze. With the way I’m guzzling pumpkin lattes this fall, that is a very good thing.
This syrup is basically spiced-up and pumpkin-infused date syrup. I was inspired to create it when I was working on my caramel apple recipe. Date syrup, unlike date paste, is made from soaking and mashing up dates in hot water, straining out the solids and cooking down the liquid into a sweet and swirling syrupy deliciousness. It was just begging to be transformed into a autumn-y syrup for lattes.
Most flavored coffee syrups require about a cup or more of sugar. Sometimes they call for sugar and maple syrup. Even subbing coconut sugar wouldn’t make me feel ok about dumping in that much sweetener. My goal was to keep the syrup from becoming so sweet that you couldn’t add enough of it to get the pumpkin-y spice flavor without o.d.-ing on sugar. Dates to the rescue. These are the basic steps to make your very own pumpkin spice syrup with no refined sugar. No, you’re not having deja vu, this is also exactly how you start out making my caramel apples.
See, it’s as simple as that! The only annoying part is waiting for it to cook down. It feels like forever, but it’s really only about 15-20 minutes. Believe me, the end result is worth it. This syrup makes for the most tasty, real pumpkin, dazzling spiced latte I’ve ever tasted without the cloying sweetness you get from the latte joints. I have to tell myself to slow down when I’m drinking these, because it tastes just so dang good I want to chug it!
Have I convinced you to make your own pumpkin spice latte syrup yet? While I was pretty happy mixing up pumpkin puree and sweetener and spices each and every time I made a homemade psl, this syrup takes out about 3 extra steps. That initial little chunk of time to cook this up will save you loads of time later, when you’re jonesing for a healthy pumpkin spice coffee drink and need it like yesterday. You’re welcome. 🙂
Pumpkin Spice Date Syrup for Lattes (but it’s delicious on anything – oatmeal, pancakes, nice cream, a spoon… just sayin’)
Serving 2 tablespoons, Makes 8 servings
- 10 large juicy medjool dates, pitted
- hot water (boil some in your kettle)
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup coconut milk (I used So Delicious, or you can use homemade)
- 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla (add after boiling)
- optional – if you prefer a sweeter syrup, add 3-4 tablespoons of coconut sugar before boiling
- Place pitted dates in a shallow, wide bowl and cover with 1 cup of boiling water. Let soak until the water is warm, then use a potato masher to mash the dates into a thick slurry. Take another bowl and place a metal strainer lined with cheesecloth over it. Add the dates to the strainer and pick up the corners of the cheesecloth and squeeze the liquid out of the dates. Alternatively you can use a nut milk bag to strain. Keep squeezing until you’ve gotten all the liquid out.
- Add the strained dates back to the soaking bowl and repeat the process. Just use the cooled water in the kettle to do another quick soak with 3/4 cup of warm water. Mash again. Strain through the cheesecloth or nut milk bag. Now you have your date liquid.
- Add the date liquid to a medium pot and stir in all of the ingredients except the vanilla. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and keep it at a low boil/simmer until the syrup is sweet and thickened. I kept tasting mine every five minutes or so. It will take about 20 minutes. I ended up with a cup of syrup. You can boil longer if you want it sweeter, but it will be thicker and the yield will be less.
To make the perfect latte:
I know I sound like a total health nut here but I like my lattes caffeine-free, in addition to refined sugar free. I know, I know. But they really are delicious and don’t turn me into a jittery ball of nauseousness.
I like to make my lattes with Dandy Blend, which is a naturally caffeine free coffee alternative made with dandelion root, chicory root and barley, and tastes remarkably like coffee. I love this stuff, it is an instant powder so it makes these lattes even faster and easier. Alternatively, you can use strong brewed coffee or espresso. I used to love using my french press to make coffee fast.
- Brew your coffee. I take my mug and add about 2-3 tsp of Dandy Blend then fill it up about 1/4 – 1/3 full with hot water. Then I add about 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin spice syrup, 3 if it’s a big mug. Stir it up.
- Heat you milk of choice in a pot over the stove, or in the microwave. I like almond or coconut milk, but any will work. Once it’s hot, carefully add it to your blender and blend on medium until it looks frothy. Pour into your mug, holding back the foam with a large spoon until the end. Top with more syrup!