Sweet Happy Life

Homemade Starbucks Gingerbread Latte

Every winter there are two drinks I look forward to at Starbucks: the Gingerbread Latte and the Caramel Brûlée Latte. Back in our Brooklyn days I could grab these without even going out of my way and only a month ago we had a Starbucks across the street. But now we’ve gone all suburban and lets face it, there’s no way I’m bundling a toddler into the car in 3F weather just so I can drink my favorite coffee. The solution? Homemade!

The last time I created a homemade version of a Starbucks drink was in my graduate school days, when I made a Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe. But I had a lot more time on my hands then, so this time I had to do my tinkering in the wee hours of the morning while it was still dark outside and not a creature was stirring (except our puppy). The Gingerbread Latte was a bit more work up front because you have to make a gingerbread syrup, but there’s enough for many cups of coffee and the syrup can be stored in the fridge for a couple months so the initial time investment is worth it. The Caramel Brûlée Latte was much easier and I’ll be sharing that recipe later this week.

Though there are few merits to getting up before the sun here’s one of them: not only did I have time to tinker with recipes, but I enjoyed my coffee at a leisurely pace (no reheating!) and knew that I’d get an entire slice of cinnamon swirl bundt cake to myself. When the munchkin woke up and started running around the house with his puppy I felt ready to deal with the chaos. It’s amazing what an unhurried cup of coffee and a piece of cake can do for a mama’s soul.


Homemade Starbucks Gingerbread Latte
A yummy recipe for homemade Starbucks Gingerbread Latte
For Gingerbread Syrup
  • 2 cups water
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For Gingerbread Latte
  • ½ cup milk
  • 8 oz coffee*
  • 3-4 tablespoons gingerbread syrup (according to taste)
  • Whipped cream
  • Ground cinnamon
For Gingerbread Syrup
  1. Combine the water, sugar, ginger and cinnamon in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat when the syrup has thickened somewhat. Stir in vanilla extract and allow to cool slightly before using.
  2. Once cooled you can store the syrup in a tupperware or bottle in the fridge for about 2 months. Shake well before using after the syrup has been refrigerated.
For Gingerbread Latte, Makes 1 Serving
  1. Pour milk into your coffee mug. Stir the syrup and add desired amount to mug. Heat milk-syrup mixture in the microwave until hot, about 1 minute. Pour in brewed coffee (I just stick my coffee mug under my Keurig at this point and hit the 8oz setting). Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
*I realize that a “latte” is technically steamed milk + espresso, but I don’t have an espresso machine. If you’re lucky enough to have one I imagine you could increase the amount of milk and use a shot or two of espresso instead of coffee. :)

Update 12/9/14: Several folks have emailed me asking how thick the gingerbread syrup should get. It doesn't need to be very thick since you are essentially make a flavored simple syrup. You want it to be a thin, but pourable syrup that is not as liquid as plain water. Hope this helps!

22 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Thanks so much for this! Now where do I find rhe recipe for the cinnamon swirl bundt cake to go with it?! Hoping for a link! Delicious way to start the day!

    • You’re welcome! So glad you enjoyed the recipe. I’ve been thinking of making this myself today since it’s starting to feel like Autumn in Vermont. :)

  • Thank you so much for this recipe :) it’s perfect for a poor student ;) haha, made a batch to last the whole winter. The vanilla really adds another layer to the syrup and I added some ground cloves (because I love them). Thanks again, it’s delicious!

    • You’re welcome! I started coming up with these Starbucks recipes when I was in grad school and now that I’m a mom I STILL use them all the time. Starbucks prices just don’t mix with my coffee habit. ;)

  • Thanks Aly , I appreciate all your hard work and sharing the recipes. I made the gingerbread latte today. What a treat to enjoy on a very cold, -26c, Canadian winter day.



    • You’re welcome! Thank you for taking the time to comment and so glad you liked the recipe. It’s been in the negatives here too and a warm cup of homemade Starbucks certainly hits the spot.

  • Hey hey hey :)
    I was just wondering what the reasoning is behind putting the vanilla essence in last (as I accidentally put it in first)

    • Hi Susie! The reason I put the vanilla extract last is because extract has about 45% alcohol. Adding it last helps keep the most flavor in my opinion, but if you want to add it earlier that’s not going to alter the recipe drastically. Hope you enjoyed your coffee!

  • This recipe is AMAZING!! Thank you so very much for posting this! I just made it for the first time and my drink is awesome!

  • I was craving a gingerbread latte but didn’t want to go out in the cold, and I found your recipe. Thank you for sharing it! I made mine with Timothy’s Winter Carnival (k- cup) and some homemade whipped cream. It’s so yummy! :D

    • You’re welcome! It’s been hovering between -3F and -13F here in Vermont so I can definitely relate to not wanting to head outdoors for coffee. :) Glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  • This ginger bread latte recipe is better than Starbucks and I love that you don’t need an espresso machine to make it. My daughter loves it too! Thank you for sharing.

  • I just stumbled upon this recipe and thought I’d share a tip,
    you can make your own steamed milk in a saucepan by whisking it on a high heat, don’t add anything with sugar until the heat is off as it will burn.
    The more you wish the more foam you will get.
    (I like mine extra creamy so I use half&half. )

    I can’t wait to make this thanks for sharing!!