As someone who's been creating homemade beverages for more than 10 years, I can guarantee that homemade simple syrups are a game-changer for your home-crafted drinks. This pumpkin spice simple syrup recipe adds warm and cozy fall flavor to any beverage. Whether you want to add it to cocktails, mocktails, or even your morning coffee, you’ll be ready for pumpkin season with this syrup! 🎃
Use this flavorful fall simple syrup to create homemade pumpkin spice sodas, which are the perfect mocktail for an autumn gathering. You can also use it to create your own home-crafted pumpkin shaken espresso and kiss your monthly barista bills goodbye! Of course, you can use this simple syrup to craft pumpkin-forward cocktails like this pumpkin espresso martini, too!Jump to Recipe
- 💕 why you'll love this pumpkin spice simple syrup recipe:
- 🛒 ingredients
- 🎃 all about pumpkin pie spice:
- 🍳 instructions
- 🍽️ serving tips
- ℹ️ troubleshooting tips
- ⚖️ Scaling Tips
- 🔆 top tip
- ♻️ substitutions
- 🎛️ variations
- 🧰 equipment needed
- storage tips
- 🎃 How to save leftover pumpkin purée
- 💬 q+a
- 🥣 recipe
- 🥣 recipe
- 🧯food safety & other information
💕 why you'll love this pumpkin spice simple syrup recipe:
🎃 fun & seasonal. You can use this fall simple syrup in any beverage you like, making it super easy to put a seasonal spin on drinks for the whole family. From sodas to cocktails, you’ve got everyone covered!
🍂 perfect for fall. Even if you live in a place where seasons aren’t really a thing (like Florida), this pumpkin simple syrup will tell your tastebuds that the seasons are shifting.
🥰 warm & cozy. The combination of pumpkin and warming spices gives a super cozy vibe that is perfect for autumn.
- pumpkin purée - make sure to use 100% pumpkin purée, not pumpkin pie mix in this recipe. Pumpkin purée doesn’t have anything else added to it, making it the perfect base to use. Pumpkin pie mix already has spices and sugar added to it, which will impact the final recipe.
- brown sugar - you can use dark brown sugar or light brown sugar in this recipe, as they are mostly indistinguishable. Brown sugar makes a more complex simple syrup than granulated sugar because it adds another layer of warmth and depth.
- spices - You'll need cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice to make this syrup. Using whole spices makes your mix easier to strain, and gives a better overall pumpking pie flavor. Using whole spices is best because you can gently infuse the flavor of the spices without overwhelming the balance of the syrup. You can use a premade ground pumpkin pie spice if you don’t have whole spices. Either way, you will want to strain your pumpkin simple syrup using cheesecloth in order to remove larger pieces of spices.
- lemon - lemon juice is an optional ingredient, but I like to use it in my simple syrups. Fresh lemon juice brightens and intensifies the flavors of simple syrups, while cutting the sweetness a bit. It also adds a bit of acidity, which helps to lengthen the shelf life of syrups.
🎃 all about pumpkin pie spice:
This seasonal spice has reached peak fame status, particularly from the months of August - November. Typically, pumpkin pie spice consists of five classic fall flavors:
Cinnamon comes from the bark of a tree. When you see sticks of cinnamon in the store, they’re actually small rolled-up pieces of tree bark! Cinnamon adds a layer of warmth and spiciness without adding heat. Using a whole stick of cinnamon, or a cinnamon quill, allows you to steep the cinnamon bark for a more subtle flavor than ground cinnamon.
Whole cloves kind of look like the small bristly nodes on a plastic hairbrush. They have a small stick with a little circular bulb on the end. They are unopened flower buds from an evergreen tree that are dried out and then ground into a powder. Cloves are known for adding a warm, almost spicy flavor to dishes.
This Jamaican spice is actually a small berry, similar in appearance to peppercorns. It is also known as pimento and is the key flavor in a special liqueur called pimento dram. Allspice got its popular colonized name from English explorers who said it tastes like “all the spices.” 😐 It has a flavor profile similar to cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
There is absolutely no substitute for freshly grated nutmeg. It’s often considered a secret weapon in lots of dishes because it adds a complex, warm, and slightly sweet flavor to foods. Quality whole nutmeg will be sold in a shell, so you may need to crack it open to get to the actual spice inside. I love getting mine from Diaspora Co.
Ginger is a root that belongs to the same family as cardamom and turmeric. It is known for imparting a warm and spicy flavor to foods and beverages. If you’ve ever had a high-quality ginger beer, you are familiar with the spicy flavor of ginger! When using whole, fresh ginger, a little goes a very long way. This is especially true when you are grating it with a microplane zester or grater.
Step 1: Add 1 cup of water to a 1.5-quart non-reactive saucepan and place over medium heat.
Step 2: Add 1 cup of dark brown sugar to the saucepan. Heat and stir until it is dissolved.
Step 3: Add ½ cup pumpkin purée to the sugar-water mix. Stir until well combined.
Step 4: Add in the whole spices, and allow the mix to simmer for 15 minutes.
Step 5: Remove from heat and allow the spices to continue to simmer and steep as it cools.
Step 6: Add in the lemon juice if using.
Step 7: Strain the mix into a measuring cup through a fine mesh sieve.
Step 8: Store the simple syrup in a glass bottle or squeeze bottle for up to 2 weeks.
Taste your pumpkin spice simple syrup several times during the infusion process. Once it reaches a flavor you like, you can strain the mix.
You can use the cheesecloth to squeeze out extra syrup from the pumpkin purée and spice mixture. Be careful if it is still warm, you don't want to burn yourself or accidentally squeeze hot purée all over yourself!
🍽️ serving tips
It is best to use simple syrups in beverages because of their thin, easy-to-mix consistency. Many people out there on the internet will tell you that you can use your simple syrups on desserts and breakfast items. Sure, you can if you really want, but the watery texture may disappoint you. 😣 Instead, use simple syrups to flavor your drinks and make thicker sauces for topping foods. Here are a few ideas for using your syrup:
This is the best pumpkin syrup for cocktails! I love using it in classic cocktail recipes to give a sweet and spicy fall flavor to my favorites like:
- pumpkin spice mule - use this pumpkin spice simple syrup to whip up a ginger-forward pumpkin mule!
- pumpkin espresso martini - espresso martinis are begging to be made into seasonal variations, and this simple syrup is perfect for the job!
- pumpkin spice daiquiri - use this simple syrup in place of sugar in a classic daiquiri recipe, and swap out the lime juice for lemon juice.
This syrup is also great for making a pumpkin spice mocktail, or a pumpkin spice latte! Here are some ideas to get you going:
- pumpkin spice soda - make this quick and easy homemade soda pop using your pumpkin simple syrup!
- sparkling pumpkin cider - add some pumpkin simple syrup to sparking apple cider for a fall harvest mocktail!
- pumpkin shaken espresso - this is a perfect pumpkin syrup for coffee! Check out this recipe for a pumpkin shaken espresso for a seasonal iced coffee that will rival any coffee house!
Cooking, Baking & Gifting
This syrup is also great for baking and gifting, since the flavor is basically a pumpkin pie syrup!
- baking - Brush this simple syrup over layer cakes, muffins, or brownies for a boost of pumpkin flavor.
- shave ice - Use it as a shave ice topping for a seasonal spin. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon for a real treat!
- milkshakes - Add it to milkshakes for a pumpkin twist!
- gifting - Make a double or triple batch and gift it to family and friends in these adorable 8.5 ounce glass bottles.
ℹ️ troubleshooting tips
Simple syrups are easy to make, but that doesn’t mean things can’t go wrong! If your syrup didn’t turn out quite right, try these troubleshooting tips.
- too thick - if your syrup is too thick, you can add more water to thin it out.
- too thin - if your syrup is much too thin, you can allow it to simmer for longer until it thickens up to be the consistency of a rich syrup.
- too spicy - you can add more sugar if the syrup has too strong of a spice flavor, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you get a flavor you like. You can also add in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to brighten up the flavor profile.
- not enough spice flavor - infuse your spices for longer by allowing the syrup to steep for up to an hour for a stronger spice flavor. I like to allow the syrup to steep for at least 30 minutes for the best flavor.
- not pumpkin enough - if the pumpkin flavor isn’t strong enough for your liking, you can add ¼ cup more, but it will make the syrup thicker. You may need to dilute it with a bit more water to thin it out. Otherwise, it may not mix into beverages as easily.
⚖️ Scaling Tips
- You can easily scale this recipe up or down based on your needs. I sometimes like to make a double batch of syrups and freeze it in smaller squeeze bottles or gift it to family and friends!
🔆 top tip
Using whole spices gives you that "homemade pumpkin pie" flavor to this simple syrup! It tastes like the difference between roasting and puréeing your own pumpkin and using canned pie mix!
Missing an ingredient? No problem. Check out these tried-and-true substitutions, or comment below with your question. I’m here to help you troubleshoot!
- butternut squash - butternut squash purée can be substituted for pumpkin purée with little to no impact to flavor! Butternut squash is increasingly becoming easier to find year round, even in the frozen food section.
- sugar - you can use both light brown sugar or granulated sugar in this recipe if you don't have dark brown sugar. You can also use sugar like turbinado or demerara sugar. A darker sugar gives a deeper, more caramelized flavor to the syrup.
- ground pumpkin pie spice mix - if you don’t have whole spices, you can use up to 2 ½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice mix. Follow the instructions in the recipe card for using a premade spice mix.
- allspice, cinnamon, and ginger - if you can’t find pumpkin pie spice mix, you can use ½ teaspoon each of allspice, cinnamon, and ground ginger.
Feeling like a rebel?! 😈 Feel free to stray from the recipe card using these variations, or leave me a comment with your own!
- apple juice - use apple juice instead of filtered water for a super-harvest-blend of flavors.
- super pumpkin spice - add in twice the amount of spice for a more bold simple syrup that is super spice-forward.
- maple or honey - use maple syrup or honey instead of dark brown sugar for a different flavor profile! As a rule, start with ¾ cup of honey or maple syrup for every 1 cup of sugar. Then, you can increase from there as you like.
- orange - add in orange juice instead of lemon juice to play up the fall flavors.
🧰 equipment needed
- heavy-bottomed non-reactive saucepan - you can use whatever saucepan you have on hand, I love this 1.5-quart saucepan from All-Clad. The heavy bottom ensures even heating throughout the cooking time! A non-reactive pan is a pan that is made from a metal that doesn’t react to acidic substances, like stainless steel or enameled cast iron.
- non-reactive mesh strainer - a fine mesh strainer helps you to separate any sugary granules from the liquid after simmering the mixture. Make sure to use a mesh strainer that is made of stainless steel, or use a nylon straining bag for this recipe.
- measuring cups - if you don’t have a kitchen scale, you’ll likely need some measuring cups. I love using this Anchor Hocking glass measuring cup set because the cups can tolerate the quick temperature changes that happen when I’m making simple syrups.
- storage bottle or container - I like to store my simple syrups in these glass stopper bottles from Bormioli Rocco or these BPA-free plastic OXO squeeze bottles. I also use Mason jars in a pinch!
- kitchen scale - using a kitchen scale has so many benefits, from being more precise to helping you do less dishes! If you use a scale, you can put everything right in the pot as you measure it. No need to dirty up a bunch of extra dishes! I have and love this OXO kitchen scale.
- cheesecloth - this is an optional piece of equipment, but useful if you don’t want any smaller particles in your syrups! Cheesecloth will also strain out a lot of the pumpkin purée, which I like because then the syrup is super easy to mix into beverages without any gritty texture left behind. This cheesecloth is high quality and able to be rinsed and reused a few times, so you get more bang for your buck!
Store your simple syrup in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Contrary to popular belief, simple syrups can go bad.
Adding in a small amount (1-3 tsp) of lemon juice or high-proof vodka can help lengthen the shelf life of your syrups.
You can freeze your pumpkin spice simple syrup for longer storage.
Simple syrup can last in the freezer for 3-6 months when stored properly. If you are defrosting it regularly and then refreezing it, it’s best used up within 1-3 months.
If you stash it in the back of your freezer, it’ll keep for up to 6 months before the flavor starts to dissipate.
Note: Because of the high sugar content, your syrups will not freeze solid, so I don’t recommend storing them in an ice cube tray because they are next to impossible to pop out cleanly. Instead, they stay sort of “goopy,” so you’ll have to scoop the syrup out with a spoon. You will also need to make sure the ice cube tray is tightly covered so it doesn’t absorb any flavors or odors from the freezer.
These BPA-free plastic squeeze bottles are my favorite for storing simple syrups long term. I like to label them with these freezer labels, too!
🎃 How to save leftover pumpkin purée
Opening a whole can of pumpkin purée always seems like such a waste because almost no recipes out there call for using the entire can, this recipe included.🥸
I like to freeze the leftover purée in 2 tablespoon cubes using these Souper Cube trays so that I have it pre-measured for the future. You can also use your leftover pumpkin to make pumpkin spice latte ice cubes!
I do not recommend making simple syrups with artificial sweeteners. Technically, yes, you can use artificial sweeteners to make a simple syrup. However, the taste and texture will differ from using regular sugar.
Use a sugar substitute that is specifically for cooking and baking, as some sweeteners may not hold up well under high heat. Also be sure to follow the instructions on the manufacturers packaging as some artificial sweeteners are much sweeter per gram than real sugar.
This simple syrup will last for up to 2 weeks when stored in the fridge and up to 3 months when stored in the freezer.
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Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup
- 113 grams Pumpkin Purée ½ cup
- 213 grams dark brown sugar 1 cup
- 237 grams filtered water 1 cup
If using whole spices
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- 4 whole cloves
- 4 whole allspice berries
- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon grated ginger
If using pumpkin pie spice mix
- 2 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix
If using ground spices
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Add 237g (1 cup) of water to a 1.5-quart non-reactive saucepan and place over medium heat.
- Add 213g (1 cup) of dark brown sugar to the saucepan. Heat and stir until it is dissolved.
- Add 113g (½ cup) pumpkin purée to the sugar-water mix. Stir until well combined.
- Add in the whole spices, and allow the mix to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow the spices to continue to simmer and steep as it cools.
- Add in the lemon juice, if using.
- Strain the mix into a measuring cup through a fine mesh sieve.
- Store the simple syrup in a glass bottle or squeeze bottle for up to 2 weeks.
🧯food safety & other information
Food safety is an important ingredient in any recipe for success! Here are some tips to keep you safe in the kitchen!
- While you can allow this syrup to sit at room temperature, don’t leave it out for longer than 4 hours at a time. This helps to inhibit bacteria growth that can happen from the sugars in the syrup. Read more about the temperature danger zone here.
- Use sterilized containers whenever possible. You can sterilize your containers by boiling them briefly, running them through your dishwasher with the sterilize feature activated, or pouring boiling water into the containers.
- While you may be able to use your simple syrup longer than 2 weeks in the fridge, if you see any sort of cloudiness or dark spots in the syrup, throw it out. This is mold growth and is not a recipe for fun.
- Never leave simmering syrup unattended on the stove.
- If you use honey to make this syrup, avoid feeding it to children under the age of 1.
- Always keep whole and ground spices away from children and pets. Certain spices, like nutmeg, can cause hallucinations or psychoactive episodes. Some common household spices, like nutmeg, can be toxic if ingested in large quantities.