As Christmas twinkles on the horizon this time of year, there’s nothing more inviting than cozying up with a warmly spiced holiday drink. Today you’re in for a treat with my copycat recipe for the beloved Starbucks Gingerbread Latte. With just four basic ingredients and homemade gingerbread syrup, this recipe is a perfect match for the coffeehouse classic at a fraction of the cost!
Imagine savoring the perfect balance of rich espresso, frothy milk of choice, and the warm, spiced notes of gingerbread – all combined to taste like a cozy holiday hug. But here's the best part: You only need four simple ingredients and about 5 minutes of prep to recreate this magic at home!
Before you know it, you’ll have a cozy drink that's a dead-ringer for the Starbucks classic. This recipe is the ultimate budget-friendly solution to your holiday cravings, letting you enjoy the luxurious taste of a homemade gingerbread latte, at a price even Scrooge would approve of.
Get ready to espresso your love for the holidays with this brew-tifully convincing homemade gingerbread latte recipe. It’s just the jingle juice you need to get in the spirit of the season!
- What is a gingerbread latte?
- What does it taste like?
- Why You’ll Love This Copycat Starbucks Gingerbread Latte Recipe
- Ingredients Needed
- How To Make A Gingerbread Latte
- Optional Variations & Dietary Adjustments
- Serving Suggestions
- Recipe Success Tips
- Homemade Gingerbread Latte Nutrition
- Other Starbucks Holiday Drink Recipes
- Gingerbread Latte (Starbucks Copycat)
What is a gingerbread latte?
This festive favorite is a sweet and warmly spiced coffee drink that blends the rich, bold taste of espresso from a French press, combined with steamed milk. It gets its holiday cheer from gingerbread simple syrup, which is packed with the cozy flavors of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla.
Usually topped with a little whipped cream and a sprinkle of spices, it's like sipping on a gingerbread cookie — perfect for chilly days when you need a little warmth and some festive holiday spirit!
What does it taste like?
Imagine the bold, deep notes of espresso pirouetting with the creamy, velvety richness of steamed milk. Then, the enchanting spices make their entrance — a playful kick of ginger, a whisper of cinnamon, and a gentle hint of nutmeg tickle their way across your tongue.
It's a taste of nostalgia, reminiscent of freshly baked gingerbread cookies straight from Nana’s oven, combined with the comforting warmth of your favorite coffee. And the finishing touch? A cloud of whipped cream dusted with a sprinkle of spice, like a caffeinated cup of cheer!
Why You’ll Love This Copycat Starbucks Gingerbread Latte Recipe
Step into a world of holiday delight with this yummy gingerbread latte: Starbucks edition. Here's why it's the gift that'll keep on giving this holiday season:
- Simplicity at Its Best: With only four ingredients, this recipe is as easy as pie. You don’t need to be a barista at a local coffee shop to whip up this holiday festive treat!
- Spot-on Flavor: It tastes just like the Starbucks original - that perfect blend of ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, combined with the rich depth of espresso and the creaminess of milk.
- Cost-Effective Cheer: Save your hard-earned dollars for holiday shopping! This homemade version is kinder to your wallet than the coffee shop original.
- Customize to Your Heart's Content: Prefer it sweeter? Less spicy? Dairy-free? The beauty of being a barista in the comfort of your own home is that you can tailor it exactly to your liking.
Let's gather around the kitchen and unwrap the simple magic of our ingredients! For our homemade gingerbread latte, we'll need just a few festive favorites to bring this cozy holiday classic to life. Here’s what to grab:
- Whole Milk - For the best copycat of a basic gingerbread latte from your favorite coffee chain. Fun fact: Starbucks lattes (holiday and otherwise) are made with whole milk unless otherwise specified.
- Gingerbread Syrup - While you’re welcome to use store-bought, my homemade version is a snap to whip up and much cheaper than what you’d buy. This one is made with brown sugar and sweet molasses.
- Espresso - The rich, caffeinated core of any latte!
- Whipped Cream & Pumpkin Spice - While optional, they add that extra-authentic Starbucks touch.
- Whole Milk - Feel free to use any dairy or plant-based milk you prefer! If you’re going vegan, I recommend sticking with unsweetened, unflavored or vanilla-flavored options like almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk.
- Gingerbread Syrup - If needed, you can use a sugar-free alternative (e.g. monkfruit or stevia) to make a diabetic-friendly version. Otherwise, feel free to swap in the coffee syrup of your choice!
- Espresso - You can also use 8 ounces of freshly brewed strong coffee.
- Pumpkin Spice - You can also use nutmeg, cinnamon, cinnamon sugar, or any other topping you like!
How To Make A Gingerbread Latte
Ready to brew some holiday cheer? Let's whisk and froth our way to a delightful ginger-spiced latte that'll make your heart and cup overflow with joy!
Step 1: Sweeten & Heat Milk. Whisk together the milk and gingerbread syrup in a small saucepan over low to medium heat. Heat until steaming and just starting to foam.
Step 2: Froth. Remove from heat and froth slightly with a milk frother or whisk. Set aside.
Step 3: Brew your espresso into a coffee mug. Top with the gingerbread milk.
Step 4: Garnish & Serve. Top with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice if desired. Drink up!
Optional Variations & Dietary Adjustments
Want to sprinkle a bit of your own magic into the mix? Let's explore some fun variations and dietary adaptations to make this ginger latte uniquely yours:
- Iced Gingerbread Latte: For those who love a chill in their thrill, a gingerbread iced latte is a refreshing twist on the classic. Pull your espresso shots, then pour them over a glass full of ice. Top it off with cold, frothy milk or a dairy-free alternative sweetened with gingerbread syrup. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the festive flavors even if you’re in a warmer climate or prefer your java to be as frosty as a snowman.
- Make It A Tea Latte: Gingerbread + chai? Yes, please.
- Vegan/Dairy-Free: Embracing a plant-based lifestyle or just dairy-free? No problem! Swap out regular milk for your favorite non-dairy alternative like almond, soy, oat, or coconut milk. Each option adds its own unique, delightful twist to the flavor profile. Don't forget to top off your creation with a non-dairy whipped cream to complete the cruelty-free decadence.
- Decaf: Prefer to keep things calm and caffeine-free? Simply substitute the regular espresso or coffee with a decaf version. This way, you can enjoy the warming, spiced flavors of this gingery latte any time of day or night without worrying about staying up past your bedtime. It’s all the holiday cheer with none of the buzz!
- Outdoor Gathering Warmer: If you're hosting or attending a Christmas market or going caroling, bring along a thermos. This cozy coffee is the perfect warmer to keep spirits high and everyone cozy.
- Holiday Movie Night Special: Make your holiday-themed latte the featured drink for a Christmas movie night. Serve it with some popcorn or festive snacks as you enjoy your favorite scenes.
- Gift Wrapping Sessions: Turn gift-wrapping chores into a cheerful event by serving these festive gingerbread lattes. It’s a sweet way to keep the energy up and make the task more enjoyable.
- Cookie Exchange Charm: Serve these gingerbread coffee drinks during a cookie exchange party. They're perfect for sipping while guests mingle and swap cookies. Double up on the gingery charm by serving homemade ginger cookies on the side!
- Brunch Bliss: Include a Christmas latte bar at your holiday brunch. Guests can help themselves to lattes, complete with different syrups and toppings like cinnamon, nutmeg, and whipped cream.
Recipe Success Tips
- Keep Everything Warm: Pre-warm your mug before pouring in the latte. This helps maintain the temperature of the drink for longer, making it extra cozy on a chilly day.
- Clean Your Equipment: Regularly clean your coffee maker, grinder, and frother. This ensures that old coffee residues don’t affect the fresh coffee shop taste we're after!
- Experiment with Variations: Don’t be afraid to try variations like adding vanilla extract, using different types of milk, or making it decaf. Personalizing the recipe can lead to your perfect cup.
- Get Frothy: For a creamy and luxurious texture, froth your milk properly. If you don’t have a handheld frother, you can heat the milk and then whisk it vigorously by hand or with an electric mixer to create foam.
Starbucks had the gingerbread latte on the menu for 20 years before getting rid of it in 2019. Now in 2023, gingerbread syrup is back, so you can order a gingerbread latte (among many other new drinks!) this season. But, now that you have the recipe, you’re not at the whims of a coffee giant! You can make this spicy sweet delight whenever you like. 😉
While I can’t speak for all recipes out there, this particular one is completely gluten-free. Just make sure to avoid any cross-contamination if you’re making it for a friend with celiac.
Homemade Gingerbread Latte Nutrition
Each cup packs about 225 calories. Not too shabby! It's a nice middle ground - a treat without going overboard. For fats and proteins, you're looking at 8 grams of each. The fats mostly come from the milk, and if you're using a richer milk, that number goes up. And, the protein count is actually a nice surprise, right? Feel free to bump that up with a scoop of your favorite protein powder.
As for the carbs, we're talking 30 grams, with 28 grams coming from sugar. It's a sweet treat, after all! If you're watching your sugar intake, playing around with the sweetener or the amount of it can help. When it comes to sodium, it's barely a blip on the radar.
So, in a nutshell, it's a bit of a sweet indulgence but not too crazy on the calorie front, and you get some protein in there too. Perfect for sipping and savoring during the holiday season!
Total nutritional content per serving (not including whipped cream) is:
- Calories: 225 calories
- Total Fat: 8 grams
- Protein: 8 grams
- Sodium: 118 mg
- Carbohydrates: 30 grams
- Sugar: 28 grams
*This nutritional information is an estimate and calculated based on the ingredients used to create the recipe. The nutritional value of your ingredients may differ slightly. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease.
Other Starbucks Holiday Drink Recipes
Gingerbread Latte (Starbucks Copycat)
- 1 cup milk of choice (I used whole milk)
- 2 tablespoon gingerbread syrup
- 2 oz espresso or 8 oz freshly brewed coffee
- Whipped cream & pumpkin spice (optional for garnish)
- Whisk together the milk and gingerbread syrup in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat until steaming and just starting to foam.
- Remove from heat and froth slightly with a milk frother or whisk. Set aside.
- Brew your coffee into a coffee mug. Top with the gingerbread milk.
- Top with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice if desired. Drink up!