Autumn Spice Latte

This tasty Autumn Spice Latte is made without pumpkin, yet still full of warmth and fall flavor. Make a spiced simple syrup and mix it with your favorite espresso and top with steamed milk.

a latte in a red mug surrounded by spices

Autumn Spice Latte recipe

Making tasty coffee drinks at home is one of the best ways to enjoy the fall season. I love starting the day with a warm, homemade latte.

One of the easiest ways to do that is with homemade simple syrups in various flavors.

A favorite this season is homemade pumpkin spice syrup, which is so good in a pumpkin spice latte.

If you’re not a fan of pumpkin, there’s still a way to enjoy fall flavors in a latte. Simply make a spiced simple syrup without pumpkin, then add it to your morning coffee or mix it in a latte.

I call this drink an autumn spice latte and it’s perfect for anyone who is averse to pumpkin.

a jar of simple syrup with cinnamon sticks in it

Spiced Simple Syrup

This recipe uses a spiced syrup which is based on my cinnamon simple syrup recipe. (That one is a delicious addition to a cinnamon bun latte.)

You can make this syrup with a base of classic simple syrup, which is made from sugar and water.

It’s then infused with whole spices, including cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and star anise. I also like to add a piece of lemon or orange zest for a zing of flavor. Not a pumpkin in sight!

This syrup is so good for fall and winter. You can enjoy it in tea and coffee drinks or even cocktails like a chai old-fashioned. For warmer days, you could stir it into a glass of iced tea.

a spiced latte in a red mug with a jar of simple syrup

How to make a latte at home

With an espresso machine

The easiest way to make a homemade pumpkin spice latte is with an espresso machine. Personally, I use this Nespresso machine (I have it in black).

I love having it on hand for easy lattes, cappuccinos and americanos. Sometimes we enjoy an affogato for dessert, which is espresso poured over ice cream.

An espresso machine is definitely the easiest way to make a pumpkin spice latte like Starbucks’.

Espresso machines are expensive, but when I added up what we were spending on coffee shop trips, it made the expense worth it to me.

Without an espresso machine

Don’t fret! You can still make a pumpkin spice latte without an espresso machine. You have a few options:

  • Aeropress: Learn how to use this easy method for making coffee and espresso with this tutorial. I have tried this before and it’s really delicious!
  • Stovetop espresso maker: You can make your pumpkin spice latte on the stove by making your espresso in this cute little pot!
  • Instant espresso powder: This is probably my least favorite method because I think fresh is better, but the instant stuff can still be good in a pinch, especially if you are traveling or can’t access these other methods.

Check out these tips for making a latte without an espresso machine.

spices and a lemon with an autumn spice latte

Steamed milk

After you make your espresso, or while you are making it, it’s time to steam your milk. There are a few ways you can steam your milk of choice:

  • Milk frother machine: I use the Aeroccino that came with my Nespresso machine. This milk frother is similar and a much cheaper option.
  • Hand-held milk frother tool: Before I had an espresso machine, I used a milk frothing tool like this one. You’ll want to warm your milk first, then you can use this neat electric whisk that will get your milk nice and foamy.
  • Microwave: You can also steam your milk in the microwave! Always a great option if you don’t have the other tools.
  • In a French press: This tutorial shows you how to froth milk with a French press. This is another fantastic option
cinnamon sprinkled on top of a latte with a piece of star anise on top

How to make an Autumn Spice Latte without Pumpkin

Once you have made your espresso and steamed milk, follow these instructions:

  1. In a latte mug, add the your espresso and as much spiced simple syrup as you like. I do ½ ounce because I like things on the less-sweet side. Stir together.
  2. Then spoon in the foam. If you know how to do latte art (lucky you!) then have at it here.
  3. If you’re adding whipped cream, that comes next.
  4. Sprinkle on your cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, and enjoy! Garnish with a cinnamon stick or a piece of star anise.

More coffee drinks

A warm and inviting Autumn Spice Cafe Latte, made without pumpkin. Cinnamon, star anise, lemon, nutmeg, cloves and peppercorns flavor an easy simple syrup that you can use in coffee and espresso drinks. (via

Autumn Spice Cafe Latte

Yield: 1 latte
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
A warm and inviting Autumn Spice Cafe Latte, made without pumpkin. Use whole spices to flavor an easy simple syrup for coffee and espresso drinks.
5 from 4 votes
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For Autumn Spice Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 1- inch piece of lemon zest

For the latte

  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon autumn spice simple syrup
  • cup freshly brewed espresso
  • ground cinnamon
  • star anise for garnish


  • In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water. Add cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, star anise and lemon zest. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a low simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Store syrup in an airtight container without zest, star anise, cloves and peppercorns.
  • In another saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the milk. Using a wire whisk, stir the milk briskly to create foam.
  • Brew espresso. To a large latte mug, add simple syrup and espresso. Pour in the milk, restraining the foam with a spoon. Spoon the foam over top. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Garnish with cinnamon stick or star anise if desired.

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nutrition information

Yield: 1 latte

amount per serving:

Serving: 1oz Calories: 125kcal Carbohydrates: 19g Protein: 4g Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 2g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 12mg Sodium: 64mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 16g
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