Dark, smooth iced coffee with a sweet vanilla kick is topped with a foamed pumpkin-spice cream, in this easy Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. It’s just like your favorite coffee shop’s version, but easy to make in your own kitchen!
A Smooth and Creamy Pumpkin Iced Coffee
I’ve been on the coffee-is-life bandwagon for a number of years now. Busy moms, can you relate? With so many tasks to juggle week by week, a big cup of hot coffee is like my security blanket! Often, though, I swap the hot coffee for a tall, cool glass of iced coffee—iced coffee is extra refreshing, and welcome in the middle of a busy day.
This particular iced coffee drink is made with a creamy topping that’s a combination of milk, pumpkin spice, vanilla, and real pumpkin puree, all blended together into a cold foam. When spooned on top of the cold, vanilla spiked coffee, it’s a sumptuous, almost dessert-like treat.
What Is Special About Cold Brew Coffee?
Cold brew is actually a little bit different than regular iced coffee, although many people use both terms interchangeably. Technically, iced coffee is regular coffee that has been chilled and/or poured over ice.
Cold brew, on the other hand, is actually made by soaking coffee grounds in water in the fridge, in some cases up to 24 hours! The result is a cold coffee concentrate that’s smooth and low in acidity. Cold brew is then combined with milk or water to make a chilled coffee drink.
For this recipe, even though it’s called “Pumpkin Cold Brew” like the Starbucks version, I actually tend to use regular brewed coffee that I have chilled in the fridge for a little while. If you like making cold brew, though, feel free to use that instead! Just add enough water to get it to an ordinary coffee strength, and you’re good to go.
You’re just a few simple ingredients away from creamy, dreamy pumpkin cream cold brew—and there’s nothing artificial here! Let’s take a look at just what goes into the wholesome, homemade version of this seasonal coffee drink.
For the Coffee
- Brewed Coffee: Again, if you make your own cold brew, you can use that! But for this copycat version, you can just use 3 cups of regular brewed coffee, chilled.
- Vanilla: We’ll be flavoring the coffee with a couple of teaspoons of pure vanilla.
- Sugar: I sweeten the coffee with sugar, to taste. Feel free to substitute any sweetener that you prefer: brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, stevia, etc.
For the Pumpkin Cream
- Milk: You will need a little cold milk to make the pumpkin creamer. Some non-dairy milks are fine here as well (see the Tips and Tricks section below!).
- Pumpkin: Make sure to use real pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling, which has a number of other ingredients added.
- Vanilla: A bit more vanilla extract makes the pumpkin cream irresistible!
- Pumpkin Spice: The finishing touch? A generous addition of pumpkin pie spice!
How to Make Starbucks Copycat Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew
It’s so simple to make this festive iced coffee drink! This is sure to become one of your new fall and winter favorite treats!
- Make the Chilled Coffee. Brew the coffee, and refrigerate until the coffee is fairly cold. Add the vanilla and sugar to the cold coffee, stir well to dissolve, and set aside.
- Make the Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam. In a glass measuring cup (or a steaming pitcher, if you have one) combine the milk, pumpkin puree, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice. Use a milk frother to froth the milk for 2 to 4 minutes, or until it reaches a foam-like consistency.
- Top the Coffee with Pumpkin Foam. Fill a tall glass with ice, and pour the coffee over. Spoon the pumpkin foam on top, taste for sweetness, and adjust as needed.
Tips and Tricks
Here are my best tips for making the best, easiest pumpkin cream cold brew ever! From a little extra caffeine to making it dairy-free, these are the hacks you need!
- Speed It Up: You can speed up the chilling process by chilling the coffee in a shallow container in the freezer (cover with plastic wrap).
- Non-Dairy Options: Full-fat coconut milk (ideally from a carton, not a can, and diluted a bit with water), oat milk, and soy milk are usually good for frothing, but avoid rice milk and most other nut-based milks.
- Easy Frothing Options: You can also froth the milk easily without a frother! Two simple methods include putting the milk froth ingredients in a blender and blending until doubled in volume, or shaking the ingredients in a large jar.
- Add a Shot: If you’d like a stronger caffeine kick, make a shot of espresso in an espresso machine or using a stovetop espresso maker. Chill it along with the coffee, and stir it in with the sugar.
What Goes with Pumpkin Cold Brew Coffee?
To serve, I like to include a little baked treat with this coffee. See some of my favorite recipes below. Of course, it’s also lovely on its own.
- Muffin: A muffin is a fun snack option to go with a tall glass of iced coffee. Try these Easy Pumpkin Muffins from Scratch for double the pumpkin goodness!
- Zucchini Bread: I am a huge fan of zucchini bread, especially this Chocolate version! Chocolate Zucchini Bread is a sweet snack that’s just right with cold, pumpkin-spiced coffee.
- Churros: So festive! Crunchy homemade Churros with Chocolate Dipping Sauce are just about the perfect sweet snack.
Can I Make a Hot Version?
Yes, you can! Instead of chilling the coffee, make the drink using hot, freshly brewed coffee. You can also make the pumpkin cream warm, by heating the ingredients on the stove (don’t get them too hot, just warm) before foaming.
Can I Store Extras for Later?
If you have leftover coffee and cold foam, store them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. It will keep for a day or two. You will probably need to re-froth the milk mixture before serving.
Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew Coffee
- Milk Frother
FOR THE COFFEE
- 3 cups brewed coffee, chilled
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, or to taste (you can also use any other sweetener that you prefer; brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, stevia, truvia, etc…)
FOR THE PUMPKIN CREAM
- ½ cup cold milk
- 1 tablespoon 100% pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Brew the coffee and refrigerate until cold.
- To the cold coffee add vanilla and sugar; stir and set aside.
- In a glass measuring cup or a steaming pitcher, combine milk, pumpkin puree, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice. Using a milk frother, froth the milk for 2 to 4 minutes, or until it reaches a foam-like consistency.
- Fill a drinking glass with ice; pour the coffee over the ice, and then spoon the pumpkin foam on top.
- Taste for sweetness and adjust accordingly.