You may have noticed a new pumpkin spice syrup recipe making the rounds on TikTok. In this video, posted by @thethriftwitch, she stirs together 2 cups of brown sugar, 1 ½ cups of water, 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice, along with ½ cup of pumpkin puree, slowing simmering everything to make a thick, syrupy mixture.
As the Kitchn recently reported, although it’s a good recipe, you need to make a few modifications to achieve the thick consistency that you see in the video—including reducing the amount of water and waiting until the end to add your pumpkin puree. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a watery mess.
Photo: Rachel Fairbank
How to make a thick syrup with the right blend of flavors
When I went to make my own pumpkin spice syrup, I decided to make two separate batches—one made exactly to the specifications reported by the Kitchn, and a second batch with some vanilla extract added in. The result was a thick, satisfying syrup, one that slowly slides off the spoon, with just the right balance of flavors.
Personally, I preferred the batch with a little vanilla extract stirred in, as it mellowed out the spices just a little, which really let the taste of pumpkin shine through. For the batch without any vanilla, the taste of cinnamon was what hit first, with the remaining flavors coming as an after-note.
Syrup mixes well with hot and iced coffee
Either way you like it, both are delicious. I mixed some in with my morning coffee, adding about one tablespoon to a full mug of coffee with whole milk. Then, in the afternoon, I added some to my iced coffee with almond milk. They both had just the right amount of sweet, with enough pumpkin spice flavor to make the drink satisfying. (Want to max out the pumpkin vibe? Try it with pumpkin seed milk.)
In short, this recipe yielded a subtler pumpkin spice coffee, one that offered all of the pumpkin taste and spices you could ask for. My issue with the original PSL has always been that it’s too sweet—and they overdo the cinnamon and nutmeg—in what I assume is an attempt to cover the artificial pumpkin flavor. This syrup achieves the right balance of flavors, while also being quite easy to make.
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice mixture
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, but highly recommended)
Add the brown sugar, water, and pumpkin pie spice to a shallow pot. Let the mixture simmer on medium-low heat for about five minutes, until mixture becomes thick and syrupy.
Once the mixture has thickened to a syrupy consistency, stir in ½ cup pumpkin puree and one teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir until smooth, then remove from the heat. Once mixture has cooled, pour into a jar, and store in the fridge.