Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Maple Gingerbread Latte

This homemade gingerbread latte is sweet & spicy, super fragrant, and ultra-cozy. It's perfect for the winter months when you need a feel-good, festive treat that'll bring warmth & cheer into your life. Or when you're craving the Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts versions & need a copycat recipe. (gluten-free & grain-free with dairy-free option)

Homemade Maple Gingerbread Latte Recipe (Better Than Starbucks & Dunkin)

Why the heck does gingerbread season only get one month? It deserves to be celebrated all winter long, far into February. Gingerbread recipes are packed with powerhouse spices that smell ahhh-mazing & are good for you. Combine that with thick, sweet molasses and you have the perfect pick-me-up for those endlessly gray & chilly winter days.

I mean, people go nuts for pumpkin spice for at least 4 months, so let's extend the gingerbread love past Christmas. As much as I love a good pumpkin spice latte (with real pumpkin), this maple gingerbread latte blows it away. Maybe it's my love for all things ginger (including redheads - LOL), but the slightly spicy & sweet combo is so much more satisfying!

The best part? This is really easy to make at home and will save you oodles of money compared to ordering one at Dunkin or any other local coffee shop. In fact, Starbucks used to have a gingerbread latte on their menu but discontinued it a few years back. That's one more reason to make it at home.

Plus, ordering any fancy holiday latte costs $5 a pop these days (eek), so that adds up quick! If you're a wine hamburger (YNABer) like me, you've gotta plan ahead for that sort of regular frivolity. 

Thankfully, you can make a batch of my homemade gingerbread syrup to keep in your fridge (it takes 5 minutes to prep & 30 minutes to cook on the stove) and you'll have enough for 5 homemade lattes. Double or triple the recipe if you plan to make these more often or use it for other treats like gingerbread pancakes, waffles, cinnamon rolls, Moscow Mules (perfect for ginger lovers), or Gingerbread White Russians (so good). 

Maple Gingerbread Latte Recipe (Better Than Starbucks & Dunkin)

Ingredients For Making a Gingerbread Latte

  • Gingerbread Simple Syrup: I HIGHLY recommend my homemade gingerbread syrup, as it's easy to fix on the stove (only 5 minutes of prep) and is packed with fragrant spices. You can make a batch ahead of time and store it in your fridge to save time. If you are in pinch, you can opt for a store-bought bottle of gingerbread syrup. However, the ones I've tried at local coffee shops have had a licorice flavor (maybe from star anise?), which isn't my thing. 
  • Milk (Dairy or Dairy-Free): I prefer to use unsweetened vanilla almond milk or cashew milk, but you can use whatever strikes your fancy.
  • Espresso or Strong Coffee: Keep it simple by brewing a small batch of extra strong coffee, or if you have an espresso machine, stovetop espresso maker, or pod-type machine, that works great.
  • Maple Syrup: My homemade gingerbread syrup isn't super sweet, so I like to add an additional sweetener to balance out the latte. Maple syrup (the real stuff) is my favorite because it pairs beautifully with the molasses & warm spices. You can sub your favorite sweetener here, but you may need to adjust the amount depending on the type & how sweet you like your drinks.
  • Vanilla Extract: I love to add vanilla extract to homemade lattes because it accentuates the warm spices & makes the drink extra cozy. If you want to go the extra mile, use a homemade vanilla extract that's aged at least six months (start a batch now & your future self will thank you). 
  • Whipped Cream (optional): Traditional lattes have foam on top but it's hard to pass up a big mound of fluffy whipped cream. It makes the drink so much better! But, you can skip this and use a stick frother instead. 
  • Crystallized Ginger (optional): Since this recipe is all about ginger (hence the name), I love adding finely chopped crystallized ginger on top of the whipped cream. You can find it in the candy aisle of many grocery stores for a few bucks. It's my favorite form of "candied ginger" since it's soft and not too sweet. If you have any leftovers (it's usually sold in bigger portions) use the candied ginger to make a yummy meyer lemon upside down cake (it'd pair wonderfully with this latte). 

How to Make a Gingerbread Latte at Home

How to Make a Gingerbread Latte

I'm going to assume that you already have the gingerbread syrup on hand. If not, hop over to my gingerbread simple syrup post (use the link in the recipe card below) and make that first. Or, grab a bottle from the store. Your call, although I strongly suggest going to the homemade route because it's 1,000% better in my experience.

  1. BREW COFFEE or MAKE ESPRESSO: If you're using coffee, make sure to add extra grounds or just use less water. We want it extra strong so it mimics espresso. If you can see through your's too weak! For espresso, you'll want two shots per mug so go ahead and make those. 
  2. HEAT MILK with SYRUP, SWEETENER & VANILLA: Pour your preferred milk into a small saucepan (use a medium-size one if you're doubling or tripling this recipe) and measure in the gingerbread syrup, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Heat on medium, stirring occasionally to dissolve the syrups, until the mixture is hot & starts steaming but is not yet boiling. This should only take a few minutes.
  3. POUR INTO MUGS: Add the espresso shots OR coffee into each mug, then pour an equal amount of the gingerbread milk mixture into each mug (about 1 cup per person unless you're fixing yourself a large size).
  4. TOP WITH WHIPPED CREAM: Apply a generous amount of whipped cream (from a can or homemade) and (optional) sprinkle a bit of cinnamon powder & finely chopped crystallized ginger on top.

Alternate Option: Use a milk frother to create some foam so you don't need to add whipped cream. This is especially handy if you use nut milk for your drinks (coffee or latte). I have this inexpensive milk frother from Amazon that's under 20 bucks. 

Maple Gingerbread Latte Recipe (Better Than Starbucks or Dunkin)

A Few Tips & Tricks

Make-Ahead Option: Fix the gingerbread syrup ahead of time (it takes 35 minutes + a bit to cool) and keep it in the fridge in a glass jar to save time. It'll last several weeks (although mine usually disappears within one). 

You can also prepare the gingerbread milk mixture (milk, gingerbread syrup, maple syrup & vanilla extract) a few days ahead of time and store that in the fridge to reheat & pour into coffee or over espresso.

Caffeine-Free Option: For kiddos, pregnant ladies, or anyone abstaining from caffeine, you can omit the coffee/espresso and make this drink as a gingerbread steamer (essentially hot flavored milk). It'll still taste delicious! You can even keep the flavored milk in the fridge to use as a gingerbread coffee creamer. 

What to Serve with a Gingerbread Latte

The obvious answer is gingerbread cookies and thick slices of gingerbread loaves. Nothing wrong with that! But I also love butter cookies, biscotti, homemade sugar cookies, scones, muffins, croissants & these grain-free mini bunuelos (cinnamon crisps) with my fancy hot beverages (especially when I'm reading a good book). If you want more ideas, try one of these recipes:

Homemade Maple Gingerbread Latte (Better Than Starbucks or Dunkin)

More Holiday Drink Recipes You'll Love:

gingerbread latte, homemade, best, starbucks, dunkin donuts
Yield: 1 drink
Author: Elaina Newton - The Rising Spoon
Maple Gingerbread Latte

Maple Gingerbread Latte

Prep time: 3 MinCook time: 5 MinTotal time: 8 Min
This homemade gingerbread latte is sweet & spicy, super fragrant, and ultra-cozy. It's perfect for the winter months when you need a festive treat that'll bring warmth & cheer into your life. Or when you're craving the Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts versions & need a copycat recipe.


Toppings (Optional)
  • whipped cream
  • cinnamon powder (I love Ceylon Cinnamon for its soft flavor)
  • crystallized ginger, finely chopped


  1. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, add the milk, gingerbread syrup, maple syrup & vanilla extract.
  2. Cook 3-5 minutes, or until the mixture is steaming (not boiling), making sure to stir occasionally to dissolve the syrups.
  3. Pour the espresso (or coffee) into a mug, followed by the gingerbread milk mixture.
  4. Garnish with whipped cream, a few sprinkles of cinnamon powder & finely chopped crystallized ginger. Alternately, you can use a milk frother to create a foamy topping. Drink immediately while hot. 


GINGERBREAD SYRUP: I know it's tempting to grab a bottle of store-bought gingerbread syrup to save time; however, the online reviews for all major brands are very mixed and, in my experience, they have an unpleasant "off" taste. I highly recommend going the homemade route because the ingredients are simple, easy to find & healthy (i.e. the warm spices, molasses & fresh ginger). And you can use the leftover syrup for other food & drink recipes like pancakes or cocktails.

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This homemade gingerbread latte is sweet & spicy, super fragrant, and ultra-cozy. It's perfect for the winter months (especially Christmas & New Year's Eve) when you need a feel-good, festive treat that'll bring warmth & cheer into your life. Or when you're craving the Starbucks or Dunkin versions & need an easy copycat recipe. (gluten-free & grain-free with dairy-free option)

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