Starbucks Fall Coffee Drink recipes | At home

International Coffee Day is September 29th and many of our favorite coffee houses will be serving up some delicious treats to celebrate. I love coffee (and tea) as much as the next mom but what I don’t love is the waste that disposable coffee cups produce.

Did you know that:

  • Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per day or equivalent to 146 billion cups of coffee per year, making the United States the leading consumer of coffee in the world.
  • If you buy just one cup of coffee or tea in a disposable cup every day, you’ll end up creating about 23 lbs of waste in one year.
  • According to a study conducted by Starbucks and the Alliance for the Environmental Innovation (April 2000), each paper cup manufactured is responsible for 0.24 lbs of CO2 emissions.
  • At the University of Washington, a college of roughly 42 thousand students, the Housing and Food Services Department estimates that 5000 paper coffee cups are thrown away every school day.
  • Americans throw away 25 billion styrofoam coffee cups every year.
  • Styrofoam cannot be completely recycled. Most of the Styrofoam disposed of today will still be present in landfills 500 years from now.
  • In 2003, Starbucks found that coffee drinkers used reusable cups an estimated 13.5 million times, which kept 586,800 pounds of garbage out of landfills. In 2006, this number increased to 17 million and an estimated 674,000 pounds of avoided waste. Source

What can we do? Simply bring your own cup when you choose to visit your favorite coffee shop. Or, better yet, make your own copycat recipe at home from one of my favorites here. And, if you’re not a coffee drinker, no worries. I have a tea latte post coming up soon so stay tuned.

The Mechanics of Coffee

According to, “lattes are well known for having art carefully swirled into the foam on top of them, but as long as a drink has the following ratio of milk to coffee, it can rightfully be called a latte. Which is: A doubled Shot of Espresso, 6 to 8 ounces of steamed milk, and a layer of foam that’s about 1 cm thick.”

Unless you are a coffee aficionado or a skilled barista, you may not ever be able to truly tell the difference between a latte or a cappuccino. And, that is totally ok. Most of us will have something that sounds a bit more like… Coffee (maybe espresso), milk, foam.

Now, how you brew your coffee is completely up to you. I have always been a lover of my French Press but more recently have been using my Pedrini Espresso maker. I’m obsessed with this gadget because it is teeny tiny and doesn’t take up any counter space. I have the 6-cup size, and that makes 6, 2-oz. cups. Which is enough for me to make 2-3 strong lattes. Find it here.

Steaming milk at home doesn’t need to be difficult, nor does it require anything fancy. I’ve had great success by heating milk over med/high heat in a small saucepan just until it starts to simmer. Then, I use my frother to make that sweat steamy foam.

Starbucks fall drink recipes

Tidbit: I always see frothers at thrift shops so keep an eye out. They usually cost less than $2.

Of course, if you don’t have a frother on hand or don’t want to wait for your milk to steam on the stovetop, you can use this mason jar trick:

  1. Pour 2-8 oz. of milk (or non-dairy milk) into a mason jar
  2. Microwave without lid for 20 seconds (glass jar may be hot)
  3. Replace lid and shake for 60 seconds
  4. Remove lid and microwave for 10 seconds
  5. Use a spoon to hold back foam as you pour the milk into your drink
  6. Use spoon to scoop foam onto your drink
  7. Enjoy!

Starbucks fall drink recipes

Tidbit: Non-dairy milk, like a nut milk, will not foam as much as dairy milk.

Cinnamon Dolce Latte

starbucks cinnamon dulce latte recipe

Probably one of my all-time favorite flavors is simply cinnamon and sugar. I mean you really can’t go wrong with that combo and it pairs exceptionally well with coffee. First, let’s make the syrup.

Cinnamon Dulce Syrup


  • 1 cup molasses or dark brown sugar. I like to use blackstrap molasses because contains vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium. It also has a lower sugar content than sugar cane.
  • 1 cup filtered or spring water
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer until reduced by half.
  2. Cool slightly, then transfer to an airtight container.

To make the latte:

*This makes one drink

  1. Make the coffee of your choice and be sure to leave room for milk and foam.
  2. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of your Cinnamon Dulce Syrup into coffee.
  3. Steam milk and make foam.
  4. Carefully and slowly pour milk into coffee while holding back foam with a spoon.
  5. Use a spoon to scoop foam on top of the drink.
  6. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Tidbit: Combine 1 tablespoon of the same Cinnamon Dulce syrup with warm apple juice or cider for an easy spiced apple cider. And if apple cider is what you are craving this Fall, check out my Spiced Apple Cider recipe here. P.s. It is delicious when chilled and mixed with champagne to make mimosas.

Salted Caramel Mocha

Starbucks salted caramel mocha recipe


*This makes two drinks

  • Hot chocolate. I made this by mixing 1 cup water, 1 cup cashew milk, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, and 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup.
  • Salted caramel sauce. I used this recipe to make date caramel and it was surprisingly easy.
  • Coffee
  • Milk
  1. Start by making two small cups of coffee and combining them with hot chocolate. About half coffee and half hot chocolate is a good ratio but mix this to your preference. Remember to leave room for the milk/foam.
  2. Drizzle a little salted caramel sauce inside the coffee cups.
  3. Next, steam milk and create foam.
  4. Carefully and slowly pour milk into coffee while holding back foam with a spoon.
  5. Use a spoon to scoop foam on top of the drink.
  6. Garnish with a drizzle of salted caramel sauce and a sprinkle of cocoa powder.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte recipe

Because Fall would not be complete without a PSL.


*This makes two drinks

  • Pumpkin puree. We still had some canned from last year but store-bought canned pumpkin is fine too. Please remember to reuse or recycle that can.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Pumpkin spice seasoning. Or, make your own by combining 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice and 1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves.
  • 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • Coffee
  • Milk. I like cashew milk.
  1. In a small saucepan combine 2 tablespoons of pumpkin with pumpkin pie spice and heat over med/low heat until it smells like October. Or, you can also use the microwave at 30-second intervals in a safe dish.
  2. Make coffee. Remeber to leave room for the pumpkin and milk/foam
  3. Meanwhile, add vanilla extract to milk, then steam and create foam.
  4. Mix pumpkin and coffee together. Add sweetener if you like (I use a touch of the cinnamon dolce syrup if anything at all.)
  5. Carefully and slowly pour milk into coffee while holding back foam with a spoon.
  6. Use a spoon to scoop foam on top of the drink.
  7. Garnish with a sprinkle of pumpkin spice

Chili Mocha Latte

Starbucks chili mocha recipe

I have to say I surprised at how yummy this one really was. Sweet and spicy always hits the spot for me, but I didn’t realize how great it would taste as a coffee.


*This makes two drinks

  • Spicy hot chocolate. To make this I mixed together 1 cup water, 1 cup cashew milk, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, and 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon,1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Coffee
  • Milk
  1. Make two small cups of coffee leaving room for spicy hot chocolate and milk/foam.
  2. Mix spicy hot chocolate and coffee together. Equal parts per my preference.
  3. Steam milk and create foam.
  4. Carefully and slowly pour milk into coffee while holding back foam with a spoon.
  5. Use a spoon to scoop foam on top of the drink.
  6. Garnish with a sprinkle of chili powder and cinnamon.

I’m looking forward to trying these and finding a new favorite this season. I would love to know if you have a favorite Fall time coffee or, if you try one of these recipes, please share how it worked for you.