Make your own seasonal gingerbread chai or latte drinks in the comfort of your own home with our Starbucks-copycat gingerbread syrup! This recipe is easy to make and it makes a fun homemade gift as well.
Since people really loved our apple brown sugar syrup, I decided to try making this Starbucks-inspired gingerbread syrup for seasonal drinks and it turned out so good!
The warm spices and rich brown sugar and molasses flavors of this syrup are the perfect addition to hot coffee, tea, or even hot chocolate.
This syrup is delicious in oatmilk chai lattes, traditional coffee lattes, and would be perfect for Christmas gifting for Starbucks lovers. You can put this in a gift pack with chai tea or coffee for a holiday gift basket. We also included gift tags to go with this syrup for gifting!
Why you’ll love this homemade gingerbread syrup
If you’re a Starbucks fan but want to save some money, this homemade syrup is a great way to have coffee shop drinks at home with simple ingredients and at a fraction of the cost and it tastes just as delicious!
Our gingerbread syrup is an easy recipe to make at home and you can customize the intensity of flavor as well. We made this mild enough for most people to enjoy, but if you like your gingerbread spicy, you can add extra ginger!
This syrup also makes great holiday season gifts as well. You can add this to a pretty bottle with ribbon and gift tags for gifting to friends and family.
How to make gingerbread latte syrup at home
Our gingerbread syrup recipe is a variation of classic homemade syrup that’s made with a 2:1 ratio brown sugar/water mix. This kind of syrup is easy to make and customize, and it’s one that we’ve made for decades (quite literally) for pancakes when we’d run out of maple syrup.
Here are the steps for making this syrup (this is just an overview, the full recipe card is at the end of the post):
- Add the brown sugar, water, and cream of tartar to a small saucepan.
- Heat over medium heat until it begins to simmer, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract, molasses, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and corn syrup (if using). If you’d like a stronger-tasting syrup, add an additional tablespoon of molasses and additional ginger.
- Whisk in the corn syrup if using.
- Allow the syrup to cool completely then stir again to mix up any settled spices and pour into a mason jar or glass bottle.
- This can be stored in the fridge or at room temperature (it will last longer if stored in the fridge, but may get some sugar crystals).
- Pour into bottles with gift tags and ribbon if you’d like to give this as a Christmas gift!
Traditional gingerbread cookies usually include allspice and nutmeg as well, but while I was experimenting with this recipe, I found that adding allspice made this syrup bitter tasting, so we just stuck with cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
Just like with our apple brown sugar syrup, you’ll want to add the spices after cooking since adding the cinnamon before cooking can make it taste bitter. For the best flavor, add the spices once the syrup is done cooking.
Why we use cream of tartar and corn syrup in this recipe
Since we’ve gotten this question quite a bit on our TikTok videos for our syrup recipes, here’s a quick explanation (I also have a short video about this, too).
Without getting too technical, cream of tartar is an acidic byproduct of winemaking and it’s used in some caramel recipes and syrups to help reduce recrystallization of the sugar once it’s cooled.
Corn syrup also helps prevent recrystallization of sugar in easy caramel sauce and syrups as well. This keeps syrups and caramel sauces smooth.
Both the cream of tartar and corn syrup are optional here, you certainly don’t have to use them if you’d rather not. But your syrup may form sugar crystals.
For caramels, sugar crystals are a bad thing, but sugar crystals aren’t going to completely ruin syrups because you can easily re-melt sugar crystals in syrup by heating it up or adding it to hot drinks without ruining your batch.
But if you want to gift this syrup, I recommend using the cream or tartar and corn syrup to help keep your gifted syrup smoother for longer!
How to make a gingerbread oatmilk chai and a gingerbread latte
How much syrup does Starbucks typically use in their gingerbread drinks?
First off, let’s talk about syrup measurements. According to their online menu, Starbucks uses 4 pumps of gingerbread syrup in both their grande (16-ounce) gingerbread latte and gingerbread chai. You will get about the same amount of flavor by using 2 Tablespoons of our gingerbread syrup.
Since 1 pump of syrup in most standard syrup pumps (like Torani) are designed to dispense 0.25 ounce, 1 pump is 0.25 oz, which is equivalent to 1/2 Tablespoon (1.5 teaspoons). 4 pumps = 2 Tablespoons syrup.
To make it easy to adjust the syrup to your drink size, here’s a chart based on the amount of gingerbread syrup Starbucks typically uses for both their lattes and chai:
|Equivalent for our syrup
|1 Tbsp = 3 tsp
|1.5 Tbsp = 4.5 tsp
|2 Tbsp = 6 tsp
|2.5 Tbsp = 7.5 tsp
You can start with the amounts listed in the chart and add more if you like, or start with less and add more to taste!
Copycat Starbucks gingerbread latte recipe
To make a gingerbread latte at home:
- Add 2 shots of espresso (or strong coffee) to a cup.
- Stir in 2-3 Tablespoons of gingerbread syrup.
- Add about 8 ounces oat milk (or other dairy free milk like coconut milk). Use cold oat milk if you want to make an iced latte, or use hot and frothed oat milk for a hot latte.
- Add ice if you’re making an iced latte.
If you want to make a gingerbread latte without making the syrup, check out our single-serving gingerbread latte recipe!
Homemade gingerbread oatmilk chai
If you’re not a coffee drinker, this syrup is amazing in a Starbucks-style gingerbread oatmilk chai. To make a gingerbread chai at home:
- Brew a strong cup of chai from a tea bag or mix a chai tea powder brewed or mixed according to package directions.
- Stir in 1-3 Tablespoons of our gingerbread simple syrup, depending on the drink size and your preference.
- Add a splash of oat milk (or other dairy free milk of choice) to taste and drink hot or add ice.
I used the Tetley chai black tea at home to make a chai latte and I didn’t think the chai was strong enough for me, even after brewing it longer. So if you’re a chai fan and like it spicy, look for a chai that’s on the stronger side to balance the milk and the sweetness of the syrup.
Other great ways to use this syrup
Our homemade gingerbread syrup would also be great in your favorite winter cocktails or mocktails, such as gingerbread martinis or gingerbread rum cocktails. It would also be great in a spiced hot chocolate!
Don’t forget to check out our apple brown sugar syrup for another great Starbucks copycat recipe!
Holiday gift tags
I decided to add some printable holiday gift tags for this gingerbread syrup that you can print off and add to your syrup bottles!
Make sure to print these on card stock and adjust your printer settings for thicker card stock paper and higher print quality for these gift tags.
Homemade Gingerbread Syrup (Copycat Starbucks Recipe)
- Add the brown sugar, water, and cream of tartar to a small saucepan.
- Whisk together and heat over medium heat until it begins to simmer.
- Lower the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring ocassionally (try not to scrape down the sides).
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract, molasses, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, and cron syrup (if using).
- Allow to cool completely, then transfer to a jar or bottle and store at room temperature or in the fridge.
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist