A true fall upgrade to your morning coffee: this Pumpkin Cold Foam recipe is inspired by the trendy Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, created with real pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice and the perfect copycat recipe to make at home in less than 5 minutes!
This drink is absolutely perfect pumpkin season - and a great way to use up any leftover pumpkin puree that you might have in your fridge or pantry. It's one of my personal favorite cold drinks for fall!
The Starbucks Cold Foam drinks have become a popular choice in the United States over the last couple of years, and just as well-known as the famous Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte! This drink is especially a favorite for people that love to make their own coffees at home, as it's so easy to prepare.
What is Cold Foam?
Cold foam is a creamy and fluffy, foamy topping made with dairy milk that Starbucks serves on top of their cold brew coffee. In the Starbucks version, the foam is made with low-fat milk and vanilla syrup to sweeten. The ingredients are then whipped in a high-speed blender until fluffy and foamy.
For Pumpkin Cold Foam, pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice is added into the mix, creating their signature pumpkin foam, that works deliciously on top of cold brew coffee.
At Starbucks, the drink is generally served with a straw-less lid.
Starbucks vs Dunkin' Donuts
In the US, both Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts serve their own version of this pumpkin coffee drink. The version at Dunkin' Donuts is created with a cold brew coffee that is steeped for up to 12 hours, topped with a pumpkin cold foam made with dairy cream and warming spices and topped with cinnamon sugar.
The Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew at Starbucks, is created with a cold brew base that is sweetened with vanilla syrup, served with ice, and topped with a pumpkin cream cold foam and a dusting of pumpkin spice on top.
How to make cold foam vegan
To make this delicious pumpkin cold foam vegan, you can use swap the heavy cream for a plant based alternative, and use a low fat, high protein plant milk, such as soya milk.
The Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam is made with cream, milk, sugar, condensed milk, pumpkin puree, fruit or vegetable juice for color, annatto, preservative, salt, natural flavors and vanilla syrup.
For this version of Pumpkin Cold Foam, I used only vegan ingredients and left out any food coloring or preservatives. Instead of using both sugar and syrup to sweeten the foam, I've chosen to use sweetened condensed milk.
Here's everything you need for this recipe:
- Cream - I used a vegan heavy cream alternative (double cream in the UK). Any heavy whipping cream alternative will work best. I personally used Elmlea, which is a brand in the UK.
- Milk - Starbucks uses a non-fat dairy milk. For this version I've used unsweetened soya milk. Any low fat, high protein plant-based milk works best. You can also use sweetened soya milk.
- Condensed Milk - I used a dairy-free sweetened condensed milk. My favorite brand for vegan condensed milk is Nature's Charm.
- Pumpkin Puree - you can use plain canned pumpkin puree from the grocery store, or make your own. Make sure to use plain pumpkin puree.
- Spices - Pumpkin Spice mixes are not easily available where I live, so I like to use my own homemade blend. You can use your favorite pumpkin pie mix.
- Vanilla - a homemade vanilla syrup will give you the best flavor, but feel free to use any brand of store-bought vanilla syrup.
To serve your Pumpkin Cold Foam as a Starbucks-inspired Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, pour or spoon the cold foam on top of ice and cold brew coffee. To make cold brew coffee, follow this simple cold brew recipe by Alphafoodie.
See recipe card for full quantities.
Here's everything you need for this recipe:
- High-speed blender - I use a Greenis blender.
There a couple of different ways to make the cold foam coffee: You can also make this drink using an electric hand frother or an electric whisk plus a mixing bowl. Alternatively, use an automatic frother with a cold froth setting, such as the Nespresso Aeroccino or Dualit (see notes below).
This recipe is super easy to make in just a few steps and ready in 5 minutes or less. Here's what you need to do:
Place the cream, condensed milk and milk into your blender.
Process on high speed until big bubbles form. Continue to blend until the texture becomes smoother and thicker.
On one side of the blender, carefully add the pumpkin puree, vanilla syrup, pumpkin spice and salt.
Blend until well combined and foamy.
Add ice and coffee to your cup of choice.
Serve 1/4 - 1/2 cup of the pumpkin foam on top.
The Pumpkin Cold Foam is served on top of an iced cold brew coffee. Place the ice and cold brea coffee into your glass first, then carefully pour or spoon the cold foam on top. You should serve about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of the cold foam per cup of coffee, but feel free to adjust this to your personal liking.
The milk is then slowly cascading into the coffee through the bottom of the foam later, making the drink look extra pretty. The sweetened foam sits on top of the drink, so that you get a sweet, fluffy pumpkin surprise with every sip.
The drink is best served right away but you can prepare your cold brew coffee ahead of time and blend up your pumpkin cold foam in just a few minutes before serving.
You can store your cold foam in a clean jar with airtight lid in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just give it another blend or whip it up with a frother until fluffy again before serving.
In case you don't have everything to hand, here a few ideas and notes for possible substitutions:
- Pumpkin Spice - you can use a store-bought mix or make your own at home with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and allspice
- Vanilla syrup - use store-bought or homemade. If you want to swap it with vanilla extract, then add in the same amount of an additional sweetener, such as maple, agave or sugar to get the right sweetness for the drink.
- Condensed milk - I used a sweetened condensed milk that is also dairy-free. If you are using unsweetened condensed milk, then add more vanilla syrup to your drink to adjust the sweetness.
- Syrup - you can sweeten and flavor your drink with your favorite coffee syrups or sugar free skinny syrups!
The pumpkin cold foam is not only delicious on top of cold brew coffee, but also enjoyable with iced coffee or espresso over ice. It also works deliciously on hot coffee, creating delicious little clouds of pumpkin flavor on top of your coffee!
Making cold foam with a handheld milk frother
Place the cream, condensed milk and milk into a mason jar and whip with the handheld milk frother until large bubbles form. Continue frothing until the texture becomes smoother and thickens.
Carefully add pumpkin puree, vanilla syrup, pumpkin spice and salt at the corner of the jar and continue to froth until combined.
Making cold foam with a whisk
Whilst it's possible to whip up cold foam by hand, it is much easier and quicker to do so with an electric hand whisk.
Place your cream, condensed milk and milk into a mixing bowl and whisk thoroughly until large bubbles form. Continue whisking until the texture becomes smoother and thickens.
Add the pumpkin puree, vanilla syrup, pumpkin spice and salt at the corner of the mixing bowl and continue whisking until fully combined.
Making cold foam with an electric frother
To make your cold foam, you can also use an electric frother with a cold froth setting, such as the Espresso Aeroccino or a Dualit Frother, which is what I personally use.
Simply place the cream, condensed milk and milk into the frother and turn on the cold froth setting. Once done, either mix in the pumpkin puree, vanilla syrup, pumpkin spice and salt in a bowl, or add them to the frother and froth for another 1 minute or until well combined.
If you go with option 2, make sure to rinse and clean it right after to avoid any residue in your frother.
Making cold foam with a french press
Did you know that you can also create foam with a french press? It's super easy! Simply add your ingredients (cream, condensed milk & milk) to the French press and quickly move the plunger up and down until the mix is all fluffy and foamy. That's as easy as it gets!
Make sure to rinse the french press immediately after, especially if using sweetened condensed milk as it will otherwise get rather difficult to clean.
What's the difference between Vanilla Sweet Cream and Cold Foam?
Cold Foam and Vanilla Sweet Cream might be similar in some aspects but they are not the same. Plain cold foam doesn't use cream (pumpkin cream cold foam does however!), whilst vanilla sweet cream is created with vanilla syrup, heavy cream and a 2% dairy milk.
Furthermore, cold foam is blended and served on top of your drink. Vanilla Sweet Cream however is mixed straight into the drink.
On its own, the sweet cream has a thick and creamy texture, whilst cold foam is fluffy and foamy with lots of tiny air bubbles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any low fat, high protein plant milk whips up best for the cold foam. I personally love using soya milk, but pea milk will work just as well, depending on your personal preference.
A low-fat high protein milk creates a foam that is more robust. It has larger bubbles and generally holds up better than those tiny bubbles that you often see with hot lattes. For this reason, Starbucks uses a non-fat dairy milk.
If you loved this tasty drink, I'm sure you'll also enjoy this sweet Vanilla Matcha Latte or some of the other drinks recipes on this blog:
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📖 Recipe Card
Pumpkin Cold Foam (Starbucks Copycat)
- 1 high-speed blender
- 3 oz dairy-free whipping cream (85 ml) heavy cream alternative
- 1 oz sweetened condensed milk (30 ml)
- 1 oz plant milk (30 ml) low fat, high protein
- 1 tbsp pumpkin puree (15 g)
- 1 tsp vanilla syrup store-bought or homemade
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin spice mix store-bought or homemade
- 1 pinch salt
- ice cubes optional
- 8 oz cold brew coffee (225 ml)
- 1 tbsp vanilla syrup (15 ml) store-bought or homemade
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin spice mix store-bought or homemade
- Place the cream, condensed milk and milk into your blender. If you're using a different device, see the notes above.
- Process on high speed until big bubbles form. Continue to blend until the texture becomes smoother and thicker.
- On one side of the blender, carefully add the pumpkin puree, vanilla syrup, pumpkin spice and salt. You want to make sure adding these ingredients does not deflate the cold foam. Blend until well combined and foamy.
- Add ice and coffee to your cup of choice, then top up with 1/4 - 1/2 cup of the pumpkin foam.
- Servings - This recipe makes 1-2 servings depending on the desired amount you pour onto your coffee.
- Vanilla Syrup - use store-bought vanilla syrup or make your own at home, it's super simple!
- Pumpkin Spice - use a store-bought pumpkin spice mix or make your own with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.
- You can also prepare the cold foam with a hand whisk, or electric milk frother (see notes). Basically any device that's good for whipping and frothing.
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