I am obsessed with pumpkin cream cold foam and this starbucks copycat recipe lets me have it at home.
It’s so good, I feel like I could drink a glass of it and be happy. That might be a bit excessive though? Also excessive is my desire to grab a pumpkin cream cold foam anytime I see a Starbucks.
Since Starbucks prices have gone through the roof, I’ve started making pumpkin cream cold foam at home and it definitely satisfies the itch. This pumpkin cold foam tastes amazing on cold brew but I also like the velvety way it flows into hot coffee too. So good!
What is cold foam?
Cold foam (at least according to Starbucks) is whipped non-fat milk that floats on top of cold coffee. They use their special blenders to whip up the milk so it has micro bubbles which gives it a velvety, creamy texture. If you get a flavored cold foam (sweet cream cold foam, pumpkin cold foam, salted caramel cream), it’s not just milk though, it’s a mix of non-fat milk, heavy cream, and syrup.
What is pumpkin cream cold foam?
Pumpkin cream cold foam is a mix of sweetened heavy cream with vanilla syrup and pumpkin sauce frothed together so it becomes velvety and thick but pourable. It’s nothing like the consistency of whipped cream, more of a thick, melted ice cream texture. If you live for pumpkin spice season, pumpkin cream cold foam is going to be your jam.
Why cold foam?
Personally, I love the way the cold foam floats on top of the coffee and slowly, slowly cascades down into the rest of the drink. When you take that first sip, you mostly get the velvety sweetness of the cold foam with the contrast of the unsweetened coffee pulling through. There’s something extra rich and creamy about cold foam. I think it’s the tiny bubbles that make the drink so decadent.
Two different ways to make pumpkin cold foam
I’ve outlined two different ways to make pumpkin cold foam: an easy way and a little bit more advanced way. The easy way is to just foam up the ingredients.
The advanced way takes a bit longer but is well worth it. Starbucks uses vanilla sweet cream and their proprietary pumpkin sauce to make their cold foam so I decided to reverse engineer it a bit to see how close I could come. Now that I’ve tasted both the easy way and the advanced way, I can honestly say that the advanced method is far superior. It tastes a lot closer. But, if you’re in a hurry, the easy way is a quick way to get your fix.
How to make cold foam: the easy way
- Mix. To a glass measuring cup or tall glass, add heavy cream, milk, pumpkin purée, vanilla syrup, and pumpkin pie spice.
- Froth. Use a milk frother to whip everything up until it is thick and creamy.
- Pour. Add cold brew to a tall glass with ice and slowly pour the pumpkin cream on top. Dust on some extra pumpkin spice using a sieve for a pretty top.
- Enjoy. Sip slowly and enjoy the fall feels.
How to make cold foam: the advanced way
- Make vanilla sweet cream. Mix together 2 cups heavy whipping cream, 1 1/4 cups milk, and 3/4 cups vanilla syrup. Store in the fridge to keep it very cold.
- Make pumpkin sauce. In a pot, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, 2/3 cups pumpkin purée, 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 1 tsp pumpkin spice, and 1/4 tsp salt. Bring to a simmer while stirring, making sure the pumpkin spice is evenly mixed in and the sugar dissolves. Pour into a container and let cool completely.
- Make the cold foam. In a glass measuring cup or tall glass, add a scant 1/2 cup of the cold vanilla sweet cream. Add 2 tbsp of the cold pumpkin sauce. Froth until thick and creamy. This should be enough for 2 drinks or one extra decadent one.
The best frother for cold foam
I like using a hand milk frother because you can whip up small amounts. They’re fairly inexpensive and they are great for whipping up small amounts of whipping cream, whisking eggs, and making all kinds of whipped drinks (dalgona, whipped matcha, whipped hot chocolate). I have a frother similar to this one but they don’t sell the exact model I have anymore. You can also use the nespresso milk frother too – it has a special setting for cold. I haven’t tried it, but I’ve heard it works very well.
Pumpkin cream cold foam ingredients
- heavy cream – this is the same as whipping cream, it’s what gives the pumpkin foam a thick and velvety texture.
- vanilla syrup – classic coffee vanilla syrup. I always use Torani.
- pumpkin purée – this is the stuff that is sold in cans at the grocery store. I like Libby’s. Get the can that says pumpkin purée and not pumpkin pie filling.
- sugar – add bit of extra sweetness that’s cooked into a simple syrup that’s mixed into the pumpkin sauce
- sweetened condensed milk – this add extra thickness, creaminess, and sweetness to the pumpkin sauce.
- pumpkin spice – pumpkin spice!! You can buy it at the store already mixed up or you can make your own if you have all the spices at home. It’s: 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp ground cloves. If you make your own you can also adjust the spice ratios to your liking.