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Pumpkin spice latte has met its match in this creamy, spiced cold foam coffee

Iced coffee drinkers will love this chilled-out twist on Starbucks' classic pumpkin spice latte.

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Pumpkin cream cold foam iced coffee will ease you gently into the spice latte season.

David Watsky/CNET

Pumpkin spice lattes are to fall just as Champagne is to New Year's. There's just something about those warm spices that mingle with coffee in a most pleasant way. But it's still a smidge early in the season and those warmer October days call for a colder beverage that still has a twist of autumn. Enter the pumpkin cream cold foam iced coffee: It's got all the depth of a PSL but with a warm-weather twist. Yes, cold coffee beverage drinkers can celebrate fall with this creamy, foamy spin on your classic iced coffee.

The pumpkin cream cold foam may have been popularized by Starbucks, but, as I found out, it's plenty easy to make from scratch at home. What's more, making pumpkin cream cold foam coffee in the comfort of your kitchen will shave money off your monthly coffee spend. Make a batch of the pumpkin foam -- a process that takes less than 10 minutes -- and you're good to go for quick pumpkin cold foam iced coffees all week. I even dropped some over a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an easy and excellent fall dessert.

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Everything you need to make a pumpkin cream cold foam iced coffee.

David Watsky/CNET

Everything for a cold foam coffee can be found with easy. The only ingredients you might have trouble finding are pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree. But as we roll through September and into pie season, most stores are stocking up on both.

Read more5 'weird' pumpkin spice recipes that aren't a latte and how to make them

What's in a pumpkin cream cold foam coffee?

This foamy, fall coffee drink starts with cold brew or iced coffee, which is topped with a healthy heaping of a sweet pumpkin whipped cream made from pumpkin puree, condensed milk, pumpkin pie spice and heavy cream. Once it's atop the coffee you can let the creamy foam drip down into the coffee slowly (and beautifully), shake it all in a cocktail shaker or mix with a spoon to incorporate.

So now you're probably wondering how to make this fluffy iced coffee. Most of the recipes I found were on the sweet side, but you can easily cut down on the sugar by using less condensed milk or an unsweetened version. I fine-tuned a popular recipe for this slightly-less-sweet-but-still-plenty-sweet version of Starbucks' pumpkin cold foam iced coffee. It's as good as it looks and a perfect 3 p.m. pick-me-up with a little September smack to it.

One more thing to love about the pumpkin cold foam: While there is some sugar, there are no artificial ingredients, and the base of the flavor comes from real pumpkin and fall-friendly spices. You could also replace the whipped cream for nut-based dairy creamer but know that you won't get a proper, fluffy whipped cream topping if you do.

Ingredients to make a pumpkin cold foam iced coffee

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 cups cold brew or other iced coffee

Directions:

1. For the pumpkin foam, whisk together the whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Add in the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice and whisk until smooth. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

2. Build a cold brew or iced coffee in a glass with ice but leave half of an inch at the top for foam.

3. Whip about a half a cup of the foam mixture in a personal blender or in a bowl with a milk frother until light and airy.

4. Scoop pumpkin foam atop your iced coffee or cold brew and sprinkle some remaining pumpkin spice on top.

5. Wave hello to fall and enjoy.

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The beginnings of my pumpkin cold foam after a few twirls with a whisk.

David Watsky/CNET

Is Starbucks' pumpkin cream cold foam iced coffee good?

I'm not usually too hyped on baking spices finding their way into nonbaked goods, but I really liked this. I cut down on the sweetened milk and went easy on the pumpkin pie spice, which allowed the actual pumpkin puree to shine through in the foam. I found myself sneaking tiny spoonfuls of the foam out of the bowl in the fridge even after my coffee was gone. I imagine it would go great over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. In fact, I may have to pick some up later today and find out. 

Read more: This $25 device makes iced coffee in a minute